20 Best songs about childhood

Celebrations & Occasions

Do you have fond memories from childhood? Was it a time when you felt your freest and most adventurous? Did you learn some great lessons from a plethora of childhood experiences, both the good and the bad ones? Everyone’s childhood is precious, even though we all eventually grow up and move on from it. And if you ever feel like making time to reflect on yours, here are the 20 best songs about childhood worth playing.

1. “When You Were Young” by The Killers

And sometimes you close your eyes / And see the place where you used to live / When you were young

There’s the saying that home is where the heart is. And that’s beautifully expressed in the lyrics of this hit song by The Killers, in which singer Brandon Flowers recalls his childhood back in his hometown, Las Vegas.

2. “Put Your Records On” by Corrine Bailey Rae

Girl, put your records on / Tell me your favorite song / You go ahead, let your hair down / You're gonna find yourself somewhere, somehow

One of the more relaxing songs about childhood, Corrine Bailey Rae’s track is perfect to play when you’re sitting right outside your home on a sunny day. It offers words of comfort that are similar to the words your parents or other people around might have spoken when you were a kid. 

3. “1979” by The Smashing Pumpkins

June bug skipping like a stone / With the headlights pointed at the dawn / We were sure we’d never see an end to it all

This nostalgic song calls for celebrating the fact that you got to be young at some point in your life. The lyrics describe how as we look back, our youth tends to seem like a mixture of tedium, restlessness, thrills and adventure.

4. “Tennis Court” by Lorde

Pretty soon I’ll be getting on my first plane / I’ll see the veins of my city like they do in space

Savour your youth and make every childhood experience count, because before you know it, everything begins to change quickly. Those are the underlying words of wisdom in this song.

5. “Alright” by Supergrass

We are young, we run green / Keep our teeth nice and clean / See our friends, see the sights / Feel alright

What is a better time than our youthful years for exploring, running around freely and doing fun, silly things with friends? This song describes the joys of youth in relation to freedom.

6. “Wake Up” by Arcade Fire

Something filled up / My heart with nothing / Someone told me not to cry

This song, with characteristic brimstone and fire, talks about transitioning out of childhood and having that urge to repress your emotions. But it’s not always the easiest action to master, especially early on.

7. "Northampton's Child" by Slowthai

Northampton General, 1994 / Mixed race baby born / Christmas well a week before / Mum’s 16, family’s poor

The singer here recalls his poverty-stricken childhood while expressing his gratitude for his mother. Despite the struggles they faced, he turned out just fine as he always had foundational support from his family.

8. “In My Room” by The Beach Boys

Do my dreaming and my scheming lie awake and pray / Do my crying and my sighing laugh at yesterday / Now it’s dark and I’m alone / But I won’t be afraid / In my room

Many of us had days when we just wanted to lock ourselves in our room as teenagers, given the phases we might’ve been going through at the time, or the need to be alone with our thoughts. That's why so many people can relate to this song.

9. “When I Was A Boy” by Electric Light Orchestra

When I was a boy, I learned to play / Far into the night and drift away / Don't want to work on the milk and the bread / Just want to play my guitar instead

Back in our childhoods, most of us were reluctant to work and take on responsibilities while we had certain interests and passions that could keep us busy all day and night. That was exactly what the singer of ELO experienced as well.

10. “Bros” by Wolf Alice

Remember when we cut our hair? / We both looked like boys but we didn’t care / Stick it out together, like we always do

This is one of the songs about childhood that describe friendship. Indeed, true childhood friendships will last, no matter how different the people who are a part of it become over time.

11. “We Are Young” by Fun

So if by the time the bar closes / And you feel like falling down / I'll carry you home / Tonight / We are young / So let's set the world on fire / We can burn brighter than the sun

The group Fun wrote a song that also serves as an anthem for embracing one’s youth. You’ll never be any younger than you are at the moment, so it’s worth celebrating your youth with your fellow youngsters.

12. “Summer Of ‘69” by Bryan Adams

Man we were killing time / We were young and restless / We needed to unwind / I guess nothing can last forever

Summer days from your childhood are quite memorable, aren’t they? Bryan Adams had his fair share of “young and restless” experiences as a kid, and the song also expresses how he laments that everything eventually comes to an end.

13. “Days Of Wine And Roses” by Robin Gibb

Through the rivers of my childhood / They come swimming into view / And all the moments that I treasured / Still lie buried in my youth

Most of us have moments from our youthful days that we hold close to our hearts. There’s nothing wrong with remembering them. Simply smile at the fact that they happened. 

14. “What Makes You Country” by Luke Bryan

I got my dirt road cred when I was twelve / On a no-cab tractor hauling them bales / Backing in boats / Fishing limb lines / Running bird dogs through the Georgia pines

Luke Bryan recounts his childhood years living in the country with this song. If only everyone got to experience driving tractors and fishing all day long.

15. “Raise Your Glass” by P!nk

So raise your glass if you are wrong / In all the right ways / All my underdogs / We will never be never be, anything but loud / And nitty gritty dirty little freaks

The struggles of fitting in seem to be unavoidable in almost everybody’s childhood. But with a singer like P!nk advocating one’s individuality and “freakiness”, this song can be used to pat yourself on the back for just being you all this time. 

16. “Wake Me Up” by Avicii

Wish that I could stay forever this young / Not afraid to close my eyes / Life's a game made for everyone / And love is a prize

This song has a very familiar and catchy beat, but the underlying message is a little poignant. When you’re in the prime of your childhood and everything seems easy and exciting, you can’t help but wish it could always be this way. But alas, time has to fly.

17. “17” by Youth Lagoon

When I was seventeen / My mother said to me / Don’t stop imagining / The day that you do is the day that you die

There’s value in retaining the ability to imagine, dream big and hold onto other positive aspects of one’s childhood. That’s what makes this one of the more profound songs about childhood.

18. “One Step At A Time” by Jordin Sparks

Now you're feeling more and more frustrated / And you're getting all kind of impatient waiting / We live and we learn to take / One step at a time / There's no need to rush

Ever since we were little kids, we’ve been told that patience is a virtue. And for children slowly entering the confusing phase of adolescence, this song is the perfect way to be reminded that going slow and steady is the rule of thumb.

19. "Don't You Worry Child" by Swedish House Mafia (feat. John Martin)

There was a time / I used to look into my father's eyes / In a happy home / I was a king, I had a golden throne

Your childhood can encompass a bunch of Cloud-Nine moments, and also complete letdowns. But it’s important to see it through and believe that everything happens for a reason, as difficult as things turn out to be.

20. “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen

I'm a shooting star leaping through the sky / Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity / Don't stop me now / Yes, I'm having a good time / I don't want to stop at all

The core message of this song is perfectly loud and clear: celebrate the energy, gutsiness and explosiveness of your youth. If you think about it, what’s the point of youth without getting to be youthful?

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