Growing up is a time of great change and transformation in our lives. It can be a time of both excitement and concern when we move into adulthood from childhood.
Songs about growing up can help capture these feelings and provide them with a way out. They can also be a great way to reminisce about times gone by or to look forward to the future.
There are many songs out there that deal with the theme of growing up alone or together with friends, and these songs can come from a variety of genres. Here are just a few examples of sentimental and heartfelt songs about growing up that you might enjoy.
50 Classic And Modern Songs About Growing Up
1. Forever Young by Bob Dylan
Album: Planet Waves | Released: 1974 | Genre: Folk
Bob Dylan’s timeless classic “Forever Young” is an ode to the idea of eternal youth and innocence. The song speaks of the desire to stay forever young, and how this is something that we all strive for.
In this song, Dylan’s heartfelt lyrics encourage us to stay optimistic and look to the future with hope and courage.
2. Don’t You Worry Child by Swedish House Mafia Feat. John Martin
Album: Until Now | Released: 2012 | Genre: Progressive House
This inspiring song from the Swedish House Mafia provides comfort and reassurance to anyone who is struggling with the growth process. Through catchy, edifying lyrics and infectious rhythm, it encourages listeners to remember that they have nothing to worry about as heaven always has a plan for them.
3. When I Grow Up by NF
Album: The Search | Released: 2019 | Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap
Another poignant and inspiring song about growing up with dreams of success and making the most of life. The song reflects on the feelings of insecurity and doubt but also highlights a sense of optimism and determination to succeed.
It is an anthem for teenagers everywhere, encouraging them to embrace their dreams and never give up on reaching their potential.
4. The Circle Game by Joni Mitchell
Album: Ladies Of The Canyon | Released: 1970 | Genre: Folk Rock
Joni Mitchell wrote “The Circle Game” when she was just 22 years old, but it has a very wise message. The lyrics emphasize that life moves in circles and once something has passed, it will never be the same again.
The song is a touching reminder of the beauty and grief associated with the growth and passing through different stages of life.
5. What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
Album: What A Wonderful World | Released: 1967 | Genre: Traditional Pop
When we look at the world around us, it’s easy to get caught up in all the negativity. This song is a reminder to focus on the positive things in life and to be grateful for what we have.
This is one of the most beautiful but sentimental songs about growing up with an uplifting message. It’s about appreciating the simple things in life and looking on the bright side, even when times are difficult.
6. Remember When by Alan Jackson
Album: Greatest Hits Volume II | Released: 2003 | Genre: Country
This sentimental song captures the emotions that accompany this pivotal life transition in a touching and meaningful way.
The beautiful and simple melody, combined with the heartfelt lyrics, makes “Remember When” one of the best songs about growing up. It is the perfect reminder to take time to reflect on our past and to look forward with optimism to the future.
7. 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins
Album: Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness | Released: 1995 | Genres: Alternative Rock
“1979” is a song about growing up, and the changes that come with it. It talks about leaving behind childhood innocence and embracing adulthood responsibilities, as well as dealing with difficult situations.
Through this song, The Smashing Pumpkins convey a sense of depth and understanding of growing up, making it an essential song on the subject.
8. Kids by MGMT
Album: Oracular Spectacular | Released: 2008 | Genre: Electronic Rock
Childhood is a time of innocence and exploration, and this song encapsulates these feelings perfectly. The lyrics tell the story of a child, crawling on their knees toward something unknown. The chorus tells us to “control yourself, take only what you need from it” – a reminder to stay mindful and never take more than we can handle.
9. Teenagers by My Chemical Romance
Album: The Black Parade | Released: 2006 | Genres: Punk Rock, Emocore
This song is about the violence and frustration that teens often feel growing up. It talks about how adults try to “clean up” their looks, but it’s all an illusion as they try to make them into perfect citizens.
It talks about the struggles that many young people face when coming into adulthood and finding their place in the world where cool kids seem to have all the fun.
