Turning 15 years old is a crossroads for many teenagers. You are still considered a child in many ways and have to answer to parents, teachers, and others. At the same time, you are on the verge of adulthood, knowing that driving is just a year away and college is not long after that.
The odd feeling that comes at 15 is hard to put into words. It is an age where you try to shake off childhood, but the world will not take you seriously as an adult. Several artists have tried to capture those feelings in songs. Here are the best songs about being 15.
1. “Fifteen” by Goldroom
Sometimes we don’t realize how great our life is at 15 until years later. Josh Legg, known as Goldroom, sings about this in his song “Fifteen” from 2012. He is looking back on the summer he turned 15 from the perspective of an older man.
He says the season smells of sin and wonder and laments that he can’t go back to experience some of the firsts he had that year. As someone who studied psychology, he understands those emotions.
2. “Opposite of Adults” by Chiddy Bang
At 15, we feel like the world is full of problems to solve. Looking back, Chiddy Bang exclaims that he liked his life so much at that age he decided to keep it that way. Now, living as a rapper, he realizes that his life is a party, and he doesn’t have to take it seriously.
3. “Hearts Like Ours” by The Naked and Famous
The Naked and Famous is an indie pop band from New Zealand. “Hearts Like Ours” got released on their album “In Rolling Waves,” released in 2013. The lyrics are reminiscent of someone who is unsure of themselves and feels inadequate but knows that they have an inner self longing to be let out.
4. “Fifteen” by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift wrote and performed “Fifteen” for her 2008 album “Fearless.” Swift is known for her sweeping romantic songs– this one is no different. The song is about a girl’s first encounter with love and heartbreak. “Fifteen” won a Teen Choice Award and even re-entered the Billboard top 20 in 2021 when she released a new, more adult version.
5. “Soundtrack 2 My Life” by Kid Cudi
Not everyone looks back fondly on their time as a teenager. This song from Kid Cudi’s 2009 album “Man on the Moon: The End of Day” is about depression.
The rapper talks about his father’s death and how his mother had to work hard to support them. And he talks about the depression that consumed him at a young age.
6. “Little Fifteen” by Depeche Mode
Depeche Mode released this single on the album “Music for the Masses” in 1988. The lyrics are a look inside the mind of a child. As they look at an adult, presumably a parent, they want to know what to expect as they grow.
They want to know what their eyes have seen and experienced. It is about the unknown of being that age and the fear that comes from looking to the future.
7. “Teenagers” by My Chemical Romance
“Teenagers” got released in 2007 on the album “The Black Parade.” Gerard Way was on a New York subway car full of high schoolers. They were being loud and running around.
He realized they were getting on his nerves, and he felt old since he knew he had once been the same way. The song is about the prejudices that older generations have against youth.
8. “A Teenager In Love” by Dion and The Belmonts
Though the vocal style may not be popular among teenagers today, this doo-wop song from the 50s was a hit among teens of the day. It appeared on their album “Presenting Dion and The Belmonts” in 1959. Since then, it has gotten covered by The Fleetwoods, Bob Marley, and even The Muppets.
9. “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry
Katy Perry has always written songs to give girls a feeling of empowerment, and this one is no different. Released in 2010 on the album of the same name, it is a retro pop song meant to be a fun party song for teenagers to dance to. The lyrics are about being with someone who makes you feel young all over again.
10. “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus
Today, teens mostly know this song as a clip they have heard on TikTok a few hundred times. But this song, released in 2000 on the Wheatus self-titled album, is all about sarcastically agreeing with the things older generations say about young people.
Just as wearing an AC/DC shirt makes older people assume they worship Satan, the singer agrees that they are indeed a dirtbag just because they are a teenager.
11. “Teenage Lobotomy” by The Ramones
Released on the 1977 album “Rocket to Russia,” this Ramones song is a cautionary tale about the environment and a look at mental health. The character is exposed to DDTs and has to have a lobotomy. The rest of the piece is about all the side effects of a procedure like that.
12. “Nostalgia” by Chance the Rapper
This hip-hop song released in 2012 on the album “10 Day” is an example of an artist looking back on memories of their childhood and fondness. In the song, he names various things he remembers, like cassette tapes, video games, and childhood injuries. It shows that sometimes when we look back, we choose to see the positive memories and leave the bad ones where they are.
13. “Roots Radicals” by Rancid
One of their singles on their breakthrough album “…And Out Come the Wolves,” this song captures the energy and chaos of being a young, bright-eyed punk kid in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s also a reggae-tinged ode to the power that music exudes when you’re a teenager.
Best Songs About Being 15, Final Thoughts
When you are 15 years old, you have the world in front of you. You are standing on the edge of your childhood and have your adult life laid out. But it sometimes feels like we are leaving something behind to take on the future.
Artists have been trying to show us for a long time that childhood doesn’t always have to go away. Parts of it can be carried on with you wherever you go.