51 Top Songs About Betrayal – How Could They?!

 Songs About Betrayal of Trust

At one point or another, you may have experienced betrayal in your life. Whether being wronged by a friend or a lover breaking your heart, many people have experienced some form of betrayal

So who do you turn to? Maybe inward reflection is your go to move, but most folks will more often than not turn to music to let loose and express their feelings. Here are the top songs about betrayal of trust, friendship, or family that you add to your playlist.


You Oughta Know – Alanis Morissette

Song year: 1995

This could be the most iconic break up song of all time. Alanis Morissette lets it all out on this track and even if you are in a healthy relationship, you are going to feel the heartbreak in this one. Believe it or not, it was revealed this song was written about her relationship with Dave Coulier, the actor who played Uncle Joey in the TV sitcom Full House.

I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Marvin Gaye

Song year: 1968

The late 1960s brought us an ocean’s worth of influential music, and that includes the soul and swagger of Marvin Gaye. At first listen you might think this is just a cool vintage swing R&B song, but upon closer review you will hear a man coming to terms with a cheating lover.

Scotty Doesn’t Know – Lustra

Song year: 2004

One of the more recognizable songs from the early 2000s, “Scotty Doesn’t Know” brings back a sound that might breath nostalgia into some of you, but also tells the story from the perspective of the guy who is having relations with Scotty’s girlfriend. Seventeen years later, Scotty still does not know. This was a big song for the teen party movie Euro-Trip and Matt Damon makes a cameo as the frontman for the band performing it.

Bad Blood – Taylor Swift

Song year: 2014

It would be a genuine challenge to find anyone who has not screamed their lungs out alongside this track. Taylor Swift has written hit after hit since she was a teenager, and “Bad Blood” is no exception. Featuring Kendrick Lamar on the song and other appearances throughout the video, this is sure to be on rotation the next time you are hurting.

You Give Love A Bad Name – Bon Jovi

Song year: 1986

Did somebody order hair? In a style unique only to the 80s, Bon Jovi had big hair but even bigger hits. You would have to wander around in a desert to avoid hearing “You Give Love A Bad Name.” It is a song that is still played everywhere to this day, whether you are pumping gas into your car, shopping for groceries, or getting over an ex.

Say My Name – Destiny’s Child

Song year: 1999

For some of you reading this, Destiny’s Child might have gotten you through your first breakup. “Say My Name” is one of, if not the most, recognizable songs by the trio. Line after line revolves around confronting a disinterested lover suspected of cheating. Just trust Beyonce Knowles on this one and let her guide you through the pain and heartbreak.

Whipping Post – The Allman Brothers Band

Song year: 1969

“Whipping Post” is an all-timer. Written from the perspective of a guy who is beyond down on his luck, you can hear Gregg Allman howl through his troubles like his car getting wrecked and his girl running off with one of his friends. The title says it all, as he feels as though he is being tied to a proverbial whipping post. The music itself is a driving force, sure to help you get back on to your feet.

Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) – Cher

Song year: 1966

This classic rendition of the older Nancy Sinatra song is Cher at her finest in terms of emotion. “Bang Bang” is a slower song, however it tells the story of two childhood friends who become lovers. Now, what makes this track beautiful is it has multiple interpretations – did the lover die or did they get married and he abandoned her? If that is too much to think about just enjoy the glamor of 1960s Cher.

Cry Me A River – Justin Timberlake

Song year: 2002

Justin Timberlake lays it all out on his early 2000s smash hit, “Cry Me A River.” Armed with falsettos and about a dozen different vocal tracks, the former N*SYNC singer guides us all through confronting an ex-lover caught in a scandalous relationship. This is one of those songs where even if you do not know it, you definitely know it.

The First Cut Is The Deepest – Sheryl Crow

Song year: 2003

A song made famous by a few artists before her, Sheryl Crow said “step aside.” Her version tackles the emotion that Rod Stewart could not and combines it with modern audio. “The First Cut Is The Deepest” is a song that tackles the recovery process of being betrayed, discussing how it is hard to love again after being hurt so badly.

Heartless – Kanye West

Song year: 2008

Now mostly known for his relationship with the Kardashians, before all of that Kanye dropped back-to-back records that changed the game. Heartless is and was a huge hit that is all about calling out a cruel lover. It is an anthemic song and showcases some of Kanye’s best attributes in lyricism and beat making, making it one of the best to get you through a hard time.

