Senior Living Care Blog

5 Great Songs About Growing Older

Posted by Jackson Bentley on Jun 6, 2018 11:00:00 AM

 

There are plenty of songs out there about the joys of being young, but what about growing old? Thankfully we have artists who have dedicated entire songs to the process of aging, the pleasures, wisdom, and stories that accompany it, along with the love we hold for seniors close to us. Here are some of the best songs about growing old:

 

A piano with a music book open so an individual can play songs about growing older

 

Songs About Growing Older

 

Bill Withers - Grandma's Hands

In this touching tribute to Grandma, Bill Withers describes the way his Grandmother’s hands symbolized her nurturing, caring attitude. The short single was from his hit album Just As I Am, and includes scenes from Bill’s childhood, including going to church, and being put to bed. She passed away before Bill could pen this loving song, and he says at the end, “If I get to heaven, I’ll look for Grandma’s hands”. The intro to this song is actually the sample used for “No Diggity” by Blackstreet.

 

Grandma's hands clapped in church on Sunday morning

Grandma's hands played a tambourine so well

Grandma's hands used to issue out a warning

She'd say, "Billy don't you run so fast

Might fall on a piece of glass

Might be snakes there in that grass,"

Grandma's hands

 

Grandma's hands sooth the local unwed mother

Grandma's hands used to ache sometimes and swell

Grandma's hands used to lift her face and tell her

She'd say, "Baby Grandma understands

That you really loved that man

Put yourself in Jesus' hands."

Grandma's Hands

 

Grandma's hands used to hand me piece of candy

Grandma's hands picked me up each time I fell

Grandma's hands, boy they really came in handy

She'd say, " Mattie don't you whip that boy

What you want to spank him for?

He didn't drop no apple core,"

But I don't have Grandma anymore

If I get to heaven I'll look for

Grandma's hands

 

 

The Beatles - When I’m Sixty Four

Ironically, this tribute to love in old age was written by Paul McCartney at the tender age of sixteen. The song takes the point of view of a young man asking his love if she will want to stick around for all the activities of older age, like knitting a sweater, doing the garden, and renting a cottage in the summer. Paul paints a rosy picture of life in the golden years, but he touches on some of the important aspects of love that people who are young take for granted.

 

When I get older losing my hair

Many years from now

Will you still be sending me a valentine

Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?

 

If I'd been out till quarter to three

Would you lock the door

Will you still need me, will you still feed me

When I'm sixty-four?

 

You'll be older too

And if you say the word

I could stay with you

 

I could be handy mending a fuse

When your lights have gone

You can knit a sweater by the fireside

Sunday mornings go for a ride

 

Doing the garden, digging the weeds

Who could ask for more?

Will you still need me, will you still feed me

When I'm sixty-four?

 

Every summer we can rent a cottage

In the Isle of Wight, if it's not too dear

We shall scrimp and save

Grandchildren on your knee

Vera, Chuck, and Dave

 

Send me a postcard, drop me a line

Stating point of view

Indicate precisely what you mean to say

Yours sincerely, wasting away

 

Give me your answer, fill in a form

Mine for evermore

Will you still need me, will you still feed me

When I'm sixty-four?

 

 

David Bowie - Changes

This David Bowie classic is another example of his mastery of both lyricism and catchy melodizing. Changes is about David coming to terms with the way both he and the world are changing. For many of us, holding on to the past is tempting because it is safer. However, David is saying that he not only recognizes the inevitability of change, but that he is even welcoming and encouraging of this fact: “Strange fascination, fascinating me, changes are taking the pace I’m going through.”

 

I still don't know what I was waiting for

And my time was running wild

A million dead-end streets

Every time I thought I'd got it made

It seemed the taste was not so sweet

So I turned myself to face me

But I've never caught a glimpse

Of how the others must see the faker

I'm much too fast to take that test

 

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes

(Turn and face the strange)

Ch-ch-Changes

Don't want to be a richer man

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes

(Turn and face the strange)

Ch-ch-Changes

Just gonna have to be a different man

Time may change me

But I can't trace time

 

I watch the ripples change their size

But never leave the stream

Of warm impermanence and

So the days float through my eyes

But still the days seem the same

And these children that you spit on

As they try to change their worlds

Are immune to your consultations

They're quite aware of what they're going through

 

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes

(Turn and face the strange)

Ch-ch-Changes

Don't tell them to grow up and out of it

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

(Turn and face the strange)

