Created By: WeAreAllKosh on February 16, 2013 Last Edited By: Hero_Gal_2347 on November 3, 2014

Childhood Nostalgia Song

A songwriter pens a song that looks back fondly on their own experience growing up

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Often popular singers, particularly of various genres of rock, will sing of mature or adult themes that their fans will relate to in the present (or want to relate to, if they're still very young but want to be "cool"). But some artists will end up penning a song that looks back on what they see as the more innocent times and settings they grew up in. These are often more upbeat and carefree songs that wax nostalgic for their "good old days", or lament a lost innocence or disappeared "simpler" times.

Examples:

  • "Old Days"—Chicago
    Old days, good times I remember
    Fun days filled with simple pleasures
    Drive-in movies
    Comic books and blue jeans
    Howdy Doody
    Baseball cards and birthdays
    Take me back
    To a world gone away
    Memories seem like yesterday

  • The Beatles' paired singles "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" are childhood recollection songs of Paul McCartney and John Lennon, respectively. "Penny Lane" is a very airy and upbeat song about his old neighborhood in Liverpool; while "Strawberry Fields" is a bit more abstract and ethereal recollection of the garden of a Salvation Army home near Lennon's boyhood home, where he and his friends played. That both these songs were paired together on a 45 was likely an intentional comparison of their perspectives on their childhoods.

  • Stevie Wonder's "I Wish":
    Looking back on when I was a little nappy headed boy
    Then my only worry was for Christmas what would be my toy
    Even though we sometimes would not get a thing
    We were happy with the joy the day would bring
    I wish those days could come back once more
    Why did those days ever have to go

  • Cat Stevens—"Old Schoolyard"
    When we had simplicity and we had
    Warm toast for tea and we laughed
    And needed love.. yes, I do
    Oh and I remember you

  • Lynyrd Skynyrd had a couple:
    • "Simple Man" recollects advice the singer received as a boy at his mother's knee
    • "The Ballad of Curtis Lowe" is the singer's recollection of an old Black wino/musician he'd sit with and hear play as a boy of ten, and give drinking money to—even though his "ma would whup" him for it.

  • Nickelback—"Photograph" is a recollection of memories getting into trouble growing up, although bittersweet with a lot of Growing Up Sucks as well as having trouble saying "goodbye" to it all.

  • John Mellencamp—"Cherry Bomb"
    That's when a sport was a sport
    And grooving was grooving
    And dancing meant everything
    We were young and we were improving
    Laughing, laughing with our friends
    Holding hands meant something, baby
    Outside the club "Cherry Bomb"
    Our hearts were really thumping
    Say yeah yeah yeah

  • Bob Seger—"Night Moves" reminisces about awkward teenage sex in the back seat of his '60 Chevy:
    Workin' on our night moves
    Trying to lose those awkward teenage blues
    Workin' on our night moves
    In the summertime, sweet summertime

  • "People of the South Wind" by Kansas reflects on some wild times and growing experiences in the singer's youth, and says "I'd go back if I could".
Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • February 16, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Do We Have This? I did search, and also checked entries for musical acts that had such songs to see if an existing trope referenced this type of song.
  • February 16, 2013
    Met
    Sometimes I get to feelin' I was back in the old days - long ago When we were kids, when we were young Things seemed so perfect - you know? The days were endless, we were crazy - we were young The sun was always shinin' - we just lived for fun Sometimes it seems like lately - I just don't know The rest of my life's been - just a show.

