Let’s face it, we have two choices in life. We either grow older or we stop living. I don’t know about you, but I’m opting for the former because the latter doesn’t sound like a viable option to me. However, getting older comes with both benefits and pitfalls. Many songs about getting older have been written that express the feelings of aging and maturing in life.
They say that with age comes wisdom, but so do aches, pain, and wrinkles. Plenty of artists across multiple genres have written songs about growing older, and we’ll be sharing many of our favorite songs from across all music genres below. We also have a Spotify playlist with all the songs covered below at the bottom of the page.
1. Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old) by Garth Brooks
Garth Brooks is the most successful solo artist of all time, with 157 million albums sold, second only to The Beatles for the top spot in music history. The Grammy-winning artist’s career began in 1989 with the release of his self-titled debut album, which featured songs like the humorous tune about getting old before your time in the record industry, “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old).” This upbeat country song takes a look at life on the road as a recording artist and the toll that it inevitably takes on your body over the years.
2. 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins
|Genre||Alternative Rock, Rock|
|Album||Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness|
After the success of 1993’s “Siamese Dream,” Smashing Pumpkins released the ambitious double album “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.” Written by the vocalist and guitar player Billy Corgan, the track was titled 1979 because that was the year that the frontman turned 12 years old. The reason for the significance of that age is because Corgan said that was the year that he considered his transition from childhood into adolescence. The song’s feeling seems to simultaneously capture the innocence of childhood and the listlessness of growing older and was the second single from their third album.
3. My Generation by The Who
|Genre||Hard Rock, Classic Rock|
In 1965, the English rock band The Who announced their arrival on the musical landscape with the release of their debut album “My Generation,” which featured the iconic title track that became an anthem for a generation. Capably backed by Pete Townsend and John Entwistle, lead vocalist Roger Daltrey takes aim at anybody who has a problem with his generation using slang and buzzwords that were popular at the time. In the last verse, after telling those who don’t understand him to fade away, the singer then declares that he hopes that dies before he gets old.
4. When You Were Young by The Killers
|Genre||Alternative, Indie, Rock|
Growing up, each of us probably had a vision of what we expected our respective lives to be like when we got older. This was the idea behind the first single from The Killers’ second album, “Sam’s Town.” The track “When You Were Young” examines the concept of growing up and moving on. It’s also about how your perceptions change when you look back on your youth once you’re grown older. The song was the second Billboard top 20 hit of the band’s career and propelled “Sam’s Town” to triple-platinum status, selling over 3.1 million copies worldwide.
5. 7 Years by Lukas Graham
|Album||Lukas Graham (Blue Album)|
Reaching the number-two spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2016, the track “7 Years” is easily the biggest hit of Lukas Graham’s career. In this song, Lukas Graham goes back to a few of the more significant moments in his life when he received advice from a few important people in his life regarding his future regarding both financial and social matters. Towards the end of the song, Graham tells us that he is married and has children, and he is glad to still have them with him. He reached the age of 60 and has unfortunately lost his brother.
6. Time by Pink Floyd
|Genre||Progressive Rock, Classic Rock|
|Album||The Dark Side of the Moon|
Isn’t it funny how time slips by without any of us noticing, but by the time we do, it’s too late? There comes a time when you are no longer preparing to face life and find yourself right in the middle of it. This can be a frightening realization, and this concept was tackled by bassist and vocalist Roger Waters in Pink Floyd’s song “Time” shortly after reaching the age of 28. The track appears on their five-times diamond-certified album “The Dark Side Of The Moon,” which has sold more than 50 million copies around the world.
7. Against The Wind by Bob Seger
|Album||Against the Wind|
In this song, Bob Seger uses the term “Against the Wind” as a metaphor for growing older and maturing by both pushing through the difficult times in life and enjoying the good times. As the story goes, Bob Seger got the idea for the title when he was running cross-country in high school. With each mile that passed, Seeger felt like he was running against the wind. He would have to push harder and harder to go farther in his journey, making the connection between pushing himself as an athlete and getting through life’s many trials and tribulations.
8. Saga Of The Ageing Orphan by Thin Lizzy
|Genre||Hard Rock, Classic Rock|
Formed in Dublin, Ireland, in 1969, Thin Lizzy was influenced by psychedelic rock, traditional Irish folk ballads, blues, jazz, and soul music. This eclectic blend was prominently displayed in the band’s self-titled debut album, which included the song “Saga Of The Ageing Orphan.” In this track, lead singer and bass player Phil Lynott poetically describes a visit with his father to see his uncle and his grandmother when he was younger. The song serves as a commentary on Lynott’s fear of growing old and feeble by taking in the aging process through the lens of a young person.
9. Once In A Lifetime by Talking Heads
|Genre||Alternative, Pop, Indie|
|Album||Remain in Light|
Talking Heads lead vocalist David Byrne uses the metaphor of flowing water to illustrate how time cannot be slowed or stopped in the Grammy-nominated band’s track “Once In A Lifetime,” which appears on their studio album, 1980’s “Remain in Light.” This song combines the concept of growing older with the futility of not being able to have exactly what you want to incorporate the lesson that while growing older is inevitable, growing old and bitter is probably. The song also stresses the importance of adaptability because if you aren’t able to adapt to change, you will never survive.
