Lukas Graham’s “7 Years” is a life journey squeezed into a few minutes. It captures the essence of growing up, wrestling with ambitions, love, friendship, and mortality. The song is a series of vignettes from different stages of the singer’s life, showcasing his learning curve and the wisdom he gained. While the lyrics are autobiographical, they connect on a universal level. They remind us to pause, cherish our days, and think about who we’ve become, who we are, and who we hope to be.
Want to understand why this song feels like a mini-lifetime? Stay tuned because we’re diving deep into this modern classic.
“7 Years” Lyrics Meaning
The song kicks off with, “Once, I was seven years old, my mama told me, ‘Go make yourself some friends, or you’ll be lonely’.” These lines introduce us to the theme of guidance from parents. The artist looks back at the age of seven as a time of innocence, where parental advice was a cornerstone.
Moving on, “It was a big big world, but we thought we were bigger. Pushing each other to the limits, we were learning quicker” tells us about the exuberance of youth and how the world seemed huge, yet conquerable. And then the lessons start coming faster; by 11, they’re “smoking herb and drinking burning liquor” which marks a rite of passage for many.
“Go get yourself a wife, or you’ll be lonely”, the dad’s advice echoes. This hints at the importance of companionship, as viewed from an older generation. It also sets the stage for how relationships will play into the singer’s life.
“I always had that dream like my daddy before me. So I started writing songs, I started writing stories” speaks about ambition and legacy. Dreams are hereditary; they pass down the family line. He reveals a bit of his soul here, sharing that glory isn’t what drives him. Instead, it’s the desire for authentic connections: “Cause only those I really love will ever really know me”.
By the time he’s 20, he’s living out his dreams but mentions that life was lonely “before the morning sun.” It’s a look at the loneliness that often accompanies success.
“Soon, we’ll be 30 years old, our songs have been sold,” takes us into the future, contemplating how things might change with age. It also acknowledges that while they’ve achieved fame, they’re still searching, still “roaming”.
“I’m still learning about life, my woman brought children for me. So I can sing them all my songs, and I can tell them stories” implies the singer’s realization that life is a continuous learning process, and now he has a new generation to guide.
“Soon, I’ll be 60 years old” contemplates the tail end of life, now considering his own mortality and legacy. The cycle comes full circle when he hopes his kids will visit “once or twice a month” similar to how he thinks about writing a letter making his father happy.
The Story Behind “7 Years”
Lukas Graham penned “7 Years” at a pivotal moment in his life. The singer was experiencing monumental shifts, both professionally and personally. He had tasted fame, was in a serious relationship, and contemplated fatherhood. All these factors contributed to this deeply reflective song that explores the entire life cycle.
The song was also inspired by his father’s death at the age of 61, giving it a somber underbelly. This experience thrust him into contemplating his own mortality, asking questions that most people avoid until later in life. This state of mind drove him to put pen to paper and produce a song that’s part reflection, part prediction, and wholly emotive.
The universal appeal of “7 Years” lies in its honesty and relatability. We’ve all been seven, 20, or 30 at some point or will be. We all think about our futures, our legacies, and our relationships. Lukas Graham captured these thoughts with eloquence, encapsulating them in a song that serves as a mirror for our own lives. Through his music, he encourages us all to consider where we’ve been and where we’re going, adding a layer of profundity to our everyday experiences.