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Top 7 Best Hit Songs About Youth and Growing Up

When life tries to break me down, only music can make me feel all right. Let me share music's greatest gift through my top playlists!

What are the best songs about adolescence and growing up?

What are the best songs about adolescence and growing up?

Growing up is one of the hardest things in the world. The transitions from childhood to adolescence, then to adulthood, introduce us not only to self-discoveries but also to the hardships that come along with the new responsibilities of being a grown-up. That is why it is very important to be equipped with the right tools as we face life head-on. I've listed seven of the best hit songs about youth and growing up. These songs can help us understand the frustrations that come from aging and the need to recognize the importance of preserving the beauty of youth in all of us.

Top Songs About Growing Up and Adolescence

  1. "Growing Pains" by Alessia Cara
  2. "Youth" by Shawn Mendes ft. Khalid
  3. "I Don't Know My Name" by Grace Vanderwaal
  4. "Castle on the Hill" by Ed Sheeran
  5. "Rockabye" by Clean Bandit ft. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie
  6. "Young" by The Chainsmokers
  7. "7 years" by Lukas Graham

Read about how great these songs are, how they sound, and what they actually mean.

Alessia Cara - "Growing Pains"

Alessia Cara - "Growing Pains"

A short leash and a short fuse don't match

They tell me it ain't that bad

Now don't you overreact

So I just hold my breath, don't know why

I can't see the sun when young should be fun

— Alessia Cara (Growing Pains)

1. "Growing Pains" by Alessia Cara

Artist: Alessia Cara

Album: The Pains of Growing

Released: 2018

Genre: Pop

Songwriter: Alessia Caracciolo

In one of her latest interviews, 21 year old singer-songwriter Alessia Cara said that she wrote "Growing Pains" during a time when she felt "sort of lost" in everything she was doing. She was unsure about her job and her responsibilities. It is about how, even as as she lives her dreams at a very young age, she is still confused about the changes in her life.

We may not be a very talented international stars like she is, but we can always identify with the issues she is dealing with. Like everyone else, she is confused about growing up, finding herself, and finding peace within herself. Like Alessia, we may ask why we can't be happy and enjoy our youth, or why it is so hard to be ourselves sometimes. Many of us go through this difficult, yet crucial, confusion in our lives. This is when we learn some of life's most important lessons. This is when we realize that life cannot be easy all the time, and growing up can be a mess. Still, we can always find the silver-lining and let ourselves grow, get lost, and enjoy our youth. There is nothing wrong with that. We all should remember that the ups and downs are the reality of life and we are here for the ride.

Shawn Mendes - "Youth" ft. Khalid

Shawn Mendes - "Youth" ft. Khalid

Pain, but I won't let it turn into hate

No, I won't let it change me

Never losing sight of the one I keep inside

Now, I know it

Yeah, I know it

— Shawn Mendes (Youth)

2. "Youth" by Shawn Mendes ft. Khalid

Artists: Shawn Mendes ft. Khalid

Album: Shawn Mendes

Released: 2018

Genre: Pop

Songwriters: Shawn Mendes; Khalid Robinson; Teddy Geiger; Geoff Warburton; Scott Harris

One of the most tragic news stories of 2017 was the Manchester Arena Bombing, where a suicide bomber attacked concert goers after an Ariana Grande show in Manchester. This heart-breaking incident took 23 lives and wounded hundreds of people—most of whom were children. Aside from Ariana Grande, artists around the world were deeply affected by this tragedy. They couldn't believe that this could happen to people who were just there to enjoy the music. One of these artists is Shawn Mendes, who happened to be in Europe at that time. Together with his friend Khalid, Shawn wrote this song to remind all of us that even in the midst of chaos and difficulties, we should not let the world take away our "youth." Shawn describes "youth" as the feeling of joy, happiness, or purity that horrible experiences pull away from us bit by bit. Even though we are living in a world where we are forced to grow up quickly, this song reminds us that we need to keep fighting to keep our innocence and our sense of youth intact. We must stay strong and not lose ourselves as we face the sad realities of life.

Grace VanderWaal - "I Don't Know My Name"

Grace VanderWaal - "I Don't Know My Name"

I now know my name

I don't play by the rules of the game

So you say, I'm not trying

But I'm trying, to find my way

— Grace Vanderwaal (I Don't Know My Name)

3. "I Don't Know My Name" by Grace VanderWaal

Artist: Grace VanderWaal

Album: Just the Beginning

Released: 2017

Genre: Pop

Songwriter: Grace Vanderwaal

We first heard this beautiful song during Grace's first audition on America's Got Talent 2016. It was an original composition that caught the hearts of millions of viewers. Grace's beautiful raspy voice blended well with her ukulele as she played this song on stage. The audience gravitated to the song because of its meaning. When asked about the song in one of her interviews, she said, “It’s about how I’ve gone through so many different phases, and styles, and friendships, and it’s about how, now, I think that this is who I want to be and this is what I want my life path to be.” It is amazing how she wrote a story about how she tried to find her own identity and how she's maneuvering in this world, where people would always have something to say about you. This song makes us realize that our lives consist of different steps and levels. As we complete these steps, we learn who we really are as human beings and how we can keep on working to find our own way or path in this life.