10. Growing Old is Getting Old by Silversun Pickups
Although Los Angeles, California’s Silversun Pickups were officially formed in 2000, their roots date back to 1994. Nikki Monninger and Brian Aubert met each other while the two were on a flight to London from Los Angeles. The two were part of an exchange student program at Cambridge, and Aubert noticed Monninger stealing alcohol from the plane’s drink cart. Fast forward to 2009, when the band released their second full-length album, “Swoon,” featuring the track “Growing Old is Getting Old.” As the title would indicate, the song’s lyrics state that we are all getting older and that death is inevitable.
11. Can’t Say Goodbye by Snoop Dogg (Featuring Tupac Shakur and Charlie Wilson)
Nothing will age you faster than the pressures that many of us have to face every day and in our respective lives. As the legendary rapper Snoop Dogg says in his track “Can’t Say Goodbye,” some of these include the pressure we have to provide for our families and the pressure to be successful in our endeavors. Sometimes, this requires you to make changes you may not be ready to face, like moving away, although you may not be ready to say goodbye. It’s like Where says, “I guess it’s true, you can’t take the hood out the homeboy.”
12. Where I Grew Up by Kenny Chesney
If there’s one thing I have found that growing up does, it’s that it gives people an appreciation for where they’ve come from and how things used to be. Most of the time, living in the moment does not allow you to stop and take it all in. Life is a series of moments that can’t be embraced once they are gone, which is the sentiment I get from Kenny Chesney’s song “Where I Grew Up.” In this track, Chesney gives us a glimpse into a few of the events that made him who he is. This is one of those songs about getting older that most people over the age of 40 can resonate with.
13. When I’m Sixty-Four by The Beatles
|Genre||Alternative Rock, Classic Rock|
It should come as no surprise that the Beatles are the best-selling artists in the world, with a staggering 183 million units of certified sales. The band has also had an incredible 34 Billboard top-ten hits, with an unbelievable 20 of them reaching the top spot on the charts. Although “When I’m Sixty-Four” wasn’t one of the band’s biggest hit singles, the track is a catchy tune that takes a closer look at growing older. In the song, Paul McCartney asks his lover if she will still be attracted to him when he is old, gray, and decrepit.
14. Dad Vibes by Limp Bizkit
Let’s face it. None of us are getting any younger. Getting older is something that all of us are going to have to face one day, so you might as well have fun with it. That seems to be the approach that Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst takes on the track “Dad Vibes” from their 2021 release “Still Sucks,” which was the band’s first album in over a decade. This song is a tongue-in-cheek look at getting older, and Fred Durst seems to be embracing his new role as the “hot” old man on the block.
15. I Don’t Want to Grow Up by The Ramones
We’re all friends here, so let’s be honest with each other for a second. Growing up sucks. I’m sorry, but there’s no other way I can put it. When you’re younger, being a grown-up seems so cool. However, once you are grown, you realize that you have all kinds of responsibilities, which only leads to stress. Jeffrey Ross Hyman, professionally as Joey Ramone, makes this clear in “I Don’t Want to Grow Up.” The New York native sings about not wanting to have to pay the price to grow up in this punk cover of the Tom Waits track.
16. 39 by The Cure
|Genre||Alternative Rock, Alternative, and Indie|
Growing old is a fact of life we all must face. Some people take growing older and stride, while others celebrate every year as if it’s their last. Meanwhile, others choose not to celebrate at all, as they see aging simply as another part of life. My guess is it wouldn’t be hard to figure out which group Robert Smith fits in. Instead of having a party for his 39th birthday, The Cure’s lead vocalist Robert Smith decided to shut himself in and write a song. The result was the appropriately titled “39” from the album “Bloodflowers.”
17. The Times They Are A-Changin’ by Bob Dylan
|Album||The Times They Are a-Changin’|
Part of growing older is realizing that the world may not be the happy-go-lucky place that you thought it was when you were much younger. As the title of this song suggests, times are changing. The only real choice we have is to either adapt to these changes or to be left behind. In this case, the change that the Grammy Award winner was singing about was the Civil Rights Movement. This track became an unofficial anthem for those who were championing the movement and was a fan-favorite whenever Bob Dylan performed the song live in concert. If this is one of my time favorite songs about change.
18. Days Go By by The Offspring
|Album||Days Go By|
Can you believe that this track from The Offspring almost didn’t make the album because the band had no idea where it would fit in? Thankfully, the title track from the band’s ninth studio album made the final cut. In the song, Dexter Holland is trying to convey the message to the listener that time is always going to pass, whether they want it to or not. Holland also included in an interview, “Time marches on, We have to get through life and pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. No one is going to do it for you.”
19. Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me (Live) by Elton John (Featuring George Michael)
As we grow older, sometimes we grow into something that we never thought we would become. In “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me,” Elton John sings about a man who has become manipulative towards his lover. That you have been together for some time, but as Time Marches on, the singer tries to control his lover’s way of life, which does not go very well. He’s begging for another chance to make things right before it’s too late. He doesn’t want his lover to leave him, making him a more bitter and angrier person.
