Having growing pains? These songs can relate
If songs about growing up teach us anything, it’s that adolescence never really ends. Musicians love the subject, often returning to it multiple times – to look back on childhood, reflecting on teenage years, or simply on the process of getting older. There’s a wealth of wit and wisdom about the ageing process in music – here’s 50 songs about growing up to guide you through the sometimes painful process…
1. ‘1979’ – Smashing Pumpkins
Key lyrics: “June bug skipping like a stone / With the headlights pointed at the dawn / We were sure we’d never see an end to it all“
What it encapsulates: The nostalgia you never realise you’ll feel for your adolescence.
2. ‘West Coast’ – Fidlar
Key lyrics: “All my friends they just stay the same / I’m growing up but nothing’s changing / I’m so sick of this stupid place / It’s so suburban and so boring“
What it encapsulates: That restless suburban adolescent itch.
3. ‘Dammit’ – Blink-182
Key lyrics: “Everybody’s gone / And I’ve been here for too long / To face this on my own / Well, I guess this is growing up“
What it encapsulates: Realising you’re a bit of a fuck-up.
4. ‘Time’ – Pink Floyd
Key lyrics: “One day you find ten years have got behind you / No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun“
What it encapsulates: Realising time moves faster when you’re older.
5. ‘Growing Pains’ – Ludacris
Key lyrics: “Wanna hang with the big boys and play with the big toys / And be with the people making all that goddamn noise“
What it encapsulates: Wanting to get older, and not realising what you’ll lose in the process.
6. ‘Grown Up’ – Danny Brown
Key lyrics: “Remember back then we thought we growed up / Rushing as a kid just to be grown up“
What it encapsulates: That bit of youth when you’re happy not to be ID’d.
7. ‘In My Life’ – The Beatles
Key lyrics: “I know I’ll never lose affection / For people and things that went before / I know I’ll often stop and think about them“
What it encapsulates: The people you get to know as you grow older.
8. ‘We’re Going To Be Friends’ – The White Stripes
Key lyrics: “When I wake tomorrow I’ll bet / that you and I will walk together again / I can tell that we are gonna be friends“
What it encapsulates: Those friends you keep your whole life – and the ones you only think you will.
9.‘Ivy’ – Frank Ocean
Key lyrics: “You ain’t a kid no more / We’ll never be those kids again“
What it encapsulates: Memories, man. Memories.
Frank doesn’t put his stuff on YouTube any more so please enjoy this cover version by Alessia Cara:
10. ‘Changes’ – David Bowie
Key lyrics: “Just gonna have to be a different man / Time may change me / But I can’t trace time“
What it encapsulates: Being a work in progress, whether or not you acknowledge it.