What Was Your Anthem At 18?

Do you remember what life was like at 18 years old? Maybe the big event going on was a global pandemic or a presidential election. Maybe the biggest artist in the world was Ariana Grande or Michael Jackson. Maybe you were excited about the release of the newest iPhone or the new Motorola RAZR. No matter what era you grew up in, the world sure felt boundless. And you must have had a favorite song to reflect that feeling. But what was that song?

I asked that same question to over twenty other people of varying ages, to see what they were listening to when they came of age.

The List

AgeFavorite Song at Age 18
20Chlorine- Twenty One Pilots
20Sloppy Seconds- Watsky
20Hold the Line- Toto
20Hysteria- Def Leppard
20Three Cheers for Five Years- Mayday Parade
22Closer- Chainsmokers
22Come Down- Anderson .Paak
24Lip Gloss- Lil Mama
26F*cking Problems- ASAP Rocky
26Rock Show- Blink 182
26Your Love is My Drug- Ke$ha
28First Date- Blink 182
30I Don’t Know- Sheepdogs
34Rag Doll- Aerosmith
34Yea- Lil Jon and the East Side Boys
48Silent Lucidity- Queensrych
49True Blue- Madonna
50Brown Eyed Girl- Van Morrison
51Thorn in my Pride- The Black Crows
51Sweet Child O’ Mine- Guns N’ Roses
52Wild Boys- Duran Duran
56Flirting with Disaster- Molly Hatchet
58Stayin’ Alive- The Bee Gees
60Satisfaction- The Rolling Stones
62I Just Want to Be Your Everything- Andy Gibb
62Hollywood Nights- Bob Kuscavage
64Living on a Prayer- Bon Jovi
66Ring of Fire- Johnny Cash
75Be My Baby- The Ronettes
Didn’t Want to SayCatch the Wind- Donovan

(The lady who didn’t want to say her age was my boss, so I couldn’t get that data. You understand.)

So, Any Findings?

So as you can see, most of the choices were from music that was popular at the time, i.e, new releases. Not that shocking. What is shocking is that nobody really had any similar choices. Only one band was chosen twice, Blink 182. One 22 year old chose “Closer”, a very popular radio song, while the other one chose a song from the more underground Anderson .Paak. One 34 year old chose “Rag Doll” from Aerosmith (a rare chronological outlier) and the other one chose “Yeah” from Lil Jon. Either way, they’re both stuck in my head now.

We can also see a huge difference in popularity from each of the songs, especially with the younger audience. Of course with the advancement in music technology in recent years, more genres and more artists have been able to shine. Therefore giving young people more options to listen to. While the kids have a bit more variety in popularity with each song, the OG’s tend to go a bit more mainstream.

For example, the 18 year old in 1981 had “Staying Alive” as her favorite song, a year where disco was still very popular. The 18 year old in 1988 had “Sweet Child O’ Mine” as her favorite song, a massively successful year for Guns N’ Roses.

Of course, some people kind of had what I like to call “time blindness”. For example, the 18 year old in 1975 saying that “Living On A Prayer” was his favorite song, despite the fact that that song came out a full 11 YEARS LATER.

But maybe that doesn’t matter as much. Maybe it has nothing to do with the actual age. Because when I asked that man that question, he went back in time to when he felt young. How he used to feel when the world was huge and his circle was tiny. Maybe that was when he really felt 18. And who can really judge that?

Certainly not a kid who was only 18 two years ago.

Hey Wait, What About You MS. Author? What Was Your Song?

Oh I’m not telling you that. Too embarrassing.


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