20. Can’t Forget About You by Nas (Featuring Chrisette Michelle)
|Album||Hip Hop Is Dead|
Because of his unique flow and his unparalleled lyrics, Nas is often considered to be not only one of the greatest rappers of his generation but also one of the greatest rappers of all time. His storytelling skills are unmatched, and they can be seen in all of their glory in the track “Can’t Forget About You” from his “Hip Hop is Dead” album. In the song, Nas reflects on how life will be when he gets older, and how he will look back fondly on the memories that he has created with the people he cared about most.
21. Hip To Be Square by Huey Lewis & the News
When you get older, your tastes are going to inevitably change. That’s a part of life that we all have to accept eventually. Some of the things that you enjoyed when you were younger may not necessarily be things you enjoy when you are older. For instance, as Huey Lewis and the News state in their track “Hip To Be Square, čone of the things that changes the most as you age is your musical taste. Maybe it’s because he’s faced with his own mortality, but he also sings about exercising regularly and watching what he eats.
22. ¡Viva La Gloria! by Green Day
|Album||21st Century Breakdown|
Green Day is quite possibly the most ambitious punk rock band on the planet. In 2009, the band released their second punk rock opera, “21st Century Breakdown.” One of the characters in the story, the titular Gloria, is fighting to hold on to the naive idealism of her youth. When asked about the song’s meaning, Billie Joe Armstrong said, “It’s like, the older you get the more you get detached from the naivety you had when you were growing up. How do you keep that spark?” The character Gloria was partially inspired by Armstrong’s wife, Adrienne.
23. 22 by Lily Allen
|Album||It’s Not Me, It’s You|
It wasn’t that long ago that most people felt like you should be well on your way to having everything figured out by the time you reached 30 years old. It was the general l consensus that you should be well established in your career, be married, and have a family before you were out of your twenties. However, that’s not the case anymore. In her song “22,” Lily Allen is approaching the age of 30 and taking a long, hard look at the way her life has turned out. Needless to say, she’s disappointed at the results.
24. Old Before I Die by Robbie Williams
|Album||Life thru a Lens|
When you meet the right person, you can’t help wanting to grow old with them. Suddenly, you feel like everything starts to fall into place, and you can see the rest of your life laid out. You may even find yourself questioning who you were before you met this person. If you can relate to this, then you can relate to “Old Before I Die,” by the English pop sensation and founding member of Take That, Robbie Williams. In this track, Williams has questions that need to be answered, so he hopes that he grows old enough to answer them.
25. Back When We Were Beautiful by Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell
|Album||Old Yellow Moon|
Backed by nothing but an acoustic guitar and a piano, Emmylou Harris’s uniquely amazing voice is prominently displayed in this sweet country ballad, where she finds herself reminiscing about a time when she was much younger. She sings about the aches and pains that have come to accompany her with old age but also says that she still loves to dance as she did back when she was beautiful. Rodney Crowell joins Harris in the chorus, serving as a reminder that her lover is no longer with her except when she’s remembering the good old days. While this song is about getting older, it’s also a powerful song about good times and memories.
26. 1985 by Bowling for Soup
|Album||A Hangover You Don’t Deserve|
Formed in 1994 in Wichita Falls, Texas, Bowling For Soup had their biggest Billboard hit in 2004 with the single 1985 from their album “A Hangover You Don’t Deserve.” The track cracked the Billboard top 40, peeking at number 23, and is about a woman who is reflecting on the dreams that she had to become an actress when she was younger. Although she’s living a life that many people would be envious of, with a successful husband and a happy family, she longs for things to be the way they were in 1985, which was a simpler time.
27. Age Of Consent by New Order
|Genre||Alternative, New Wave, Pop|
|Album||Power, Corruption & Lies|
The UK New Wave band New Order was formed in 1980, rising from the ashes of Joy Division after its lead singer Ian Davis committed suicide. The band went on to become a moderate success, selling approximately 1.75 million albums worldwide. By 1983, the band had released its second album, “Power, Corruption & Lies,” which featured the song “Age of Consent.” The song’s title comes from an article in the Sunday Times about children engaging in romantic activities at a much younger age than they had in the past. Its message was that children were growing older before their time.
28. Borrowed Time by John Lennon and Yoko Ono
|Album||Milk and Honey|
After the Beatles disbanded in 1970, John Lennon went on to have a successful solo career. “Milk and Honey” was the last album John and Yoko recorded together, although it was released posthumously in 1984 following John Lennon’s death. Concluded on that album was the melancholy “Borrowed Time.” The definition of borrowed time is “an uncertain and usually uncontrolled postponement of something inevitable.” Which perfectly fits the sentiment of this track. Inspired by Bob Marley’s “Hallelujah Time,” the song is about the fact that we are all living on borrowed time, although most of us don’t like to face it.
29. Audience Of One by Rise Against
|Album||Appeal to Reason|
When Rise Against lead singer Tim McIlrath sings, “Now all my friends have gone. Maybe we’ve outgrown all the things that we once loved,” you understand the true meaning of this song from their album “Appeal to Reason.” The song is a familiar coming-of-age tale of friends going their separate ways as everybody gets older. The song comes from a real-life experience in which Tim McIlrath went to college and adopted the straight-edge lifestyle. Regarding the song, he says, “The experiences of our youth were starting to come to an expiration date. Everybody was transitioning to adulthood.”
