19 Of The Best Songs About Being 19

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

There is a vibrant array of songs that encapsulate everything that makes being 19 years old. Oftentimes, these songs are about transition, growth, and exploration of adulthood. They perfectly capture the essence of this age, including emotions and experiences.

The list we created today consists of a rich tapestry of stories that resonate with the experience of being 19. The songs provide different perspectives and shed light on the good and bad of being at this particular stage of life.

So what are we waiting for? Here are 19 of the best songs about being 19. Have fun reading!

1. “Not Nineteen Forever” By The Courteeners

Our first song states a very obvious fact. Time is fleeting. One moment, we are nineteen. The next, we are older. The Courteeners captures this sentiment perfectly in “Not Nineteen Forever.”

At its core, the song is about not wanting to grow up. The lyrics show the narrator and his older girlfriend conversing, where she expresses her disappointment with his wild behavior one night. At the car, she reminds him that he’s young and must take responsibility for his actions.

The song says that despite the allure of youth, we are not 19 forever. Growing old and growing up is inevitable.

2. “Nineteen Forever” By Joe Jackson

English singer-songwriter Joe Jackson contradicts what our first song says, though in a satirical way. “Nineteen Forever” explores themes of eternal youth and the societal pressures of growing up.

In this song, with “nineteen” in the lyrics, the narrator expresses his desire to stay young forever. Specifically, he wants to be 19 all his life as this is the age seen as the peak of youth and freedom.

In addition, the narrator grapples with the reality of aging and the responsibilities we take as we grow older. He seems to abhor the idea, so he clings to the memories of being 19.

3. “19 And Crazy” By Bomshel

Aside from a time of freedom and transitioning to adulthood, being 19 is marked by being carefree. Many individuals this age are sometimes “19 and Crazy,” as Bomshel‘s song claims.

The song is all about seizing the moment and living life to the fullest. It also sends a message of not caring about what others think. In other words, it’s all about “being free, being wild, being bulletproof.”

In addition, the song encapsulates the recklessness and the sense of invisibility that comes with this age. The narrator feels like she can do everything her own way.

4. “Perfect Places” By Lorde

Trust Lorde to provide the perfect commentary on the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Her 2017 single, “Perfect Places,” encapsulates the struggle of a person to find her place in the world, particularly a 19-year-old individual.

The lyrics chronicle the experiences of being 19. The narrator attends parties and grapples with the pressures of growing up. The song captures the essence of teenage life, including the whirlwind of emotions and experiences.

The line “I’m 19 and I’m on fire” is a testament to the intensity and passion that most 19-year-olds go through. They are on the verge of adulthood, a stage when they are filled with ambition and desire but, at the same time, vulnerable and uncertain.

5. “Once And Never Again” By The Long Blondes

In The Long Blondes‘ “Once and Never Again,” the focus is on the challenges associated with being 19. The lyrics seem to be a conversation between an older woman, likely a mother figure, and a 19-year-old girl.

In the opening lines, “19 you’re only 19 for God’s sake, Oh, you don’t need a boyfriend,” the narrator advises the younger one not to rush into relationships. She makes it clear that she’s still young and doesn’t know what she really wants.

In addition, the song hints at the emotional turmoil that comes with this age, particularly where falling in love is concerned. The narrator knows what it’s like and wants the younger girl to heed her words.

6. “Hey Nineteen” By Steely Dan

The 1980 song “Hey Nineteen” by Steely Dan revolves around the dynamics of a relationship between an older man and his young lover.

In the lyrics, he seems to seduce the 19-year-old girl. However, things are not as easy as they seem, for their age and cultural gap leaves him frustrated and disappointed.

For instance, the girl does not know Aretha Franklin is playing on the stereo. He finds that they do not have anything in common and can’t even dance together. The song ends ambiguously, leaving it to the listeners to decide whether he spends the night with her or he’s alone drinking.

