17 Best Songs About Memories & Good Times
A memorable song can transport us back in time and represent specific memories and good times in our lives. Whether it is a song from childhood or adulthood, if you are trying to remember good times in your life, they are probably inspired by a classic song. Yet, there are also songs that are actually about memories and good times.
Whether you are reminiscing about childhood, getaways with best friends, college life, or memories you are making today, there is a list of songs about memories and good times that may coincide with the times in your own life. Below is a list of out top songs about memories and good times. If you have not heard any of them, now is the time to listen.
Adele – When We Were Young
This first song reminisces about being at a party with old friends and acquaintances as Adele narrates her own experiences with relatable lyrics and Adele’s powerful voice. Many of Adele’s songs are about memories and a lingering or troubling past, and “When We Were Young” does not disappoint to bring you back to the memories of youth.
The song originally came out in 2016, yet it stands the test of time when it comes to reliving those important moments in one’s life when you were young with friends. The song hits the memories of being young and not knowing where life is headed by narrating running into an old lover from youth and looking back at the uncertain time.
As Adele goes through the lyrics, she recounts the memories of Adele and her lover of the past and how those memories begin to engulf her. This is the perfect song about memories because the entire story is about Adele being in this man’s presence and how being with him again reminds her of her youth and coming home again with him.
“When We Were Young” is an emotional song about memories flooding back to you when you are older and reflecting on a time where you may not have had a care in the world. It is a perfect example of being an adult, running into someone from your past, and then remembering a time from the past and the unforgettable truth about it.
Macklemore featuring Kesha – Good Old Days
A year after Adele spoke about the memories of an old lover, Macklemore and Kesha were singing about remembering youth positively instead of dwelling on the past with regrets. Macklemore remembers his own experiences that, at the time, were not appreciated, but were remembered as good times now that he is older and wiser.
Macklemore and Kesha make some very relatable points about how the youth usually take for granted the simplicity of going to school and hanging out with friends. It is not until one is older that these good old days are appreciated and, as adults, one can truly look back and appreciate these moments. This is what made this song a 2017 hit.
If you are looking back at your own past and realizing you had some great memories that you did not appreciate when you were young, this song is definitely relatable. Not only that, but it is a catchy song that can be listened to while driving in the car, going for a run, or sitting by the pool. It will more than likely spur your own memories of the past.
Similar to Adele, the fact that Macklemore uses his own life to add power to a song about memories is what makes this song so special. He expresses how he knows his own future is coming and, in your youth, you should not worry about the future or dream about only finding success. In the end, all you will have are these good old memories.
Ed Sheeran – Photograph
Ed Sheeran remembers his long distance relationship with singer Nina Nesbitt in this autobiographical account of the memories of love lost. It is called “Photograph” because that is how he keeps the memories alive, looking through photos of the memories with Nesbitt and trying to keep their old relationship alive through visuals:
- We keep this love in this photograph…
- Hearts were never broken…
- Time’s forever frozen still…
As Ed Sheeran notes, your memories can be frozen in time with a single photograph. Long-distance relationships are tough and are difficult to sustain. This memory is very relatable and Sheeran uses his own personal experience with a fellow musical artist to relate to his audience about memories that are frozen in pictures.
The photographs have a double meaning when it comes to memories, as Sheeran used them to remember his love when they were apart and then again to remember those good and bad times once the relationship was over. It is relatable to anyone who had a relationship fail in the past because of the distance that was between the two lovers.
These lyrics can mirror the listener’s own life who have photos from their youth, particularly of relationships from the past. Although relationships may not last, the memories can through the pictures that document those good times. In the end, photographs may be the only way you can hold onto that love from your youth.
Honorable Mention – Green Day, Good Riddance
Green Day’s “Good Riddance” comes in at a close second when it comes to reminiscing about a relationship of the past that did not last. Singer Billie Joe wrote the song about breaking up with his girlfriend and feeling nostalgic about the relationship lost. This song is notable because it is heard in so many emotional scenes of feature films.
Maroon 5 – Memories
You cannot have a list about songs about memories without having an actual song that is entitled “Memories.” If you are looking to remember your loved ones you lost, this song is perfect. The song was written and sung by Maroon 5’s lead singer, Adam Levine, and dedicated to his manager and longtime friend who died from health issues.
The song is an emotional ride about how you remember the loved ones you lost and try to let go of them while keeping the memories of the good times with them. Levine not only remembers his own friend who was lost too soon, but also reflects on the lives of others who are no longer with their loved ones. It is a relatable song of love and loss.
The song “Memories” is so much more than just remembering the past. It literally pays homage to anyone who has lost someone and can be a moving tribute that you can use to think about someone in your life who was taken too soon and make you appreciate them even more when they were once alive.
If the song itself does not motivate you, Maroon 5 made an accompanying video that is also filled with emotionally-wrought visuals of how we try to reminisce about our loved ones, pay tribute to them, but then also learn how to let go of them and just keep their memories alive. It will help you appreciate your loved ones that much more.
