Trust is a difficult thing — whether you’re looking for songs about not knowing who to trust or about people who don’t trust you, here are the best songs about trust.
Even in the best relationships, building a connection with another person that is centered around trust can take much time and a willingness to forgive the mistakes that we all make as human beings. Indeed, the best songwriters often understand that falling in love can often require us to become better people in the process.
The following songs demonstrate an understanding of trust as an essential foundation for a meaningful life and meaningful relationships; they’re also simply astounding pieces of music in their own right.
1. The Beach Boys, “God Only Knows”
There can be little doubt that “God Only Knows” is one of the most beautiful love songs of the 20th Century. But the Brian Wilson-penned tune is also about the sense of trust and reliability that any good relationship should have at its core: Over a truly gorgeous melodic and harmonic musical arrangement, Wilson’s brother Carl sings that “So long as there are stars above you/You never need to doubt it/I’ll make you so sure about it/God only knows what I’d be without you.”
While Brian Wilson wrote many genius-level songs over the course of his career, “God Only Knows” remains his masterpiece almost 55 years on.
2. Peter Cetera, “Glory of Love”
While Peter Cetera scored one of his biggest hits after contributing the song “Glory of Love” to the soundtrack of “The Karate Kid Part II” in 1986, the tune has transcended its 1980s pop culture sensibilities and has since become a touchstone of adult contemporary music. The song is a great expression of love and trust between a couple; indeed, Cetera cowrote “Glory of Love” with his wife Diane Nini.
3. Foreigner, “I Want to Know What Love Is”
Like many songs about trust, “I Want to Know What Love Is” is about the capacity for human beings to change and to see things in life differently. The song’s narrator admits that he has been hurt in the past in relationships; however, it is clear that he is ready to trust his new love interest: “I want to know what love is, I want you to show me/I want to feel what love is, I know you can show me.”
As the song shows, trust is not to be confused with naïveté or credulity; in fact, the development of trust often occurs after we learn from past mistakes and seek to make a better life for ourselves.
4. Fleetwood Mac, “Songbird”
While Christine McVie tended to occupy less of the cultural spotlight in Fleetwood Mac’s storied career than her bandmates Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, McVie’s songs were some of the loveliest that Fleetwood Mac ever produced.
One of McVie’s finest tunes, “Songbird” is about the healing capacity of trust in a relationship. When McVie sings the lines “For you, there’ll be no more crying/For you, the sun will be shining/And I feel that when I’m with you,/It’s alright, I know it’s right,” it is clear that she has turned a new page in her life and in her ability to trust another person.
5. Bread, “Baby I’m-a Want You”
In this underrated Bread song from 1972, the band’s chief songwriter David Gates admits that his trust in his lover is “Like a guiding light to help me through a darkest hour.” Gates has a gift for writing about the importance of trust in relationships, but this stand-out single remains one of the composer’s best songs.
6. The Human League, “Human”
By 1986, The Human League were an inescapable fixture of the pop music charts. But their song “Human” remains the most notable song in the band’s storied career. With the song’s lyrics arranged as a kind of dialogue between two lovers, “Human” contemplates the role that trust plays in a relationship over time.
The song also asserts that building trust in a relationship requires the allowance of forgiveness towards others and oneself. Pop music is rarely this incisive or unsentimental about love.
7. Talk Talk, “I Believe In You”
Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful songs ever written about trusting another person, Talk Talk’s seminal “I Believe In You” is a deeply-moving piece of music that portrays the development of love as a kind of leap of faith.
As songs go, “I Believe In You” is just about as heartfelt as it gets: Unlike the band’s massive 1984 single “It’s My Life,” “I Believe In You” tones down the 80s-pop bombast that Talk Talk once specialized in in exchange for sombre tones and studio experimentation.
8. Nick Drake, “Which Will”
Appearing on Nick Drake’s final album “Pink Moon,” “Which Will” is a heartfelt plea to a loved one. The song’s lyrics evoke a desire for trust that is profoundly meaningful on a personal level: “Which will you answer/Which will you call/Which will you take for/For your one and all”; indeed, Drake’s words evoke the longing for trust that the songwriter must have felt in his own life.
9. Elliott Smith, “Happiness”
Like Nick Drake, Elliott Smith struggled in relationships throughout his all-too-short lifetime. But his song “Happiness” is about the joy that comes from both loving and trusting another person.