Cry – Kelly Clarkson

Song year: 2009

Kelly Clarkson’s “Cry” is a beautifully strong song about breaking up. The themes it covers stretch from the awkwardness of seeing mutual friends, painting smiles, and wondering when the feeling of sadness will pass over. It tells an authentic story and the musical production carries the load of it all, despite how heavy the content is.

Smile – Lily Allen

Song year: 2006

Lily Allen took the world by storm with this sultry, tongue-in-cheek slap in the face of a break up song. “Smile” is about just that – smiling while watching a lover who wronged you complain about how they are not doing well. The feeling is justified, however, as you will hear when you listen to Allen’s lyrical storytelling. Safe to say everyone has been in this situation before, especially during times of betrayal.

Rolling In The Deep – Adele

Song year: 2011

Adele has been setting the bar for breakup songs since her popularity rose with the success of “Rolling In The Deep.” She makes you feel feelings for people you have never even met. Her voice on this track is a vessel that carries us through each and every painstaking moment of feeling regret for not being able to live out a life with her lover, claiming that this person will regret not reciprocating the feelings back to her.

Somebody That I Used To Know – Gotye

Song year: 2011

What was going on in 2011? Who hurt everyone? There was an influx of smash hit break up songs to listen to back then, a few more famous than Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know.” Featuring Kimbra, this is a song about a guy complaining that a girl completely cut ties with him. What makes this one special is that the girl’s perspective is also shared, claiming that the guy is equally at fault.

Unwanted – Avril Lavigne

Song year: 2002

Avril Lavigne’s Let Go is easily her most well-known album to date. “Unwanted” is a lesser known song off the record, but still holds up to this day. You can hear Avril’s pain as she begs to be taken seriously, wondering what it will take to be accepted, all to be ultimately shut out by whoever or whatever the song is about. It could be about a lover, it could be about the music industry, it could even be about the fans.

Use Me – Bill Withers

Song year: 1972

The late Bill Withers was one of the coolest names in music back then, and despite his widely mourned death, is still celebrated to this day. Still Bill is full of soulful gems that drip early 70s swagger. Bill Withers wrote “Use Me” about exactly what the title implies – being used. Talking about a two-faced lover, he is betrayed time and time again but keeps going back for more until he is ultimately used up.

Eye Hate U – Prince

Song year: 1995

Prince was a generational talent, rest his soul. Few artists were able to reinvent their image and sound as many times as he did while also maintaining a loyal audience. “Eye Hate U” is a song reminiscent of old Motown mixed with screaming guitars, a blend only Prince could make work. He tells a story of conflict, wanting to hate his lover but cannot because he loves her. Mid-song he holds a court trial about it. Absolutely one of a kind.

We Used to be Friends – Dandy Warhols

Song year: 2003

Ah, the 2000s, a new millennium, everyone had piercings, the internet, Kathy Lee and Regis Philbin greeted you every morning, and music was caught between the shiny new toys of modern technology and the grit and “devil may care” attitude of the 90s. The Dandy Warhols are an absolute time capsule of a band and their song, “We Used To Be Friends,” cries out to a broken friendship with all the nuance only found in this decade.

Back Stabbers – The O’Jays

Song year: 1972

The O’Jays captured that soul sound in the 70s and erupted with their album Back Stabbers. The trio found themselves in the center of the huge soul music boom coming out of Philadelphia and right off the bat from hearing this tune you can see why. As the title of the song suggests, it is all about backstabbers coming for you.

Such a Night – Dr. John (The Band)

Song year: 1973

While this song is technically a product of The Band, Dr. John wrote, sang, and performed this one all by himself. What sounds like a fun, laid back, piano rock song is actually a tale of betraying his friend and trying to steal his girlfriend away from him. If you have seen Dr. John, you might agree that he has a shot.

Don’t Hurt Yourself – Beyonce ft. Jack White

Song year: 2016

“Don’t Hurt Yourself” is a track off of the iconic Beyonce record, Lemonade, an album washed over with references to an alleged cheating scandal revolving around her husband, Jay-Z. Gritty vocals lace this song about happily moving on and making the former lover watch her empower herself independently. One word; iconic.

Backstreets – Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

Song year: 1975

Roy Bittan delivers a heartbreakingly beautiful intro on piano and organ to set the tone for this 70s classic off of Born To Run. Bruce Springsteen delivers his patented brand of storytelling about a friendship that goes through the motions of fading away. “Backstreets” is a painful realization that nothing truly lasts, no matter how strong a bond may be.