Shawn Mendes – Memories
Here is another song appropriately entitled “Memories,” this time by solo artist Shawn Mendes. Mendes was discovered on YouTube, but has since become one of the most popular singers today. This song in particular is a perfect way to remember someone who used to be important in your life but is no longer in it:
- A heartbroken man remembers his relationship
- He invested a lot of hope in keeping it alive
- The woman is now gone and just memories and photographs remain
Similar to Maroon 5, Mendes remembers memories of someone that could be heartbreaking and sad. However, Mendes is not singing about someone who had passed away, but about a failed relationship with someone you once loved. He looks back at the precious moments of that relationship and how the memories were made.
Many times, your memories are about not-so-good times, and this is the basis for Shawn Mendes’ “Memories.” If you have had your heart broken in the past, this song will speak to you beautifully about your memories of a failed relationship and how you only have the memories of the relationship in the past.
This song is not only the perfect illustration of remembering a lost love, but also illustrates the talent of a young Shawn Mendes and how he can use his lyrics and vocals to transport his audience back in time so that they can remember their own memories and relationships of the past.
Thomas Rhett – Unforgettable and Sixteen
Country Singer Thomas Rhett gets two songs on this list when it comes to memories, “Unforgettable” and “Sixteen.” The first hit, “Unforgettable,” goes back in time to remember the chronology of meeting a spouse, the good times of the relationship, and how you got to where you are with her today, including:
- The first date
- The details of the first moments
- The time you know you fell in love with her
- How she would end up becoming you wife
This is the perfect song to listen to and remember how he met his wife, fell in love with her, and how those memories built their life together today. This song could be used as a dedication to a wife through the voice of Rhett and his touching and emotional lyrics. The song has truly been unforgettable since its original release in 2017.
Rhett’s second hit on the list is “Sixteen.” Instead of remembering a love, this song remembers the wild and crazy time of being sixteen-years-old and how those memories will last a lifetime. From first driving lessons to sneaking out at night, it is the perfect song to transport you back in time to that special year of high school.
The narrator of sixteen is a man who fondly recalls being sixteen, a young boy who at that time was a confident teen living a free and wildlife. As an adult, he looks back and wishes he could go back to that simpler time and recapture all the feelings he had as a sixteen-year-old teen. It is a memory all adults can more than likely share.
Honorable Mention – Kenny Chesney, I Go Back
This country song receives an honorable mention in that it can literally transport you back to your childhood when you simply enjoyed parties, high school loves, and all the other times in which you could be a teen without real-life, adult problems. It is a very relatable song about the good times you have as a teen in comparison to adulthood.
Fall Out Boy – Thnksfr the Mmrs de
Although the name of this song is a bit convoluted, Fall Out Boy does a great job of being thankful for their memories even when the memories are not always positive. This older song from 2007 will transport you back in time and look back at your life with nostalgia, both the good times and the bad. You will be thankful for them both.
Why do they look at the not so good memories? The lyrics specifically discuss a relationship that in the present is really just going through the motions. However, they can both look back to the past and be thankful for the times they spent together. It is a story that listeners may be able to relate to, looking back at the good and bad of love.
Fall Out Boy developed a romantic atmosphere disguised in rock music in which the narrator recognizes that his relationship was never perfect, but it is still something to look back on. No memories are perfect when it comes to relationships, and Fall Out Boy notes this perfectly.
If you were wondering why the title was spelled so awkwardly, it was because Fall Out Boy’s record label thought the title of the song was too long. Their response? Simply take out all of the vowels.
One Republic – Children
Becoming a parent is probably one of the most amazing experiences in life and produces an intense form of love for children. So, writing songs about children can spur beautiful, scary, and important memories from the past. There are many songwriters and singers who have written songs about their own children and the memories of having them in their lives:
- Joan Baez—Gabriel and Me
- Kanye West—Only One
- Paul Simon—Father and Daughter
- Adele—Sweetest Devotion
- John Lennon—Beautiful Boy
Each of the above songs are touching in their own way when it comes to remembering your children, the One Republic song, appropriately entitled “Children,” is what makes this list because it is about the memories of being a child. The 2016 hit song reminds the listeners of your younger years when you did not have a care in the world.
Since this list is about how individuals remember their own memories, One Republic is the perfect way to go back to a time in one’s life when the only thing that mattered was being with friends and having a good time. It is also a great way for adults to forget about the stresses in their life by remembering their own memories of youth.
Honorable Mentions – Arcade Fire, Wake Up and Fun, We Are Young
Although not as popular as One Republic, Arcade Fire also reminisces about their childhood in their own classic. The Canadian band would end up winning awards, including a coveted Grammy, and would see their song about the memories of childhood end up in the Ben Stiller feature film “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”
Fun also deserves an honorable mention when it comes to writing a song about feeling free in your twenties, or even younger, and looking back favorably at the younger days without any of the harsh responsibilities of being an adult.
Bon Jovi – You Want to, Make a Memory
This 2007 song reminisces about two old lovers who reconnect and are reminded of an affair they had in the past. If you want to remember an old love from high school, college, or beyond, Bon Jovi will help you through the lyrics of this classic. The two lovers of the past look at an old photograph and this spurs a flood of memories.
