Songs About Being 18

Whether you are eighteen years old, about to be, or love to reminisce on days you were, there are over a hundred songs that remind us how it feels, will feel, or felt. With so many different perspectives, music is a gateway to emotions we aren’t sure how to describe.

Here are the top songs about being eighteen years old.

1. “She’s Only 18” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

Song Year: 2006

The Red Hot Chili Peppers give an outside perspective on what being eighteen is. This song highlights how eighteen is the year all young girls want to reach. Being eighteen is being an adult, even when the men they date are much older.

“She’s Only 18” emphasizes that 18 isn’t very old at all.

2. “18” by One Direction

Song Year: 2014

One Direction sings about a love that began when they were eighteen years old. It’s a romantic song that pays tribute to how young love can last and isn’t always as short-lived as it’s made out to be.

“18” dives into how love can feel new and exciting at first, and how it’s possible to hold onto that similar love later in the years. Most reflections on the age revolve around regrets or missing someone, but this song is a refreshing take on how love can last.

3. “I’m Eighteen” by Alice Cooper

Song Year: 1971

Alice Cooper’s idea of being eighteen means knowing nothing, which isn’t unusual. This song focuses primarily on how the stigma for eighteen-year-olds is that they should know what they want in life, but in reality, they rarely do.

Eighteen years is the line between childhood and adulthood, and eventually, Cooper admits it’s not a bad feeling being in between and having the time to choose.

4. “8TEEN” by Khalid

Song Year: 2017

Khalid takes a much simpler approach to what it means to be eighteen. He talks about living with his parents, never falling in love, and just being dumb while it’s acceptable It’s a very relaxed song that shows listeners to take the years as they come.

5. “Nothing New (feat. Phoebe Bridgers) by Taylor Swift

Song Year: 2021

While Taylor Swift focuses on being older than eighteen in her song “Nothing New”, there is a beautiful reference to how despite being younger, somehow being eighteen makes you feel more knowledgeable and confident.

The older you get, the less you feel like you know what you’re doing. It also removes the ability to blame most of your mistakes on your age, but even in our twenties, we struggle with finding who we are.

6. “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5

Song Year: 2002

A very popular tune, “She Will Be Loved” is about an eighteen-year-old girl who is beautiful but is very insecure about herself. The girl is broken despite her beauty, and the singer is saying they are there for her no matter what.

Being eighteen isn’t always a good thing. It comes with a lot of struggles about who you want to be and the pressure society puts on us to figure everything out.

7. “The A-Team” by Ed Sheeran

Song Year: 2011

“The A-Team” centers around a young girl around 18 who has led a life towards a dangerous and unhealthy path of selling her body for drugs. The reason this song hurts many of the hearts that listen to it is because of the wording Ed Sheeran uses.

It emphasizes how young this girl is, and reminds us how these things are currently happening in the world.

8. “Eighteen” by beabadoobee

Song Year: 2018

While most songs view getting to be eighteen years old as something exciting, beabadoobee has a different outlook. This song views eighteen as growing up and leaving childhood behind.

Eighteen can be portrayed as adulthood, but it is also still such a young age compared to the length of lives last. So while it’s seen as a time to have fun, it’s also the entryway to adulthood.

9. “Eighteen” by Vistas

Song Year: 2019

Vistas wants to be eighteen again simply to experience the type of love they once shared with their lover who they don’t love anymore.

Whether it’s because of society’s implications that eighteen should be the most exciting year of your life and everything is amplified, or it’s simply because they fell out of love, the singer misses those feelings.

10. “Cardigan” by Taylor Swift

Song Year: 2020

“Cardigan” is a beautiful song about how being young doesn’t correspond to not feeling real emotions. Taylor Swift reminds the listeners that despite being in love at a young age, you feel it and it’s just as real as if you were older.

11. “18” by Anarbor

Song Year: 2013

Anarbor sings about an eighteen-year-old girl who wants to date the singer simply to rebel against her parents. The concept of a girl dating an older guy with tattoos who smokes and rides a motorcycle is at play in this song, but the singer doesn’t mind.

12. “Tongue Tied” by Grouplove

Song Year: 2011

Grouplove sings about being young and in love and how complicated emotions are at a young age. Going from place to place, doing whatever you want, and getting nervous when talking to someone you like.

These are all parts of being young, and despite being nerve-wracking at the time, it’s sweet.

13. “Here’s To Never Growing Up” by Avril Lavigne

“Here’s To Never Growing Up” by Avril Lavigne

Song Year: 2013

“Here’s To Never Growing Up” by Avril Lavigne is a teenage anthem about enjoying youth while you still can, and even when you get old, you can still have fun.

Sing music as loud as you can and do not worry about responsibilities. When you’re eighteen, you don’t have much to worry about compared to when you’re an adult.

14. “We Are Young (feat. Janelle Monae)” by fun.

