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.
- "Old Days"—Chicago
Old days, good times I remember
Fun days filled with simple pleasures
Comic books and blue jeans
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".