    These Are The Days Of Our Lives

    Written by Queen Sung by Freddie Mercury
  • February 16, 2013
    Met
    Parodied by Weird Al Yankovic with the song Good Old Days:

    Oh, and mom would be fixing up something in the kitchen/ Fresh biscuits or hot apple pie/ And I'd spend all day long in the basement/ Torturing rats with a hacksaw/ And pulling the wings off of flies/

    Those were the good old days/ Those were the good old days/ The years go by but the memory stays/ And those were the good old days/
  • July 8, 2014
    BKelly95
    When I saw the trope title and description, I immediately thought of four songs...which were not yet listed:

  • July 8, 2014
    SpiderRider3
    • "Summer of '89" by Butch Walker and the Black Widows, a reference to Bryan Adams' "Summer of '69".
  • July 8, 2014
    Dawnwing
    • "I Go Back" by Kenny Chesney is about hearing songs that trigger nostalgic flashbacks.
  • July 9, 2014
    Paycheckgurl
    • Kid Rock's "All Summer Long" is about the memories of a particular summer of young love in the pre-internet days. What makes it unique is the music is created by sampling and mixing two songs the singer is nostalgic for, "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Werewolves of London".
  • July 9, 2014
    HumanTorch2
    • "Letter to Me" by Brad Paisley
    • "19 Somethin'", written by David Lee and Chris Du Bois, recorded by Mark Wills.
  • October 12, 2014
    Pichu-kun
  • October 12, 2014
    SvartiKotturinn
  • October 12, 2014
    XenXero
  • October 12, 2014
    alaman
    • Evanescence has 'Fields of Innocence', which is about how good childhood was compared to growing up:
      Where has my heart gone
      An uneven trade for the real world
      Oh I... I want to go back to
      Believing in everything and knowing nothing at all

    • 'Meadows of Heaven' by Nightwish is from the perspective of somebody fondly recalling their harmonic childhood.
      Flowers wither, treasures stay hidden
      Until I see the first star of fall
      I fall asleep and see it all:
      Mother's care and color of the kites
  • October 12, 2014
    Patachou
    I would actually call it Nostalgia Song, because not all examples here are specifically memories to childhood, but also the teenage or college years.
  • October 12, 2014
    Patachou
    • "1948 (Toen was geluk heel gewoon)" - Van Kooten En De Bie, a nostalgic song about the post-World War II years, sang with the refrain "when luck was very normal".
    • "As Time Goes By" - traditional.
    • "Het Dorp" - Wim Sonneveld, in which he looks back with melancholy to the village of his youth, which has disappeared in modern age. His only memory is a tourist card. Also an example of The Cover Changes The Meaning, because it was based on Ma Montagne by Jean Ferrat, also a melancholic song about a village on a mountain, but it also criticizes the typical oafish village mentality.
    • "Heimwee" - by the Dutch band Blof, about homesickness.
    • "Hilversum III" - Herman Van Veen, a song about older days, when the pop music radio station "Hilversum III" didn't exist yet.
    • "In My Life" - The Beatles.
    • "It Was A Very Good Year" by Frank Sinatra, also an Age Progression Song in which he looks back at his life, with fond memories of the "very good years".
    • "Mon Enfance" by Jacques Brel, in which he looks back with melancholy and bitterness to his youth. The dramatic moment happens near the end when he looks back how happy and hopeful he was towards the future as an early teenager, until World War Two broke out and everything changed to what it is today.
    • "Op Een Mooie Pinksterdag" - Leen Jongewaard en André Van Den Heuvel, about holidays with father.
    • "Rosa, Rosa, Rosa" - Jacques Brel, an amusing song about the boringness of school during his youth, but also the joy he felt at times.
    • "These Are The Days Of Our Lives" - Queen.
    • "Those Were The Days" - Mary Hopkin.
    • "We'll Meet Again'' by Vera Lynn.
    • "Wie Kan Me Nog Vertellen?" by Boudewijn De Groot, a song about the early 1900s.

    And we should mention "Those Were The Days", the theme song from All In The Family as well, because it shows how Archie and Edith long for the older, simpler times.
  • October 12, 2014
    Pichu-kun
    Teenage years typically are listed under "childhood".
  • October 12, 2014
    Alucard
  • November 3, 2014
    Pichu-kun
    • Darius Rucker's "Radio" is partially this. It's nostalgic over being a carefree teen hanging out in his mom's car, listening to the radio.

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