30. Victim Of Changes by Judas Priest
|Genre||Heavy Metal, Metal|
|Album||Sad Wings of Destiny|
Although Judas Priest was formed in 1969, their iconic singer Rob Halford did not join the band until 1973. By 1976, the band released their second studio album “Sad Wings of Destiny,” which included the fan-favorite track “Victim of Changes.” There has been much speculation about the meaning of this song, which is about a woman who has gotten older and has seen her better days, choosing to drown her sorrows in alcohol. Many people say that the song is from the perspective of the narrator, who has lost this woman and is bitter that he can’t have her back.
31. Young At Heart by Frank Sinatra
|Genre||Easy Listening, Jazz|
|Album||Young At Heart (Single)|
Most of us are familiar with the old saying, “You’re only as old as you feel,” which means that age isn’t measured strictly in the number of years you’ve been alive. Frank Sinatra must have believed in this saying because that’s the message that Old Blue Eyes delivers in his single “Young At Heart.” Throughout the song, Sinatra gives examples of things that being young at heart allows you to do or things that won’t bother you anymore because they now seem insignificant. It also became the theme song for a movie of the same name in 1954.
32. I Guess I Must Be Getting Old by Kipp McLeod
Kipp McLeod’s heartfelt piano-driver ballad about aging is an honest and open look at how aging affects all of us. In this short but sweet song, McLeod cites a few examples of the aches and pains often associated with aging, following each verse with the phrase “I guess I must be getting old.” However, this track Never specifies whether the singer was speaking of getting old in the figurative or the literal sense. We don’t know if he means that he is actually getting older or if he’s just starting to feel his age after years of partying.
33. Old Man by Neil Young
Folk music legend Neil Young wrote this song about Louis Avita, the caretaker of the Broken Arrow cattle ranch, which Young purchased for $350,000 in 1970. In the song, a young man is speaking to an older man, and he is comparing the life he is living now to the life that the old man once lived. One little-known fact about his song is that his friends James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt sang backing vocals on it, as well as one other track on Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” album, the hit song “Heart Of Gold.”
34. I Just Don’t Look Good Naked Anymore by Snake Oil Willie Band
|Album||I Don’t Look Good Naked Anymore|
Let’s face it. Most of us looked much better when we were younger. Don’t get me wrong; some people have aged like fine wine. However, others age like milk. Why is it that most of us don’t even look like our former selves once we start getting older? Well, the Snake Oil Willie band has the answer to that question in their single “I Just Don’t Look Good Naked Anymore.” You see, As you grow older gravity starts to take over, and things start sagging that never seemed out of place before.
35. Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen
|Album||Born in the USA.|
Supported by his phenomenal E Street Band, Bruce Springsteen has had an amazing career, selling over 55.7 million albums around the world. His best-selling album was the triple-diamond-certified “Born in the USA,” which sold over 30 million copies worldwide because of singles like the title track and the Billboard top-five hit “Glory Days.” As the title suggests, the song is about getting older and reliving the glory days of your past. It tells the story of a few people who find themselves wishing they could go back in time and have those days back. If you’re looking for songs about aging and getting older, then this is one you definitely have to give a listen to.
36. Grandma’s Hands by Bill Withers
|Album||Just as I Am|
For those of us who were lucky enough to have them, some of the best memories of our respective pasts include spending time with our grandparents when we were children. In this heartfelt and Soulful tribute to his grandmother, Bill Withers sings about some of the memories that he has of his beloved grandmother, seeing things through the Winds of his childhood. This song is a beautiful tribute to his grandmother, who must have passed away, because it closes with the heartbreaking and soulful line, “If I get to heaven, I’ll look for Grandma’s hands.”
37. Still Crazy After All These Years by Paul Simon
|Genre||Rock, Classic Rock|
|Album||Still Crazy After All These Years|
They say that wisdom comes with age, but that certainly doesn’t apply to everybody. Some people maintain their crazy lifestyles well into their senior years. In other instances, seeing someone from your past might bring out a personality trait that you haven’t shown in quite some time, like the narrator in Paul Simon’s title song from his album “Still Crazy After All These Years.” In the song, meets up with a former lover whom he hasn’t seen in quite some time. The couple drink and party into the early hours of the morning, enjoying each other’s company.
38. In My Eyes by Conway Twitty
In this song, country music legend Conway Twitty is singing about that one special someone who got away. It appears as though many years have passed and that you have a chance to meet somewhere, where he recognizes her and starts talking to her. He immediately recognizes the wedding band on her hand but still sees an old familiar flame in her eyes. However, they realize that there is nothing that they can do to act on their desires because their ex-lover is now married and devoted to her husband, despite his attempts to convince her otherwise.
39. That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine by Gene Autry and Jimmy Long
|Genre||Traditional Gospel, Country|
|Album||That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine (Single)|
Getting older helps you to develop a deeper appreciation for many of the things you may have taken for granted when you were younger, such as the relationship you have with your parents. That’s precisely the sentiment being expressed in Gene Autry’s single “That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine,” which earned America’s Favorite Singing Cowboy his television show mere three years after beginning his music career. The singer then signed a television contract with Republic Pictures and began a three-decade singing and acting career. In this song, he reflects on the times he had with his father.
