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31 Best Songs About Betrayal All Time

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We love songs about betrayal. We love knowing that we aren’t the only victims of deceit. We love hearing how someone got their revenge. We’ve loved these songs for decades.

Here’s thirty-one of the best betrayal songs of all time. There are some popular titles that were left off the list, and we added some that may surprise you.

We included the album titles so you can check those out, too. Enjoy!

1) Picture to Burn – Taylor Swift

Album: Taylor Swift (2008)

She’s Erasing Him

This song is one of the most popular in Swift’s extensive breakup discography. The lyrics paint a familiar picture for anyone who has been with a bad liar or a cheating fool. When she sings, “Watch me strike a match on all my wasted time,” the feeling of time lost reaches beyond relationships and really hits home.

The idea of spreading rumors about each other to put themselves in a better light is typical for high school kids and Swift said the song was about someone she almost dated in high school.

2) Take a Bow – Rihanna

Album: Good Girl Gone Bad (2007)

Nothing But the Truth

This song’s lyrics can prompt millions of people to nod their heads in agreement.

Her ex is standing in the yard, trying to apologize, but she knows it’s all an act.

“But you put on quite a show
You really had me goin’
But now it’s time to go
Curtain’s finally closin’.”

It’s no wonder Rihanna makes the top of everyone’s list of songs about betrayal. If you haven’t been in a relationship that ends with a battle over who owns what, you know someone who has.

3) You Give Love A Bad Name – Bon Jovi

Album: Slippery When Wet {1986)

Her Betrayals Started Early

Bon Jovi sings about a relationship that was doomed from the beginning, (“Your first kiss was your first kiss goodbye”). The group makes sure their point is made with the a cappella introduction “Shot through the heart and you’re to blame.”

The line, “You give love a bad name,” has found its way into our everyday vocabulary.

4) I Heard it Through the Grapevine – Marvin Gaye

Album: In the Groove (1968)

A Timeless Rhythm and Blues Piece

The song was written for Motown Records catalog. It was originally covered by Gladys Knight and the Pips, but it grew to become Marvin Gaye’s signature song. Creedence Clearwater Revival also covered a popular version of this song.

The singer confronts his love about rumors he’s heard that she’s going back to her ex.

He’s not only hurt about her plans to leave him, he’s also angry that she evidently told other people first and he had to find out the hard way.

We picked Gaye’s version because we love his background singers quietly singing, “heard it through the grapevine that no longer would you be my baby.”

By comparison, Creedence’s version sounds almost sinister.

Consider next: Songs with “Baby” in the title

5) You Oughta Know – Alanis Morissette

Album: Jagged Little Pill (1995)

Angry Women’s Anthem

This post-grunge release turned the world on its head. Until the release of “Jagged Little Pill”, the tone of women’s attitudes in mainstream pop/rock music were watered down at the direction of the male moguls.

Morissette decided it was time to let the world know just how angry women could get and that infidelity wasn’t acceptable behavior.

Whoever jilted her opened a big can of worms. To this day, she reminds him of the mess he left since he went away.

6) Mr. Brightside – The Killers

Album: Hot Fuss (2003)

It’s All in His Head

Mr. Brightside is a man trying to turn a blind eye to his cheating love but becomes consumed with jealousy. This would be pretty standard except that we discover our singer only imagines that he is in this relationship. The man she leaves with and spends the night with is actually her real partner.

The singer is so lovesick that the stress over her behavior is physically unbearable and yet, he tries to put it all aside and tries to appear eager to please her.

7) Until the End of the World – U2

Album: Achtung Baby (1991)

A Two Thousand Year Old Breakup Song

The ultimate story of betrayal. It rarely makes any list of songs about betrayal, but it should.
As a Christian rock band, U2 explores their roots here. Even those with casual familiarity with the Christian Bible can find the references.

“In the garden, I was playing the tart. I kissed your lips and broke your heart….”

This song is about Judas talking to Jesus and how he sold him out, but the lyrics can also be interpreted as if it was any toxic relationship.

8) No Vaseline – Ice Cube

Album: Death Certificate (1991)

Creative Differences Create a Legendary Feud

A different type of break up. Ice Cube raps about his departure from N.W.A. It was a retaliatory song after N.W.A. wrote their own breakup song that was released on the E’P., “100 Miles and Runnin’.” Ice Cube’s anger spilled into a tirade that offended just about everyone.

One little warning that since this is hardcore gangsta rap, all of it is rated. N.S.F.W..

9) If I Fell – The Beatles

Album: Movie Soundtrack: A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

Classic Beatles’ Humor

A romantic-sounding song about a guy getting ready to dump his lady and sleep with someone else. The kicker is that he wants this new love to be faithful because he doesn’t want to be hurt in the same way he’s about to hurt his current lover.

This is one of those ironic songs by the Beatles that drips with hypocrisy while sounding sweet.