Song Year: 2012

Fun. Sing about a single night in their song “We Are Young”.  The singer and their friends are drinking, but he can’t help but think about how things blew up between him and his lover.

This song essentially says that they’re young and mistakes happen, so if his lover wants him back, he’s there.

15. “18” by Anson Seabra

Song Year: 2022

Anson Seabra reminisces on his eighteen-year-old days when he and his lover were together. He doesn’t even know where his lover is anymore. He thinks of all the details of their past together.

It’s a sad thought of how things can change in a matter of years.

16. “Girls” by The 1975

Song Year: 2013

The 1975 sings about eighteen-year-old girls in their song. The emphasis on girls shows the singer finds them immature and difficult when he doesn’t want a relationship but they push for one.

It’s a perspective that highlights despite eighteen being a milestone into adulthood, not everyone matures immediately.

17. “18” by 5 Seconds of Summer

Song Year: 2014

5 Seconds of Summer use their song as a more comical approach to being eighteen. They sing about wanting to be of age so they can have a chance with the woman of their dreams who is also eighteen.

18. “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry

Song Year: 2010

A much sadder take, “If I Die Young” is about dying at a young age and the repercussions of what happens to the people around them. Eighteen may seem old to some perspectives, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s incredibly young.

19. “18” by Jeremy Zucker

Song Year: 2021

Jeremy Zucker sings from the perspective of a sixteen-year-old boy dating an eighteen-year-old. He mentions she doesn’t know his age, but he speaks of her like he’s accomplished something by dating her.

It’s a very common theme of younger boys wanting to date older women. It makes them feel cooler because they see an older woman as mature.

20. “1985” by Bowling For Soup

Song Year: 2004

1985” is about a girl who reflects on the life she wanted when she was young. Being a married wife with children, she looks back on how excited she was when she was young. Debbie lives in the past with her music, movies, and old clothes.

While upbeat, this song highlights how when we grow old, the hobbies and interests we grew up with don’t just leave. Time can be cruel to those who can’t accept it.

21. “18” by iann dior

Song Year: 2018

Iann Dior sings about how he was only eighteen years old when a girl told him she hated him. These words hurt him, but they didn’t break up. He sings about how his first love is unhealthy and toxic. He claims he doesn’t care about love anymore. He also doesn’t want to let her go.

This song shows how complex love is, even when you’re only eighteen.

22. “When We Were Young” by Adele

Song Year: 2015

“When We Were Young” doesn’t directly reference being eighteen years old, but it implies that this couple broke up because they were getting older and wanted excitement again.

Like most songs about being eighteen, that age is seen as an exciting time for love and opportunities and that concept can scare a lot of people who feel like they’re getting old and haven’t experienced what they think they should have.

23. “18 and Life” by Skid Row

Song Year: 1989

“18 and Life” sings about a boy named Ricky. Skid Row explains that Ricky is sentenced to life in prison at the young age of eighteen. He’s a tough kid who smokes, drinks, and walks around with a gun. He accidentally shoots someone one night.

He’s only a kid, but he was drunk and made a mistake. It ruins the rest of his life. Being eighteen is centered around being young and dumb, but some decisions can impact your life forever even when you are young.

24. “Brutal” by Olivia Rodrigo

Song Year: 2021

“Brutal” references the age of seventeen, but it can fit any of the teenage years. All the emotions Olivia Rodrigo is feeling in her song. She feels overwhelmed in her career, and being so young in the music industry is taking its toll.

With many young girls, seventeen to twenty, finding their way in a world with so many standards for women, the song is an anthem for them.

25. “The Bucket” by Kings of Leon

Song Year: 2004

Kings of Leon sings about a brotherly pact they’ve made with one another. The singer and their friend were young and going through many changes, so this pact they made was to keep them together through it all.

It’s a testament to friendship. Even when things get hard at a young age, “The Bucket” says that as long as you have someone to lean on, everything will be okay.

26. “Ribs” by Lorde

Song Year: 2013

Lorde’s song “Ribs” is all about yearning to be young again because things were easier. Some of our biggest worries as teenagers are our parents grounding us, and some of the highlights are as simple as laughing hysterically with friends.

27. “Matilda” by Harry Styles

Song Year: 2022

“Matilda” is another song that doesn’t directly reference being eighteen. Harry Styles sings about how it’s okay to leave the nest and branch out. He makes people feel safe about wanting to derive from a family who didn’t treat them well.

It’s a song for teenagers who leave their parents behind for something better. Not only parents are good, and this song gives advice and encouragement to go find a real family when you turn eighteen. You’re young enough to change your life and find people who love you for you.

Best Songs About Being 18, Final Thoughts

Eighteen is bittersweet from many different perspectives. All of these songs highlight different perspectives, and may even change your view of what it means to be eighteen.

Whether you have the desire to be eighteen again or can’t wait to become an adult, some songs express these emotions.

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