The future of music

30 Best Songs About Teenagers & Adolescence

March 13, 2023
songs about teenagers

The teenage years are a time of significant change and self-discovery when we first start navigating the complexities of life and relationships.

Music has always been a powerful way to show the ups and downs of adolescence, capturing the feelings, experiences, and struggles that are unique to this time of life.

From rock and pop to hip-hop and country, countless songs explore the joys and challenges of being a teenager.

In this article, we will explore the 30 best songs about teenagers and adolescents, each capturing a different aspect of this formative time in our lives.

These songs offer a nostalgic trip down memory lane for those who have already passed through their teenage years and a relatable soundtrack for those who are currently living through them.

1. “Smoking In the Boy’s Room” by Mötley Crüe

“Smoking in the Boy’s Room” is a cover of a track by the same name from Brownsville Station, but Mötley Crüe added their twist to the song.

The song tells the story of a group of rebellious teenagers who sneak off to smoke cigarettes in the boys’ bathroom, defying the rules and authority of their school.

The song also highlights the themes of rebellion, youth, and breaking the rules, which are common in many songs about teenagers and adolescents.

2. “Dancing Queen” by Abba

Dancing Queen” captures the essence of the teenage experience, celebrating the excitement and joy of youth and the desire to break free and have fun.

The song is a joyful celebration of youth, freedom, and the joy of being alive, and it has become a timeless anthem for generations of teenagers and young adults.

3. “18 And Life” by Skid Row

“18 and Life,” tells the tragic story of a young man named Ricky, who is sentenced to life in prison for shooting and killing another teenager in a moment of desperation.

The song explores themes of youth rebellion, isolation, and the harsh realities of life for many young people.

“18 and Life” has become a classic rock song, a symbol of the struggles and hardships that many teenagers face in their lives.

The song is a powerful reminder of the consequences of the choices we make and the price that some young people pay for their mistakes.

4. “Good Riddance” by Green Day

“Good Riddance” has become a popular graduation song, with lyrics that talk about the passing of time and the happy and sad memories of youth.

The song captures the feeling of saying goodbye to the past and moving on to new beginnings, a theme that resonates deeply with many teenagers and young adults.

Good Riddance” is a timeless reminder that life is a journey with ups and downs that we all have to learn to accept and enjoy, no matter where it takes us.

5. “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus

“Teenage Dirtbag,” tells the story of a young outcast who is mocked and bullied by his classmates but finds solace in his love for a girl who shares his interests and understands him.

The song captures the themes of teenage angst, rebellion, and the desire to belong, which are everyday experiences for many young people.

“Teenage Dirtbag” is a powerful reminder that everyone, regardless of social status, can experience the pain and joys of adolescence and that the struggles of being a teenager are universal experiences that many of us can relate to.

6. “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” by Britney Spears

“I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” was part of the soundtrack for the movie “Crossroads,” which starred Spears in the lead role.

The song explores the challenges and uncertainties of the transitional period between adolescence and adulthood, a phase that many teenagers and young adults can relate to.

The lyrics express the yearning to break free from the constraints of childhood and to discover one’s true identity, while also acknowledging the fears and insecurities that come with growing up.

7. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana

“Smells Like Teen Spirit”‘ lyrics and raw emotional energy capture the disillusionment and angst that many young people feel as they navigate the complexities of adolescence.

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” has become a symbol of the grunge era and a cultural touchstone for many young people who were coming of age during the early 1990s.

The song’s themes of feeling alone, angry, and rebellious still speak to young people today, making it a classic and timeless example of what it’s like to be a teenager.

8. “Royals” by Lorde

“Royals” is a song about the disparity between the glamorous and excessive lifestyles portrayed in popular music and the reality of many young people’s lives.

Pop culture is often associated with flashy and materialistic values, but the lyrics show a desire for a simpler and more real way of life.

“Royals” has become a popular anthem for young people who are looking for a different kind of role model and a more meaningful and fulfilling way of life.

9. “I’m Eighteen” by Alice Cooper

“I’m Eighteen” is a celebration of the milestone of turning 18, which in many countries is the age of legal adulthood.

The lyrics express the excitement and liberation that come with reaching this milestone, as well as the fears and insecurities that accompany it.

“I’m Eighteen” has become an anthem for many teenagers and young adults who are eager to assert their independence and take control of their lives.

10. “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson

“Breakaway” is about breaking free from the constraints of the past and embracing a new and exciting future.

The lyrics express the desire to break out of the mold and pursue one’s dreams, even in the face of uncertainty and adversity.

“Breakaway” has become an inspirational anthem for many teenagers and young adults who are looking to make a change in their lives and pursue their passions.

11. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Judy Garland

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was written by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg for the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, in which Garland played the lead role of Dorothy Gale.

The song is a dreamy and hopeful ballad that speaks to the longing for a better life and a brighter future.

The lyrics express a desire to escape from the troubles and challenges of everyday life and find a place of peace and happiness.

12. “Wide Open Spaces” by The Chicks

The lyrics of “Wide Open Spaces” convey a sense of yearning for independence and new experiences, which is a common sentiment among teenagers.

It also touches on the idea of taking risks and making mistakes, which is a key aspect of the teenage experience as young people learn to navigate the world and make their own decisions.

It captures a sense of possibility and adventure that many teenagers feel as they embark on new journeys and make their way into the world.

13. “My Generation” by The Who

“My Generation” is known as one of the best songs about teenagers and young adults. It is considered one of the best rock anthems of all time.

The song’s lyrics were written by the band’s guitarist and primary songwriter, Pete Townshend, and are a reflection of the frustrations and rebelliousness of youth culture in 1960s Britain.

The song’s famous opening lines, “People try to put us d-down / Just because we get around,” convey a sense of defiance and a rejection of authority and societal expectations.

14. “Sixteen” by No Doubt

“Sixteen” captures the feelings and experiences of adolescence and growing up, and is often considered one of the band’s most powerful and relatable tracks.

The song’s lyrics, written by lead vocalist Gwen Stefani, speak to the experiences of being young and naive, as well as the desire to fit in and be accepted by one’s peers.

The song’s catchy melody and upbeat rhythm capture the energy and excitement of being young, while the lyrics touch on some of the insecurities and uncertainties that come with growing up.

15. “Betty” by Taylor Swift

“Betty,” tells the story of a teenage love triangle with the themes of youth, adolescent relationships, and first love.

The song tells the story of a teenage love triangle, with the protagonist, James, apologizing to Betty for his behavior and infidelity.

The lyrics describe James’ desire to apologize and make things right with Betty, capturing the emotions and complexities of teenage relationships.

The song’s lyrics have made people wonder about the characters’ sexualities, and some fans have taken the song to be about queer identity.

However, Swift has not confirmed any particular interpretation of the song.

16. “Last Kiss” by Pearl Jam

“Last Kiss” is a song originally written and recorded by Wayne Cochran in 1961; however, it was popularized by J.

The song was recorded by Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers in 1964, and Pearl Jam covered it in 1999.

The song tells the story of a tragic car accident, with the narrator lamenting the loss of his girlfriend and pleading with her to come back to him, even though he knows it’s impossible.

17. “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” is a song originally written and recorded by American musician Robert Hazard in 1979, but it was Cyndi Lauper’s 1983 cover version that made it a worldwide hit.

The song’s central message is that young women just want to have fun, enjoy their lives, and be free to express themselves.

The lyrics talk about how all teenagers want to break away from the rules set by adults, find out who they are, and have fun with their friends.

18. “Only The Young” by Journey

“Only the Young” was featured in the 1985 movie “Vision Quest,” which tells the story of a high school wrestler trying to find his place in the world.

The lyrics of “Only the Young” speak to the experience of being young and feeling like anything is possible.

The song also touches on the challenges and obstacles that young people face as they try to navigate the world.

The lyrics also speak to the importance of friendship and support from others, which are especially important during the teenage years.

19. “The Kids Aren’t Alright” by The Offspring

“The Kids Aren’t Alright” by The Offspring is a powerful song about the struggles and hardships of growing up in a troubled environment.

Released in 1998, the song reflects on the impact of drug abuse, poverty, and other societal issues on young people.

The chorus of the song, which repeats the phrase “the kids aren’t alright” over and over, emphasizes the idea that something has gone wrong and that the current generation of young people is in trouble.

The song also touches on the theme of wasted potential, suggesting that many young people have the talent and ability to succeed but are held back by their circumstances.

20. “Teenagers” by My Chemical Romance

“Teenagers” is a song that captures the intensity and energy of teenage life.

Released in 2007, the song explores the often chaotic and turbulent nature of adolescence and the sense of isolation and rebellion that comes with it.

The song’s chorus, which repeats the phrase “they’re gonna rip us apart,” emphasizes the idea that young people are under attack from all sides and that they must fight to assert their identities and find their place in the world.

21. “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry

The lyrics of “Teenage Dream” are fun and playful, and they make you think of being carefree and falling in love.

The song’s chorus, which repeats the phrase “let’s go all the way tonight,” emphasizes the idea of living in the moment and seizing the opportunity to experience the fullness of life.

