In this article, the reader will be delighted to discover a compilation of 20 songs that perfectly encapsulate the essence of being 19 years old. From jazz to indie-rock, folk to punk rock, and even country, these songs span across various genres, ensuring there is something for every musical taste. Well-known titles such as “Hey Nineteen” by Steely Dan, “Perfect Places” by Lorde, and “I Was Only Nineteen” by Redgum, make an appearance on this diverse list. As you listen to these songs, you will journey through themes of love, nostalgia, self-discovery, and the challenges that come with adolescence. Regardless of whether you are currently 19 or simply reminiscing about your own experiences at that age, this collection promises to strike a chord in your heart.
About Being 19 Years Old
Being 19 years old is a unique and exciting time in a person’s life. It is a stage that bridges the gap between adolescence and adulthood, filled with newfound independence, self-discovery, and the thrill of navigating through life’s many experiences. To capture the essence of this transformative age, there is no better way than to explore the music that beautifully mirrors the complexities, joys, and challenges of being 19. Here is a comprehensive list of songs, each representing a different genre, that encapsulate the spirit of nineteen.
Hey Nineteen by Steely Dan
Genre: Jazz-rock fusion
Steely Dan’s “Hey Nineteen” is a classic jazz-rock fusion tune that perfectly embodies the excitement and naivety of being 19. The lyrics reflect the carefree and carelessly optimistic mindset of a young person, painting a picture of indulgent parties and the thrills of youth. However, beneath the surface, the song also touches on the complexities of dating someone much younger, showcasing the challenges that can arise from age differences and differing levels of life experience.
Perfect Places by Lorde
Lorde’s “Perfect Places” serves as an anthem for young adults in search of the ideal, utopian experiences that they believe will bring them fulfillment and happiness. The song captures the essence of being 19, a time when one is eager to explore the world and make connections at lively parties. Lyrics such as “All the nights spent off our faces / Trying to find these perfect places” touch on the themes of youth, recklessness, and the quest for an unattainable perfection that often accompanies this age.
I Was Only Nineteen by Redgum
Genre: Folk rock
Redgum’s “I Was Only Nineteen” is a powerful anti-war song that vividly portrays the realities of being 19 in the midst of the Vietnam War. The folk rock track tells the harrowing story of a young soldier, highlighting the devastating consequences of war and the impact it can have on an individual’s mental health. The song delves into the hardships faced by soldiers, including the trauma of combat and the anguish of lost innocence, touching on the topic of PTSD and the lasting scars it leaves behind.
19 by Tegan and Sara
Tegan and Sara’s “19” delves into the uncertainties and insecurities that often accompany the transition into adulthood. The indie-pop track captures the essence of being 19, a time marked by introspection and personal growth. The lyrics express the doubts and vulnerabilities experienced during this stage of life while acknowledging the potential for self-discovery and the possibilities that lie ahead. The song serves as a reminder that while being 19 may be challenging, it is also a pivotal period for individuals to define their identities and forge their own paths.
19 by Paul Hardcastle
Genre: Electronic, jazz-funk
Paul Hardcastle’s “19” tackles the topic of the Vietnam War from the perspective of a soldier. The electronic and jazz-funk track highlights the sobering fact that the average age of soldiers sent to Vietnam was just 19. Through its powerful music and sampling of interviews and news reports, the song sheds light on the often-forgotten human toll of war. It serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by young individuals who were barely adults themselves, provoking reflection on the devastating impact of armed conflict on the lives of those involved.
Nineteen by Hayley Williams
Genre: Pop rock
Hayley Williams’ “Nineteen” provides a heartfelt exploration of the struggles and challenges faced by individuals navigating through life at 19. The pop-rock track encapsulates the feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, and self-reflection that often accompany this age. The song’s themes of identity and self-discovery resonate with young listeners who are still in the process of figuring out who they are and who they want to become. Through its relatable lyrics and catchy melody, “Nineteen” serves as an encouraging reminder that the difficulties faced during this time are a normal part of the journey towards self-acceptance and personal growth.
1952 Vincent Black Lightning by Richard Thompson
Richard Thompson’s “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” offers a narrative-driven song that tells the captivating tale of James and Red Molly at age 19. The folk track immerses listeners in a story filled with love, rebellion, and the allure of motorcycle culture. The song transports the audience to a time when the open road offered freedom and escape, and young hearts were filled with passion and rebellion. Through its vivid storytelling and evocative lyrics, “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” captures the essence of youthful romance and the longing for adventure that often accompanies being 19.
19 Again by Game Theory
Game Theory’s “19 Again” reflects on the desire to relive the carefree days of being 19. The indie-rock track touches on themes of nostalgia and longing, evoking memories of a time when responsibilities were few and possibilities seemed endless. The longing for the feeling of youth and the desire to recapture the innocence and freedom of 19 underscores the universal appeal of this song. Whether it is yearning for the past or a reminder to embrace the present moment, “19 Again” resonates with listeners who long for the simplicity and joy of their younger years.
19th Nervous Breakdown by The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones’ “19th Nervous Breakdown” is a rock song that taps into the pressures and anxieties faced by youth in the 1960s. The track conveys the strain of conforming to societal expectations and the toll it takes on mental health. The lyrics depict the challenges of navigating relationships and self-identity amidst the tumultuous backdrop of the 1960s counterculture. By shining a light on the struggles of youth, “19th Nervous Breakdown” reminds us that the challenges faced by 19-year-olds transcend generations, serving as a timeless reflection of the human experience.
The collection of songs about being 19 offers a diverse array of genres and themes, ensuring that there is something for everyone. Whether you are currently 19 and identifying with the lyrics, or reminiscing about your own experiences at that age, these songs provide a cathartic and relatable soundtrack to the rollercoaster ride that is adolescence. They capture the excitement, insecurities, joy, and challenges of being 19, serving as a testament to the power of music in connecting us to the universal experiences of youth.