7. “Dear John” By Taylor Swift

One of the most talked-about singles in Taylor Swift‘s Speak Now album is “Dear John.” And that’s because the song allegedly talked about her rumored relationship with singer John Mayer.

Clues that led to this speculation include Swift being 19 when she allegedly dated the 32-year-old singer. The lyrics reference her age, a painful breakup, and the title bearing his name.

The lyrics highlight the power dynamic that comes into play when a significant age gap exists between partners. Her being 19 represents innocence and vulnerability. Whereas the older partner is more experienced.

8. “Twinkle Lights” By The Sonder Bombs

The emotional and poignant song “Twinkle Lights” by The Sonder Bombs focuses on the struggles that the narrator faced at certain points in her life.

In the first verse, the narrator feels she is constantly choking, but nothing is wrong with her. This seems to show the weight of her emotions and, at the same time, her inability to figure out what causes it. The second verse reflects on her experiences as a 14-year-old, another emotionally laden time of her life.

The third verse highlights her experiences at 19 years old when she had to establish boundaries and say “no.” The line “still not stronger than his hands across my throat” indicates domestic violence and assault.

9. “Nineteen In Naples” By Jonathan Richman

Being 19 means adventure and freedom, and you’ll find both in Jonathan Richman‘s “Nineteen in Naples.”

The lyrics depict the narrator’s reflection on his experiences when he was 19. Just like any other teen of this age, he was insecure, had self-doubts, and indulged in overthinking. This could suggest that during this time, he was too caught up in his thoughts to fully enjoy his youth.

Nevertheless, he found himself in Naples, Italy, taking on adventures and discoveries in a foreign land. Despite the not-so-pleasant experiences there, he would always remember when he was 19 in Naples.

10. “19” By Landon Cube

A song with “19” in the title, Landon Cube‘s 2017 single perfectly captures the emotional rollercoaster that people this age experience. In “19,” the narrator shares his experiences as he navigates life.

The song explores themes of vulnerability and self-discovery as he finds comfort in a world that can feel dangerous and overwhelming. In addition, he finds himself trying to make sense of his feelings and find his place in the world.

In the context of 19, the song shows that this is an age full of conflict and uncertainty. It’s filled with challenges and complexities that often leave individuals grappling with these struggles as they go through this transitional stage of life.

11. “I Was Only 19 (A Walk In The Light Green)” By Redgum

Some 19-year-olds find themselves in harrowing situations. “I Was Only 19 (A Walk in the Light Green)” by Redgum follows the experiences of a young man, aged 19, sent to war in Vietnam.

This is a song that mentions “19” from the perspective of someone being drafted into the army at such a young age. The narrator was only 19, yet he had seen what many 19-year-olds had not in their lifetime. In this context, being 19 means the innocence of youth abruptly interrupted by the horrors of war.

In essence, the song portrays being 19 as a life-altering time of abrupt change and brutal reality check. It is a reminder of the devastating effects of war on young lives.

12. “She’s Nineteen Years Old” By Muddy Waters

The 1958 song “She’s Nineteen Years Old” by Muddy Waters explores the dynamics of a relationship between the narrator and a younger woman.

In the lyrics, being 19 symbolizes youthfulness and naivety, as shown in the first verse. The lines “You just don’t realize, You got yourself a good deal” suggest that the 19-year-old lady does not fully understand the value she brings to the relationship.

At the same time, the song indicates a sense of maturity and experience on the part of the narrator. Their age gap adds complexity to their relationship as they navigate through their feelings against societal expectations.

13. “19” By Paul Hardcastle

Another song that delves into being 19 in the context of the Vietnam War is “19” by Paul Hardcastle. The single was included in his self-titled fourth studio album, released in 1985.

According to the song, the average age of an American soldier in the Vietnam War was 26. But then it changed, and now the average is 19.

The lyrics highlight the harsh realities that these young soldiers face on the battlefield. They are thrust into a brutal war at an age when most of their peers are starting to explore adulthood.

The worst thing is that these soldiers feel the devastating effects long after they have left the war zone. When they go back home, they confront trauma and the horrors of war.