Positively 4th Street – Bob Dylan

Song year: 1965

If you are a fan of Springsteen’s tale of waning friendships, check out the guy who paved the way for him. Bob Dylan is one of the most notable lyricists in the history of music and has done some incredible things for the singer-songwriter genre. “Positively 4th Street” is a call-out to every sycophantic relationship and betrayal he has gone through during his life.

Cornflake Girl – Tori Amos

Song year: 1994

Tori Amos preached realness in the 90s and “Cornflake Girl” was no different. With a term she made up with her friends, she used the title to describe women she deemed shallow and untrustworthy. Another sort of call-out song, Amos howls out to the would-be-betrayers or otherwise flakey people in her life and tells them to leave her alone.

Loyal To Me – Nina Nesbitt

Song year: 2017

Nina Nesbitt burst onto the scene in 2017 with her hit single “Loyal To Me.” A fountain of women's empowerment, she implores her fellow female friends to leave behind anyone who says they will do things and then they do not.

False Pretense – The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

False Pretense - The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

Song year: 2006

Power-pop-punk outfit (no pun intended) The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus have had a history of writing about real-world problems instead of just fabricating a narrative to make a hit. “False Pretense” is no different, calling out a close friend or family member for being fake and manipulative. It is a revenge story told through loud guitars and one that just about everyone can relate to one way or another.

Toxic – Kehlani

Song year: 2020

Kehlani wrote “Toxic” and put it all out on display. Toxic is about just that, the toxicities of a casual relationship that you may have found yourself in one way or another. While the song does not target one side for betraying the other, she instead accepts the blame as well as both parties share their faults for putting each other in a bad place.

Say It – Evans Blue

Song year: 2009

“Say It” by Evans Blue cuts right to the core of betrayal in a relationship. Confronting a lover who wronged you, sharing that they thought they were in control only to find out they were being played the entire time. Heavy guitars and vocals will have you letting it all out, just crank up the volume before you do.

When the Wild Life Betrays Me – Jimmy Buffett

Song year: 1984

When Jimmy Buffett is not singing about cheeseburgers or margaritas, he is usually found writing some of the realest songs on the block. “When The Wild Life Betrays Me” is no different, talking about a musician touring around the country and cheating on their significant other. The song comes off as a confession, making it painstakingly beautiful.

Not Today – Mary J. Blige

Song year: 2003

Mary J. Blige has had a career that spans decades and songs like this are part of the reason why. “Not Today” is a self proclaimed “heartbreak hotel joint” written for all the women who have been wronged by their man. It is a powerful song, inspiring anyone who is listening not to tolerate anyone playing with their emotions.

Second Chances – Kiana Ledé

Song year: 2020

One of the best things to happen in more recent music is female artists writing songs that empower the ideology of not taking anyone's crap. “Second Chances” is Kiana telling her lover to “love me or leave me” and taking matters into her own hands.

Deep End – Birdy

Song Year: 2016

Birdy takes a long look in the mirror on their track, “Deep End.” Written from the perspective of someone falling out of love with someone, the song explores the motions of no longer finding their jokes funny and not knowing if that person actually means anything to them. It is a self-reflective song that tackles the betrayal of one’s self in a relationship.

Reinventing Your Exit – Underoath

Song Year: 2004

Did you blink in the year 2004? Then you might have missed this diamond in the rough of alternative rock bands from this era. Underoath wrote some underground hits in the early 2000s but this was the icebreaker. “Reinventing Your Exit” tells the tale of two lovers looking for a way out but constantly compromising each other. Fire up your MySpace and give it a listen.

Comfort Betrays – As I Lay Dying

Song year: 2007

As I Lay Dying is not exactly known for writing ballads. The metal band hits the nail on the head about betrayal on “Comfort Betrays,” though. You could even argue that this is exactly what betrayal sounds like, frantic guitars and super aggressive screaming while trying to figure out what went wrong.

Switch Up – Toni Romiti

Song year: 2019

Toni Romiti is wondering the same thing everyone wonders when they find out they are being cheated on – why? Her song “Switch Up” covers all the bases, speaking as though she is finding out at the same time as you listening, making this an intimate conversational track that you might be able to relate directly to.

Your Betrayal – Bullet for My Valentine

Song year: 2010

Bullet For My Valentine is an acquired taste, however if you are going through a breakup or some sort of betrayal this song will speak volumes to you. Themes include being loyal to a fault, flames, questioning a loved one's motives, and guitar solos.

Mr. Storyteller – Human Drama

Song year: 1999

Human Drama wrote a song that sounds like a fireside folktale about a weary traveler’s tale of despair. Acoustic guitars and strings accompany a pain-riddled story of someone who once thought a love was true only to find out they were being lied to over and over.

