Turning 30 is a big step for a lot of people. It marks the next step in maturity since you were 21. For many, it means the end of their youth and the beginning of their real adulthood.
Many milestones are reached in your 30s. It is not an age to be mourned because you should be celebrating the new phase of life you are entering. Here are the best songs about being 30 and taking on new challenges.
1. “Time Crisis” by Sammus
Song Year: 2016
Sammus is a rapper known primarily in the underground music scene of New York. She created this song as she approached her 30th birthday. She used the lyrics to ask why people look at their 30s as if it were the end of something. She says she is living her best life and is happier than ever.
2. “Vienna” by Billy Joel
Song Year: 1977
“Vienna” is a song from Billy Joel’s 1977 “The Stranger” album. It was released as one of his b-sides, but since then, it has become one of his most famous songs. Joel sings about a visit to Vienna, but he has said the lyrics mean that your whole life doesn’t have to be lived in your 20s and 30s. You have time for a lifetime of experiences.
3. “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac
Song Year: 1975
One of Fleetwood Mac’s most famous songs, Landslide, was released on their self-titled album in 1975. The lyrics convey the feeling one has as they age. They feel as if the years pass much more quickly. It is like there is a landslide of time crashing down. Ironically, Stevie Nicks was singing about these themes when she was in her early 20s.
4. “My Next 30 Years” by Tim McGraw
Song Year: 2000
This uptempo song is about a 30-year-old looking back at what he had accomplished in life and looking toward what he wants to do next. In contrast to some of the others on this list, “My Next 30 Years” discusses this topic in celebration and hope and not as much lament and regret. This song was released in 2000 on Tim McGraw’s album “A Place in the Sun.”
5. “A Place In This World” by Taylor Swift
Song Year: 2006
Taylor Swift’s debut album was released in 2006 when she was just 16 years old. Many of its songs are now country music classics, including this track. At such a young age, she had a lot of wisdom about facing an unknown future with the knowledge of what you want.
6. “Baby Girl” by Sugarland
Song Year: 2003
In 2003, Sugarland released the first single from their album “Twice the Speed of Life.” The song was called “Baby Girl” and told the story of a young girl who when off to make a name for herself but continuously wrote letters home for her parents to send her money to get by until she makes it. In the final verse, the singer celebrates that she now sends letters to her parents stuffed with money so she can help them live more comfortably.
7. “29/31” by Garfunkel and Oates
Song Year: 2015
Garfunkel and Oates is a duo of actresses Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci. They sing comedy songs in a folk format. “29/31” is a funny observational song about a woman who is 29 singing about how optimistic she is about the life she is heading into. The other singer plays the part of the same girl at 31, friendless and alone, calling her old self stupid and delusional.
8. “Dear Marie” by John Mayer
Song Year: 2013
John Mayer was inspired to write this song by the internet. With the rise of social media, it is not unusual for people to look up old boyfriends and girlfriends to find out what their life is like now and how they have aged. Seeing the way they look can be shocking when you realize that you do not look the same as you did back then, either.
9. “Never Get Old” by Sinead O’Conner
Song Year: 1987
Looking back at the way you were when you were younger can remind you of how much you have grown. Sinead O’Conner released this song on her album “The Lion and the Cobra” in 1987. It is about the way she felt about a boy when she was 16 and how much change she has seen since then.
10. “1979” by The Smashing Pumpkins
Song Year: 1996
The Smashing Pumpkins released this song on their album “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness in 1996. It fits this list very well as Billy Corgan said that it is about transitioning out of youth and into adulthood. In high school and your 20s, you start to have adult responsibilities, but your life is still centered around peopl in authority over you. However, moving into your late 20s and 30s introduces you to a new life that is less dependent on parents and other adults.
11. “Turning 30” by Bo Burnham
Song Year: 2021
Bo Burnham is a comedian and wrote this very funny song about the differences between what being 30 is today and what it was at one time. He talks about how his grandfather fought in Vietnam when he was his age, but now he spends his time building birdhouses. He also laments about how he used to make fun of older generations, and now he is part of a generation that is teased for being older and out of touch.
Best Songs About Being 30, Final Thoughts
Everyone transitions from a twentysomething with nothing more than the experiences of education and relationships. Moving into your 30s brings the wisdom you have gained over the years, but it does not have to be a time of regret over getting older. It is the precipice of the future and can be looked at with hope and optimism, as many of the artists on this list have shown.