There are so many songs about new lovers falling in love, and certainly a ton of music dedicated to toxic relationships. But what about that longterm “forever love?” What about the songs dedicated to finding your soulmate and sticking with them forever—no relationship falling apart, and no divorce in sight?
Well, don’t worry—I got you covered. In this article, I’m going to outline my favorite songs about growing old, which hopefully should help remind us all to be a little less cynical and a little more hopeful.
Dreamcatching by Magdalena Bay
I know you’ve found yourself daydreaming about doing everything you’ve always dreamed of with that special person in your life. Don’t be shy—I see you grinning all the way over here.
On this song, Magdalena Bay whisks you away in pure whimsical fashion, leaving everything to their imagination as they visualize a reality where they experience the world together.
The world at our fingertips
And time for every trip
For all the things we wanna try before we die
Cause there’s so much to do
And I’m next to you
I’m next to you
What is more freeing that spending your life with someone who wants to go on several psychedelic and intergalactic trips through the universe of your minds? This synth-pop duo teach us that the wonders of the human experience are universal, meaning they’re otherworldly. Our personal experiences are only enhanced when we spend the rest of our days with someone we love.
Grow Old with You by Adam Sandler
I don’t care how cheesy this song sounds, it’s so wholesome and sweet! Adam Sandler reminds me of a super young guy that writes a touching song for his girlfriend and surprises her at the most unexpected moment with his melodic gift. This pretty much describes the scene in the movie “The Wedding Singer,” a film that stars Adam Sandler and of course featured this song.
I wanna make you smile whenever you’re sad
Carry you around when your arthritis is bad
All I wanna do is grow old with you
I’ve read so many stories of partners recreating this song of love and joy to their loved ones. I’ve laughed and cried at the circumstances of every person, many who eventually married their romantic partner, and some who reminisce about those days with their loved one who has passed away. Through all of the love and loss remains happy memories, which makes growing old with someone all the more worthwhile.
Grow Old with Me by Tom Odell
After a beautiful piano intro, Tom Odell gently places us in the soft moonlight of his bedroom as he’s holding his partner close to him. We witness the softness of him admiring the little details he knows so well about her.
And our hands they might age
And our bodies will change
But we’ll still be the same, as we are
We’ll still sing our song
When our hair ain’t so blonde
And our children have sung, we were right
What I love most about this song is as the music grows more intense and livelier, he expresses that although they will be old together one day, the love they share will make him feel forever young. This lyric is profound to me because although we age, the energy of love is ageless. In a culture obsessed with youthfulness, his song is inspiring for those who wish to grow old with their loved ones.
Kids by OneRepublic
Without words, the intro of “Kids” evokes a strong sense of nostalgia and reminiscing about the past. In fact, one can’t help but look to the stars before the melody simmers down to greet the catchy and upbeat acoustic guitar.
As if sensing how we feel, Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic begins with two words:
Tedder reflects on days he spent growing up with what he calls “my disaster of a friend,” remembering the crazy times they shared together. They dreamed and hustled to leave their small town and become something greater than themselves. They knew more was out there for them, and even if they didn’t know how to get there, they were going to try anyway.
I refuse to look back thinking days were better
Just because they’re younger days
I don’t know what’s ’round the corner
Way I feel right now I swear we’ll never change
Back when we were kids!
Swore we would never die!
You and me were kids!
Swear that we’ll never die!
This single by OneRepublic brings back such fond memories. had gained so much wisdom in life a this point that I felt there was nothing that I couldn’t achieve. I worked to leave my tiny town and use my talent in writing to leave my mark in this lifetime.
“Kids” filled me with so much inspiration to morph my dreams into reality. Now, a few decades later, Tedder can look back on his life and laugh at he and his friend’s crazy youthfulness. Yet despite how much he’s changed, he can’t help but notice that how he feels now is very familiar to how he felt when he was a kid.