Ch-ch-changes

Where's your shame

You've left us up to our necks in it

Time may change me

But you can't trace time

 

Strange fascination, fascinating me

Changes are taking the pace I'm going through

 

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes

(Turn and face the strange)

Ch-ch-changes

Oh, look out you rock 'n rollers

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

(Turn and face the strange)

Ch-ch-changes

Pretty soon now you're gonna get older

Time may change me

But I can't trace time

I said that time may change me

But I can't trace time

 

 

Bob Seger - Against the Wind

Against the Wind was written by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band for the 1980 album of the same name. The song concerns an older man’s reminiscence on his younger days. He realizes that as a young man he spent all his time fighting to go faster and experience as much as possible. He even leaves behind a woman he could have spent his life with in the pursuit of wealth and success. The song culminates with the image of a cowboy continually riding into the sunset, away from civilization.

 

It seems like yesterday

But it was long ago

Janey was lovely she was the queen of my nights

There in the darkness with the radio playing low

And the secrets that we shared

The mountains that we moved

Caught like a wildfire out of control

'Til there was nothing left to burn and nothing left to prove

And I remember what she said to me

How she swore that it never would end

I remember how she held me oh so tight

Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then

 

Against the wind

We were runnin' against the wind

We were young and strong, we were runnin'

Against the wind

 

The years rolled slowly past

And I found myself alone

Surrounded by strangers I thought were my friends

I found myself further and further from my home

And I guess I lost my way

There were oh so many roads

I was living to run and running to live

Never worried about paying or even how much I owed

Moving eight miles a minute for months at a time

Breaking all of the rules that would bend

I began to find myself searching

Searching for shelter again and again

 

Against the wind

A little something against the wind

I found myself seeking shelter sgainst the wind

 

Well those drifter's days are past me now

I've got so much more to think about

Deadlines and commitments

What to leave in, what to leave out

 

Against the wind

I'm still runnin' against the wind

I'm older now but still runnin' against the wind

Well I'm older now and still runnin'

Against the wind

Against the wind

Against the wind

 

Still runnin'

I'm still runnin' against the wind

I'm still runnin'

I'm still runnin' against the wind

Still runnin'

Runnin' against the wind

Runnin' against the wind

See the young man run

Watch the young man run

Watch the young man runnin'

He'll be runnin' against the wind

Let the cowboys ride

Let the cowboys ride

They'll be ridin' against the wind

Against the wind…

 

 

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

This song is not so much about the beauty of growing older, but the importance of letting go of and making peace with your past. The whole album is about the theme of the suburbs and growing up, and this song sets the tone with the narrator accepting that his childhood is over, and that he has to focus on giving his child a better upbringing than he had. The tone is sad, but ultimately hopeful and forward looking.

 

In the suburbs I

I learned to drive

And you told me we'd never survive

Grab your mother's keys we're leavin'

 

You always seemed so sure

That one day we'd be fighting

In a suburban war

Your part of town against mine

I saw you standing on the opposite shore

 

But by the time the first bombs fell

We were already bored

We were already, already bored

 

Sometimes I can't believe it

I'm movin' past the feeling

Sometimes I can't believe it

I'm movin' past the feeling again

 

Kids wanna be so hard

But in my dreams we're still screamin' and runnin' through the yard

And all of the walls that they built in the seventies finally fall

And all of the houses they built in the seventies finally fall

Meant nothin' at all

Meant nothin' at all

It meant nothin

 

Sometimes I can't believe it

I'm movin' past the feeling

Sometimes I can't believe it

I'm movin' past the feeling and into the night

 

So can you understand?

Why I want a daughter while I'm still young

I wanna hold her hand

And show her some beauty

Before all this damage is done

 

But if it's too much to ask, it's too much to ask

Then send me a son

 

Under the overpass

In the parking lot we're still waiting

It's already past

So move your feet from hot pavement and into the grass

Cause it's already past

It's already, already past

 

Sometimes I can't believe it

I'm movin' past the feeling

Sometimes I can't believe it

I'm movin' past the feeling again

 

I'm movin' past the feeling

I'm movin' past the feeling

 

In my dreams we're still screamin'

We're still screamin'

We're still screamin'

 

 

 

Thanks for reading our list on some of the top songs about senior aging and growing older! You can visit the Landmark Senior Living blog for more information about assisted living, elderly care, senior health/fitness and more.

 

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Topics: aging

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