Ah, young love! The luckiest of us can remember that feeling of being 16 and falling head over heels for someone for the first time.
This love is intense. It may not be a forever kind of love, but it sure is real. It’s a whirlwind of emotions: joy, butterflies, and excitement, but also heartbreak, loss, and devastation.
So, whether you’re experiencing love and heartbreak for the first time or you’re just feeling a little nostalgic for your youth, here are 33 of the best songs about young love.
“Young Love” by Kip Moore
What better way to start a list of songs about young love than one titled “Young Love” itself?
In this 2013 single, Kip Moore sings of the struggle between two young, star-crossed lovers. The song details an “us against the world” story that any teenage free spirit can relate to.
Mom and dad’s disapproval, sneaking out late at night, riding in the car with the windows down – what more could two young lovers want?
“Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry
This hit about young love comes from Katy Perry’s third studio album by the same title. While the song returned a mix of reviews from excellent to so-so, we simply love it.
Listen to this song, and it will bring you right back to those careless feelings of being in love for the very first time. Everything is fun, intense, and genuine – even if we eventually need to leave it behind.
“Young Love” by Air Supply
You’d be surprised to know how many songs there are today with the title “Young Love.” This tune by Air Supply was an instant classic in the 80s, reaching number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100.
This song will truly have you belting out your love for your significant other, and it’s great for weddings if you ask me.
“First Love” by Jennifer Lopez
“First Love,” written by Max Martin and Savan Kotecha, was a song on Jennifer Lopez’s eighth studio album A.K.A. The song is an electrified pop and R&B tune with catchy beats and a classic J-Lo sound.
The song is about wishing a young love was the first love. The lyrics take the story to a spicy place with words describing physical love as well as emotional. It’s fun, freeing, and relatable to young lovers.
“First Kiss” by Kid Rock
Kid Rock has a lot of jams ranging from topics of love and partying to even politics and everything in between. His song “First Kiss” is a nostalgic pop-rock anthem recalling the feelings of a first crush and the excitement of a first kiss.
In his song, Kid Rock talks about wishing he could go back to those times. Don’t we all?
“Memories Are Made Of” by Luke Combs
Many of us sit around with our friends telling stories from our childhood and how it felt to get into trouble and get just a taste of freedom from our parents’ rules.
But how many of us get to sing about those memories?
“Memories Are Made Of” by Luke Combs is an upbeat country song detailing the story about a girl he liked but never got a chance with. And even though he lost touch with her, he can still look back fondly on those feelings of young love – for a girl and for a time in his life.
“The First Cut is the Deepest” by Sheryl Crow
Year: 2003 (originally 1967)
“The First Cut is the Deepest” is a song about lost love. It talks about how losing your first love hurts the most, and it leaves you with a scar that never truly leaves you – no matter how long it’s been.
This song was originally recorded in the 60s by Cat Stevens. He later sold the song to P.P. Arnold, who turned it into a hit. It has also been a hit single for several other artists, most recently Sheryl Crow.
“Strawberry Wine” by Deana Carter
The older country songs have a great way of telling a story through catchy lyrics. “Strawberry Wine” is a particularly relatable story about young love and how it can be so intense and, like strawberry wine, bittersweet.
Those young feelings never fully go away, even when the love does. Deana Carter’s debut single was a winner that still rings popular and true today.
“When We Were Young” by Adele
Adele is widely known for her heartbreaking hits, emotional ballads, and gut-wrenching lyrics. “When We Were Young” is no different from the rest of her impressive repertoire.
The lyrics of this song are essentially about being in love with young love rather than a young lover. Adele speaks to someone, telling them how much they remind her of what it was like to be young.
The song reached the top ten charts in countries all over the world.
“Wish You Were Here” by Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavinge is living proof that even the toughest of girls have a soft side for the right person. Young love has a way of breaking down walls and revealing a range of emotions we didn’t even know we had.
Some of us can probably remember belting this song in our rooms, thinking of a special someone. A little dramatic? Sure. Necessary teen moment? Absolutely.
“The One That Got Away” by Katy Perry
Many of us have a young love that helps shape us in one way or another, but we move on in life and settle down with someone else. But others will always remember their young love like the one they let get away from them.
These heartbreaking lyrics pair perfectly with a peppy beat, combining sadness with the fondness of a young love we had to let go of.
“She’s in Love with the Boy” by Trisha Yearwood
In 1991, Trisha Yearwood gave us yet another charming country song telling a tale of forbidden young love. This upbeat tune talks about a young love so pure that the teenage lovers are ready and willing to run away to be together.
