- 1.‘Eye Hate U’ By Prince
- 2. ‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine’ by Marvin Gaye
- 3. ‘Back Stabbers’ by the O’Jays
- 4. ‘You Oughta Know’ by Alanis Morissette
- 5. ‘You Won’t See Me’ by The Beatles
- 6. ‘Love the Way You Lie’ by Eminem and Rihanna
- 7. ‘Positively 4th Street’ by Bob Dylan
- 8. ‘Dogs’ by Pink Floyd
- 9. ‘Use Me’ by Bill Withers
- 10. ‘Whipping Post’ by The Allman Brothers Band
- 11. ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’ by Beyonce ft. Jack White
- 12. ‘When the Wild Life Betrays Me’ by Jimmy Buffett
- 13. ‘F.O.D.’ by Greenday
- 14. ‘Lyin’ Eyes’ by The Eagles
- 15. ‘In the Air Tonight’ by Phil Collins
- 16. ‘Such a Night’ by Dr John
- 17. ‘Backstreets’ by Bruce Springsteen
- 18. ‘Smile’ by Lily Allen
- 19. ‘Rolling in the Deep’ by Adele
- 20. ‘You’re Not Sorry’ by Taylor Swift
- 21. ‘Cry Me a River’ by Justin Timberlake
- 22. ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’ by Bon Jovi
Betrayal is a theme that has been explored in music for generations, with countless artists using their music to express the pain, anger, and sadness that comes with being betrayed by someone you trust. From heart-wrenching ballads to angry anthems, songs about betrayal have the power to resonate with listeners in a profound way, allowing them to connect with the emotions and experiences of the songwriter.
In this list, we’ve compiled 22 of the best songs about betrayal from a variety of genres and eras, each one showcasing the different ways that artists have tackled this powerful theme. From classic rock anthems to modern pop hits, these songs all have one thing in common: they put those scoundrels who betray us in their place, giving voice to the pain and anger that comes with being let down by someone you thought you could trust.
Whether you’ve been betrayed in love, friendship, or in any other aspect of your life, these songs offer a powerful outlet for your emotions, allowing you to process your feelings and move on from the hurt. So sit back, turn up the volume, and let these 22 songs about betrayal help you put those scoundrels in their place!
1.‘Eye Hate U’ By Prince
‘Eye Hate U’ is a melancholic ballad by the iconic musician Prince. Released in 1995, the song features his signature sound of a blend of funk, rock, and soul. The lyrics speak about heartbreak and betrayal, with Prince lamenting over a lover who has left him for someone else. The song’s instrumentation is minimal, allowing Prince’s emotive vocals and poetic lyrics to take center stage. The chorus, “Eye hate you for loving me, hate you for making me see,” is particularly impactful, showcasing Prince’s raw vulnerability. Overall, ‘Eye Hate U’ is a powerful and poignant track that showcases Prince’s talents as both a singer and songwriter.
2. ‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine’ by Marvin Gaye
‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine’ is a classic soul song originally recorded by Gladys Knight & The Pips, but it was Marvin Gaye’s version that became the most famous. Released in 1968, the song features a driving bassline, soaring horns, and Gaye’s smooth and soulful vocals. The lyrics tell the story of a man who hears through the grapevine that his lover is cheating on him, leading him to question their relationship. Gaye’s emotive delivery brings the lyrics to life, making the listener feel the pain and heartache of the song’s protagonist. ‘I Heard It Through the Grapevine’ is a timeless classic that remains a staple of the Motown sound and a testament to Gaye’s unmatched vocal abilities.
3. ‘Back Stabbers’ by the O’Jays
‘Back Stabbers’ is a classic soul song by The O’Jays, released in 1972. The song features a funky rhythm, catchy chorus, and sharp lyrics that explore the theme of betrayal. The O’Jays’ powerful vocal harmonies complement the song’s upbeat tempo, creating a memorable and danceable tune that still resonates with audiences today. The song’s lyrics condemn those who smile in your face but talk behind your back, making it a relatable and relevant track that continues to inspire and entertain.
4. ‘You Oughta Know’ by Alanis Morissette
‘You Oughta Know’ is an angst-ridden rock ballad by Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette, released in 1995. The song features a driving guitar riff, raw vocals, and scathing lyrics that explore themes of heartbreak and revenge. Morissette’s unapologetic delivery makes the song a cathartic anthem for anyone who has experienced the pain of a failed relationship. The song’s iconic chorus, “And I’m here to remind you of the mess you left when you went away,” showcases Morissette’s ability to tap into universal emotions and create a timeless classic. ‘You Oughta Know’ remains one of Morissette’s most popular and enduring tracks, inspiring a generation of women to embrace their anger and channel it into their art.