She Loves Me Not – Papa Roach

Song year: 2002

Hard rock band Papa Roach has been in the game for a long time now taking over airwaves with crunchy guitars and a style that blends metal and rap together. “She Loves Me Not” is a song of self-realization, with both people in the relationship recognizing they do not love each other but cannot find a way out.

99 Times – Kate Voegele

Song year: 2009

2009 brought a lot of female rock artists into the spotlight, Kate Voegele is no exception. “99 Times” is a sizzler of a pop rock ballad, crying out about a lover who lies all the time. Voegele realizes this and in so many words is letting the world know that she is moving on.

Personal – Kehlani

Song year: 2017

Another Kehlani banger, “Personal touches” on a personal relationship with someone in the music industry. Kehlani spits truth as she talks about how she independently made it to the top without the help of anyone and that this person she is singing about got ahead of themselves. Kehlani has no time for anyone trying to hold her down and she will gladly let you know.

Unraveling – Sevendust

Song year: 2010

Sevendust is not known for holding any punches, and the same sentiment rings true with their 2010 hit “Unraveling.” The song goes into how the author is being lied to and it is time for the world to understand how bad things have been.

Apologize – Timbaland feat. OneRepublic

Song year: 2007

Timbaland pieced together an incredible song of self worth with the help of OneRepublic. “Apologize” embodies everything it takes to stand up for yourself when someone is wronging you.

Backstabber – Kesha

Song year: 2010

Kesha is known for her raw and unapologetic style, so it is fitting that she would write a call-out song like “Backstabber.” Upon finding out someone in her camp was telling tall tales about her life, she took pen to paper and mouth to microphone to lay out a revenge anthem.

Call Me When You're Sober – Evanescence

Song year: 2006

Addiction is no joke, it can change who you are and severely strain your relationships with family and friends. Amy Lee of Evanescence wrote “Call Me When You’re Sober” about just that. Tired of being blamed for her loved one’s issues and flat out being lied to, she wrote this song to confront those demons.

Dogs – Pink Floyd

Song year: 1977

Pink Floyd were always ahead of the curve when it came to artistic direction in their music as well as being topical. “Dogs” is off an album called Animals, basically mirroring human behavior metaphorically with different animals. “Dogs” is a 17 minute masterpiece discussing the ruthless and cutthroat nature of man, specifically in the business world.

Gone – Charli XCX & Christine and the Queens

Song year: 2019

“Gone” is a song that you just cannot get enough of. It is one of those tracks that just says everything you want to say during a breakup. It is about two people betraying each other by sticking around because they do not know how to find a way out of it. Nobody wins in a situation like that and Charli XCX does a great job of exploring that.

All Out of Love – Air Supply

Song year: 1980

Yeah, sure, Air Supply got some laughs when Will Ferrell and the rest of the cast of Anchorman sang Afternoon Delight, but they are legitimate songwriters. “All Out of Love” is a testament to that, exploring the struggle of someone falling out of love and coming to terms with it, knowing that they will consistently betray their partner but staying with them.

Good 4 U – Olivia Rodrigo

Song year: 2021

Do you know how insane you would have to be to make a list of songs about breakups and betrayals and not include Olivia Rodrigo’s record-breaking hit “Good 4 U?” The teen has taken the world by storm with a few singles, this one launched her into the stratosphere though. If you are going through, look no further than this track to help you along.

F.O.D. – Greenday

Song year: 1994

Greenday has written a lot of angsty songs over the years, “F.O.D.” might be the angriest of them all. A hidden track at the end of 1994s magnum opus Dookie, this track talks about when enough is enough. Getting backstabbed by someone you trust over and over again is never healthy and frontman Billie Joe Armstrong is here to tell you why.

Put Out the Light – Joe Cocker

Song year: 1974

Joe Cocker is one of the most notable voices in rock-and-roll. “Put Out The Light” is centered around someone just simply asking not to put the light out on their romance. The song sounds jovial and bouncy but when you really listen, you can hear a cry for help.

Best Songs About Betrayal, Final Thoughts

Well, those are the top songs about betrayals of friendship, family or trust that you can listen to when you are going through similar experiences. These are songs that can help you get through painful experiences, one way or another.

Music has a way of letting you know that you do not have to go through our problems alone, even outside of heartbreak and betrayal. Take a listen to some of these songs and you may come out with a better understanding of yourself and the feeling of betrayal.

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