The future of music

25 Best Songs About Being 18 (Young, Wild & Free)

December 11, 2023
songs about being 18

I’ve carefully selected 25 of the best songs about being 18, capturing the excitement, freedom, and bittersweet transition into adulthood.

This article is a celebration of this milestone age, through tunes that resonate with the journey and joy of turning 18.

Top songs about being 18

  • “18” by One Direction
  • “I’m Eighteen” by Alice Cooper
  • “18 years” by Daughtry
  • “18 Yellow Roses” by Marty Robbins
  • “8TEEN” by Khalid
  • “Eighteen” by Pale Waves
  • “18” by 5 Seconds of Summer
  • “18 and Life” by Skid Row
  • “18” by EXES
  • “She’s Only 18” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

1. “18” by One Direction

This amazing song by One Direction was released in 2004, the song follows a story about a young man who is about to turn 18 and trying to make sense of the adult world around him. 

He’s feeling a mix of fear and excitement as he takes on more responsibility and learns how to navigate his newfound independence. 

The lyrics are sentimental and relate to anyone who’s been in this same situation.

2. “I’m Eighteen” by Alice Cooper

“I’m Eighteen” was released in 1970 as the first single from Cooper’s album, Love It to Death

The song was written by Cooper, Michael Bruce, Glen Buxton, Dennis Dunaway, and Neal Smith, who were all members of Cooper’s band at the time. 

I’m Eighteen” is a hard rock track that talks about the struggles of growing up and coming of age. 

The lyrics express the confusion and uncertainty of being eighteen years old, feeling like an adult but not yet fully understanding the world around you. 

3. “18 years” by Daughtry

“18 years” is a mid-tempo rock ballad that explores the themes of love and commitment. 

The song’s instrumentation is relatively simple, with acoustic guitars, piano, and strings providing a soft and melodic sound.

Daughtry’s vocals are passionate and heartfelt, conveying the sincerity and depth of the lyrics. 

“18 years” was well-received by critics, who praised its emotional depth and sincerity, While it did not achieve the commercial success of some of Daughtry’s earlier hits.

4. “18 Yellow Roses” by Marty Robbins

The song was written by Bobby Darin and recorded by him in 1962. 

“18 Yellow Roses” is a country pop track that tells the story of a man who receives 18 yellow roses from an unknown sender.

The man wonders who the sender could be and speculates that it might be his former girlfriend who he had broken up with. 

The chorus is catchy, with Robbins singing, “18 yellow roses came today, 18 yellow roses in a pretty bouquet”.

5. “8TEEN” by Khalid

“8TEEN” is a catchy and upbeat song that celebrates the joys of youth and the feeling of being young and carefree. 

The song’s lyrics reflect the excitement and freedom that comes with being 18 years old, the age when many people experience independence and adventure.

The song’s instrumentation features a bouncy beat and synth-driven melody, giving it a pop-infused R&B sound. 

The production is slick and polished, with a mix of electronic and acoustic elements that create a laid-back and groovy vibe.

6. “Eighteen” by Pale Waves

“Eighteen” is an electrifying song that speaks to the trials and tribulations of being a teenager on the cusp of adulthood. 

The track is infused with nostalgia, reflecting on the bittersweet memories of youth and the tumultuous emotions that come with growing up. 

“Eighteen” is a testament to the power of music to capture the complexities of the human experience.

7. “18” by 5 Seconds of Summer

Australian pop-rock band 5 Seconds of Summer, released this song in 2014 as part of their debut self-titled album. 

The song was co-written by the band members along with producers Matt Squire and John Feldmann. 

The lyrics describe a tumultuous relationship where the singer is head over heels for his partner, but struggles with the ups and downs of their connection. 

The chorus is anthemic, with the band singing, “She told me to meet her there, I can’t afford the bus fare, I’m not old enough for her, I’m just waiting till I’m 18”.