Did they understand that? You bet they did. Those that adored them heard a love song. Anyone who looked a little deeper appreciated the inside joke. That’s why their songs are considered some of the best of all time.

Read next: Easy Beatles songs to try on guitar

10) Irreplaceable – Beyoncé

Album: B’Day (2006)

Empowering Song

Written by Ne-Yo, “Irreplaceable” went through a massive transformation. It started as a country song written from a man’s perspective to become a song that became a women’s empowerment anthem.

Straight away, we know there’s conflict. We soon learn that Beyoncé’s character is just trying to clean her house of her husband and his infidelities. He tells her she won’t be able to replace him.

“Standin’ in the front yard, telling me how I ‘m such a fool
Talking ’bout I’ll never ever find a man like you.”
She has other ideas.
“I could have another you in a minute.”

We know who wins this battle.

11) I Don’t Care Anymore – Phil Collins

Album: Hello, I Must Be Going! (1982)

An Ugly Divorce

While another of Collins’ songs recently trended, this one was just as popular back then. The back story is that this was written about his ex-wife.

During their divorce, she tried to smear his reputation to get a beefier piece of his earnings. It’s the ultimate act of betrayal.
Emotionally, he’s working his way through the accusations she’s making and finding inner peace.

About that title: For someone who doesn’t care about what his ex is saying behind his back, he sure sounds pretty ticked. Is he trying to convince her or himself?

12) I Hate Myself for Loving You – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Album: Up Your Alley (1988)

It’s Hard to Walk Away

Joan can’t walk away from her cheating guy and beat herself up over it. The opening line puts us in Joan’s shoes. We’re waiting and waiting for someone that never shows up. She wants to break up with him but she can’t bring herself to do it. So she hates herself.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Because we love them. It’s as simple and complex as that. Bad relationships lend themselves to self-loathing.

It’s a great song although nowadays, everyone thinks it’s a football game theme song.

13) Before He Cheats – Carrie Underwood

Album: Some Hearts (2005)

A Vengeful Warning

Carrie wrote the playbook on what we’d all like to do to a cheating man, especially one who loves his car more than anything. The lyrics paint a familiar and sometimes explicit picture of her man trying to pull off a classic bar pick up. Her explanation of how she’s exacting her revenge is eye-opening. This is also on our list of songs about revenge, too!

While we appreciate people who decide to take a proactive approach to infidelity, it should be noted that vandalism is a crime. Let’s hope wherever his vehicle was parked, it didn’t have security cameras.

Next: Best cheating songs of all time

14) Medicine – Queen Naija

Album: Queen Naija (2018)

Two Can Play the Cheating Game

All the key elements of betrayal are here. Getting home at six in the morning is always a red flag and the constant texting is never a good omen. She’s right to trust her intuition on this one.

She decides that she’s going to stoop to his level and start calling all the men she’s been putting off. It turns out that there’s a line of men just waiting for her to change her relationship status back to ‘single.’ This is how she’s giving him a taste of his own medicine.

Next: Top songs about change ever made

15) So What – P!nk

Album: Funhouse (2008)

A Break Up with Attitude

P!nk sings about losing her husband, but instead of being sad about it, she finds inner strength. She rocks out with her rock moves and, in true rock style, everyone starts a fight.

There’s a taunting riff running through this song, giving it a youthful feel. It works to lighten up the mood and people love to sing along in bars.

16) Use Me – Bill Withers

Album: Still Bill (1972)

A Matter of Perspective

Bill has lots of well-meaning friends and family who believe his lover is mistreating and using him. His response is that her love is worth the abuse, since he feels that he’s the one using her. This is a very potent song about family, and should be listened to with a strong attention to the lyrics.

It’s a surprising reaction and the familiar musical riff, along with Withers’ sexy baritone, keeps us listening decade after decade.

17) This is How a Heart Breaks – Rob Thomas

Album: …Something to Be (2005)

Breaking Point

While Thomas has said it’s about falling in love, many people believe that it’s about betraying yourself by giving in to addiction. Read the following lyrics as if Rob is talking to himself.

“Don’t you want to go for a ride
now to the other side?
Feels so good you could cry now.
Won’t you do what I told you?”

18) Whipping Post – Allman Brothers Band

Album: The Allman Brothers Band (1969)

The Meanest Woman

On first listen, it sounds like just another Southern rock song, but the lyrics run deep through the soul, giving the Allman Brothers a crossover hit that was even covered by the late Frank Zappa when he was on tour with the Mothers.

The helplessness he feels transcends musical genres. His pain resonated with a massive audience and his ex became one of the meanest women in music history.

On a lighter note, the chorus also works as a relatable commuting song on a Monday morning.

19) Jar of Hearts – Christina Perri

Album: Lovestrong (2011)

Not This Time

Christina sings about an ex who betrayed her in the past and is looking for her again. He has a habit of sleeping around and breaking hearts. She describes herself as half alive since the breakup, but that she’s also feeling stronger and determined not to go back to him.