The tale has a happy ending, as the young girl’s mom reminds the dad about their young love story many years ago. We’re here for the full circle jam.
“The Only Exception” by Paramore
While young love comes easily to some, it is harder for those who didn’t grow up with a good example of what love was. That’s exactly what “The Only Exception” is about.
But eventually, that one person comes around that makes you break your rules about love. This young love may not be your last love, but they made you see that love doesn’t have to be painful.
Here, Paramore gives us a gritty and realistic journey to love set in a beautiful lullaby-like tone.
“Heat Waves” by Glass Animals
“Heat Waves” may not sound like a young and romantic song at first, but the lyrics tell all. It’s actually quite a heartbreaking, modern story of young love that can just never work – because the artist loves them too much.
Basically, he tells his love that they deserve better, and he can’t give that to them. Even though all he thinks about is their love together, there’s just nothing he can do about it.
Young lovers often feel powerless like this, so it’s easy for all of us to relate.
“Love Story” by Taylor Swift
We all know the story: boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, parents disapprove and try to keep them apart, boy and girl find a way to be together, parents finally accept their love and there’s a happy ending.
There’s a reason stories like that are so popular, and Taylor Swift must have known that. We can all root for the couple fighting the disapproval of their parents!
“Love Story” is a modern retelling of the classic Romeo and Juliet framework with a happy ending any young couple can claim as their own story.
“Need You Now” by Lady A
Lady A’s “Need You Now” can certainly apply to older lovers, but it tells a common tale of separated lovers who simply can’t help but need one another.
This hit came off of the band’s second studio album, which held the same title. It was the first single released from the album, and it won four Grammy awards in 2011.
Surely most of us can remember the pain of wanting someone so badly, emotions running rampant, that a song like this touched our very souls. “Need You Now” taps into the inherent loneliness that all young people feel at times in their lives.
“Remember When” by Alan Jackson
Alan Jackson’s classic “Remember When” tells the tale of a young love that made it all the way. Each verse recounts another stepping stone, from young lovers falling for each other, walking down the aisle, to watching their children grow up.
This slow and steady country ballad reminds us that not all young love is temporary, and if you’re very lucky, yours might just be the one that lasts forever.
“I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner
This Foreigner song is very well-known as a powerful ballad. It was so well-known, in fact, that it hit the number one spot on the charts in the U.S. and the U.K. The song has managed to live on over the last almost-40 years, partly due to re-recordings by artists like Tina Arena and Mariah Carey.
The ballad describes someone who wants to know love so badly. And it seems that this character has finally found someone who can show them what love really is.
Despite all the heartache, pain, and strife in a young person’s life, it’s still possible to learn what love is. The process is often tumultuous, but it’s worth it once you feel what love is.
“Our Song” by Taylor Swift
We could probably write an entire list of young love songs using just original Taylor Swift titles, but we’ll refrain – after we bring you one more, of course.
“Our Song” is a Taylor classic. The upbeat violins catch you right from the start, but the lyrics are just too relatable for young couples.
Riding in the car with the windows down, sneaking out late, talking late on the phone, and picking out your very own couple’s song; it’s all very reminiscent of a teenage love affair.
“I Knew I Loved You” by Savage Garden
Savage Garden gave us this classic pop love bop in 1999 at the peak of the boy band era. Even today, it evokes feelings of pure joy and happiness, detailing the sheer perfection of meeting someone who’s right for you.
Young lovers often feel this same sense of euphoria and perfect peace. Although their lives are relatively short compared to what’s to come, it feels like they’ve waited forever to find the one they’ve been dreaming of.
Knowing that you loved someone before you met them doesn’t make much logical sense, but it has such a romantic notion to it that we just can’t pass up singing along.
“Wake Me Up When September Ends” by Green Day
“Wake Me Up When September Ends” is one of Green Day’s most popular songs. This melodic song is all about teenage love during a time of war, which adds a whole new element to the meaning of young love.
The song peaked at an impressive number six on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It also hit high positions on charts in several other countries, including the U.K. and New Zealand.
While not all of us can relate to a young lover going off to war, we can empathize with the emotions of long-distance love and the central theme of loss that the song portrays.
“All We’d Ever Need” by Lady A
“All We’d Ever Need” was the first song that the Lady A trio ever wrote together. So, in a way, it’s a young love song to each other as bandmates.
But the lyrics are so much more than that.
