/Unlikely Anthems: Songs for Teens

Unlikely Anthems: Songs for Teens


Puberty is an absolutely awful experience for everyone. You’re changing so much from the young innocent child to the all knowing adult that you used to hate. And the hate certainly doesn’t stop there – teens are well known for their temperament, and who can blame them with all those hormones flying all over the shop, as well as confusion, frustration and anger thrown into the mix. It’s a pretty deadly cocktail, and unless there’s an appropriate outlet, it’s going to manifest into a lot more problems when they’re older. So is there a solution for this? Well no. There’s no answer to getting rid of the angry feelings during adolescence, but there are ways to vent this pressure as well as help teenagers express themselves through this time.

This is where music comes into play, and definitely cements itself into a teenager’s life. While music is naturally known for its therapeutic values when it comes to relaxing or enticing the brain, certain types of music can help express a teenage ideology as well as release frustration before it creates something a lot worse. Let’s go through some of those songs that helped the world identify with a teenage culture, as well as helped the teens themselves deal with their problems.

Naturally, Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana is going to grace this list. It’s probably the most important song to the generation of the 90s, which helped the world accept the new grunge movement that started as a humble underground idea and expanded into the next thing for the MTV kids. With angst ridden Kurt Cobain fronting the three piece band, the world had a rare insight into the minds of people dealing with angst and depression throughout their adolescence.

Load up on guns, bring your friends, it’s fun to lose and to pretend. Myself assured, I know, I know, a dirty word. With the lights out, it’s less dangerous, here we are now, entertain us.”


The lyrics are obviously taking a standpoint on several points the world was beginning to gain their awareness on. The associations with death and the pretending thereof, as well as the stigma around the language that was considered ‘dirty’ slowly gaining prevalence amongst youth only teases with the idea of a generation that was becoming less afraid of what’s hiding under the bed, and less amused with the lack of appropriate appreciation from elders. Kurt Cobain was truly a voice for a generation, his songs before and after Smells Like Teen Spirit were also laced with an accurate portrait of the youth of the 90s.

While a recent occurance similar to the voice of a generation has occurred, it was nowhere near as monumental as Kurt Cobain accurately saw within the 90s. In 2007 My Chemical Romance experienced their big world-wide commercial success with the release of their album Welcome to the Black Parade. The song title of the same name became an anthem for teenagers across the world, as the nu-metal rock ballad became an instant hit. The song details certain aspects that were effecting teen culture during this time, such as the war on Iraq. With lyrics strong with the imagery and idea of never giving up, as well as being strong through adversity the track hit airways and caused a riot among fans. After this groups of MCR fans were calling themselves The Black Parade and spreading the word of the band across the world.

When I was a young boy, My father took me into the city, to see a marching band. He said, “Son when you grow up, would you be the saviour of the broken,the beaten and the damned?” He said “Will you defeat them, your demons, and all the non-believers, the plans that they have made?”
“Because one day I’ll leave you, A phantom to lead you in the summer, To join The Black Parade.”

With these lyrics, the world saw another accurate portrayal of the teenage generation of the new millenium and the stigmas that they carried with them.

Through these songs many teenagers have found acceptance as well as an outlet for their frustration. Music can be a great creative outlet that allows expression of free speech as well as finding like minded people with similar views. When it comes to angsty teenagers and their music, it’s definitely an activity to be encouraged, keeping in mind that if they are doing things to hurt themselves in the name of music, an intervention should be staged as this could be due to other seriously mental health issues.

Remember, music is good; unless specifically stated otherwise, it’s not the work of satan. Encourage music participation as well as creative expression through the art, it helps build healthy adults!