10. I Wanna Grow Old With You by Westlife
Album: World Of Our Own | Released: 2001 | Genre: Pop
It is a beautiful love song that captures the feelings of devotion and commitment between two people. With its heartfelt melody and tender words of affection, this song highlights the depths of emotion that can come from a deep connection between two people.
11. Humble And Kind by Tim McGraw
Album: Damn Country Music | Released: 2016 | Genre: Country
The song “Humble And Kind” is a beautiful anthem about the importance of being kind and humble as you go through life. The song is a reminder to cherish the moments and memories of childhood, even as we move into adulthood. It’s also an inspiring message that encourages us to pay forward kindness and understanding.
12. There Goes My Life by Kenny Chesney
Album: When The Sun Goes Down | Released: 2004 | Genre: Country
Growing up songs are an important part of the musical landscape, documenting the joys and challenges of growing up. And “There Goes My Life” is just one of many great country songs about growing up, but it is certainly one of the most moving and memorable.
It is a song about the life of a father as he watches his daughter head off to college. It speaks to the sense of loss and nostalgia that can be felt when children grow up and leave home, but it also celebrates their journey to adulthood.
13. Good Riddance by Green Day
Album: Nimrod | Released: 1997 | Genre: Alternative Rock
This classic song perfectly captures the sweet-bitter feeling of growing up and leaving behind the moments that once defined us. The lyrics detail the importance of taking stock of our experiences, even if they weren’t always good ones, and remind us to take time to appreciate them as we progress.
14. Landslide by Fleetwood Mac
Album: Fleetwood Mac | Released: 1975 | Genre: Folk Rock
“Landslide” is a powerful track that speaks to the fragility of life, and how it never stands still. The imagery in the song is also evocative, painting a picture of reflection amongst snow-covered hills and the idea of a landslide that brings everything down. This can be interpreted as life being unpredictable and how we must learn to accept its highs and lows.
15. I’m Just A Kid by Simple Plan
Album: No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls | Released: 2002 | Genre: Pop Punk
The core meaning of the song by the Canadian pop punk band Simple Plan, “I’m Just a Kid”, is that growing up can be tough and overwhelming.
The lyrics speak of the loneliness of being a kid and not fitting in with anyone, as well as the feeling of boredom and helplessness when life doesn’t seem to go according to plan.
16. Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen
Album: Born In The U.S.A. | Released: 1984 | Genre: Rock
“Glory days well they’ll pass you by/Glory days in the wink of a young girl’s eye” is one of the most memorable lines of this song that captures the bittersweet feelings of growing up and looking back on past times that no longer exist.
While highlighting the nostalgia that comes with growing up, the song also conveys the message that we must move on and accept that life changes with time. This is definitely one of the best songs about growing up.
17. Time by Pink Floyd
Album: The Dark Side Of The Moon | Released: 1974 | Genre: Progressive Rock
The song starts with the sound of a ticking clock, symbolizing the inexorable march of time. The lyrics describe the sense of urgency in life as we rush to do everything we can before it is too late.
As we age, the song suggests that we should treasure every moment and not miss out on opportunities. The song is a reminder that life is fleeting, and we should make the most of every moment.
18. Same Drugs by Chance The Rapper
Album: Coloring Book | Released: 2016 | Genre: Hip-Hop, Rap
“Same Drugs” is a song that encapsulates the feelings of growing and moving on. While reminiscing about his childhood, the narrator reflects on how things have changed since then and how those changes have shaped his life.
The song encourages listeners to embrace changes, cherish their memories, and make the best out of their lives moving forward.
19. Growing Up (Sloane’s Song) by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ed Sheeran
Album: This Unruly Mess I’ve Made | Released: 2016 | Genre: Hip-Hop, Rap
The song directly addresses Macklemore’s daughter, Sloane, and emphasizes the importance of teaching her to be resilient and independent. It celebrates the joys and struggles of parenting while reminding us all that our children will eventually grow up and change the world in their own unique way.
20. Changes by David Bowie
Album: Hunky Dory | Released: 1972 | Genre: Art Pop
This song by David Bowie is an emotional exploration of the many facets of life and how they can change over time. The lyrics focus on themes such as self-reflection, nostalgia, insecurity and resilience as we go through different phases in our lives.
