Songs about a bad man/woman
June 5, 2007 8:38 AM   Subscribe

I need songs about cheating partners / lovers

I recently found out that an ex I had been concerned about and mildly pining for turned out to be a slut. It hit me hard, but now I'm moving on. I thought that music therapy might be just the thing.

I'm looking for songs about a partner or lover (man or woman) who turned out to be no good, cheated, or were just bad news in general. The more anguished and heartfelt the lyrics or song, the better.

I'm not a big fan of country, but all other genres are welcome.

Thanks a ton, MeFi!
posted by reenum to Media & Arts (39 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I Saw Her Again Last Night is a good example. John Phillips wrote it after he discovered that Michelle and Denny Doherty were having an affair. He said in an interview that he got satisfaction knowing that they would have to sing it over and over again to remind them of their indiscretion.
posted by genefinder at 8:43 AM on June 5, 2007

It's Not Right But It's Ok by Whitney Houston.
posted by onhazier at 8:47 AM on June 5, 2007

Without my computer or music collection hand, I recommend that you start with "Your Cheatin' Heart" on repeat until I can find some more answers.
posted by klangklangston at 8:48 AM on June 5, 2007

Best answer: See this thread. Or this one. Or this one. And also this one.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:50 AM on June 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

It's a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll: Carrie Underwood's "Before he Cheats"
posted by at 8:53 AM on June 5, 2007

Cake's cover of Willie Nelson(?): "Sad Songs and Waltzes"
posted by bullitt 5 at 8:54 AM on June 5, 2007

Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under (video) by Shania Twain
posted by HotPatatta at 8:59 AM on June 5, 2007

Oops. Misread your question. You don't like country. Scratch Shania off your list.
posted by HotPatatta at 8:59 AM on June 5, 2007

As someone who's ex insisted on listening to sappy breakup music in the end- I suggest you forget about it. You can ruin a lot of otherwise good music for yourself by focusing on the stupid one-size-fits-all-breakups lyrics.
posted by sunshinesky at 9:02 AM on June 5, 2007

You're asking about probably one-third of all music ever written.
posted by rhizome at 9:06 AM on June 5, 2007

Don't use my broken heart to pick up other girls by Leona Naess

Caught Out There by Kelis

Not The Only One by Amerie
posted by heartquake at 9:06 AM on June 5, 2007

Elvis Costello, complete works.
posted by adamrice at 9:09 AM on June 5, 2007

Falling Out - surprise, it's Ween
Baby Bitch - also, Ween
You fucked up - Ween
(Ween kinda had a bad run)

Meaningless - Magnetic Fields
Don't Think Twice, It's All Right - Bob Dylan OR Mike Ness
Promises - Buzzcocks
posted by iamkimiam at 9:15 AM on June 5, 2007

haha, hasty reordering of Ween = nonsense commentary
posted by iamkimiam at 9:15 AM on June 5, 2007

frank zappa - bamboozled by love
posted by duckstab at 9:19 AM on June 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Johnny Cash - Delia's Gone
Guns N Roses - Used to Love Her
Frank Zappa - Bamboozled By Love
Eazy E - Only If You Want It
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:20 AM on June 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

Robert Cray has about one song per album. "Strong Persuader", "Porch Light", "The Forecast Calls for Pain" are among my favorites.
posted by vito90 at 9:25 AM on June 5, 2007

Franz Ferdinand, "Cheating on You"
Eagles, "Lyin' Eyes"
Marvin Gaye, "I Heard It Through the Grapevine"
Clarence Carter, "Slip Away"
James Carr, "The Dark End of the Street"
At the dark end of the street
That is where we always meet
Hiding in shadows where we don't belong
Living in darkness, to hide alone
You and me, at the dark end of the street
All Time Best Songs About Cheating
posted by kirkaracha at 9:26 AM on June 5, 2007

Harry Nilsson - You're Breaking My Heart (from Son of Schmilsson) :

You're breaking my heart, you're tearing it apart, so FUCK YOU!
posted by rfs at 9:28 AM on June 5, 2007

