No regrets, with a few exceptions.
Mandy Moore is back with new music, and her new song “Fifteen” is an ode to her younger self. Fans of the This Is Us star will recall that she got her start in music when she was 15, quickly rising to fame with songs like “Candy” and “I Wanna Be With You.” She ended up touring with the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC as just a teen, and in later years starred in a slew of films.
In her new song and music video, Moore looks back on that time with the wisdom she has now. In a statement about the track’s release, Moore said she had finally learned to be compassionate toward the decisions she made when she was young.
As the singer shared, “It’s been a full circle journey to embrace who I was as a teenager starting off in this industry and forgive my past self for judging her so harshly.”
“For years,” she continued, “I apologized for the creative output of that time but in the making of this new collection of music, I was able to process so much and have come to have great affection for that young girl, that part of me, because she’s the reason I’m here today.”
In the lyrics, Moore tells the story of her 15-year-old self. As she sings in the first verse, “Young girl, up early / Wasn’t old enough to drive / Took a trip from Seminole County / With her mother by her side / Next up, New York City / World was fallin’ at her feet / She thought she was makin’ music / But she was only filling seats.”
In the chorus, the 35-year-old says that all her past mistakes led her to where she is now.
“No regrets, with a few exceptions,” she croons. “Every wrong turn was the right direction / Still a part of me / Still a part of me.”
Moore gets even more specific with the references to her past self in the next verse by describing her ’90s style. “Glowsticks, pink cotton candy / A touch of glitter on her lips,” she sings. “On parade for the radio station / So they’ll play her biggest hits / Missed prom, missed graduation / No college in the fall / On the road with a boyband, singin’ / For the people in the mall.”
The next chorus changes the lyrics up a bit.
“No regrets, with a few exceptions / Learning to love all the imperfections,” she sings. “That are still a part of me.” In the bridge, the actress reflects on the isolation fame brought her at such a young age, but she closes out the single by repeating the chorus and its message of self-love.
As for the music video, she kept things simple, opting to sit in a dreamily lit room while her husband, Dawes singer Taylor Goldsmith, and the rest of her band play around her.
“Fifteen” is Moore’s fourth new song from her newest musical venture. Its predecessors include “When I Wasn’t Watching,” “I’d Rather Lose” and “Save A Little For Yourself.”