Turning 26 is a significant milestone that marks the transition from the carefree years of early adulthood to a more settled phase of life.
Many musicians have captured the complex emotions and experiences of being 26 in their songs, ranging from nostalgia and introspection to excitement and uncertainty about the future.
This article will explore some of the most poignant and relatable songs about this pivotal age.
Table of Contents
- 21. “Boutta be 26” by ELT
- 20. “Ain’t It Fun” by Paramore
- 19. “26” by Jake Jansen
- 18. “Better Man” by Arnold The Painter
- 17. “26 Years” by ReyMarie
- 16. “Twenty-Six” by LEX, the Lexicon Artist
- 15. “Was it 26” by Chris Stapleton
- 14. “Turning 26” by Kenny Maye
- 13. “Loser (V in the Middle)” by Lil’ Trik
- 12. “26” by Ivish
- 11. “Periodically” by Jaquel Spivey
- 10. “26 Days” by RashDash
- 9. “26” by Lauv
- 8. “Case” by Dubldragon
- 7. “Wish You Were Sober” by Conan Gray
- 6. “20 Something” by SZA
- 5. “What’s My Age Again” by Blink-182
- 4. “You’re On Your Own, Kid” by Taylor Swift
- 3. “Twenty-Somethings” by Judah & The Lion
- 2. “20s” by Bow Anderson
- 1. “26” by Paramore
21. “Boutta be 26” by ELT
“Boutta be 26” is a single by ELT, released in 2019. The song features a blend of R&B and hip-hop styles and was written and performed by the artist. With lyrics about reflecting on past experiences and feeling excited about the future, “Boutta be 26” captures the personal feeling of reaching a new age milestone.
20. “Ain’t It Fun” by Paramore
“Ain’t It Fun” is a song by American rock band Paramore, released in 2013 as a single from their self-titled fourth album. Written by lead vocalist Hayley Williams, it blends pop and rock elements and features a gospel choir. The upbeat song promotes personal growth and independence, with lyrics encouraging listeners to embrace life’s challenges and find their way.
19. “26” by Jake Jansen
Jake Jansen’s “26” delves into the artist’s reflections on turning 26 and the lack of a celebratory song for this milestone. He contrasts this with the abundance of popular songs for ages 22 to 25. The song also explores Jansen’s anxieties about his future and his lack of achievement. Despite acknowledging the irony of creating a piece about the absence of a song for 26, Jansen expresses his frustration with society’s disregard for the 26th birthdays.
18. “Better Man” by Arnold The Painter
Arnold The Painter’s “Better Man” is a thought-provoking song that highlights the significance of turning 26 as a pivotal moment in life. The track explores the personal growth and obstacles of aging, with lyrics like “I’m 25, almost 26, and I got enough problems at home,” emphasizing the increasing responsibilities that come with each passing year. The song reflects on the artist’s quest for self-improvement and the difficulties on their journey.
17. “26 Years” by ReyMarie
ReyMarie’s “26 Years” delves into feeling isolated and disconnected from someone who has been in your life for a long time. The song’s lyrics raise doubts about the actual depth of the relationship, questioning whether the person knows you after 26 years. The phrase “26 years, 26 years don’t matter at all” implies that the passage of time doesn’t necessarily lead to a stronger connection.
16. “Twenty-Six” by LEX, the Lexicon Artist
“Twenty-Six” is a single by LEX, the Lexicon Artist, released in 2018. The song blends rap and electronic styles and was written and performed by the artist. With lyrics about the pressures of turning 26 and feeling the weight of expectations, “Twenty-Six” captures the personal feeling of navigating young adulthood.
15. “Was it 26” by Chris Stapleton
“Was It 26” is a song by Chris Stapleton, featured on his debut album “Traveller,” released in 2015. Written by Don Sampson and recorded by Johnny Cash in 1982, Stapleton’s version of the song is a country ballad that reflects on a life of regret and missed opportunities. With melancholic lyrics and Stapleton’s passionate vocals, “Was It 26” evokes a sense of wistful introspection.
14. “Turning 26” by Kenny Maye
Kenny Maye’s “Turning 26” rap track meditates on life as one approaches their 26th birthday. The lyrics delve into the artist’s hardships and traumatic experiences, from being misquoted and lied about to facing gun violence. The song presents a poignant reflection on life’s difficulties and the importance of self-preservation while seeking love and peace.
13. “Loser (V in the Middle)” by Lil’ Trik
“Loser (V in the Middle)” is a rap song by Lil’ Trik, released as a single in 2017. With lyrics about feeling like an outsider and being labeled a “loser,” Lil’ Trik’s personal feeling shines through in the song. The track features a trap beat and draws from elements of contemporary hip-hop.