5. ‘You Won’t See Me’ by The Beatles
‘You Won’t See Me’ is a classic pop song by The Beatles, released in 1965. The song features a catchy melody, harmonies, and a memorable piano riff that add to its appeal. The lyrics tell the story of a man pleading with his lover not to leave him, promising to change his ways and begging her to stay. The song’s upbeat tempo and cheerful instrumentation contrast with the melancholic lyrics, creating a bittersweet feel that makes it a timeless classic.
6. ‘Love the Way You Lie’ by Eminem and Rihanna
‘Love the Way You Lie’ is a powerful and emotional hip-hop ballad by Eminem and Rihanna, released in 2010. The song features a haunting piano melody, dark lyrics, and raw vocals that showcase both artists’ talents. The lyrics explore the toxic dynamics of a dysfunctional relationship, with Eminem detailing the cycle of abuse and Rihanna singing the chorus as the voice of the abused partner. The song’s message of the destructive power of love and the importance of breaking free from abusive relationships struck a chord with audiences worldwide, making it a massive commercial success and a modern classic.
7. ‘Positively 4th Street’ by Bob Dylan
‘Positively 4th Street’ is a classic folk-rock song by Bob Dylan, released in 1965. The song features Dylan’s signature biting lyrics, delivered with a sneer that reflects his frustration and disillusionment with the world. The song’s catchy chorus, “You got a lot of nerve to say you are my friend, when I was down you just stood there grinning,” showcases Dylan’s ability to turn a phrase and call out hypocrisy. The song’s upbeat tempo and jangly guitars add to its appeal, making it a quintessential Dylan track that remains relevant today.
8. ‘Dogs’ by Pink Floyd
‘Dogs’ is an epic progressive rock song by Pink Floyd, released in 1977. The song features a slow, brooding intro that builds into a dynamic and powerful instrumental section, showcasing the band’s virtuosity and experimentalism. The lyrics explore the themes of greed, corruption, and the dehumanizing effects of capitalism, making it a scathing critique of modern society. The song’s extended guitar solos, atmospheric soundscapes, and haunting vocals create a surreal and immersive listening experience that transports the listener to another world. ‘Dogs’ remains one of Pink Floyd’s most beloved and influential tracks, showcasing the band’s mastery of their craft and their ability to push the boundaries of rock music.
9. ‘Use Me’ by Bill Withers
‘Use Me’ is a soulful funk track by American singer-songwriter Bill Withers, released in 1972. The song features a groovy bassline, horn section, and Withers’ smooth vocals that showcase his unique blend of soul, jazz, and R&B. The lyrics tell the story of a man who is willing to be used and taken advantage of by his lover, making it a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the dynamics of relationships. The song’s catchy chorus and infectious rhythm make it a dancefloor favorite, while Withers’ soulful delivery adds depth and emotion to the track.
10. ‘Whipping Post’ by The Allman Brothers Band
‘Whipping Post’ is a classic rock song by American rock band The Allman Brothers Band, released in 1969. The song features a bluesy guitar riff, haunting vocals, and a driving rhythm section that showcase the band’s virtuosity and musicality. The lyrics explore the theme of personal struggle and pain, with the singer comparing himself to a “whipping post” that is beaten and abused by life. The song’s extended instrumental section, featuring extended guitar solos and improvisation, adds to its appeal, making it a seminal track in the development of Southern rock and a beloved classic by music lovers worldwide.
11. ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’ by Beyonce ft. Jack White
‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’ is a powerful rock-infused track by American singer Beyonce featuring Jack White, released in 2016. The song features a heavy guitar riff, pounding drums, and Beyonce’s fierce vocals that showcase her range and versatility as an artist. The lyrics are a fiery rebuke to a lover who has done her wrong, with Beyonce warning that she won’t tolerate being mistreated. The addition of Jack White’s vocals and guitar work adds to the song’s intensity, making it a standout track on Beyonce’s critically acclaimed album ‘Lemonade.’
12. ‘When the Wild Life Betrays Me’ by Jimmy Buffett
‘When the Wild Life Betrays Me’ is a country-influenced track by American singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett, released in 1983. The song features Buffett’s signature laid-back vocals, acoustic guitar, and a catchy chorus that showcases his ability to tell a story through song. The lyrics explore the theme of disillusionment with the wild life, with the singer reflecting on his past and how it has led him to his current state of being. The song’s gentle melody and heartfelt lyrics make it a quintessential Buffett track that resonates with fans of all ages.
