Childhood Nostalgia Song
A songwriter pens a song that looks back fondly on their own experience growing up
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 rememberFun days filled with simple pleasuresDrive-in moviesComic books and blue jeansHowdy DoodyBaseball cards and birthdaysTake me backTo a world gone awayMemories 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 boyThen my only worry was for Christmas what would be my toyEven though we sometimes would not get a thingWe were happy with the joy the day would bringI wish those days could come back once moreWhy did those days ever have to go
- Cat Stevens—"Old Schoolyard"
When we had simplicity and we hadWarm toast for tea and we laughedAnd needed love.. yes, I doOh 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 sportAnd grooving was groovingAnd dancing meant everythingWe were young and we were improvingLaughing, laughing with our friendsHolding hands meant something, babyOutside the club "Cherry Bomb"Our hearts were really thumpingSay yeah yeah yeah
- Bob Seger—"Night Moves" reminisces about awkward teenage sex in the back seat of his '60 Chevy:
Workin' on our night movesTrying to lose those awkward teenage bluesWorkin' on our night movesIn 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".
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