The song’s catchy melody and driving beat capture the wild energy of youth, and its punk rock sound will appeal to fans of alternative and emo music. 

22. “We Are Young” by Fun ft. Janelle Monáe

“We Are Young” is a song that celebrates the wild and carefree spirit of youth.

Released in 2011, the song captures the essence of living life to the fullest and enjoying every moment.

The lyrics of “We Are Young” emphasize the idea of seizing the moment and making the most of life.

23. “Songs for Teenagers” by Fake Problems

“Song for Teenagers” is a powerful and evocative song about the struggles and emotions of adolescence.

One of the key themes of the song is the feeling of being misunderstood as a teenager.

The lyrics describe a sense of isolation and alienation from the rest of the world as if the experiences of teenagers are not taken seriously by adults.

24. “Teenage Kicks” by The Undertones

“Teenage Kicks” is a classic song that has become an anthem for teenage rebellion and youthful exuberance.

Released in 1978, the song has remained popular and relevant for generations and is widely regarded as one of the best songs about teenagers and adolescents.

The song’s popularity was boosted when legendary BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel played it twice in a row on his show, declaring it his favorite song of all time.

The lyrics describe the excitement and intensity of young love and the desire to hold on to those feelings forever.

25. “A Teenager In Love” by Dion and The Belmonts

“A Teenager in Love” was written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman and released as a single in 1959.

The song is a classic example of the doo-wop genre, with its smooth harmonies and romantic lyrics.

It tells the story of a young man who is deeply in love with a girl but is unsure whether his love is reciprocated.

He describes the feeling of being “lost in love” and how it’s difficult to focus on anything else.

26. “Young” by The Chainsmokers

“Young” was released as a single in 2017 and is part of the Chainsmokers’ debut studio album Memories… Do Not Open.

It features vocals from Andrew Taggart, one half of The Chainsmokers, and has a feel-good, positive vibe that is characteristic of many of the duo’s songs.

In the song, Taggart sings about the joys of being young and carefree and encourages his listeners to take risks and live life to the fullest.

He also acknowledges that the future is uncertain but encourages listeners not to worry about it and instead focus on the present.

27. “Teenage Wildlife” by David Bowie

“Teenage Wildlife” is a reflection on the culture of celebrity and the pressures that come with fame, particularly for young artists.

The lyrics of the song describe a young musician who is thrust into the spotlight and struggles to find their place in the industry.

The song addresses the conflict between artistic integrity and commercial success, with Bowie expressing concern for the young artist’s well-being.

He warns him of the dangers of becoming “a teenage wildlife,” a young artist who is consumed by the trappings of fame and loses touch with their artistic vision.

He also called out those who exploit and manipulate young talent for their own gain.

28. “Invisible” by Linkin Park

The lyrics of “Invisible” describe a person who feels unseen and unheard, struggling to find their place in the world.

The song expresses a sense of frustration and isolation, with the narrator feeling as though their voice is drowned out by the noise and chaos of the world around them.

But the song also has a message of hope and strength. 

In the end, the narrator finds strength in their desire to be seen and heard.

29. “Young, Dumb & Broke” by Khalid

“Young, Dumb & Broke” is a song that appears on Khalid’s debut studio album, American Teen, released in 2017.

The song is an upbeat and nostalgic celebration of youth and the carefree joys of being young.

The lyrics of “Young, Dumb, & Broke” describe a group of young people who are living in the moment, despite their lack of money or status.

The song celebrates the simple pleasures of youth, such as hanging out with friends, falling in love, and dreaming about the future.

30. “Teenage Mind” by Tate McRae

“Teenage Mind” is an emotional and reflective exploration of the strong emotions and struggles that come with being a teenager.

The lyrics of “Teenage Mind” describe a young person who is dealing with feelings of confusion, anxiety, and uncertainty.

The song addresses the pressures and expectations that teenagers face and the difficulty of trying to find one’s place in the world.

The song’s chorus, “I don’t think I’m ready for this yet, ’cause all these feelings inside, they never seem to end,” captures the intense and overwhelming emotions that many teenagers experience.

Songs About Teenagers – Final Thoughts

Songs about teenagers and adolescents have been a staple of popular music for decades, capturing the hopes, fears, and emotions of young people all over the world. 

The 30 best songs about teenagers and adolescents that we have explored span a wide range of genres and eras, showcasing the universal nature of this theme.

They explore topics such as love, friendship, identity, rebellion, and the search for meaning and purpose, offering a powerful and relatable portrait of the teenage experience.

Whether you’re a teenager yourself or simply looking back on your teenage years, these songs offer a powerful reminder of the intensity and emotion of youth.

Related Articles:

Songs About Being 18

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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