“It’s kind of an interesting song because it’s nostalgic, but it’s nostalgic at any age. I’ve played it for 15-year-olds and they get all emotional about when they were 12. Now you’re in your 20s or 30s and you think about being 19, and that was pretty awesome, for some people.” — Ryan Tedder from a Forbes interview.
Like You’ll Never See Me Again by Alicia Keys
There are times when the idea of growing old with someone you love makes you cry rather than laugh. Alicia Keys helps you get through those tough moments, especially if that special someone is no longer with you.
When I wake up in the morning
And you’re beside me
I’m so thankful that I found
Everything that I’ve been looking for
I don’t wanna forget the present is a gift
And I don’t wanna take for granted
The time you may have here with me
‘Cause Lord only knows another day here’s not really guaranteed
So every time you hold me
Hold me like this is the last time
Many people think Keys is referring to her husband in this song, but according to the Red Piano special of the Red Table Talk, Keys created this heartfelt love song for her grandmother. She has a strong bond with her late grandmother who took care of her when she was very young, and when her grandmother fell ill, she returned the favor and cared for her until her last breath.
This song commemorates the loving moments they shared, and though the feelings of loss are still strong, Keys is grateful her grandmother got to grow old with her.
“When I wrote this song, a lot of people thought it was about a love of a boyfriend or a man but this was really about my love for her. She taught me to cherish the moments and she also taught me that if things weren’t happening the way you thought they were supposed to happen, that was OK.” —Alicia Keys on Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk.
Dancing in the Minefields by Andrew Peterson
Andrew Peterson reminisces about the days he was a brawny young man who knew too much while others thought he knew too little. But one thing was for sure: he knew he’d grow old with his wife.
Everyone said we were much too young
But we did it anyway
We got the rings for 40 each from a pawnshop down the road
We said our vows and took the leap now 15 years ago
Throughout this sweet, soft-hearted acoustic country song, he poetically speaks about the trials and triumphs of his union with his wife. He describes the hardships they shared as minefields and storms, while their grace and poise are described as dancing and sailing.
So many couples today are afraid of arguing with one another. They’re so caught up in an imaginary idea of how a relationship should always be sunshine and rainbows. But sometimes it rains, and flowers always wilt in cycles, and relationships are no different.
Peterson ensures us that love is everlasting through thick and thin, sickness and health. Peterson and his wife have been married for 27 years now, and likely know each other better than anyone else. Their union is truly something beautiful and will no doubt inspire listeners.
Dance Me to the End of Love by Leonard Cohen
What is an article full of love songs without a beloved classic filled with old-timey romanticism? Leonard Cohen sways to the beat as he honors the long-lasting bond in his own relationship—as well as the prosperous relationships of other people.
Dance me to the children who are asking to be born
Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have outworn
Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn
Dance me to the end of love
If you haven’t seen the music video to this song, I highly recommend it! As the Cohen captivates his audience, we are shown photos of young, lively couples juxtaposed with images of while these same couples—still together—now as elderly people. And still very much in love.
Cats in the Cradle by Harry Chapin
This timeless classic tells an intricate story of life lessons in connection with loved ones. Inspired by his absence from his son’s early life and his wife’s observations of her first husband’s relationship with his father, Harry Chapin sings as the character of a father who is always working and unable to spend ample time with his son as he grows up.
Despite his son not getting much attention from his father, he still looked up to his dad and vowed to be just like him when he’d become an adult. Though one would think wanting to be like your father is a good thing, there are some traits that can create distance between a parent and a child.
I’ve long since retired, my son’s moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, ‘I’d like to see you if you don’t mind’
He said, ‘I’d love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job’s a hassle and the kid’s got the flu
But it’s sure nice talking to you, Dad
It’s been sure nice talking to you’
And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He’d grown up just like me
My boy was just like me
I always think about my father when I hear this song. When I was a child, he was almost always away at work, but when he was home, we’d bond over music. He’d show me lots of old classics and told me how the meaning of each song would reach me one day.
