There are countless songs about getting older that you can add to your playlist. Whether you’re looking for rap songs about getting older, country ballads, or metal bangers, we’ve got you covered. Read on for 20 of the best songs about getting older.
First on the list is the classic Bowling for Soup song “1985.” This punk banger from the mid-2000s tells the story of a married suburban woman looking at her family. Seeing her loving kids and husband as a burden, she thinks about how different she expected her life to be.
Saying that her dreams failed when she hit 24, she thinks about the party life she wanted to live. Bemoaning the fact that her husband is the only man she’s ever been with and how lame her kids think she is, she can only slump.
It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but the slightly-comedic track has a vibe that everyone’s dealt with at some point. Grab your snakeskin miniskirt and turn the volume up as high as you can!
Working through your retirement isn’t a reality anyone wants to face, but Alexisonfire brings the topic to full bear on “Boiled Frogs.” Following an elderly man working in a cubicle, the song looks at how the workload only increases as time goes on.
Through the song, the band discusses youth slipping away and knowing that there was more to life than working. As the narrator loses contact with loved ones and sleeps alone, the somber note of the track fades out.
The Wonder Years bring the topics of aging and leaving youth behind on many of their tracks. Few handle the topic with more anxious angst than “Passing Through the Screen Door.”
The song opens with a narrator on a 40-hour ride home, thinking about his life. As ghosts of the past and worries about the future drift through his car, he contemplates everything he’s had to deal with.
Chief among these worries is being left behind while his friends and family continue. Screaming over his age, he reflects that everyone else in his circle has families to go home to. Terrified he’s ruined things beyond repair, the song continues with no resolution.
Many songs that focus on aging are somber, but not all of them! Yellowcard’s “Dear Bobbie” is one of the most heartwarming, touching songs you could ever find.
The track opens with an elderly man reading from a letter titled “Dear Bobbie.” He asks Bobbie if she remembers being young and pretty with him and how they used to dance together. Throughout the song, verses break with the elderly man continuing to read from the letter.
Each reading brings another bittersweet, nostalgic note to the track. Speaking on their lost youth, the reader tells Bobbie that she’s a beautiful woman even with all the grey through their hair.
Reclaiming your youth isn’t always easy or safe. In “I Ain’t As Good As I Once Was,” Toby Keith narrates his view of being past his prime. Though he’s old, he knows that he could still be the man he used to be if he needed to.
The opportunity arises in a bar brawl that leaves his friend, Dave, asking for help. Sighing and knowing he won’t win the fight, the narrator gets up to join anyway, jumping into the bar brawl without hesitation.
Getting older isn’t just about becoming elderly. On “Monsters,” the band Slaughter Beach, Dog brings a note of the transition from young adult to mid-twenties.
Filled with the ennui and anxiety of a young woman seeing the world through new eyes, much of the song focuses on the changing of one’s world. She thinks of her absent father and deceased brother, reflecting on her mother’s alcoholism. It’s a somber, bittersweet track that we’ve all related to at some point.
Along with adulthood comes more changes than anyone ever expects. On “Ghost,” frontman Claudio Sanchez sings a quiet acoustic ballad on the effect fatherhood has had on him.
Written near the birth of his son, Sanchez wonders what he can do to ensure his son grows up happy and healthy. Wondering if he’ll repeat his parents’ mistakes or do better than they did, he asks to be a spectator instead, where he can’t accidentally cause any damage.
While there are many sad songs about getting older, Corey Smith’s nostalgic song doesn’t hit the same somber note. Instead, the wishful thinking of a man getting up in his years has a sweet tone to it.
Thinking of his rebellious youth, the narrator speaks about all the times he wished he was already of drinking age. With fake IDs and shenanigans, he wastes his early years wishing he wasn’t as young as he was. Now that he’s older, he still wants to be twenty-one, just so that he can take a step back.
Few songs capture the anxiety of passing time better than They Might Be Giants’ “Older.” Lyrically, there isn’t much to write home about, as the song repeats the same few lines over and over.
Reminding you that every second is the oldest you’ve ever been, the song drones on and on. Far from the sort of track you want to play at a party, the clockwork-like ticking of the song is sure to elicit a bit of panic.
Conceptual metal band Rivers of Nihil covers the topic of getting older in “The Silent Life.” With an album that focuses on the last man alive watching nature reclaim the world, the passing of time is crucial to the concept.