Ed Sheeran - "Castle on the Hill"

Ed Sheeran - "Castle on the Hill"

Found my heart and broke it here

Made friends and lost them through the years

And I've not seen the roaring fields in so long, I know I've grown

But I can't wait to go home

— Ed Sheeran (Castle On The Hill)

4. "Castle On The Hill" by Ed Sheeran

Artist: Ed Sheeran

Album: Divide

Released: 2017

Genre: Pop

Songwriters: Ed Sheeran, Benjamin Levin

Ed Sheeran is well known for writing songs that tell amazing stories that we can always relate to. "Castle On The Hill" is one of the hits on his latest album. Ed Sheeran said in an interview that it is a love song to Suffolk, which is the place where he grew up. He reminisces about his experiences living in his hometown in his younger years as a kid and as a teen. The lyrics are about his friends and how he misses home. It gives as a little hint at how Ed was raised, and it inspires us as we go through our own journeys. It will also make us appreciate how far we've come. It also teaches us to look back to our roots. This is where we can learn the best lessons in life.

Clean Bandit - "Rockabye" ft. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie

Clean Bandit - "Rockabye" ft. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie

Now she gotta a six year old

Trying to keep him warm

Trying to keep all the cold

When he looks her in the eyes

He don't know he's safe when she says

"Ooh love"

No one's ever gonna hurt you, love

I'm gonna give you all of my love

Nobody matters like you

— Clean Bandit ft. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie (Rockabye)

5. "Rockabye" by Clean Bandit ft. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie

Artist: Clean Bandit ft. Sean Paul, Anne-Marie

Album: Rockabye

Released: 2016

Genre: Dance music

Songwriters: Anmar Malik; Ina Wroldsen; Jack Patterson; Sean Paul; Steve Mac

This song has an amazing beat, and the lyrics carry such a great message. It is about a single mother, who struggles in life, but still fights for her baby. It is a heavy story and a great tribute to mothers all over the world. This song will make us realize how great our parents are, and how they will do everything within their power to give us a good life. All of us struggle from different things, but we need to remember that whatever it is we are going through can be overcome by receiving help from other people.

The Chainsmokers - "Young"

The Chainsmokers - "Young"

I'm calling you up,

you tell me it's over

Say what you want,

but it's hard when you're young

— The Chainsmokers (Young)

6. "Young" by The Chainsmokers

Artist: The Chainsmokers

Album: Memories...Do Not Open

Released: 2017

Genre: Dance/Electronic

Songwriters: Andrew Taggart; Taylor Bird; Peter Hanna; Sean Jacobs; Jordan Young

Unlike the other songs on this list, which talk about the issues of growing older and reminiscing about younger years, this song is about young love. This song is about a past relationship. The singer remembers all of the little things about how they spent their time together and how they fell apart. This shows us how it can be hard when you are young and in-love. But, at the end of the day, whatever mess we've made when we were young, we can change. This pain will always be a part of growing up. It is how we learn what love really is.

Lukas Graham - "7 Years"

Lukas Graham - "7 Years"

Soon I'll be 60 years old, my daddy got 61

Remember life and then

your life becomes a better one

I made a man so happy

when I wrote a letter once

I hope my children come

and visit, once or twice a month

— Lukas Graham (7 Years)

7. "7 Years" by Lukas Graham

Artist: Lukas Graham

Album: Lukas Graham (2015 album)

Released: 2015

Genre: Pop

Songwriters: Christopher Brown; David Labrel; Lukas Forchhammer; Morten Pilegaard; Morten Ristorp Jensen; Stefan Forrest

This song became such a huge hit for the wonderful story it's sharing to everyone. It follows the life of the band's frontman, Lukas. This song is about his memories when he was a kid and the advice he got from his parents. The song follows the milestones he would have in his life as he got older. From travelling the world, to having children, to growing old and wondering what it would be like, this song would bring us back to our past and would also make us wonder about our future ahead.

Which Is Your Fave?

Already know these songs by heart? Let's see on this lyrics quiz!

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. 7 Years: Soon we'll be thirty years old, our songs have been sold...
    • I was writing about everything, I saw before me
    • We've traveled around the world and we're still roaming
    • if we don't meet before I leave, I hope I'll see you later
  2. Young: We both know I go too far like when I wrecked your car...
    • And almost fought your father when he pushed me in the yard
    • Fought about anything, everything led to dysfunction
    • And almost fought your mother when she pushed me in the yard
  3. Rockabye: She tells him "your life ain't gonna be nothing like my life...
    • No one's ever gonna hurt you, love
    • You're gonna grow and have a good life
    • Go make yourself some friends or you'll be lonely
  4. Castle On The Hill: When I was six years old I broke my leg...
    • Running from the law through the backfields and getting drunk with my friends
    • And almost fought your father when he pushed me in the yard
    • I was running from my brother and his friends
  5. I Don't Know My Name: I went from bland and popular...
    • To joining the cheer-leading squad
    • To joining the marching band
    • To joining the theater club
  6. Youth: Waking up to headlines, Filled with devastation again...
    • My heart is broken
    • Get a little bit stressed out
    • My adrenaline kicked in
  7. Growing Pains: Every happy phrase engraved in my mind...
    • I've always been a go-getter
    • I've always been a bit better
    • I could go a little while longer, she fades away

Answer Key

  1. We've traveled around the world and we're still roaming
  2. And almost fought your father when he pushed me in the yard
  3. You're gonna grow and have a good life
  4. I was running from my brother and his friends
  5. To joining the marching band
  6. My heart is broken
  7. I've always been a go-getter

Interpreting Your Score

If you got between 0 and 2 correct answers: Nice try, buddy. You can listen again to the songs above and ace this quiz soon!

If you got between 3 and 4 correct answers: Nice one. Just a few more listen and you'd ace this quiz real soon.

If you got 5 correct answers: Good job!

If you got 6 correct answers: Wonderful job, buddy. Hats down to you!

If you got 7 correct answers: Amazing job! You sure know your thing!

© 2018 ThatWallflowerJen