12. “26” by Ivish
Ivish’s “26” is an R&B-infused pop track that reflects on the experiences and emotions of turning 26. With introspective lyrics and a melancholic melody, “26” delves into the challenges of growing older and facing uncertainty about the future.
11. “Periodically” by Jaquel Spivey
Jaquel Spivey’s song from the musical “A Strange Loop” is a poignant tribute to a son on his 26th birthday. The lyrics convey a mother’s love and devotion, assuring her son of her unwavering support in all situations. Although the song touches on disagreements between them, the underlying message is one of unconditional love and a reminder to cherish those we hold dear.
10. “26 Days” by RashDash
The country song “26 Days” by RashDash highlights a mother’s gratitude for spending quality time with her daughter after years of absence. The lyrics focus on the narrator’s epiphany of how she missed out on her child’s life when she was younger. Celebrating her daughter’s 26th birthday, the narrator reflects on how time flies by too quickly, underscoring the significance of cherishing moments with loved ones.
9. “26” by Lauv
“26” is a pop song by American singer and songwriter Lauv, released as a bonus track on the deluxe edition of his debut album “How I’m Feeling.” The music reflects on turning 26 and the anxiety and fear of getting older. It features Lauv’s signature introspective and emotional lyrics with a mellow and atmospheric production.
8. “Case” by Dubldragon
In Dubldragon’s “Case,” the artist discusses mental health challenges and the personal quest for self-discovery. As the narrator reaches age 26, they reflect on their life journey and the obstacles they’ve overcome. The song highlights the value of having a supportive network and the difficulty of seeking assistance. “Case” is an emotionally charged song that serves as a reminder to persevere and never give up, regardless of the obstacles.
7. “Wish You Were Sober” by Conan Gray
“Wish You Were Sober” is a single by singer-songwriter Conan Gray from his debut album “Kid Krow.” The song is a synth-pop ballad that explores the heartbreak of unrequited love and the desire for a lover to reciprocate the same feelings. Gray’s expressive vocals and relatable lyrics make for a poignant and sad track.
6. “20 Something” by SZA
“20 Something” is a soulful and introspective track by SZA featured on her debut album “Ctrl.” The song reflects on the uncertainty and insecurity of navigating early adulthood and finding one’s place in the world. The lyrics are heartfelt and relatable, capturing the anxiety and vulnerability of being a “20-something.”
5. “What’s My Age Again” by Blink-182
“What’s My Age Again” is a punk rock song by American band Blink-182, featured on their third studio album “Enema of the State.” The song is about not wanting to grow up and the pressure of adult responsibilities. It’s a catchy and energetic track that captures the angst and confusion of youth.
4. “You’re On Your Own, Kid” by Taylor Swift
The song “You’re On Your Own, Kid” by Taylor Swift is about a girl in love with her friend who dreams of being with him but realizes that he never really cared for her. She has been waiting for him for a long time, but now she has decided to leave town and pursue her dreams. The lyrics reflect the struggle of finding oneself and the courage to move on. The song is part of Taylor Swift’s seventh studio album, “Lover.”
3. “Twenty-Somethings” by Judah & The Lion
“Twenty-Somethings” is a reflective track by Judah & The Lion from their album “Folk Hop N’ Roll.” The song explores the challenges and transitions faced by young adults in their twenties, such as figuring out life, career, and relationships. The track evokes nostalgia and hopes for the future with its mix of folk, rock, and hip-hop elements.
2. “20s” by Bow Anderson
“20s” is a single by Scottish singer-songwriter Bow Anderson, released in 2021. The track mixes pop and soul with a catchy chorus and a groovy beat. The song talks about the ups and downs of being in your twenties and the pressure to figure out your life while still having fun. It’s an anthem for young adults trying to navigate the world.
1. “26” by Paramore
“26” is a track from Paramore’s fifth studio album, “After Laughter,” released in 2017. Written by lead singer Hayley Williams and guitarist Taylor York, the song features a mix of pop and alternative rock styles. With introspective lyrics about feeling lost and unsure in one’s mid-20s, “26” captures the personal feeling of navigating the challenges of adulthood.
As we explored different songs about being 26, we saw various themes of self-discovery, pursuing dreams, and facing challenges. From Conan Gray’s “Wish You Were Sober” to Lauv’s “26”, artists have shared their experiences and insights about this transformative age. Whether you’re still in your 20s or looking back on them, these songs can remind you of the growth and lessons that come with this pivotal time.