40. When You Are Old and Gray by Tom Lehrer
|Album||Songs by Tom Lehrer|
This short, simple track from Tom Lehrer is a comical work on what may happen with our romantic relationships once we have grown older. Backed by only a piano, the singer speculates about the way that he and his significant other may see each other when they are older and not madly in love with each other anymore. When the initial romance of the relationship wears off, there may be feelings of resentment, although I don’t believe that he and his lover will feel this way about each other. I believe that the song is meant to be taken sarcastically.
41. The Boy With The Thorn In His Side by The Smiths
|Album||The Queen Is Dead|
Fronted by lead vocalist Morrissey, The Smiths were the quintessential alternative band of the 1980s, although they were only together for five years. As Morrissey grew older, he became bitter about the lack of promotion his former band received. He knew that while The Smiths had a huge cult following, they could have been even bigger had their record label put any effort into promoting them. In an interview, the enigmatic singer said, “The thorn is the music industry, and all these people who never believe what I said, tried to get rid of me, never played the records.”
42. Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Rey
|Album||The Great Gatsby: Music from Baz Luhrmann’s Film|
Lana Del Rey poses a legitimate question in this song. She wants to know if her significant other is still going to love her when she is old and no longer beautiful. She is enjoying the spoils of being young and beautiful right now, but her concern is one that many people share. Is this a fleeting romance, or is it that “once in a Lifetime” love we are all looking for? This song appeared on the original motion picture soundtrack for the star-studded 2013 film The Great Gatsby, which featured Leonardo Dicaprio and Tobey Maguire.
43. Young at Heart by Jimmy Durante
|Genre||Easy Listening, Pop, Vocal|
|Album||Young at Heart (Single)|
For many people, growing old doesn’t matter much as long as they can remain young at heart. This sentiment was popularized in 1953 because of the hit single “Young at Heart” by Jimmy Durante. Throughout the song, he stresses that there’s not much you can’t accomplish as long As you are young at heart. He goes on to say that being young at heart is even better than being wealthy. Mr. Durante also iterates that remaining youthful in spirit may allow you to live longer. I don’t know if I agree with that, but it doesn’t hurt to try.
44. As Good as I Once Was by Toby Keith
Toby Keith has a reputation for injecting his gigantic personality into his music, whether it’s humorous or patriotic. Whatever his secret is, it works for him. The country music superstar has had an incredible 20 number-one hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. One of those number-one songs was the hilarious “As Good as I Once Was,” which is a tongue-in-cheek look at how most of us have not gotten better with age. In the song, Toby Keith gives us a few scenarios in which he would have been much better in his youth, but he’s willing to try.
45. In the Backseat by Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire is considered to be alternative and indie music royalty. With lyrics like those displayed in their song “In the Backseat,” I can understand why. Appearing in 2004’s “Funeral,” this song uses a relaxing car ride as a metaphor for growing older. Win Butler’s lyrics are like poetry, using the back seat as the stage for being young while also using the driver’s seat as the metaphor for growing older and eventually dying. He also indicates that he is moving from childhood into his teenage years when he says that he is learning to drive.
46. Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are by Meatloaf
|Album||Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell|
Over 50 years ago, Meatloaf and songwriter Jim Steinman released the iconic album “Bat Out of Hell.” In 1993, the duo combined for its long-awaited sequel “Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell,” which would become Meatloaf’s highest-charting album in his career. The album reached the top spot on the Billboard charts. One of the songs featured on that album was the ridiculously titled “Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are,” which addresses the notion that you need to enjoy your youth because you will grow old sooner than you think.
47. Cry When You Get Older by Robyn
|Album||Body Talk Pt 1|
Robyn has seemingly come out of nowhere to become one of the biggest Sensations in pop music. “Cry When You Get Older.” is the epitome of that one wish most adults have. We all wish that we could warn ourselves about things that happen in the future. When asked in an interview with Pop Justice about the meaning of her track cry when you get older, pop sensation Robyn said, “I think what they mean is that sometimes I wish I could go back to when I was 22 and just say, ‘don’t be so worried about everything.”
48. Wasted Days by John Mellencamp (Featuring Bruce Springsteen)
|Album||Strictly a One-Eyed Jack|
What do you get when two musical icons like Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp cross paths? Well, you get an incredible song like “Wasted Days,” which was featured on John Mellencamp’s latest studio album “Strictly a One-Eyed Jack.” The song is an introspective look at the time the narrator has spent on earth and how he has used that time. He poetically asks himself, “How can a man watch his life go down the drain? How many moments has he lost today?” as he reflects on the amount of time he has wasted accomplishing nothing.
49. 100 Years by Five for Fighting
|Album||The Battle for Everything|
In this song, Vladimir John Ondrasik III (who is better known by his stage name Five for Fighting) delves into the colloquialism that time passes by much faster when you start getting older. The singer allows us a glimpse into the mindset of the narrator at various stages of his life, each one seemingly passing faster than the previous one did. Obviously is about to turn 100, and he reflects on his youth and which gives him insight into what he thinks that the stages that were described earlier, wishing he had done more with his life.