The song is about a first love so intense that it pulls at strings of regret, heartache, and sorrow. First love is a whirlwind for sure, but recovering from it is a different story. Every young person needs to know that we’ve all been there – and the members of Lady A certainly demonstrate that even they have felt what you’ve felt.
“Baby” by Justin Bieber
“Baby” was one of Justin Bieber’s very first hits. The song, which featured popular rapper Ludacris, quickly details the beginning and end of first love.
It’s easy for us to think our first love will last forever. And when it ends, the pain is all too real. The song “Baby” may be a bop, but it packs in those young, heightened emotions of love and loss.
“Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus
Sometimes, young love doesn’t go as planned and often goes unrequited. The alternative rock band Wheatus knew how to describe this feeling precisely. In fact, the song was written based on the band’s lead guitarist’s real-life experiences.
If we’re being honest, we’ve all been there – even if it was just a tiny, one-sided crush. And the early 2000s vibes are clear as day in this jam.
“Beautiful Soul” by Jesse McCartney
Those of us who were lucky enough to live through the peak Jesse McCartney music era will certainly remember the boppy pop song “Beautiful Soul.”
If you do remember this song, you know just how much we all swooned over Jesse’s deep, passionate feelings for not a girl’s looks but her soul. And who could forget that short little rock bridge? That’s some real young love stuff, right there.
“Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield
The teenage years are jam-packed with wild emotions and uncontrollable hormones. At times, that created some challenging situations – like falling for your friend’s girl.
Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” is a fully relatable story about a guy who wants another guy’s girl. He’s so frustrated about it that he finds it hard to even be around the lovey-dovey couple.
Ah, the teenage drama of it all.
“Crush” by David Archuleta
Even if you didn’t have a crush when this David Archuleta bop came out, “Crush” sure made you feel like you had to find one. This emotional tale tells the story of an intense crush, something that we can all relate to.
In this song, David debates whether his feelings are just that – another crush – or if he’s found the real thing. Young people can certainly relate to this, as young love is always questioned and not taken seriously by many.
“Young Love” by Sonny James
I told you there were a lot of songs titled “Young Love!” We’re taking things way back to the 1950s when Sonny James released his re-recording of the song “Young Love.”
This song was originally recorded by Ric Cartey and the Jiva-Tones in 1956. It was later recorded by several other artists, including Donny Osmand and Sonny James.
The Sonny James version landed spots on nearly every chart and was the artist’s longest-reigning hit. The lyrics are classic – they speak of every boy and girl each having one love in this world, and the writer has been lucky enough to find his now and at an early age.
“Stacy’s Mom” by Foundations of Wayne
“Stacy’s Mom” is lyrical proof that not all young love is true love – or even appropriate love. But it’s natural for teens to develop odd crushes when hormones are flying.
Maybe you can relate to this early 2000s hit that featured only a slightly questionable music video. If so, at least you know Foundations of Wayne understands where you’re coming from!
“Stacy’s Mom” probably wouldn’t fly as an acceptable song today, but that doesn’t stop each and every one of us from belting out this young love song when it plays.
“Young Dreams” by Elvis Presley
Would this really be a complete list of young love songs without a hit from Elvis Presley, The King himself? And speaking of the king, this song actually comes from the King Creole soundtrack.
King Creole was a movie in which Elvis starred. It was released in 1958, and the soundtrack featured 11 sounds recorded by Elvis himself.
While “Young Dreams” wasn’t a featured single from the album, it does tell a simple yet captivating tale of a young person’s dreams of young love.
“Young Love (Strong Love)” by The Judds
We started this list with a song titled “Young Love,” so we figured we better end it with a song of the same title.
“Young Love (Strong Love)” is yet another classic country song about young people looking for love. This song takes a storyteller approach, which makes us all eager to keep listening to hear how the story ends.
The hopeful young girl sees a boy who works up the courage to ask to take her out. The song shows us that even these small, ordinary moments are bursting with emotional energy for young people.
The Judds do a fantastic job of detailing a young love story of two people who made it. This simplistic take on young love will make us all believers in any young couple.
Top Songs About Young Love, Final Thoughts
There is truly a hidden power in young love. It takes the heightened emotions and raging hormones and pairs them with a romantic naivety that we seem to forget about as we get older.
Perhaps listening to some of these songs will help bring back some of those raw and real emotions. It might be good for us to reminisce and remember what it was like to be young and in love – the whole world at our fingertips.
Enjoy the songs above, and let us know if we’ve missed any you’d like to see on another list!