21. Grow As We Go by Ben Platt
Album: Sing To Me Instead | Released: 2019 | Genre: Folk Pop
Ben Platt’s song paints a beautiful picture of what it’s like to grow up together. It speaks about the idea that we can go through life changes and lessons side by side, allowing us to learn from each other and support one another as we age.
Its uplifting message is sure to provide comfort, support, and peace of mind to anyone looking for a friend while they go through the process of growing up.
22. Jack And Diane by John Mellencamp
Album: American Fool | Released: 1982 | Genre: Rock
Here’s a classic John Mellencamp song about the love, innocence and rebellion of teenagers. Through imagery and clever lyrics, Mellencamp paints an idyllic picture of two young lovers struggling with their growing up years. The track captures moments between youth and adulthood, as Jack and Diane dream of running away together.
23. Forever Young by Rod Stewart
Album: Out Of Order | Released: 1988 | Genre: Soft Rock
This classic song by Rod Stewart is a timeless anthem of hope and courage. The lyrics are filled with wisdom, love and understanding that can be taken to heart by people of any age. Its beautiful melody captures the idea of living life to its fullest and never giving up on your dreams.
24. Slow Down by Nichole Nordeman
Album: Every Mile Mattered | Released: 2017 | Genre: Pop, Christian
The song “Slow Down” by Nichole Nordeman is one of the few children’s songs about growing up too fast, which has gained great popularity in social media in recent times. The lyrics are full of emotion and nostalgia and will resonate with anyone who has ever had to watch a child grow too fast.
25. Alright by Supergrass
Album: I Should Coco | Released: 1995 | Genre: Britpop
“Alright” is a song that captures the feeling of being young and carefree. The song is perfect for those moments when you feel like life is too short not to take a chance and live it to the fullest.
With its rock-inspired sound and encouraging message, this song can provide the motivation needed to get out of there and enjoy life to the fullest.
26. Give Yourself A Try by The 1975
Album: A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships | Released: 2018 | Genre: Indie Rock
The 1975’s anthem “Give Yourself a Try” captures the essence of the journey of growth and maturity. The lyrics reflect the struggles that come with age, especially in the late 20s.
Lead singer Matty Healy sings about how he finds wisdom in getting older by learning lessons from his experiences. He also talks about how happiness has often come to face our pain and get out, as well as understanding the complexities of life.
27. Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) by Billy Joel
Album: River Of Dreams | Released: 1994 | Genre: Classical Crossover
Billy Joel sings a sweet and comforting song to his daughter where he promises never to leave her behind as she moves through life.
It is a sentimental and heartfelt ode, by one of the most popular “Piano Man” in history, about the innocence of childhood and how it quickly passes away. It is also a perfect song for embracing all of the joys and challenges of growing up.
28. The Times They Are A-Changin’ by Bob Dylan
Album: The Times They Are A-Changin’ | Released: 1964 | Genre: Folk
The song is a timeless classic that speaks to the ever-changing nature of life and captures the feeling of transition that comes with growing up. It is an anthem of change and its lyrics paint a vivid picture of a world in flux.
Dylan’s iconic song is both a source of inspiration and comfort in times of change, urging us to embrace change instead of fearing it.
29. Forever Now by Michael Bublé
Album: Love | Released: 2019 | Genre: Pop
Michael Bublé’s touching ode “Forever Now” is a beautiful expression of parental love and devotion. The song is an inspiring tribute to the bond between parent and child, emphasizing the importance of always being there to support and encourage a young person through life.
30. Ready, Set, Don’t Go by Billy Ray Cyrus & Miley Cyrus
Album: Home At Last | Released: 2007 | Genre: Country Pop
“Ready, Set, Don’t Go” is about a father-daughter relationship and how the daughter is growing up too fast for her father’s liking. It is a sad but sweet song that captures the feeling of wanting to keep your child young forever, even as they grow into adulthood.