The title of the song refers to her ex’s conquests.

Next: Best songs about sleep ever made

20) Stronger – Kelly Clarkson

Album: Stronger (2011)

Finding Strength While You’re in the Lowest Places

Another popular song about women feeling empowered after being blindsided in a relationship. When Kelly sings that the bed feels warmer since her partner left, we understand how distant the relationship was.

We get the impression that he was expecting not just to hurt her, but to devastate her. She wants him to know that didn’t happen.

21) I’m the Only One – Melissa Etheridge

Album: Yes I Am (1993)

She’s Got Your Back

Melissa’s song about how her heart is broken since her lover is tired of their relationship and has met someone else. Melissa tries to convince her she’s the only one that will be there through the dark times.

22) Apologize – OneRepublic

Album: Dreaming Out Loud (2007)

Too Little, Too Late

OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder composed, “Apologize,” for their debut album. Timbaland remixed it for his album, “Shock Value,” which was released the same year.

OneRepublic is here to remind us that consequences have actions and sometimes, apologies aren’t enough.

The singer has been put through the ringer one too many times. While he’s been able to forgive her before, this time, he’s finally had enough.

23) Voices Carry – ‘Til Tuesday

Album: Voices Carry (1985)

Who’s the Bad Girl?

Aimee Mann finds herself in a confusing and sticky situation. Not only does her lover not want to hear her say she loves him, he doesn’t want her to talk at all.

He’s controlling and demanding, but she’s falling in love and is still trying to please him.
She realizes that not only is she not the only woman in his life, she’s “the other woman.”

Awkward.

24) I’ve Found Someone of My Own – The Free Movement

Album: I’ve Found Someone of My Own (1972)

An Ugly Divorce

It was a sign of the times when The Free Movement released this gem. It starts out sounding like most ballads when it suddenly takes an unexpected turn.

The song starts out with a common betrayal scenario. The singer’s lady painfully confesses that she’s been having an affair and wants to end their relationship. His reaction is to drop a truth bomb for the Ages. This song is a great overall song about pain, love and suffering

His surprising empathy and brutal honesty makes the song unforgettable.

25) She Loves Me Not – Papa Roach

Album: Lovehatetragedy (2002)

He Did it to Himself

A song from the other side of the infidelity game. The singer’s girlfriend can read his mind. It’s possible it’s his own guilt that’s telling on him, but he swears she’s a mind reader. We discover she’s right when he sings, “I’m the jerk.”

He’s trying to decide if their relationship is worth saving and if he really wants to put in the effort to make that happen.

26) Jake – Lisa Loeb

Album: Firecracker (1997)

One-sided Relationship

Lisa Loeb is contemplating her options for ending her time with Jake. She wishes he would bring more to their relationship but is also convinced that it will not happen.

No one seems to know who Jake is but whoever she’s singing about, it’s time to break out the tissues.

27) Lyin’ Eyes – Eagles

Album: One of These Nights (1975)

Her Eyes Tell the Truth

The Eagles come through with a story of a lady whose eyes betray her infidelities.

She’s in a loveless relationship and lies about meeting a friend. Instead, she heads “for the cheating side of town.”

She promises the young man she’s seeing that she’s going to split with her husband.

It’s clear to everyone what she’s doing. Even she realizes she is lying her way through her life.

Be sure and invite her to your poker game.

28) Rolling in the Deep – Adele

Album: 21 (2011)

He Threw it All Away

No list of betrayal songs is complete without at least one song by Adele. She sees her partner in a new light and it isn’t pretty. She’s plotting her revenge while also recognizing how much they lost. “The scars of your love,” tell us this relationship was rocky and didn’t end well.

29) Breakeven – The Script

Album: The Script (2008)

She Got the Best of Him

The man’s lover cheated on him, putting him in a dark place. “You got his heart and my heart and none of the pain…,” tells us she was playing both of them at the same time.

We can almost see him with his labored breathing singing the line, “just praying to a God that I don’t believe in.” It gives us a sense of his desperation and feelings of abandonment.

30) Allentown – Billy Joel

Album: The Nylon Curtain (1982)

A Call to Action

Allentown isn’t the typical, “I’m in a bad relationship again,” song that Joel is known for. It’s a song about how corporations and the government ignored veterans after they had dutifully served their country. It fueled the conversation about how U.S. veterans deserve better compensation for the roles they play in protecting their homeland.

31) Not Gon’ Cry – Mary J Blige

Album: Movie Soundtrack: Waiting to Exhale (1995)

Wasted Years

Not Gon’ Cry is from the soundtrack Waiting to Exhale. It’s about a woman who gave everything to her husband. She starts out as a lover and secretary. Eleven years later, she finds he has left her for another woman.

Even though she doesn’t think any of this is fair, she refuses to express the tearful emotions we would expect to see.

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