Home > Songs About Love > Songs of Adultery

Songs of Adultery

The theme song for infidelity, Your Cheating Heart, will feature in another instalment, so we will have to do with this bunch of adulterers (all but one men) and the people they”ve hurt (all but one of them women).

.

Hello Saferide – Last Bitter Song.mp3

hellosaferide4Annika Norlin has been cheated on with a thin blonde “with a peanut for a brain and volleyballs for chest”. Worse yet, the dude did the dirty deed “with Miss Non-Bitterness” in her apartment. But, bastard dumped, Annika is getting over it by way of carthasis: “Now, this will be the last bitter song. It will be my last, real bitter song about you.” She will find new themes: “From now on, I”ll write about flowers and butterflies, chickens and kittens and shit.” And she”ll “try to find someone who knows I exist”. Which is the best kind of therapy. And, look, it”s working: “I”m feeling cheerful already. I”d like to break his neck, if I may. But most, I”d like to cut off that hair, and cut off that head, and cut off those volleyballs, and I hope she gets her heart broken, and I hope she turns bitter, really really bitter ““ like me.”

.


Jim Reeves – He”ll Have To Go.mp3

jimreevesOh, what a set-up. Jim is on the phone with his woman, who presently is in the company of another man. Reeves has her on the phone, establishing a sense of intimacy and communicating instant forgiveness: “Put your sweet lips a little closer to the phone, let”s pretend that we”re together all alone. I”ll tell the man to turn the juke box way down low”. And then he goes for the jugular: “And you can tell your friend there with you he”ll have to go.” He wants an answer now though: “Though love is blind, make up your mind. I”ve got to know ““ should I hang up or will you tell him he”ll have to go?” No whining, nor sulking, nor recriminations. Make up your mind, woman, and when you do, of course he”ll have to go.

.


Nicole Atkins – Kill The Headlight.mp3

nicole-atkinsJim Reeves is willing to trust again, but that commodity is extinct when Nicole”s man cheats on her. “I know you and you are bound to stray. It”s a foul of men ““ they swear that they”ll never hurt you again, then give their best shots”, but if that is to no avail, “my heart you won”t have it again, so just don”t try.” The relationship will not be healed and it will be over. There won”t be a point in trying to mend it: “Don”t pull over, just kill the headlights.”

.

Carrie Underwood – Before He Cheats.mp3

underwoodWhere Nicole Atkins won”t give second chances, Carrie Underwood doesn”t even let it get as far as that. Acting merely on suspicion, she gets her revenge in before the act. “Right now, she”s probably up singing some white-trash version of Shania karaoke. Right now, she”s probably saying, “˜I”m drunk”, and he”s thinking that he”s gonna get lucky. Right now, he”s probably dabbing on three dollars worth of that bathroom cologne.” So, just in case her imagination corresponds with reality, Carrie has “dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped-up four-wheel-drive, carved my name into his leather seat. I took a Louisville slugger to both head lights, slashed a hole in all four tires.” That should teach him to even think of cheating. He also might forget about keeping pet rabbits.

.

Kelis – Caught Out There.mp3

kelisIt is fair to presume that the beautiful Kelis will not take back the perfidious scoundrel who cheated on her. She is not well disposed towards him, as the line “I hate you so much right now” may suggest. But, from Kelis” side of the story, one empathises with her. What she didn”t do for him? “Held you when you were sick, even sucked your dick” (which, if both ministrations were performed simultaneously, would require soundtracking by Marvin Gaye”s last big hit). Now it”s revenge time on the lying swine. Going one better on Carrie, “I”ll set your truck to flames, and watch it blow up.” Then comes the taunt: “Tell me: How you go”n see her now?” Aaaaaaarrrrgh!!!!!

.


Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – Ooh Baby Baby.mp3

smokey-go-goSmokey is the prince of broken hearts. And here, the heartache is of his own making. He cheated and got dumped. “I did you wrong. My heart went out to play, but in the game I lost you. What a price to pay! Hey I”m crying.” Now he tearfully wants her back: “I”m just about at the end of my rope, but I can”t stop trying. I can”t give up hope, “cause I feel that one day I”ll hold you near, whisper “˜I still love you”.” In the interim, “until that day is here ““ I”m crying.” Would you take him back?

.