31. Patience by Tame Impala
Album: The Slow Rush | Released: 2020 | Genre: Psychedelic Pop
Tame Impala, an Australian psychedelic rock band, created this song as an ode to waiting and growing old. It speaks to the struggles of trying to figure out who you are and what direction your life should take, while also accepting that growth takes time.
32. Ghost by Kid Cudi
Album: Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager | Released: 2010 | Genre: Hip-Hop, Rap
“Ghost” by Kid Cudi is a powerful song about the tumultuous journey of growing up and finding one’s place in the world. The haunting chorus asks, “When did I become a ghost?” as if being lost in the chaos of growing up is like becoming invisible. It’s definitely a worthy addition to the list of best growing up songs.
33. Boys Will Be Boys by Dua Lipa
Album: Future Nostalgia | Released: 2020 | Genre: Pop
“Boys Will Be Boys” is an anthem for young women and examines the double standards that are placed on them in society. The lyrics explore the idea that boys can be free to do as they please, but girls must follow certain rules or face criticism and judgment. It is a song about strength in the face of adversity and not being afraid to defend yourself.
34. Isn’t She Lovely by Stevie Wonder
Album: Songs In The Key Of Life | Released: 1976 | Genre: Soul
When Stevie Wonder wrote this song, he was elated by the birth of his daughter. He celebrates the arrival of his daughter and marvels at the miracle of life in this beautiful tribute.
His lyrics express his joy and gratitude for the love and life with which he has been blessed with, teaching us that in times of growth, we must take time to appreciate all of our blessings.
35. Bros by Wolf Alice
Album: My Love Is Cool | Released: 2013 | Genre: Indie Rock
“Bros” is an ode to the close relationships we experience in our teenage years. It captures the feeling of being an adolescent and reflects on the moments of joy and freedom that come with growing up together with friends.
It is a song that will resonate with all those who have ever had a friend with whom they know they can always count on, no matter what life throws their way.
36. Stop This Train by John Mayer
Album: Continuum | Released: 2006 | Genre: Soft Rock
John Mayer’s song “Stop this Train” is a sincere ode to the bittersweet nature of growing up. It captures the feeling of being on the verge of adulthood, while also looking back fondly at childhood memories.
The narrator in the song expresses his anxiety and dread of getting older, as well as his desire to slow things down and go back home again.
37. Growing Pains by Ludacris
Album: Word Of Mouf | Released: 2001 | Genre: Hip-Hop, Rap
Though Hip-Hop and Rap are often associated with braggadocio and egotistical lyrics, the song “Growing Pains” by Ludacris is an example of a different kind. Ludacris raps about his own experiences with poverty and violence and how he used them as fuel to drive him forward in life.
38. In My Room by The Beach Boys
Album: Surfer Girl | Released: 1963 | Genre: Pop
“In My Room” is a song that reflects on the solace and comfort of one’s inner sanctuary. With its lullaby-like melody, it carries a sense of nostalgia about childhood and of the safe haven found in one’s bedroom away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
If you’re looking for a song that’s more nostalgic and positive about growing up, then this Beach Boys classic might be for you.
39. Wake Up by Arcade Fire
Album: Funeral | Released: 2005 | Genre: Indie Rock
“Wake Up” by Arcade Fire is an uplifting song that captures the struggles and joy of growing up. With its infectious energy and encouraging lyrics, “Wake Up” is an inspiring anthem that will have listeners feeling empowered and ready to take on anything that life throws their way.
40. 17 by Youth Lagoon
Album: The Year Of Hibernation | Released: 2011 | Genre: Alternative Rock
This Youth Lagoon song explores the feelings of growing up and nostalgia for simpler times. In the lyrics, singer Trevor Powers reflects on his childhood days spent exploring the outdoors and fantasizing about what was yet to come in life.
The song is a reminder of the importance of never letting go of our dreams and always remaining open to possibilities.