50. I Don’t Need Your Rocking Chair by George Jones
|Album||Walls Can Fall|
Country music star George Jones has had an unbelievable 69 top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, with an amazing 13 of them reaching the top spot. While the single “I Don’t Need Your Rocking Chair” wasn’t one of his highest-charting hits, it was certainly one of The Possum’s most profound statements. In an era where country music was shifting more towards a pop sound, the classic country singer was telling anybody within earshot that he wasn’t going anywhere. He was going to stick around and continue to make his unique brand of music.
51. Grow Old With Me by Tom Odell
|Album||Long Way Down|
There’s something to be said for someone that truly wants more than a one-night stand. People who want meaningful, long-term relationships aren’t common these days. In this song, Tom Odell is thinking of all the things he wants to share with his significant other, including growing old together. He’s telling her that he wants something more than a casual relationship. He wants something real that will be with him for the long run. He’s also saying that while they may age and their bodies may change, their love will always be the same.
52. I Ain’t No Nice Guy by Motörhead (Featuring Slash and Ozzy Osbourne)
|Genre||Metal, Heavy Metal|
|Album||March Or Die|
As most of us grow older, we aren’t as nice as when we were younger. That’s the sentiment being expressed in “I Ain’t No Nice Guy” by Motörhead’s frontman Lemmy Kilmister and the Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne. Featured on Motörhead’s “March Or Die,” this song has Lemmy and Ozzy expressing how growing old makes you bitter with the lyrics, “When I was young I was the nicest guy I knew. I thought I was the chosen one, but time went by, and I found out a thing or two. My shine wore off as time wore on.”
53. Young Man’s Game b by Ben Watt
As you grow older, you realize that you can no longer do most of the things you can do when you were younger. You start thinking of most opportunities as a chance to leave your mark. As Ben Watt puts it in this acoustic tune, it’s a “Young Man’s Game.” In this song, the narrator goes to a bar to see if he still has what he did when he was young. He wants to see if he can compete with the younger men and make an impression on the people there.
54. Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season) by The Byrds
|Album||Turn! Turn! Turn!|
In 1965, the musical group The Byrds released the biggest hit of their career with the track “Turn! Turn! Turn!” which reached the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and earned the group a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. Written by Pete Seeger, the song expresses the importance of changing and the stark reality that there’s nothing that we can do to stop the seasons from changing. The lyrics also state that there is “a time to every purpose under heaven,” which means that everything and every one serves a purpose during their time here on Earth.
55. Grow Old with You by Adam Sandler
|Album||The Wedding Singer|
Adam Sandler is a brilliant comedian and a talented actor. Throughout his career, he has appeared in 58 movies, including the 1998 film The Wedding Singer. However, he also performed a song in this movie called “Grow Old with You,” which is a sweet but funny look at what it’s like to know that you want to spend the rest of your life with someone. In the track, Sandler recalls some of the times that he and his significant other have had together, although they may not be the most appropriate memories to share with a room full of people.
56. Time Marches On by Tracy Lawrence
|Album||Time Marches On|
In the title track to his record “Time Marches On,” the Academy of Country Music Award-winning superstar Tracy Lawrence shows us how time passes through the lens of a young lady. It starts with the girl as a baby in a crib and then fast-forwards to when she is a teenager. The next thing you know, the young lady is now a grandmother with a sick mother and a deceased father. After every verse, he sings the refrain “and time marches on.” Lawrence also marks each passage of time with the music that was popular during that time.
57. When I Grow Up (To Be a Man) by The Beach Boys
|Genre||Vocal, Rock, Surf-Rock|
|Album||The Beach Boys Today!|
Most kids wonder what life will be like when they get older. In this song from the Beach Boys, they are wondering what things are going to be like when they grow up. Lead vocalist Brian Wilson is curious as to whether he is going to like the same things he likes now, including if he is going to look for the same qualities in a woman that he currently appreciates in a girl at the moment. He even pontificates if he is going to be “a square,” as well as if he is going to love his wife forever.
58. Don’t Let the Old Man In by Willie Nelson
|Album||First Rose of Spring|
In “Don’t Let the Old Man In,” country music legend Willie Nelson waxes poetically about growing older, saying that the old man is knocking on his door. He wants to continue living a young man’s life, saying that he wants to “live some more.” In the second half of the song, he admits that he’s been around for quite some time and gives the listener some heartfelt advice to take advantage of while they still can. He says to love your significant other while you can because death is inevitably going to come for you one day.
59. Where Have I Been All My Life by George Strait
George Strait is one of the most popular country music singers of all time. The living legend has had a phenomenal 86 songs reach the Billboard Hot Country Songs top 10, and an unbelievable 44 of them have reached the top spot on that chart. It has sold over 60.2 million albums worldwide and holds the country music record for the most gold and platinum albums, with 33 platinum and 38 gold records. His song “Where Have I Been All My Life” from 2009’s “Twang” tackles the subject of growing old without truly living your life to its fullest.
60. A Pirate Looks at Forty by Jimmy Buffett
There’s a saying that people use when someone acts older than their age. They say they “grew old before their time.” In 1974, Jimmy Buffett gave us the musical equivalent of that saying with his song “A Pirate Looks at Forty.” The track tells the story of a man who has wanted to be a pirate since he was “three feet tall.” However, he recognizes that he was about “200 years too late,” although he has done many of the things pirates did, like smuggling. Still, all the money wasn’t enough to stop time from passing by too quickly.