8. “18 and Life” by Skid Row

“18 And Life” is a seminal hard rock track that not only showcases the band’s musical prowess but also highlights the gritty storytelling of their music. 

The song’s lyrics follow a young man who falls into a life of crime and ends up in prison. 

“18 And Life” was a huge hit for Skid Row, reaching number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earning critical acclaim for its powerful lyrics and hard-edged sound.

9. “18” by EXES

“18” is a poignant and introspective song by American indie pop duo EXES, consisting of members Allie McDonald and Mike Derenzo. 

The song’s lyrics explore the uncertainties and anxieties that come with being 18 and facing the transition into adulthood. 

The singer reflects on the pressures of growing up and the fear of the unknown. 

The instrumentation is sparse and delicate, with gentle guitar strumming and subtle electronic beats. 

McDonald’s vocals are emotive and raw, capturing the vulnerability and emotional depth of the lyrics.

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

This high-energy rock song by the Red Hot Chili Peppers featured on their 2006 album, Stadium Arcadium

The track was written by the band’s lead singer, Anthony Kiedis, and is notable for its catchy guitar riffs and frenetic drum beats. 

The instrumentation of “She’s Only 18” is tight and explosive, with guitarist John Frusciante delivering an infectious riff that drives the song forward.

11. “Ocean Avenue” by Yellowcard

“Ocean Avenue” was a breakthrough hit for Yellowcard, propelling them to mainstream success and earning them a dedicated following of fans. 

The song’s success can be attributed to its catchy hooks, relatable lyrics, and infectious energy, which captivated audiences across the world. 

The lyrics of “Ocean Avenue” tell the story of a young adult who is struggling to find their place in the world.

12. “Eighteen With a Bullet” by Pete Wingfield

The song was written and performed by Pete Wingfield, a British singer-songwriter best known for his work in the 1970s.

He was among the first popular musicians to explore funk and soul music in the UK. 

“Eighteen With A Bullet” is an upbeat song about the freedom and energy that comes with being eighteen years old. 

The song was released in 1975 on Wingfield’s self-titled debut album, and it quickly became a hit.

13. “High School” by Nicki Minaj ft. Lil Wayne

The song’s lyrics tell the story of a steamy romance between two high school students, with Nicki Minaj rapping about the thrill of sneaking around and getting caught up in the heat of the moment. 

Lil Wayne’s verse adds a male perspective to the story, as he raps about the ups and downs of young love. 

“High School” features a slow, seductive beat that creates a sensual atmosphere to match the song’s steamy lyrics.

14. “The A Team” by Ed Sheeran

The song tells the story of a young woman who is struggling with addiction and prostitution, and it touches on themes of vulnerability and the harsh realities faced by many young people. 

The song’s chorus, which repeats the phrase “It’s too cold outside for angels to fly” is a powerful metaphor for the harsh realities of life on the streets. 

“The A Team” was a commercial success, earning Sheeran his first top-10 hit in the UK and earning him a reputation as a talented and sensitive songwriter.

15. “The One That Got Away” by Katy Perry

“The One That Got Away” is a poignant and emotive song that speaks to the universal experience of lost love and regret, making it one of the popular songs about being 18. 

Released in 2011, the track captures the nostalgia and melancholy that comes with looking back on a failed relationship, with lyrics that express the sense of what could have been if things had gone differently.

16. “Eighteen” by Bow Wow

As one of the songs about being 18, it speaks to the experience of young people on the brink of adulthood, exploring the newfound freedom and independence that comes with that transition. 

The song features Bow Wow’s trademark style of blending hip-hop beats with catchy pop melodies, creating an infectious and upbeat sound that perfectly complements the song’s joyful lyrics. 

“Eighteen” was a commercial success, reaching the top 20 on the charts in several countries and earning Bow Wow critical acclaim for his energetic performance and catchy songwriting.

17. “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry

The song was a commercial success, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and earning Perry critical acclaim. 

