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21 Songs Mentioning 21 For '21

Updated on January 5, 2021

The Eagles had Been Apart for More than 21 Years When They Reunited with Long Road Out of Eden


Having made one of the biggest hits last year, the band who gave us “Level of Concern” should have an even better stretch now that the calendar has tuned to January. Based on the numerical aspect of this year, Twenty One Pilots are expected to soar even higher during the next 365 days.

We are still waiting for the band to write a song using the sum in their name, so they could not make the following list. It contains the best songs that mention the number 21 somewhere in the lyrics, not including references to the 21st Century.

Unfortunately, the pop band 21 Savage did not make the cut, as the list has been limited, rightfully so, to exactly 21 songs.

1. Freedom at 21 by Jack White

Departing from his White Stripes partnership to make Blunderbuss, his debut solo album spawned this single as well as “Sixteen Saltines” and “Love Interruption.”

2. Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves by Cher

“I was sixteen, he was 21, Papa would've shot him if he knew what he'd done,” Cher sings on the hit, which peaked twenty spots ahead of number 21 back in 1971.

3. 21 and Over by the Romantics

Before they broke through with “Talking in Your Sleep” and “That's What I Like About You” the quartet had already begun making a name for itself with minor hits like this one.

4. Leaves That Are Green Turn To Brown by Simon and Garfunkel

“I was 21 years when I wrote this song,” Paul Simon admits in the opening line from the Sounds of Silence album, which is followed with “I'm 22 now but I won't be for long.”

5. Captain Jack by Billy Joel

Because of an unhealthy dependence on the title character, the Piano Man admonishes the addict with “Well you're 21 and still your mother makes your bed, and that's too long.”

21. Reasons by Frank Black and the Catholics

Black Francis shed his band the Pixies as well as his name to make the sensational Black Letters Days, an album highlighted by this musical epic.

7. Running on Empty by Jackson Browne

“In '69 I was 21 and I called the road my home,” the folk-rock star remembers on this title track, which found itself as well as its album in the Top Ten in 1979.

8. Cemetery Guns by Fountains of Wayne

It seems appropriate that this funereal ballad with a 21 gun salute would be the last song on Sky Full of Holes, the last album the band would record before co-founder Adam Schlesinger passed away due to complications from COVID-19.

9. 21 Guns by Greenday

21st Century Breakdown, the alt group's eight album, presented this single as the follow up to “Know Your Enemy.”

10. Twenty One by the Cranberries

No song mentions the number more than this track from No Need To Argue, when it is repeated just about 21 times.

11. 21 Days by Brian Fallon

Three solo albums after the demise of alt rockers Gaslight Anthem, its front man offered us this track and the rest of Local Honey.

12. Twenty One by the Eagles

In what is a perfect fit for the rest of the Desperado album, the quartet here say “I think I'll spend my life on the road, just tryin' to add to what I know.”

13. 21 Things I Want In a Lover by Alanis Morrissette

Intelligence, fair play, genuine happiness for others, funny, self-deprecating, politically aware, feminine, masculine, sexually uninhibited, experimental, athletic, and drug-free are half of the qualities the songstress wants from a partner in this single from Under Rug Swept.

14. 1921 by The Who

Nora and Frank, the parents of the title star of the rock opera Tommy, said that “'21 is gonna be a good year” without having knocked on wood.

15. 21 Years by Robert Plant

From 2003's Sixty Six To Timbuktu, this track mentions the number even more than the song above by the Cranberries.

16. 21 Guitar Salute by Dropkick Murphys

Ready. Aim. Fire. This three-word opening seems perfect for the title of this song, part of a compilation from 2005.

17. Projections of a Person by the Minor Leagues

“Well you're just 21 but you're wise beyond your years,” Ben Walpole sings on this catchy cut from the indie band's third LP, The Story Is Old I Know But It Goes On.

18. It Was a Very Good Year by Frank Sinatra

“It was a very good year for city girls who lived up the stair
With all that perfumed hair,” croons Old Blue Eyes, “and it came undone
When I was twenty-one.”

19. Twenty One Times by Billy Crockett

This contemplative cut comes from the singer-songwriter's latest album, Watermarks.

20. Age 21 by David Allen Coe

“I got three more years to be here,” the country singer says in reference to Tupelo, Mississippi, “I'll be a full grown man, twenty one.”

21. September by Earth, Wind and Fire

In one of the group's biggest hits the number comes in the first line, “I remember the twenty-first day of September.”


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