61. When You’re Old and Lonely by The Magnetic Fields
Have you ever been in a situation where you had feelings for somebody who didn’t reciprocate those feelings? Most of us have been in that situation at some point in our respective lives. If you are anything like me, you have to utter something to the effect of “You’ll regret this when you’re old and lonely.” Well, the Magnetic Fields turned this sentiment into a song. This acoustic tune has the narrator wishing this on someone who refuses his romantic advances. As you might expect, he warns her that she will regret this when she’s old and lonely. While this isn’t necessarily a song about being alone or lonely, there is certainly a warning about both within the song.
62. Waitin’ on a Woman by Brad Paisley
|Album||Time Well Wasted|
Brad Paisley’s “Waitin’ on a Woman” takes a unique look at the concept of getting older. The ACM, CMA, and Grammy Award-winning artist sees the aging process develops in stages that are marked by him “waiting on a woman” throughout their many years together. The song has an old man telling a young man now his wife was late for their first date and their wedding. He says that when it’s his time to go, he hopes that there is a bench in heaven where he can sit and wait, but she can take her time getting there.
63. As Time Goes By by Arthur “Dooley” Wilson
|Album||As Time Goes By (Single)|
No matter how old you get, some rules will always apply, and some things will never go out of style. In Arthur “Dooley” Wilson’s song “As Time Goes By,” the talented singer tackles this concept, backed by his skillful piano playing. A few of the things that never go out of style, which he addresses in his lyrics, are saying “I love you,” love songs and kissing your lover. I guess it’s true. It doesn’t matter how old you get. These are things that never seem to grow old.
64. 22,000 Days by The Moody Blues
|Album||Long Distance Voyager|
The calendar equivalent of 22,000 days is approximately 60. 25 years, which was roughly the average human life expectancy in 1973 when The Moody Blues released the song “22,000 Days, ” which appears on their record “Long Distance Voyager.” Since then, human life expectancy has significantly increased to roughly 71 years. However, when the band’s drummer Graeme Edge wrote this song, the point that he was trying to make is that we each need to make the most of our short time spent on Earth while it lasts because it’s not going to last forever.
65. Stop This Train by John Mayer
In an interview with the Daily Mail, John Mayer explained that this song’s meaning is derived from a personal experience in which he had a quarter-life crisis in 2001, realizing that time passes by much faster than one may realize. When he sings the lyrics “Stop this train. I want to get off and go home again. I can’t take the speed it’s moving in,” The Talented songwriter tackles the subject of time passing by much too quickly, especially as you get older. He also says that he’s scared of getting old and that he’s only good at being young.
66. Do You Remember by Jack Johnson
|Album||In Between Dreams|
If there’s one thing that old couples like to do, it’s reminiscing about when, where, and how they met. Folk-rock icon Jack Johnson addresses this subject in his track “Do You Remember,” which is featured on his record “In Between Dreams.” As Johnson puts it, the couple in the story meets sometime in September. The young man in the story was crazy about the young lady and how he locked their bikes together to get them talking. Fast forward several years in the future, and they are still together, reminiscing about those early years together.
67. 16 Shades of Blue by Tori Amos
As you grow older, breakups become much harder to handle because you feel like your time to find that special someone is getting shorter as the years pass. This reaches its pinnacle as you reach 50 years old, which is the subject addressed by Tori Amos in her somber restrained “16 Shades of Blue” from her album “Unrepentant Geraldine.” In this track, Tori thinks about a breakup that she’s going through, but she’s finding it even harder to deal with at her age. On top of that, her ex keeps telling her that she’ll get over it in time.
68. Grow Old with Me by Mary Chapin Carpenter
|Album||Party Doll and Other Favorites|
Princeton, New Jersey’s Mary Chapin Carpenter is a five-time Grammy Award-winning country music singer who surprised everybody when she included a cover of John Lennon’s” Grow Old With Me” on her greatest hits compilation “Party Doll and Other Favorites.” However, she pulls it off well. As you probably guessed from the title, it’s about one person in a relationship who wants the other person to grow old with them. My favorite wine in the song comes in the verse when she sings, “Grow old along with me. Whatever fate decrees. We will see it through, for our love is true.”
69. Landslide by Fleetwood Mac
|Genre||Rock, Classic Rock|
While most people know that this song comes from the time when two-time Grammy Award-winning Fleetwood Mac guitarist and vocalist Lindsey Buckingham left Stevie Nicks when the two lived together in Colorado, one of the most overlooked aspects of this song comes from the line when she sings “But time makes you bolder. Even children get older, and I’m getting older too.” She prefaces this line by saying that she’s been afraid of being inevitable because she built her life around him. However, she realizes that she’s getting older, so it’s time for her to move on with her life.
70. A Man Who Was Gonna Die Young by Eric Church
Eric Church has a unique spin on saying that he’s getting older. As he puts it, he has now outlived Hank and Jesus in his song “A Man Who Was Gonna Die,” which is from his album “The Outsiders.” In this acoustic ballad, he is coming to grips with the fact that he has now reached the second half of his 30s, and he doesn’t like it. In an interview with Billboard, Church said about looking in the mirror and seeing gray hairs on his temple and in his beard, “I didn’t think I’d live long enough to have gray hair.” I really love this song, and it’s one of my personal favorite songs about getting older.
71. Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran
When entering into a relationship, It’s Perfectly Normal to wonder if it will stand the test of time or if it is something that you are doing to kill time. Don’t you realize that you have fallen in love with that person, you start to wonder if you will still have this feeling when the two of you are in your golden years, or even a few years passed them? If this describes the thought process that you’ve had in any of your relationships, then Ed Sheeran has you covered in his song “Thinking Out Loud” from his album “x.”
72. All Things Must Pass by George Harrison
|Genre||Pop, Folk, Rock|
|Album||All Things Must Pass|
In November of 1970, former Beatles guitarist and vocalist George Harrison released an ambitious double album called “All Things Must Pass.” In their opening lines, “Sunrise doesn’t last all morning. A cloudburst doesn’t last all day,” George Harrison immediately gets to the point of the song, which is that nothing lasts forever. Everything, no matter how long or short, will eventually pass. The song makes another valid point in that nobody is getting any younger, so none of us have time that we should be wasting on frivolous or unrewarding things. Eventually, Father Time catches up with all of us.
73. Darkness by Leonard Cohen
Over the years, Leonard Cohen has developed something of a cult following, slowly gaining fans of many different backgrounds and lifestyles. With songs like the haunting track “Darkness” from his first album containing new music in seven years, “Old Ideas,” I understand why. Through his brilliant lyrics, Cohen sings about an older person who knows that he is coming close to the end. When asked about the meaning of the song, Cohen said in an interview, “It’s the position of the man standing up in the face of something irrevocable and unyielding and singing about it.”
74. Rewind The Film by Manic Street Preachers
|Album||Rewind The Film|
Realizing that they needed to change their sound, Manic Street Preachers did exactly that in 2013 with their album “Rewind The Film.” They opted for an acoustic sound instead of their traditional radio-friendly rock songs. The title track from this album is a shining example of what they accomplished. Much like the album, this song’s themes of growing older and disillusionment rang true, as the narrator is asking for help recalling his younger days. He is feeling nostalgic while simultaneously feeling cold and alone. He is longing for the happier times when he was younger.
75. Gravity Is a Bitch by Miranda Lambert
This bluesy track is an honest and funny look at getting older told through the toll that gravity takes on your body over the years. The way that Miranda tells it makes this song great. If there’s one song in this line that epitomizes the feeling of the entire song, it’s when Lambert sings, “Conversations turned up from rock n’ roll to kids and politics and how much money you owe.” In an interview with US Weekly, Lambert said, “I’ve always been happy with myself. But when I hit 30, I thought, It’s not going to get easier.”
76. 74 Is the New 24 by Giorgio Moroder
Is it me, or does it seem like the older you get, the more you say things like “40 is the new 30,” or “50 is the new 40?” I’ve always found that that saying is arbitrary because as you get older, that number gets higher and higher. Well, in his song “74 Is the New 24,” Giorgio Moroder addresses this topic, albeit over a techno beat that’s aimed mostly at a much younger audience than anyone who would appreciate the sentiment of the song’s title, which happens to be the only lyrics that he includes in the entire song.
77. The Older I Get by Alan Jackson
|Album||Where Have You Gone|
Country music star Alan Jackson has had a decorated career. The Talented singer and songwriter are one of a select few people who have won ACM Awards, and CMA Awards, and also have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as well as being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and being in the Music City Walk of Fame. In 2021, he released his 21st studio album, “Where Have You Gone.” That album featured the single “The Older I Get,” which takes a frank look at the way your perspective changes as you get older.
78. When We Were Younger by You Me at Six
|Album||Sinners Never Sleep|
In an interview with Kerrang magazine regarding the song “When We Were Younger” from the record “Sinners Never Sleep,” You Me At Six vocalist Josh Franceschi said, “It’s about my parents and how I’ve slowly seen them become more vulnerable.” The singer went on to say that when your parents are younger, they seem like superheroes to you. However, you come to realize that once they get older, you have to start looking after them much more. While we have seen several country and pop singers tackle this, it’s interesting to see an alternative rock band that takes this seriously.
79. Yesterday, When I Was Young by Roy Clark
|Album||Great Picks and New Tricks|
Written by French singer-songwriter Charles Aznavour and originally recorded in 1964 under the title “Hier Encore,” which translates to “Only Yesterday,” this song was covered by Hee Haw host and country music star Roy Clark in 1969. The song landed Clark a spot in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The message of the song is simple, but it is also profound. It says that you should never take anything for granted because you will miss most of the things that you don’t even care about today when you no longer have your youth.
80. Veronica by Elvis Costello
|Genre||Alternative, Indie, Rock|
Many people find that this song is reminiscent of The Beatles’ track about an elderly woman named “Eleanor Rigby,” and that may be true. Elvis Costello and Beatles bassist and vocalist Paul McCartney wrote the song together. This song tells the story of a fictional character named Veronica, who lives in a nursing home and is slowly losing her memory. The song was inspired by Elvis Costello’s grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. It became Elvis Costello’s first hit single in the United States and the only Billboard Hot 100 top 20 hits of his career.
Spotify Playlist of Songs About Getting Older
We hope you enjoyed our list of songs about again and getting older. Let us know if there are any new songs or any older great songs that we missed. We always love hearing your feedback.