As the man watches, he thinks about a life that he led poorly and all the mistakes he made. Feeling the summer slip through his fingers, he can do nothing but let old age march on as his mistakes solidify.
Time passes faster and faster as you get older. On Kenny Chesney’s “Don’t Blink,” we see that lesson stronger than any other song on this list.
The song follows a narrator watching an elderly man on the news tell his secrets of old age. Laughing the man says not to blink, as life passes by too fast. One moment you’re six, the next you’re a great grandfather.
The anxiety and nervousness of youth often give way as we grow older. When it does, we reflect on some of our decisions with a bit of bias, as Adele does in this track.
“When We Were Young” shows the narrator thinking of someone they were scared to confess their love to when they were younger. As they face their fears, they ask if they can capture the moment of their youth, knowing that their restless feelings will eventually fade to old age.
The Killers’ smash hit “When You Were Young” looks at a young woman struggling with her aging life. Thinking about the men that she wanted to spend her life with, she settles on men that don’t have everything she wants.
Looking at how a passing man doesn’t have the appearance she wanted, she thinks of her youth wishing for a man like him. The song ends without conclusion, letting the listener decide if she went with what she wanted when she was young.
Ed Sheeran’s love ballad “Thinking Out Loud” has been played across every radio station and wedding hall you can find. On this track, the narrator writes a love song to the object of his desire, laying his devotion to them plain.
Saying that he’ll continue to love them when age begins to claim their bodies, he insists on his desire to grow old with her. Whether they’re in their early twenties or their seventh decade, he insists that she’ll keep his heart.
As everyone around you ages, you can sometimes feel like you’re being left behind. Jeff Rosenstock’s “Get Old Forever” captures this bitter feeling, looking in at a party life as the years go by.
Bemoaning the fact that malt liquor won’t make you younger, the narrator slumps in a chair at a party. Thinking about how his friends are bragging over their accomplishments, he suddenly feels tired and useless spending his days at a house party.
One of the most bitterly nostalgic tracks on the list, Benjamin Clementine’s “Gone” elicits a feeling few others can. With little more than piano, quiet drums, and Clementine’s crooning, soothing voice, the song brings you back to Clementine’s childhood.
Returning to the street he was raised on, Clementine sees how everything has changed. The street corners he used to play music on are filled with prostitutes now as shops change. Reflecting on how his youth and childhood are gone, he realizes all he can do is move on.
Spanish Love Songs uses “Brave Faces, Everyone” to capture the anxiety of younger generations joining adulthood. The band’s music often focuses on failing housing markets and crashing economies, and the closer for the self-titled album brings this to bear.
This track looks at getting price-checked out of apartments and the reluctance to move back home. As the narrator struggles to adjust to adulthood, he considers burning his life down and moving away, hoping for a fresh start.
Bill Withers’ legendary music covers all topics, but “Grandma’s Hands” takes the cake for songs about getting older. Remembering his childhood in church with his grandmother, the song fixates on her clapping in church.
Thinking back on lessons, he remembers how her hands were soothed by a local mother. The narrator recalls how soothing her hands were on his face when he cried as he reflects on his childhood. As the song ends, he sighs at the passing of his grandmother, knowing he’ll look for her hands in heaven.
Mary Hopkin’s “Those Were The Days” looks back on the days of childhood spent dancing away in taverns. The song opens with the narrator remembering hours of laughter and drinks gone by as the friends discussed their dreams.
Through the song, the narrator wonders what happened to these pleasant memories. Returning to the tavern, she finds only the reflection of a lonely woman.
Eventually, her friends return to the tavern. Though everyone’s older now, the same magic in their friendship remains.
Closing out the list is the hit track “When I’m 64” by the Beatles. Ironically, the writer of the song is now well above the age he was singing about!
The love song has the narrator asking his lover if she’ll still love him in his old age. Asking if he’ll get love letters when his hair is gray, he promises that he can give her the same. Assuring her he’ll love her in her old age if he lets her, it’s a beautiful closing note on an eternity of love.
The best songs about getting older capture every feeling you can imagine. Whether you want a love song, a somber track on a bygone youth, or dealing with the struggles of adulthood, our list has your new favorite song!
If you’d like to find more lists of the best songs, be sure to check out our blog! If we missed your favorite song, leave it in the comments below!