Songs About Being 17

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Songs About Being 17

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Being 17 has always been a short time in a person’s life, and many songs about being seventeen capture this moment uniquely. Some songs are nostalgic while others capture the energy of being young. Whatever the case, there are songs that can perfectly capture the essence of being seventeen. Here are some of the best examples of songs that capture the spirit of being seventeen.

At Seventeen

When Joan Jett recorded Janis Ian’s “At Seventeen“ in 1974, she was only twenty-four years old. Her fame had already started long before she released the album. Before releasing “At Seventeen,” she had achieved her biggest hit with “Society’s Child.” This song, about an interracial romance, was banned from the radio and prompted death threats. But the album caught the zeitgeist of the forgotten generation and pushed Janis Ian’s career into the mainstream.

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Paradise by the Dashboard Light

Meat Loaf’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” is a long, humorous song about lust. The song features anominous advice for teen lovers at the end of the song. The song was the third single from his Bat Out of Hell album, which was released in 1977.

More Than You Deserve

Meat Loaf and composer Jim Steinman became lifelong collaborators after Meat Loaf auditioned for the 1973 musical “More Than You Deserve.” He was cast as John Belushi’s understudy for the roadshow and hired Steinman to perform the piano for him on his tour.

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ABBA’s At Seventeen is one of the few ABBA albums that is surprisingly depressing. The singers live-blogged their divorces through disco ballads, and the result is a song that’s sad but evocative of the joyous moments they shared. ABBA’s music has consistently merged a pop sensibility with a twisted mentality. “S.O.S.” masterfully captures the disembodiment of a person you thought you’d spend the rest of your life with.

Slipping Through My Fingers

“Slipping Through My Fingers” captures the slow trickle of time as a child grows further away from its parent.

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The Day Before You Came

“The Day Before You Came” chronicles the mundane days leading up to a life-changing encounter.


This song is from Sharon van Etten’s album, “Remind Me Tomorrow.” The song is a sonic romp that explores gentrification, generational patience, and the chain reaction of changing neighbourhoods. ‘Seventeen‘ is a great way to kick-start your Sunday afternoon. Listen to the video and you’ll be singing along in no time!

Stray Cat Blues

If you enjoy rock n’ roll, “Stray Cat Blues” by Joan Jett should be on your playlist. The legendary rocker was a founding member of the Runaways, a group that re-defined gender roles. Known for her gut-level power, Jett’s voice is reminiscent of the late ’60s female punk rock scene.

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Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen

Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen” is a song that was written and performed by Neil Sedaka in 1961. Although written before the turbulent ’60s, the tune is reminiscent of simpler times. It features a memorable melody and lyrics by Howard Greenfield. Neil Sedaka’s “Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen” can be considered a classic. Its popularity is a testament to the timeless appeal of this song.

Edge of Seventeen

Although the lyrics of Stevie Nicks’ “Edge Of Seventeen” seem to wander on metaphorical tangents, they actually point to a distinct period in her life. The song is about her sad and numb emotions after the tragic death of her uncle Jonathan and her cousin John Lennon, who died in December 1980. The song was released in 1982.

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Out of Control

The song is about the relapse of Meat Loaf’s asthma, which he claims led to his collapse on stage at a concert in Pittsburgh in 2011. The artist had also suffered from Wolff-Parkinson-White, a disorder that causes irregular heartbeat. Meat Loaf had undergone surgery in 2003 in London. Despite the setback, he continued his acting career and has starred in several movies, TV shows, and stage productions.

Born in Chicago

If you’re a teenager, one of the songs about being 17 that will catch your attention is “Born in Chicago.” This blues song was revived by several artists and talk about gun violence. Nick Gravenites wrote the lyrics for this sad song, which describes a group of teenagers who are involved in a gunfight. “Born in Chicago” is one of the saddest songs about being 17. It describes a group of young friends whose lives are discouraged.

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That Girl Has Love

Another sad song is “That Girl Has Love,” which talks about suicide. Read More

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