Mindy Smith – Jolene.mp3

mindy-smithI could have chosen any number of versions of Jolene, from Dolly Parton”s original to the delightful Strawberry Switchblade version. It is heartbreaking how the singer humbles herself before the beautiful Jolene, with her ivory skin, emerald eyes and smile “like a breath of spring”. She knows she has lost her man, who keeps saying Jolene”s name in his sleep. Her only hope is that Jolene might dump him, and so she appeals for her rival”s mercy (and, possibly, self-sacrifice). There”s some point-missing going on: “You could have your choice of men, but I could never love again. He”s the only one for me, Jolene. I had to have this talk with you. My happiness depends on you .”

But what if Jolene truly loves the man too. She might well attract another one, but will it be mutual love? Perhaps she won”t ever be able to love again too. And might the singer not be deluding herself that being with a man who doesn”t love her will be an arrangement conducive to “happiness”? The poor sap has no say in the matter, of course. He is being traded like a piece of meat whose feelings are immaterial. But then, being a man, he might appreciate not being forced to make a liver-curdlingly difficult decision.

.

Shirley Brown – Woman To Woman.mp3

Barbara Mason – From His Woman To You.mp3

sbrownShirley phones Barbara to warn her off her “old man”. “It”s only fair that I let you know that the man you”re in love with ““ he”s mine.” Not only does she pay for his clothes and car, but she “loves that man”. And, like Jolene, Barbara is being asked to end it for the sake of her lover”s wife. “Woman to woman, if you”ve ever been in love, then you know how I feel. And, woman to woman, now, if you were in my shoes, wouldn”t you have done the same thing too.” So she warns: “I ain”t gonna let you break up my happy home.”

bmason1Happy? Really? Barbara responds to that in her own song, and it doesn”t look like Shirley”s begging and threats have had any effect, as the title already proclaims. She might not be above to satisfy his material needs, but she can give what he really wants: “I can give him love”. As far as Barbara is concerned, the nameless sap has already made his choice and his bed: “He spent last night with me, where he wanted to be.” So the guy has the choice between a woman with whom he has great sex and a wife who provides all the material comforts. Knowing that Mason”s lyrics were written by a man, how do you think the story will end?

.

More Songs About Love

Be Sociable, Share!
  1. Walter
    March 6th, 2009 at 08:35 | #1

    Good selection
    Ry Cooder’s version of She’ll Have To Go is one of my favourite covers, check it out, it’s a thing of beauty and a joy forever

  2. March 6th, 2009 at 18:29 | #2

    Well, without commenting on cheating. . . great mix! “Jolene” broke my heart. As always, I love your breakdown of the lyrics and the music in general. :) Seriously, Dude, your posts are awesome.

    Also, it seems to me that, unless the music lies, a lot of cheaters drive trucks. Maybe I should look for a guy who rides the bus. . .

  3. March 7th, 2009 at 16:03 | #3

    What about Norwegian Wood? It is not known as an adultery song, but it is related to an affair John had with beatle photographer Dezo Hoffman’s wife. She was norwegian, in fact.

  4. March 7th, 2009 at 16:08 | #4

    Wow, I didn’t know that, Roberto. So John Lennon wasn’t a saint… Imagine that.

  5. March 8th, 2009 at 14:40 | #5

    The video to Mindy’s ‘Jolene’ is a fine effort too (guest appearance by Dolly P), although it does raise the pertinent question of what kind of idiot would ever leave the side of Ms Smith.

    It’s maybe more of a post-cheating song, but Miranda Lambert’s ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ falls very nicely into the embittered canon. The singer shows up in a bar where her ex is playing pool with his “kinda cheap” new squeeze, then she starts throwing things around before laying right into her: “Didn’t give a second thought to being thrown in jail/Well baby, to a hammer everything looked like a nail/I was mad as hell.” Smoldering.

  6. March 8th, 2009 at 19:16 | #6

    Oh yes, good shout, Indie-Pop. I can’t believe I overlooked that, seeing that Lambert’s album was my country album of 2007.

    And damn right on Mindy as well. Only a fool would leave her. I’m looking forward to her new album which she apparently is recording at the moment (cf. Facebook updates).

    Lizzle, perhaps Kevin Devine from the wanting-love post is your kind of public transport guy. Except he’d be too shy to talk to you, probably.

  7. Ruby
    April 16th, 2009 at 00:59 | #7

    The Shirley Brown/Barbara Mason duo is hot, but if you REALLY want to hear some cheatin’ songs, lol, there’s nothing better than Millie Jackson’s “Caught Up” and “Still Caught Up” albums. Not only does she sing BOTH sides of the story, lol, but at the end of “Still Caught Up,” she gets carted off to a padded room!

  1. No trackbacks yet.