14. “I Don’t Like Who I Was Then” By The Wonder Years

Being 19 is a stage of personal growth and self-improvement. In “I Don’t Like Who I Was Then” by The Wonder Years, the narrator looks back on his younger years with dissatisfaction and a desire for change.

The song encapsulates the uncertainty and struggles that come with late adolescence and early adulthood. It speaks to the experience of growing up, making mistakes, and learning from them.

But the narrator has grown and changed from the past version of himself. The struggles he had gone through helped him become who he is today.

15. “Fast” By Juice WRLD

The deeply introspective song “Fast” by Juice WRLD depicts the rapper’s shot to fame. It includes the struggles he experienced at such a young age.

“Fast” refers to the fact that he has become rich and famous, with wealth and independence, at the age of 19. He’s living in the fast lane, and he feels like “time really moves fast.”

However, it’s not exactly smooth sailing for him. To reach his present status, he grappled with the complexities of sudden fame and personal battles. At 19, he had already experienced substance abuse and depression.

In this context, being 19 is about dealing with heavy issues that are not usually associated with this age. It may be the reason why the narrator longs for a sense of normalcy.

16. “Nineteen” By Movements

For some, being 19 is a difficult time as it’s filled with struggles with expectations, self-identity, and becoming one’s own person. Such are the ideas behind Movements‘ “Nineteen.”

The song was inspired by lead singer Patrick Miranda’s rocky relationship with his father. The lines “‘Cause I am not who you were at nineteen, I am not the man you want me to be” perfectly encapsulate his sentiment.

He wants to be his own person but is burdened by the expectations of people around him, specifically his father. As such, 19 is a turbulent period marked by rebellion. He feels like he does not measure up to what his father wants because he is “not a warrior” and is fragile and weak.”

17. “Kilby Girl” By The Backseat Lovers

Young love, adventure, and self-discovery are the themes behind The Backseat Lovers‘ 2019 single “Kilby Girl.” The title is a nod to Kilby Court, a music venue in Utah known for its raw performances.

In the lyrics, the narrator is at Kilby on a rainy afternoon. He meets this 19-year-old Kilby girl with “a fake ID and a nose ring,” who seems to know more than him. He’s determined to find out “what she’s hiding,” and he’s got the whole afternoon to do it.

In the song, being 19 reflects the thrill and excitement of young love. It’s about experiencing life in its raw form and finding yourself in the process.

18. “Coxton Yard” By Title Fight

The 2011 song “Coxton Yard” by Title Fight is another song that delves into the struggles of growing up. It reflects the emotional turmoil and exhaustion that come with navigating life’s challenges at the crucial age of 19.

The song captures the feelings of vulnerability and confusion as the narrator transitions from adolescence to adulthood. His experiences take their physical and emotional toll on him, leaving him feeling “like a bag of bones.”

In the song, we see another side to being 19. It isn’t just about growth and discovery. It is also marked by hardships and a sense of feeling lost.

19. “Nineteen” By Tegan And Sara

The indie pop song “Nineteen” by Tegan and Sara reflects on the experiences and emotions of being 19. Here, Tegan recounts her five-year relationship that began when she was 19.

The song explores themes of young love, heartbreak, and personal growth. It paints a picture of what it feels like to have your first love, including the intense emotions and the pain when the relationship ends.

The use of “nineteen” in the song represents the period when one is on the cusp of adulthood. Many individuals this age navigate the complexities of love and relationships for the first time.

Summing Up Our List of Being 19 Songs

Being 19 is a pivotal time in one’s life. The songs above showed us the joys of self-discovery, young love, and growth and the pain of heartbreak, trials, and challenges that come with this age.

If you’re 19, about to turn 19, or past this age, we hope you liked our compilation. It feels good to be reminded of a time of youth and innocence. And while we experienced being lost or overwhelmed at this age, these songs will remind us of a time full of personal development and resilience.

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Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.