The truth is that everyone has had their heart and trust betrayed by someone they have loved, be it their partner or best friend.
The hurt that entails can be too much for some of us to put into words. For the greatest singers and songwriters, betrayal is excellent fodder for lyrics. When crooned with the right kind of emotion, the songs easily become hit records.
Here is a list of the ‘top 10 songs about betrayal’ and some exciting details about their artists, albums, and genres.
Songs About Betrayal to Know
Song # 1: You Give Love A Bad Name by Bon Jovi
Often known as the greatest Hard Rock song to be ever recorded, the song topped the charts on the U.S. Billboard Top 100. This was the first single in their album, Slippery When Wet, written about a woman who thwarted her lover’s approaches.
This hit from their 1986 album was Bon Jovi’s first song to reach such heights and helped him rise to fame.
Song # 2: Bad Blood by Taylor Swift
This was the fourth remix track from Taylor Swift’s fifth studio album 1989. The lyrics were composed by Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar and produced by Max Martin.
1989 is an album centered around romance. Hence, Bad Blood was first interpreted as a song written about lost romance. However, Taylor Swift later revealed that she wrote this song for a friend who she thought was very close to her but had attempted to spoil her concerts and tours multiple times.
Bad Blood was a success in itself. The song topped the charts in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Scotland, and Australia. It was nominated for the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the Grammy’s and received eight nominations at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2015.
When its music videowas released featuring many celebrities and models, its fate was sealed. Bad Blood won the Grammy for the Best Music Video and the VMA for the Video of the Year.
To no one’s surprise, it also holds VEVO’s 24 hours record, amassing 20 million views in 2015 alone.
Song # 3: Cry Me a River by Justin Timberlake
This R&B song was the second track on Justin Timberlake’s debut solo album ‘Justified,’ released in 2002.
The song was inspired by Justin Timberlake’s breakup with the famous pop star Britney Spears. Its music videoalso shows him running away from his ex’s house and sleeping with another woman. It is meant to show a man moving on from his girlfriend who cheated on him.
The single reached number 3 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It received the Grammy for the Best Pop Vocal Performance in 2004 and amassed the Best Male Video and Best Pop Video at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards.
Song # 4: Say My Name by Destiny’s Child
Beyonce’s famous girl group, Destiny Child, released their second album, ‘The Writing was on the Wall’ in 1999.
The second track, Say My Name peaked in Australia and the U.S. and charted in the top 3 in the U.K.
It was their most famous song from this album and got nominated for four Grammy’s in 2001. It won two for the Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group and Best R&B song.
Its music video also won the Best R&B Video award at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2001.
The single rightly holds the seventh position on the Billboard’s 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time. The music video is about the female protagonist on the telephone with her lover, who she suspects is cheating on her.
Song # 5: Irreplaceable by Beyonce
Beyonce makes this list twice; but this time, as a solo after her own breakup with her American Girls band, Destiny Child.
Irreplaceable is a song about a man cheating on his partner with another unfaithful woman. Instead of signifying heartbreak, it talks about empowering women and how the man will never be able to find anyone better as she is “irreplaceable.”
The song has a slow tempo alternating between pop and R&B.
This track remained on the top of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and won the Grammy for the Record of the Year. It was one of the most successful songs of the 2000s, with Rolling Stones placing it in their list of the same name.
Song # 6: Heartless by Kanye West
This song was a track from Kanye West’s fifth album, 808S and Heartbreak. It is a pop song sung through autotune, which gives it its distinct feel.
Heartless received excellent critical acclam and became one of Kanye’s top-grossing songs. It made its debut at number 4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and peaked number 1 on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks and U.S. Hot 100 Airplay Chart.
The song is about going through a rough breakup. Kanye West later admitted to writing this song about his ex, Alexis Phifer.
Song # 7: Rolling in the Deep by Adele
The opening track of her second studio album, 21, that led Adele to become a global superstar was Rolling in the Deep.
Rolling in the Deep was Adele’s first track that topped the U.S. Billboard Top 100 and kept its position there for seven consecutive weeks. It remained number 1 in various countries.
The song describes a person’s thoughts who is scorned and rejected by their lover. The song has a dark undertone along with upbeat pop music.
Song # 8: Run for Your Life by The Beatles
Run for your Life is a rock song by the The Beatles. It was the closing song of their album Rubber Soul. It was written and composed by John Lennon and Jesse McCartney.
The song has a threatening undertone and was apparently written for a singer’s girlfriend who is spoken of as ‘little girl’ throughout the song.
John Lennon named it one of the least favorite songs he composed. Despite the critique, many people have made covers of these songs, including Nancy Sinatra, Gary Lewis, Johnny Rivers, and Thee Headcoatees.
Song # 9: Heart Wants What It Wants by Selena Gomez
The song was released as part of the only single of the album ‘For You,’ released in 2014.
The song peaked at number 6 on the U.S. Billboard Top 100 and remained in the top 10 in many different countries, including Canada, Denmark, South Africa, and even Lebanon.
The song is about falling in love with a bad boy despite knowing he’s good-for-nothing and will never support her. It has a mid-range tempo with R&B and upbeat music.
Song # 10: Call Me When You’re Sober by Evanescence
This alternative rock and metal song was from Evanescence’s second album, The Open Door.
The song is about a woman who is in love with a man who suffers from addiction and is unwillingly breaking up with him in the hopes that he corrects himself.
The song was a commercial success, reaching the top 10 in the U.S. Billboard Top 100.
The Bottom Line
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog on the top 10 songs about betrayal’.
Which one of these is your favorite? Please share with us in the comments section below.
Eduardo Perez is a multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience playing instruments such as piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass. Having arranged songs and produced music in a recording studio, he has a wealth of knowledge to share about analyzing songs, composing, and producing. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Musical Studies at Berklee College School of Music. Featured on Entrepreneur.com. Subscribe to his YouTube channel, or follow him on Instagram.