As I grew up and became the same workaholic my father was, I realized just how much he loved me, yet couldn’t always find the words to express as much. So, he used music to communicate his love with me. I’ll always be grateful for my father, even if he gave me mild abandonment issues. We still call each other every now and then and always begin and end our conversation with “I love you.” I hope to grow old with him.
In Our Old Age by Kenny Rogers
“In Our Old Age” is the epitome of seeing one’s life flash before their eyes. Kenny Rogers, on his way home from work, witnesses an elderly couple holding hands as they sit on their front porch, simply enjoying the day in the company of one another. He was moved so deeply by such a simple, impactful sight that he wrote a song about it.
He describes their energy as being young lovers, despite their old age, and he knew he wanted the same for he and his wife.
In our old age love will just get better
The longer we’re together, we’ll grow stronger everyday
Our bodies may get weaker and our hair will turn gray
But love will never fade in our age (love will never fade)
Rogers feels invigorated with the fact he now knows that love in his life will not fade away in his old age; in fact, he understands it will be quite the opposite. The love he shares with his wife and his family will make him feel forever young. One day he and his wife will sit together holding hands on their front porch, just enjoying the day in the company of one another.
Growing Old With You by Restless Road
This touching love song begins neck-deep in an abundant feeling of love. When the singer is with his loved one, he sees his whole life flash before his eyes and knows he’s destined to grow old with her.
We’ll build this home together
Weather any storm
And as the years keep rolling on
You’ll be right where I belong
The “home” Restless Road speaks of is not just a physical house he and his loved one have built. The home symbolizes the life the couple live together, through all of their trials and victories (which in this metaphor is characterized by the “storm”). Through thick and thin, he vows to be by her side and enjoy his life with her—his true love.
Well come on baby what you say we do?
I feel like growing old with you
I’m growing old with you
Monument by Mutemath
Is there an official finish line in life? Probably not unless we create it!
What if the finish line had nothing to do with making money or getting that promotion or education degree? What if the race we run in life is measured by the merit of the love we have and have been given?
The beautiful Charles “LaLa” Evans is featured in the music video of Mutemath’s “Monument,” existing as what Paul Meany of Mutemath describes as the embodiment of everything the band wanted to create for their album, Vitals.
LaLa was married to his beloved, late wife, Louise, for 59 years and 11 months; after her passing, he transformed their home into a museum that immortalized the loving life they shared together for over 60 years. Mutemath was so moved by his acts, that they created commemorative lyrics to further encapsulate such a love-filled life LaLa and Louise shared.
There’s a daylight going under
There’s a new spark to discover
And you know we’re not getting any younger
So remember, this is our time
I wanna drive an open road
Can we go out tonight
Let’s make a monument for our love, our love
Our love, our love
In a reaction video (of the music video, which I’ve added below) Mutemath created of LaLa spending a day in his home-turned-museum, you can see the pure joy on LaLa’s face as he watches himself suddenly begin to dance for seemingly no reason, and continue to live in the love he and Louise cultivated for decades. LaLa’s life is a clear indicator that though our bodies may age, love never dies. Love can invigorate us and cause us to attract more love into our lives for many years to come.
Just scrolling through the comment section of the music video online, you can see how many lives LaLa has touched. I don’t even know him, and he’s touched my heart so earnestly; I have a very strong connection with Mississippi, where LaLa and Louise lived, and there are so many memories of love and joy I recall.
My great grandfather used to get up every morning and start dancing on his front porch; I took after him and do the same every morning, afternoon, and evening; it warms my heart that LaLa is teaching us to celebrate each moment—even in old age.
Life is a celebration. No matter who you’re with or for how long, each moment is worthy of your love, especially when you’re sharing your love with another. These songs about growing old with your loved one, whether they be your romantic partner, a family member, or a good friend, remind us that life is precious.
Take these lessons each artist has taught you and use them to live a long life of love, joy, and hope.
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This article was written by Randa and edited by Michael.