13. ‘F.O.D.’ by Greenday
‘F.O.D.’ (short for ‘Fuck Off and Die’) is a punk rock song by American rock band Green Day, released in 1994. The song features a driving rhythm, fast-paced guitar riffs, and lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong’s angry vocals, making it a classic punk anthem. The lyrics are a scathing critique of a person who has betrayed the singer’s trust, with Armstrong delivering lines like “my conscience is not for sale” and “you’re just a fuck, I can’t explain it ’cause I think you suck.” The song’s energy and intensity make it a favorite among Green Day fans and a classic example of the band’s early punk rock sound.
14. ‘Lyin’ Eyes’ by The Eagles
‘Lyin’ Eyes’ is a classic country rock song by American rock band The Eagles, released in 1975. The song features a melodic acoustic guitar riff, smooth vocal harmonies, and a catchy chorus that showcase the band’s musical prowess. The lyrics tell the story of a woman who is trapped in a loveless marriage, with the singer warning her that she is “gonna get your heart broken one day” if she continues to cheat on her husband. The song’s introspective lyrics and lush instrumentation make it a timeless classic that has remained a staple of classic rock radio.
15. ‘In the Air Tonight’ by Phil Collins
‘In the Air Tonight’ is a hauntingly beautiful song by English musician Phil Collins, released in 1981. The song features a distinctive drum beat, atmospheric synths, and Collins’ emotive vocals, making it a classic example of 80s pop rock. The lyrics tell the story of a man who has been betrayed by someone he trusted, with Collins singing lines like “I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life” and “I can feel it coming in the air tonight.” The song’s evocative sound and emotional resonance have made it a fan favorite and a staple of classic rock radio.
16. ‘Such a Night’ by Dr John
‘Such a Night’ is a classic R&B song by American singer-songwriter Dr. John, released in 1973. The song features a rollicking piano riff, lively horns, and Dr. John’s soulful vocals, making it a timeless example of New Orleans R&B. The lyrics describe a night of passion and romance, with the singer recounting how he met his lover and how they danced the night away. The song’s upbeat tempo and infectious groove have made it a fan favorite and a classic example of Dr. John’s unique musical style.
17. ‘Backstreets’ by Bruce Springsteen
‘Backstreets’ is a powerful rock ballad by American singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen, released in 1975. The song features Springsteen’s emotive vocals, searing guitar work, and a driving beat, making it a classic example of Springsteen’s signature sound. The lyrics describe a friendship that has been strained by betrayal and hurt, with the singer lamenting the loss of what was once a deep and meaningful connection. The song’s heartfelt lyrics and epic sound have made it a fan favorite and a staple of Springsteen’s live performances.
18. ‘Smile’ by Lily Allen
‘Smile’ is a catchy pop song by British singer-songwriter Lily Allen, released in 2006. The song features Allen’s distinctive vocals, playful lyrics, and an infectious beat, making it a classic example of mid-2000s British pop. The lyrics describe a woman who has moved on from a bad breakup and is now reveling in her newfound independence and happiness. The song’s upbeat sound and empowering message have made it a fan favorite and a hit on both sides of the Atlantic.
19. ‘Rolling in the Deep’ by Adele
‘Rolling in the Deep’ is a soulful pop song by British singer-songwriter Adele, released in 2010. The song features Adele’s powerful vocals, soaring chorus, and a driving beat, making it a classic example of modern pop-soul. The lyrics describe a woman who has been wronged in love and is now ready to move on, with a fierce determination to succeed and thrive. The song’s emotional resonance and infectious sound have made it a worldwide hit and a timeless classic.
20. ‘You’re Not Sorry’ by Taylor Swift
‘You’re Not Sorry’ is a moody pop song by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, released in 2008. The song features Swift’s evocative vocals, haunting piano melody, and a brooding atmosphere, making it a classic example of her early style. The lyrics describe a woman who has been hurt by a lover who has not shown remorse, with the singer conveying a sense of anger and betrayal. The song’s emotive lyrics and atmospheric sound have made it a fan favorite and a standout track on Swift’s second album.
21. ‘Cry Me a River’ by Justin Timberlake
‘Cry Me a River’ is a pop song by American singer-songwriter Justin Timberlake, released in 2002. The song features Timberlake’s smooth vocals, a catchy melody, and a groovy beat, making it a classic example of modern pop-R&B. The lyrics describe a man who has been betrayed by his lover and is now ready to move on, with a sense of empowerment and confidence. The song’s emotional resonance and infectious sound have made it a fan favorite and a timeless classic.
22. ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’ by Bon Jovi
ou Give Love a Bad Name’ is a rock song by American rock band Bon Jovi, released in 1986. The song features the band’s signature sound, with powerful vocals, driving guitar riffs, and a catchy chorus, making it a classic example of 80s arena rock. The lyrics describe a man who has been hurt by a lover who has given love a bad name, with the singer conveying a sense of defiance and strength. The song’s anthemic quality and sing-along chorus have made it a fan favorite and a classic of the era.