The Four Most Realistic Songs About Adulthood

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Well, I guess this is growing up.
On any given day I will tell you that being an adult is either the greatest thing ever or the absolute worst. Much like the moral of a South Park episode, however, the truth is somewhere in the middle. As many of you have no doubt discovered, being an adult is pretty boring. You wake up, go to work, browse Facebook, pay your e-bills, pretend to work, and go home. After that you fall asleep on the couch while watching Castle on TNT because you thought they still aired Law and Order at that hour and you're too tired to find something else.

Not exactly the stuff that songs are written about.

Occasionally, though, a brilliant artist will come along and attempt to encapsulate what it means to be an adult through the art of song. Few have done it successfully -- only four have done it perfectly.

"Fred Jones, Part 2" by Ben Folds

You could pick literally any Ben Folds song and it would be a depressingly accurate window into the world of adulthood, but there's just something so hopeless and tragic about the story of Fred Jones that nothing else compares.

If you've ever left a job with nothing to show for it, or been replaced by someone with half your experience, or seen the whole world change around you while you're faced with stagnation, the life of Fred Jones will resonate with you and probably make you want to curl up in bed and die. The sad truth of growing up is that at least once in your life, you will feel 'forgotten but not get gone'.

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Joe Kennedy
Joe Kennedy

You missed one called Rich Man by Climax Blues Band.

Brian Woloshin
Brian Woloshin

Oh mention of Harry Chapin's Cat's in the Cradle or Cat Steven's Father & Son? This list needs major work!


Even though it's the middle of "You Never Give Me Your Money," and it's interpreted to be about other things, I always liked the section: "Out of college, money spent, see no future, pay no rent, all the money's gone, nowhere to go. Any job, I got the sack; Monday morning, turning back, yellow lorry slow, nowhere to go. But oh, that magic feeling: Nowhere to go. Oh, that magic feeling, Nowhere to go, Nowhere to go." Whether I was 21 or 40, that always summed it up for me. I have all the power, all the freedom . . . and sometimes nowhere to go. But in the despair hides a ferocious liberation.


"I'm an Adult Now" by The Pursuit of Happiness. 

"I don't need my parents, I don't get drunk just to spite 'em, I got my own reasons to drink now, I think I'll call my dad up and invite him." And that's just the first line. It's a real hoot and it rocks.  

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