41. Little Girl Don’t Grow Up Too Fast by Carrie Underwood
Album: Storyteller | Released: 2015 | Genre: Country
Through the lyrics, Underwood highlights how quickly time passes and encourages young girls to take their time, instead of trying to rush through life. Underwood’s song is a reminder that, while growing up can be challenging and exciting, it’s important to take time to enjoy life as it comes and savors every moment.
42. Garden Song by Phoebe Bridgers
Album: Punisher | Released: 2020 | Genre: Alternative, Indie
This song is a beautiful reflection on growing up. It tells the story of a young person who has experienced tragedy and loss in his life but still finds hope and beauty in the world around them. The imagery of a garden full of life and resilience reminds us that even in hard times, there is beauty to be found.
43. I Don’t Wanna Grow Up by Tom Waits
Album: Bone Machine | Released: 1992 | Genre: Alternative, Indie
If you’re feeling like you don’t want to grow up, Tom Waits is here to relate. His classic song “I Don’t Want to Grow Up” paints a vivid picture of the struggles that come with growing up and all of the responsibilities it entails.
In this honest and tender ballad, Waits sings about the difficulties of dealing with real life and longing for the carefree days of childhood.
44. Grew Up At Midnight by The Maccabees
Album: Given To The Wild | Released: 2012 | Genre: Alternative, Indie
This touching song looks back on those special moments between childhood friends that are never forgotten, even when they grow apart and life takes them in different directions. The lyrics remind us that although time passes, the memories we have made together will remain with us forever.
45. Fade Away by Oasis
Album: The Masterplan | Released: 1998 | Genre: Rock
Oasis produced a song that reflects the idea that growing too fast can take away childhood dreams and innocence. Here the narrator reflects on all that has gone before, including dreams they had as children that have now faded away with time.
Ultimately, the song serves as a reminder to appreciate the present moment and embrace change, even when it is difficult.
46. Grow Old With Me by John Lennon
Album: Milk And Honey | Released: 1984 | Genre: Pop
This is a timeless and beautiful love song that speaks to the joys of companionship and commitment. The lyrics are romantic, hopeful and full of optimism for the future shared together; making the song perfect for a wedding or an anniversary.
Through its gentle piano melody and emotional strings, the song encourages listeners to cherish their loved ones, knowing that every moment spent together is precious.
47. Twentytwo by Sunflower Bean
Album: Twentytwo In Blue | Released: 2018 | Genre: Alternative/Indie
Sunflower Bean is a band made up of three teenagers from New York City. Their song “Twentytwo” is a powerful anthem about standing up for yourself and not giving in to the pressures of society. The lyrics tell the story of an individual who refuses to be defined by others and instead chooses to create their own path forward despite any obstacles they may face.
48. So I’m Growing Old On Magic Mountain by Father John Misty
Album: Pure Comedy | Released: 2017 | Genre: Alternative/Indie
No one wants to grow old but we all know that we have to face the inevitable. The song is about a man coming to terms with his own mortality and his fear of growing old. It’s a beautiful and honest look at the human condition.
49. Teenage Talk by St. Vincent
TV Series: Girls (Season 4) | Released: 2015 | Genre: Art Rock
“Teenage Talk” is a song about the importance of friendship during a time of growing up, with lyrics that evoke the nostalgia of teenage years and the coming-of-age experiences that are part of it.
It also speaks to the pain of getting older and losing some of these close relationships while still appreciating what they mean in our lives.
50. Youth Culture Killed My Dog by They Might Be Giants
Album: 1985 Demo Tape | Released: 1985 | Genre: Alternative Pop/Rock
This song is an anthem for all those who feel like they are being pushed into adulthood too quickly. The lyrics of the song tell a poignant story about the protagonist’s beloved pet that has been driven to its death by “youth culture.” The song serves as a warning that growing up too fast can lead to disillusionment and distress.
About the Author
Thomas M., the founder of Guitar Top Review, boasts 15+ years of guitar experience and was a church band member in L.A. Transitioning from piano to acoustic guitar, his first love remains his Taylor GS Mini. Alongside like-minded hobbyist friends, he launched the site, driven by a deep love for music that transcends professional boundaries.