Steely Dan - Everything You Did
posted by Neiltupper at 9:36 AM on June 5, 2007

Offspring - Self Esteem
posted by cashman at 9:52 AM on June 5, 2007

The Other Man - Sloan

nthing rhizome's and sunshinesky's comments - those are your best answers both right there :)
posted by rmm at 9:52 AM on June 5, 2007

Lies - The Knickerbockers
You Tore Me Down - The Flamin' Groovies or Yo La Tengo
Tom Drunk - U Roy & Hopeton Lewis
A Cheat - Lee Hazelwood (actually, most of Requiem for an Almost Lady)
You've Been Cheatin' - The Impressions
posted by hydrophonic at 10:00 AM on June 5, 2007

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover - Paul Simon
posted by luriete at 10:13 AM on June 5, 2007

Offspring, Shania Twain... wow. Some musical giants being thrown out up in here.

Guns N Roses - Used to Love Her

it's about his dog, but still a good song. always fun to re-live 80s controversies.

"I want by my money back" by Ben Folds 5 is not 100% about cheating but in the ballpark.

'Does he love you?" by Rilo Kiley is really really good.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:16 AM on June 5, 2007

It is pretty ubiquitous right now on Top 40, so forgive me for stating the obvious, but Amy Winehouse's "You Know I'm No Good" sounds exactly like what you're looking for.

Here's the YouTube video, in case you've been in a cave recently.
posted by i less than three nsima at 11:14 AM on June 5, 2007

Other Woman by Nina Simone deals more with the other woman than the cheater, but might fit the bill.
posted by backwards guitar at 11:40 AM on June 5, 2007

One of my favorites if you like a bit of country is Gram Parsons Kiss the Children. What I love about it is that you have to wait for the last chorus to understand exactly how hurt he is...
I'll second Elvis Costello. If you want a song then one of the best is I Want You -one of the best angry love songs there is. If you like your music a little on the easy side then you could also go for the album Painted by Memory that Elvis did with Burt Bacharach. One album all about divorce is Here, my Dear by Marvin Gaye -angry, smooth and funky in equal measure.
posted by ob at 11:47 AM on June 5, 2007

Oh also check out It should have been Me. The Yvonne Fair version from the album The Bitch is Black is great.
posted by ob at 11:49 AM on June 5, 2007

This seems to be the unstated theme of Shellac's Prayer to God.
posted by sad_otter at 12:34 PM on June 5, 2007

Though, of course, that may not be the kind of "anguished and heartfelt" that you were going for.
posted by sad_otter at 12:38 PM on June 5, 2007

Dudley - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
posted by zoomorphic at 1:49 PM on June 5, 2007

And, for that matter, Cheated Hearts - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
posted by zoomorphic at 1:50 PM on June 5, 2007

I'm not a big fan of country

Shame, because you're missing out on the best cheating song of all time -- Hank Williams 'Your Cheating Heart'
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:08 PM on June 5, 2007

"Never Wanna F'n See You Again" - Rich Hardesty
"Want Ads" - Honey Cone
"I Know There's Something Going On" - Frida
"Feel A Whole Lot Better" - The Byrds or Tom Petty
posted by SisterHavana at 6:20 PM on June 5, 2007

I Can See for Miles - The Who
Run For Your Life - The Beatles
Wendy - The Beach Boys
I Know About Her - The DC Blossoms
Cry Me a River - Julie London, or tons of others
posted by hydrophonic at 8:43 PM on June 5, 2007

"What Goes Around"-- Justin Timberlake
posted by mynameismandab at 9:01 PM on June 5, 2007

Also, "What Goes Around" -- Alicia Keys

"Beautiful Liar" -- Shakira and Beyonce

"Walkin' After Midnight" and "Crazy" -- Patsy Cline (who, whether you like country music or not-- is amazing and an expert on suffering)

"These Boots Were Made for Walkin" -- Nancy Sinatra

"I Will Survive" -- Gloria Gaynor
posted by mynameismandab at 9:10 PM on June 5, 2007

Even So - Rachael Yamagata
posted by krikany at 9:33 PM on June 7, 2007

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