The age of 17 holds a special place in everyone’s memory – whether it’s your first car, your first date, or your first heartbreak. As the liminal stage between adolescence and adulthood, it’s a time of self-discovery, excitement, and turmoil. For artists, it’s a wellspring of inspiration, leading to some of music’s most iconic songs.
So, we’ve compiled a list of songs about being 17 to take a nostalgic trip down memory lane and remind ourselves of the joys and woes of that fleeting time.
“Seventeen” – Sharon Van Etten
Sharon Van Etten’s “Seventeen” embodies the essence of youth and introspection, as she reflects on her own coming of age experiences. With its rich instrumentation and emotive vocals, the song speaks to the existential angst and desire for freedom that many young people feel at the age of 17.
Its lyrical depth and introspective themes make it a poignant addition to any playlist about adolescence and growing up.
“At Seventeen” – Janis Ian
“At Seventeen” is a melancholic tune performed by Janis Ian that captures the essence of teenage angst. With its soul-stirring lyrics, the song exposes the difficulties of a 17-year-old girl while navigating through the gawky stages of adolescence. It’s a stirring tune that evokes a sense of vulnerability and emotional fragility that many adolescents can relate to.
The haunting melody that underpins the song adds another layer of poignancy, making it an emotionally charged tune that’s as resonant today as when it was first released.
“Edge of Seventeen” – Stevie Nicks
Stevie Nicks’ “Edge of Seventeen” is a haunting rock ballad that captures the inexplicable emotions experienced during the uncertain age between adolescence and adulthood. Nicks’ soulful voice dances over the driving beat of the guitar and drums, pulling listeners into a world of nuance and complexity.
The song’s vivid imagery and poetic lyrics lend a sense of dreamlike introspection, making it the perfect anthem for those grappling with the perplexities life throws their way at 17.
“17” – Youth Lagoon
Youth Lagoon’s introspective and melancholic track delves into the complex emotions of adolescence, exploring the internal struggle of trying to retain and reconcile one’s past while simultaneously trying to grow and move forward.
The arresting vocals backed by the sublime and dreamy melody create a captivating and haunting listening experience that is sure to resonate with anyone who can relate to the ups and downs of being on the cusp of adulthood.
“When I Was Seventeen” – Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra’s “When I Was Seventeen” is a poignant reflection on the passing of time and the wisdom that comes with age. Through his melodic crooning, Sinatra paints a vivid picture of his youth, reminiscing on the joys and sorrows of his younger days.
As the song progresses, the complexity of his emotions and the intricate details of his past come to light, weaving a rich tapestry of nostalgia and introspection that speaks to the heart of anyone who has ever looked back on their teenage years with a mix of wistfulness and wonder.
“Seventeen Forever” – Metro Station
“Seventeen Forever” by Metro Station tells a nostalgic tale of a nineteen-year-old who longs to stay forever in the youthful age of seventeen. The lyrics embody the bursting fervor of youth and the yearning to cling onto the vibrancy of that period.
The song’s use of soaring melodies and upbeat rhythms successfully captures the essence of being seventeen- carefree, youthful, and effervescent. The lyrics’ allusive nature and the layering of meanings add to the song’s enigma, making it even more provocative and thought-provoking.
“17” – Avril Lavigne
“17” by Avril Lavigne is a poignant representation of the complexities of being a teenager in the midst of self-discovery and exploration. With its rhythmically bursty chords and raw vocals, the song earnestly grapples with themes of love, friendship, and identity in the context of youthful naivete and uncertainty.
Lavigne’s emotive delivery evokes a sense of bewilderment and angst, captured in the vividly descriptive imagery of high school dances, first kisses, and teenage rebellion. Ultimately, “17” is a reminder of the electrifying but tumultuous nature of adolescence and the experiences that shape us into the adults we become.
“Seventeen” – Winger
The composition “Seventeen” by American rock band Winger is a poignant contemplation on the experiences of youth and the angst that plagues us all during the formative years of adolescence. With its thoughtful lyrics and dynamic guitar work, the track strikes a perfect balance between introspective melancholy and head-banging rock and roll energy.
Winger’s impeccable musicianship and artistic vision come together seamlessly to create a mesmerizing sonic experience that captures the essence of what it truly feels like to be 17.
“Seventeen Ain’t So Sweet” – The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
“Seventeen Ain’t So Sweet” by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus delves into the complexity of being 17, conveying the feelings of insecurity, confusion, and disillusionment. The song’s lyrics explore the frustrations of dealing with the pressures of adulthood, as well as the desire to hold on to youthful freedom. It encompasses the themes of loss of innocence, existential angst, and coming-of-age with a sense of intense emotionality and turbulence.
“Seventeen” – Alessia Cara
Alessia Cara’s pop hit speaks to the confusion and fear of navigating the turbulent waters of young adulthood. The song’s lush production underscores the introspective lyrics, which detail the ups and downs of being on the brink of adulthood.
Cara’s insightful lyrics and soaring vocals capture the emotional intensity of that pivotal age, grappling with themes of identity, expectations, and growth. “Seventeen” is a standout track that showcases Cara’s raw talent and musical maturity.
“17 Again” – Brantley Gilbert
The track “17 Again” by Brantley Gilbert tackles the bittersweet feeling of youthful nostalgia, highlighting the juxtaposition between youthful energy and the inevitability of growing up. Through the lens of hindsight, the lyrics contemplate the possibilities and missed opportunities of being 17, while reminding audiences to enjoy the present before it too becomes a distant memory.
Gilbert’s emotive vocals add a raw edge to the track, complementing the contemplative and wistful nature of the lyrics.