Music is supposed to invigorate and make you feel young, so a list of the 10 songs about getting older might come off as a bit of a downer. Brilliant songwriters however, can turn any lyrical theme on its head, and these songs about getting older contain flashes of optimism.
- “When I’m 64 .” Paul McCartney wrote this song as a young lad, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that this Beatles song is one of the best songs about getting older. “Every summer we can rent a cottage in the Isle of Wight, if it's not too dear,” sings the Beatle famous for cheese ball lyrics.
- “The Grouch.” Pop-punker Bille Joe Armstrong hadn’t even reached the tender age of 30 when he penned “The Grouch,” a bitter anthem for jaded aging punks. “Oh my god, I'm turning out like my dad,” sings the same guy who three years earlier was a kid singing about his mom in songs like Green Day's “Welcome to Paradise” and “Longview.”
- “You Wear It Well.” Rod Stewart’s career continues to thrive thanks to the desires of older and younger women who still want the man. In this song about getting older, Stewart sings, “You wear it well / A little old-fashioned but that’s all right.” This could be his theme song: he’s still got it.
- “Old Man.” Neil Young sings, “Old man take a look at my life / I’m a lot like you,” in his classic single “Old Man.” It’s one of the best songs about getting older because it points out the fact that everyone gets older and everyone needs somebody to love them.
- “When I Grow Up To Be A Man.” Brian Wilson questions what his life will be like when he grows up in The Beach Boy’s “When I Grow Up To Be A Man.” “When they’re out having fun yeah / Will I still wanna have my share?” sings Wilson, the guy who would stay indoors and record 10,000 vocal takes for one song.
- “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up.” Whether the Tom Waits original or The Ramones’ cover, “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” is one of the best songs about getting older because it speaks for the kid in everyone. Who wants to end up like their miserable parents?
- “My Generation.” “I hope I die before I get old,” sings Pete Townsend, many years before he got old, in The Who’s “My Generation.” The anthem for youthful rebellion, it’s rough-around-the-edged production and raw rock & roll sound still sounds fresh today.
- “I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman.” Britney Spears set the standard for teen pop-star turned into barely-legal pop flesh peddler. “Still Crazy After All These Years,” actually ponders emotional maturity, making it one of Ms. Spears’ best songs and one of the best songs about getting older for the top 40 crowd.
- “(Just Like) Starting Over.” John Lennon sings like Elvis and harks back to the early rock & roll of his youth in one of the best songs about getting older, “(Just Like) Starting Over.” When he sees his wife Yoko, he feels young again.
- "In My Life." John Lennon might still have it in his later years, but he really shined as a twenty-something member of The Beatles. This song, which reflects on friends and love lost over time, is one of the best songs about getting older and one of the best songs of all time, period.
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