As one of the songs about being 18, “Teenage Dream” speaks to the experience of young people falling in love and experiencing the heady rush of first romance. 

The song’s lyrics describe the thrill of being with someone who makes you feel young and alive, capturing the joy and excitement of young love.

See also: Songs About Young Love

18. “Birthday” by Katy Perry

“Birthday” was released in 2014 as the fourth single from Katy Perry’s fourth studio album Prism

The song is a fun and upbeat party anthem that celebrates the joy and excitement of birthdays. 

The song has become a popular choice for birthday parties and celebrations, with its catchy chorus and danceable beat making it a favorite of fans of all ages.

19. “18 Till I Die” by Bryan Adams

“18 Till I Die” is a timeless classic that speaks to the desire to hold on to the excitement and energy of youth, even as one grows older. 

The song’s catchy melody and upbeat lyrics have made it a popular choice for fans of all ages, who are drawn to its themes of youthful optimism and the endless possibilities of life. 

Although “18 Till I Die” was not nominated for any major awards, the album of the same name earned Bryan Adams a Juno Award for Best Album in 1997.

20. “I Wish I Was 18 Again” by Ray Price

The song tells the story of an older man who is looking back on his life with a sense of nostalgia and longing, wishing that he could go back to the carefree days of his youth. 

Throughout the song, Price reflects on the things he would do differently if he could relive his youth, singing about the joys of being young and carefree and the pain of growing old and losing loved ones.

21. “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5

Maroon 5 released this song in 2004, the song is a heartfelt ballad that tells the story of a young woman who is struggling to find her way in the world, and a man who loves her unconditionally. 

“She Will Be Loved” was a major commercial success, reaching the top of the charts in several countries and earning Maroon 5 a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 2005.

22. “The Bucket” by Kings of Leon

Lyrically, “The Bucket” is about living life to the fullest and not being held back by fear or regret. 

“The Bucket” was a commercial success, reaching the top 20 of the UK Singles Chart and becoming the band’s first charting single in the United States. 

The song’s success helped solidify Kings of Leon’s status as one of the most exciting and innovative bands of the 2000s indie rock scene.

23. “Graduate” by Third Eye Blind

“Graduate” was written by lead vocalist and songwriter, Stephan Jenkins. 

The song was inspired by Jenkins’ own experiences after graduating from college and struggling to find his place in the world. 

Upon its release, “Graduate” was met with critical acclaim and became an instant fan favorite. 

The song’s catchy hooks, relatable lyrics, and energetic performance made it a standout track on Third Eye Blind’s album of the same name.

24. “Young, Wild & Free” by Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa ft. Bruno Mars

The song was released in 2011 and was featured on the soundtrack for the film “Mac & Devin Go to High School”, which starred Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa. 

The song’s upbeat, carefree lyrics celebrate the joys of being young and living life to the fullest.

Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa trade verses over a mellow, synth-heavy beat, while Bruno Mars delivers the song’s catchy chorus.

25. “Blooming 18” by Ace of Base

Swedish pop group Ace of Base, known for their catchy and upbeat dance-pop music released this song in 2002, the song is a celebration of youth and the joy that comes with being 18 years old. 

“Blooming 18” was a popular track among fans of dance-pop and electronic music, with its upbeat sound and infectious energy inspiring listeners to get up and dance. 

The song’s themes of youth and freedom also resonated with fans, making it a perfect song about being 18.

Songs About Being 18 – Final Thoughts

Being 18 is a time of exploration and celebration – of taking risks, feeling alive, and gaining independence. 

It’s also a time of nostalgia and self-reflection.

This list includes all the songs about being 18 and reminds us of the unique joy of youth. 

Whether you’re 18 or reminiscing about your own teenage years, these songs are sure to bring back memories and make you feel young, wild, and free.

Related Articles:

Songs About Teenagers

Songs About Being 17

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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