Growing up—be it physically, emotionally, or mentally—is an inevitable aspect of human life. And whether you like it or not, you will have no choice but to face it. That being said, if you feel like growing up or “adulthood” is overwhelming, try listening to the songs below!
Songs About Growing Up You Should Check Out
1. In My Life
“In My Life” is a memoir-like song sung and written by the world-renowned English rock band The Beatles. It is part of their 1965 album “Rubber Soul” with the lyrics written primarily by John Lennon himself. Although there was a disagreement later on as Paul McCartney claimed that the entire musical structure is his work rather than the harmony and the bridge only, which was the initial credit distribution.
The song, based on Lennon’s accounts, is his first real major art of work. In My Life talks about a bit of his personal life. With a message talking about a special person whom—among all his friends and lovers—will never forget and “lose affection” as he grows up. But the song was not only known for its melody and lyrics.
In My Life is also famous for its harpsichord-like piano bit. In fact, because of it, pop music producers were influenced to adapt and use a real harpsichord in their musical arrangements. The piano bit was played by George Martin and was sped up (after recording it) to sound like a harpsichord.
Mojo named In My Life as the best song of all time while it ranked 23rd in Rolling Stone’s “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (2004).”
2. When You Are Young
Performed by The Jam, “When You’re Young” is a song that talks about society and its realities, as well as how it influences a person’s life as he grows up. A tale about how society leads young folks to think that the future is bright. But as soon as they grow up and learn things, “you will find out life is not like that.”
When You’re Young is Jam’s eighth single released in August of 1979. It was written by the singer and songwriter Paul Weller who is known for writing songs about growing up disillusioned. It appeared in different greatest hits albums as well. And is, in fact, considered as one of the group’s best songs.
3. The Circle Game
Released under her 1970 album Ladies of the Canyon, “the Circle Game” is one of Joni Mitchell’s songs written by her. It is a song that talks about a child’s journey from childhood to adulthood. In the song, the singer-songwriter used the carousel as a metaphor for all the years that went by that we can only reminisce but never go back to.
Joni Mitchell wrote The Circle Game way back in 1967, partly as a response to Neil Young’s song “Sugar Mountain” which talks about the innocence we lost as we grow up. It was then first recorded by Buffy Sainte-Marie but was only released in 1970 under her album Ladies of the Canyon.
4. Wake Up
Performed by the Canadian indie rock band The Arcade, “Wake Up” is a song that talks about the harsh realities and consequences of growing up. The song points out how, later in life, we realize how lonesome and challenging adulthood is with a line, “Now that I am older, my heart is colder. And I can see that it is a lie.”
Wake Up is The Arcade’s fifth single—as well as final—released under the band’s debut album “Funeral.” The song is often played as an encore at the band’s concert shows and it even has a version from David Bowie.
5. Castle On the Hill
For something modern, “Castle in the Hill” by the English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is a great homecoming song to listen to. The song was released on January 6, 2017, along with his hit song “Shape of You.” It was released as a double lead single under his third album ÷ produced by Ed Sheeran and Benny Blanco.
Castle on the Hill is a song about Framlingham Castle, which is located in the singer-songwriter’s hometown Framlingham in Suffolk. In the song, Ed Sheeran reminisces tales of his upbringing in the said town. In fact, the BBC said that “the song has been described as a love letter to Suffolk.”
6. I Don’t Want to Grow Up
The song “I Don’t Want to Grow Up” by the American singer and musician Tom Waits is a song about conformism. To put it plainly, the song talks about how a person does not want to participate in society and its ways, saying “I don’t want to live in a big old tom in the Garden Street.”
The song was released under the musician’s 11th studio album “Bone Machine” by Island Records in September of 1992. The album won a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album and marked as Wait’s return after a hiatus of five years.
Tom Waits is infamous for being a non-conformist, taking long hiatus from recording, and even shunning publicity.
7. Sugar Mountain
The song “Sugar Mountain” is written and performed by the Canadian folk rock singer and composer Neil Young. The singer-songwriter wrote it on his 19th birthday, lamenting about the innocence lost as he grows up.
The song was first recorded in 1965 as a demo record for Elektra Records in New York. Years later the same version came out under the “Early Years” disc, on the Archives Vol. 1 1863-1972.And as mentioned, Sugar Mountain was the song that inspired Joni Mitchell to write the song “The Circle Game.”
Last but definitely not least is the song “Bros” by the British alternative rock band Wolf Alice. It is a song that talks about how losing a friend(s) is part of growing up. In the song, the singer (Ellie Roswell) reminisces about her friendship with the lyrics, “there is no one, there is o no one quite like you.”
The song was first released as a demo record in 2013 under Chess Club Records. It was later on rereleased in 2015 as a second single under the band’s album Dirty Hit.
9. Disco 2000
Performed by the British band Pulp, Disco 2000 is an autobiographical song based on the band’s lead singer Jarvis Cocker childhood and his memories with his friend Deborah Bone.
According to the song, Deborah is the singer’s childhood friend who he “fancied” but could not impress. In fact, the song comes with the verse, “you can even bring your baby” which is amusingly surprising as the girl he is referring to is already married. And in an interview with the BBC 6 Music, Jarvis cocker said that “the only bit that is not true is the woodchip wallpaper.”
Disco 2000 was released under Pulp’s 1995 album “Different Class.” But it was eventually re-released as a single on November 27, 1995. The song charted several times in the UK and even reached the top seven. Disco 2000 is the most popular and critically acclaim song of the band as well.
10. Growing Up
The song “Growing Up,” as its title suggests, is a song that talks about the rebellious adolescent stage of a New Jersey teen, which is the American musician Bruce Springsteen. The song was released in 1973 under his album “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.” It is a song with a moderately paced tune written in the first person. The song was covered by several popular singers too, from Eddie Vedder to David Bowie.
A song by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd, “Time” is a song that talks about the passing of time. The song was released as the fourth track in their 1973 album “The Dark Side of the Moon” with the lyrics written by the band’s bassist, Roger Waters.
According to Waters, he realized that he was not preparing for life anymore. But was already right in the middle of it. Waters said he realized it when he was aged 28 to 29. The music of the song is credited to all members of the band, with Richard Wright (keyboardist) and David Gilmour (guitarist) sharing lead vocals.
Growing up is an inevitable and natural part of life. All of us are going to grow up and become mature at some point, whether it be physically, emotionally, or mentally. Sure, it will feel challenging and overwhelming, especially with the problems you will encounter as you enter adulthood.
Still, you should try your best to enjoy life as you grow up! As such, rather than avoiding the natural course of life that is growing up, it is better to face it and tackle it as you move forward in life. And the next you are experiencing sadness because of it, don’t forget to check out the songs I recommended above.