As the title indicates, the two individuals in the song wonder if they can make new memories in the present by remembering their past. It is an agonizing ballad that only Jon Bon Jovi could pull off and tell a haunting story of memories of the past being recalled in the present.
Similar to the other songs on this list, the memories are spurred by one visual – a photograph. It is a common theme in which you may not remember someone from so long ago until you are re-reminded of them through a single picture.
Bon Jovi was not the only rock star of the 1980s through the 2000s who eloquently spoke about memories. The next man on the list, Bruce Springsteen, wrote about memories in a different but still popular way that touched audiences.
Bruce Springsteen – Glory Days
In 1984 when this song was released, Bruce Springsteen was already a household name in the music world. He had another hit that was about memories—“My Hometown”—but it is the song “Glory Days” that makes this list of memories of good times. The narrator runs into an old friend, and that spurs memories of the past.
The song’s protagonist meets a man who was once a teammate on his Little League team when they were teens. The song is a perfect reflection of how you can look back on a sports team when you and your teammates were like brothers. It reflects how you make such good memories as a youth when you play on a team.
Bruce Springsteen recalls how, as an adult, he does not want to look back at his glory days, but more than likely he will. He remembers the good times he had as a youth with his friend and the high school days he can no longer go back to. The adult man, now in his thirties, recalls these days as a teenager and wonders where the time has gone.
This is a classic song that is relatable on so many levels. Bruce Springsteen notes how the narrator does not want to get old and reminisce about his glory days. However, it is inevitable that he probably will and realizes that time was just slipping away and leaving him with nothing but his glory day memories.
Bryan Adams – Summer of ‘69
Continuing with the rock stars of the 1980s is Bryan Adams and his summertime anthem, “Summer of ’69.” This is a classic that takes listeners back to the 1960s and the memories of summer that last forever. Even listeners who did not grow up in the 1960s or were not even alive in the 1960s can relate to this summertime song.
Bryan Adams sings about the best times of his life during that one single summer and how his memories bring up positive feelings of nostalgia.
- He remembers playing in his high school band
- Finding love for the very first time
- Feeling young and free during that summer of 1969
A native of Canada, Bryan Adams was popular in the world of rock in roll, but the “Summer of ‘69” was truly the song that put him over the edge. Even today, this is the one song that is played every summer because of its nostalgic view of a good time in your life that everyone can share—that one free summer as a youth.
Sarah McLachlan – I Will Remember You
Taking a different turn on this list is one of the most famous female solo artists, and her classic 1999 Grammy-winning hit, “I Will Remember You.” This is another song of dedication to someone you lost and the memories you have left. The narrator goes through the pain and sorrow of how she is transitioning in life without the one she loved.
Sarah McLachlan beautifully and eloquently articulates how you feel when you try to remember someone you loved. However, the song is different from the other songs about love and loss. McLachlan takes the story a step further and also wonders if the person who is no longer there reciprocates the feelings she had for them.
This is truly a song about saying goodbye and, although more about sad memories rather than good memories, is still very relatable and inspiring. The narrator does not know the words to express her feelings except to wonder if her friend will remember her in the same way.
This is a song that can be listened to by everyone who no longer has someone in their life but still has the memories. It is sad and melancholy when it comes to wondering if someone who is no longer in your life ever knew how you felt, ever felt the same way, and will ever remember you in their memories the same way you remember them.
Corey Tynan – Hold Onto the Memories
The final song that makes the list remembers a momentous time in one’s life—graduating from high school. This is a good memory nearly everyone can share, which makes Corey Tynan’s song memorable and relatable. He notes the main memories that adults may have forgotten until they listen to “Hold Onto the Memories,” such as
- Walking across the stage at your high school graduation
- You are nervous and have a lump in your throat
- You start to realize this is a transitional change in your life
- There are high school friends you realize you may never see again
Corey Tynan documents the memories so many individuals share of graduation. On one hand, you are excited to start this next stage in your life as you begin to enter adulthood. On the other hand, you are scared of the future that is abound. And as an adult, you look back and wonder if you truly achieved all of your goals.
This is a sentimental song, not only about graduating from high school and trying to hold on to those memories, but also looking back and wishing you could start over again. You realize that this time in your life is gone forever and all you have left are the great memories of that single momentous moment in your life.
This is truly a memory song and captures the weird combination of exciting emotions at the age of seventeen or eighteen and the wanting of those memories back as an adult. As Corey Tynan eloquently states, the listeners could not wait for high school to end at the culmination of graduation, but as adults all you want to do is to start over again.
Top Songs About Memories And Good Times, Final Thoughts
What makes a solid song about memories and good times? It could be about a specific time during childhood, a memory of love lost, a memory of a loved one who passed on, or just the good times in life. That is what this list is compiled of; from country, to rock, to ballads, and pop, these songs help listeners go back in time and remember life.
In addition to the songs listed above, there are also some honorable mentions that just missed the list. This is because there are so many songs about memories and good times that some, although not the top choices, still help us go back in time and reminisce about the good old days while listening to their vocals and lyrics.
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