“Seventeen Going Under” was the lead single from English singer-songwriter Sam Fender and his critically acclaimed second studio album of the same name. Released as a single in July 2021, the indie-rock song also went viral on TikTok in the latter end of the 2021, with TikTok users lip-syncing the second verse of the song.
“Seventeen Going Under” is a track that simultaneously captures the chaotic emotions that come with being seventeen, while also critiquing the British government’s mistreatment of the working classes and the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions), but also emphasises feelings of hope, and the hopefulness of a better future ahead. Fender revealed the song was “completely autobiographical” to Apple Music, revealing the struggles his mother faced with the DWP:
“…When I was 17, my mother was being hounded by the DWP… She had fibromyalgia and she was suffering from other ailments and mental health issues. But she got sent to court three times to prove that she wasn’t fit to work… I saw how the government was treating good, honest working-class people who have fallen on their back […] I was old enough to understand what was going on, but I wasn’t old enough to be able to do anything about it.”
– Sam Fender, Apple Music (2021)
The music video for “Seventeen Going Under” was released via Fender’s official YouTube channel on the day of the single’s release – 7th July 2021. Directed by Brock Neal Roberts, the video was filmed in Fender’s hometown of North Shields, showing the musician walking through streets with friends, driving in cars, dancing in dark rooms and running along a beach. As of mid-January 2022, the video had received over 5.6 million views.
“Seventeen Going Under” has obtained a Silver certification in the UK.
Read the lyrics to “Seventeen Going Under” here.
*All information accurate at the time of publishing.