During the song’s chorus, Smith sings, “What I used to be will pass away, and then you’ll see/That all I want now is happiness for you and me.” The song is a paean to the capacity of individuals to change and to create brighter futures for themselves and their loved ones. The song remains an emotional highlight in Smith’s otherwise melancholy body of work.
10. Joni Mitchell, “All I Want”
The album “Blue” is by no means Joni Mitchell’s most upbeat album. Despite the collection’s themes of sadness, however, the songwriter didn’t set out to make a completely bleak musical statement.
In fact, album opener “All I Want” is a profound celebration of the joys of a trusting connection between two people. Accompanied by a jangling dulcimer, Mitchell sings of a relationship where “All I really really want our love to do/Is to bring out the best in me and in you.” Here Mitchell shows that love is at its best when trust is at the helm.
11. “A Matter Of Trust” by Billy Joel
This song was written and recorded by American singer-songwriter and musician Billy Joel. The song focuses on trust as the cornerstone of a lasting relationship.
It first appeared on his tenth studio album 1986’s “The Bridge.” It was also the second single from the platter and garnered additional attention in the Soviet Union, where it was included in a government-sponsored TV promotion of Joel’s songs and upcoming concerts.
12. “Trust in Me” by Etta James
This trust-filled track was performed and recorded by the late American singer Etta James. It was written by Milton Ager, Jean Schwartz, and Ned Wever in 1937. This song about trust in a relationship was first recorded by Mildred Bailey and famously revived in 1960 when James included a distinctive cover version of it on her premiere platter titled “At Last!” It made it to number 12 on the Billboard Top Catalog Albums chart.
13. “Trust” by Justin Bieber
“Trust” was recorded by Canadian singer Justin Bieber and co-written with Jason Boyd and Mark Jackson. The song is about two people regaining trust in their personal relationship. It first appeared as a bonus track off the deluxe edition of his fourth studio disc “Purpose” which was released in 2016. The supporting tour was focused on redemption as the pop star was working to regain the trust he lost.
14. “Trust In You” by Lauren Daigle
This is a spiritually-based song recorded by the American contemporary Christian music singer Lauren Daigle. It was co-written with Michael Farren and focuses on trusting in God. The tune originally appeared on her debut disc “How Can It Be” which hit stores in 2016. It was the third single off the album and garnered the artist a GMA Dove Award in 2016 and a Grammy nomination the following year.
15. “Trust” by Christine Perri
“Trust” was written and recorded by American singer-songwriter Christine Perri. This trusty track is featured on the performer’s platter “Head or Heart” which hit stores in 2014. The song is the emotive album opener. Focused on the topic of trust, it was produced by the well-known English music producer, songwriter, and arranger Jake Gosling. The album peaked at number four in the US.
16. “Trust Me” by Susanne Sundfør
This particular piece about trust is an original song written and recorded by Norwegian singer-songwriter Susanne Sundfør. This track, like all the others she included on her fourth studio album “Ten Love Songs”, focuses on love and relationships. The disc dropped in February of 2015. Oddly enough, when she sat down to write the song, she had intended to write a song about violence.
17. “Trust” by Buju Banton
“Trust” was written and recorded by Jamaican reggae dancehall recording artist Buju Banton. This song is focused more on what the speaker does not trust than everything and everyone else he does trust. He has obvious issues about modern technology such as smartphones and what some people do with them. It’s off his latest CD titled “Upside Down 2020.”
18. “Trust” by Megadeth
Trust” is a song recorded by American heavy metal group Megadeth. It was written by band members Dave Mustaine and Marty Friedman and appears on the group’s seventh studio album, “Cryptic Writings.” The song, like all the other cuts on the disc, was recorded in both English and Spanish and hit stores in 1997. The trust-filled track tells the tuneful tale of relationships that failed because of mutual dishonesty. The song peaked at number five on the charts and is the band’s most successful single.
19. “Trust (Live)” by Hillsong Young & Free
This song was recorded live by the youthful, contemporary worship music act Hillsong Young & Free based out of Sydney, Australia. The song, which focuses on trusting in God when one can’t handle life’s problems alone, is included on the group’s second live album titled “Youth Revival.” The Granny-nominated recording was released in November of 2016.
20. “Trust Nobody” by The D4
Last but not necessarily least, is “Trust Nobody.” This track was recorded by Auckland, New Zealand-based rock band The D4. The 2005 tune was first featured on the act’s second studio disc named “Out of My Head.”
The songs are written by group vocalist/guitarists Jimmy Christmas and Dion Palmer. The lyrics discuss lying, faking, and backstabbing, The conclusion is that one should not automatically trust anyone.