The heartbreaking story of Sam Fender's Seventeen Going Under TikTok success

19 November 2021, 14:03 | Updated: 19 November 2021, 14:20

By Jenny Mensah

The lead track from the singer-songwriter's second album has stormed the charts and reached viral success due to an emotive TikTok trend.

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Sam Fender has thanked fans for their support of Seventeen Going Under and urged them to keep buying the track.

The single, which is taken from his album of the same name, has stormed the charts after going viral on TikTok, after people shared themselves showcasing specific lyrics from the song.

Now, it's storming the UK singles charts, leading the Geordie singer-songwriter to reach out to his fans on social media once again.

But why did Seventeen Going Under go viral on TikTok in the first place and what's the meaning and inspiration behind the song?

Find out more here.


Sam Fender thanks fans for Seventeen Going Under success
Sam Fender thanks fans for Seventeen Going Under success. Picture: Press/TikTok/Sam Fender

READ MORE: Sam Fender reveals how Dead Boys saved a man's life


Why is Sam Fender's Seventeen Going Under viral on TikTok?


Sam Fender's Seventeen Going Under went viral on the video platform due fans using his lyrics to convey their personal tales of abuse and mistreatment. The lines: "I was far too scared to hit him/But I would hit him in a heartbeat now/That's the thing with anger/It begs to stick around" were often played alongside before and after shots.

Most TikTok videos in the trend see users share then-and-now images, with some choosing to show themselves as a child then adult. Others see users pose with a partner or family member, while some share harrowing and disturbing images of bruises and injuries, followed by themselves in the present day lip syncing to the lyrics: "But I would hit him in a heartbeat now..."

Fender was so moved by the trend that he took to the platform to reach out to his followers, adding links to resources for domestic abuse as well as helpline information.

Speaking to camera, he said: "Thank you very much for all of the love and all of the stories that people have been posting. Some of them are really really powerful and very honest and very very brave and I just wanted to say thanks very much.

"I'm honoured that Seventeen's kind of resonated with people in that way. It's a very special moment for me as a songwriter, so thank you so much and all the love in the world and I hope you're all OK."

Watch the official video for Seventeen Going Under here:

What does Seventeen Going Under mean?

Speaking to Radio X's John Kennedy about the track and the album as a whole, Fender said: "I did a bit of therapy. That's what made it happen. I did a bit of therapy and you know, they make you chat about being a kid and all that. And there's a lot of things that you kind of pass off as insignificant moments of your life that turn out to be quite poignant things that happen and how it it affects and shapes your character when you get older...

"So I guess that was the backdrop of lockdown. I was talking about that stuff and it was always rattling... it was in the corner of my brain and that's where all the material came from. I was just writing about what I was thinking about at the time."

He continued: "I've got to draw a boundary. You know, I write about stuff in my life, but my life is also private. I don't want to go too far sometimes, you know, but I wrote about the stuff that people would think, like 'I think a lot of people go through that.'"

He added: "I thought I'd write about the stuff that was relatable that I could hear being shouted back in an arena, you know? And the stuff that would be uplifting for people as well..."

Watch Sam discuss his second studio album in full below:

If you or anyone you know has been affected by this story, please reach out to the following organisations:

National Domestic Abuse Helpline

Tel: 0807 2000 247


Tel: 0808 800 500

Child Helpline International

Living Without Abuse

Tel: 0808 80 200 28


Tel: 0808 2000 247

Victim Support

Tel: 0808168 9111

The Samaritans

Tel: 116 123


Tel: 0300 123 3393