10 Awesome Songs about Being 18

Bryan Adams

Some years of life are more significant than others. For instance, 18 stands out because it is one of the most notable moments of transition for most people. After all, it is when the law says someone has gone from being a minor to an adult. As a result, it is no wonder that numerous artists have released songs about being 18, which express a wide range of thoughts on the matter.

Here are 10 of the best songs about being 18:

10. “1985” – Bowling For Soup

This song is named thus because the focus character clings to the titular year in a very unhealthy way. Bowling For Soup never specified how old she was in 1985. However, 18 is a better guess than most because she was young enough to still dream about becoming a movie star. Regardless, “1985” is an excellent choice for this because it rings true. A lot of people cling to the past in a very unhealthy way. To an extent, this is because of our societal obsession with staying young. Unfortunately, much of it is rooted in dissatisfaction with the present.

9. “Ocean Avenue” – Yellowcard

Speaking of which, Yellowcard released “Ocean Avenue” in the same approximate era as “1985.” It was the band’s debut single from a major record label. Moreover, “Ocean Avenue” was the song that enabled the pop-punk band to break into the mainstream. This song is iconic for the early 2000s. Primarily, that is because it did a surprisingly good job of capturing the multi-faceted nature of young love.

8. “18” – One Direction

Unsurprisingly, One Direction’s “18” is another song about the same phenomenon. It is every bit as sweet as one would expect from one of the greatest boy bands of recent times.

7. “The Bucket” – Kings of Leon

Kings of Leon are a rock band from Nashville, TN. Once upon a time, people considered them indie. However, they released a platinum seller in 2008, meaning they are no strangers to mainstream recognition. People take away many meanings from this song. Even so, they often read an element of brotherly love into it, which makes sense when one band member wrote it about another. For context, three of the Kings of Leon members are brothers. Meanwhile, the fourth is their cousin.

6. “I Wish I Was 18 Again” – Ray Price

Aging can be terrifying. After all, it can impair people in a wide range of ways. Moreover, aging is something that we can’t stop even though we have been looking into the matter since time immemorial. As a result, it makes sense that there would be songs in which the singer wishes they were young again. Ray Price’s version isn’t the only one out there. However, it hits with extra force because it came out on his posthumous studio album called Beauty Is . . . The Final Sessions.

5. “8Teen” – Khalid

Every cohort faces unique challenges. Those who are 18 aren’t exempt from this rule. Khalid used “8Teen” to explore some of the challenges experienced by people at the titular age. For instance, it mentions being forced to live by someone else’s rules while living under their roof. Something that can be particularly painful when independence is so close and yet so far.

4. “Nothing New” – Taylor Swift Featuring Phoebe Bridgers

Stereotypically, people are supposed to find the answers to life as they grow up. Unfortunately, that is by no means guaranteed to be the case. Some people find a way for everything to settle into place. Meanwhile, others have a rougher time of things. “Nothing New” sees Taylor Swift going into detail on this problem.

This can be seen in how she plays with the notion that 18-year-olds know everything because of their stereotypically youthful self-confidence, which contrasts sharply with the despair haunting someone who hasn’t managed to latch onto a course by their 20s. That said, the song also mentions how expectations can be both beneficial and not so beneficial for 18-year-olds, thus showing more complexity than interested individuals might have expected.

3. “I’m Eighteen” – Alice Cooper

Teenagers are no strangers to frustration. As a result, it is easy to see why this song would resonate with its intended audience. Some think “I’m Eighteen” was inspired by the Vietnam War because it came out in 1970, a few years before the United States withdrew from that conflict. If so, it was never specific enough for it to be tied down by that event. Instead, the lyrics of “I’m Eighteen” remain surprisingly relevant.

2. “18 and Life” – Skid Row

Adults can do things children cannot. However, that means they are also held to higher standards. For instance, see “18 and Life,” which tells the story of someone whose life is effectively over in many respects because they received a life sentence at 18. Sadly, Skid Row guitarist Dave Sabo penned the song because of real-world events. Specifically, his local newspaper reported on an 18-year-old who received a life sentence because he accidentally killed his friend with a gun he thought was unloaded.

1. “18 Til I Die” – Bryan Adams

This is the title track of Bryan Adams’s seventh studio album. The narrator didn’t say he would remain physically at the titular age. Indeed, he outright said that living forever is nothing but wishful thinking. Instead, the narrator was determined to retain a youthful mindset. It isn’t 100 percent clear what that is supposed to be. Still, the narrator said enough for us to make a good guess. One element is enjoying life, while another is prioritizing the present rather than getting wrapped up in the past. As ways of living go, this is far from being the worst of them.

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