Pop songs thrive on human drama. Great music is borne of great emotion, and many bands plumb their feelings and pain to write heartfelt songs.
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Songs about lying boyfriends are a pivotal element of music history. Listeners relate to these laments, anthems, and ballads, making them timeless.
We’ve collected the ten best songs about lying boyfriends to make you feel better about your own partner or to convince you to change your ways.
Topping our list of songs about being lied to is Rilo Kiley’s 2004 breakout album More Adventurous includes a slew of songs about toxic relationships. “Does He Love You?” tells the story of a man lying on two fronts-first to his wife, then to his girlfriend.
Sung from the mistress’s perspective, the song is a conversation between two best friends involved with the same man. He’s lying to his wife about fidelity, and he lies to his girlfriend about leaving his wife and moving to California.
The song doesn’t condemn the lying boyfriend/spouse. The singer is even-handed and pragmatic; she knows her boyfriend is lying to her, and she doesn’t care because she isn’t invested in the relationship.
“I Thought You Were My Boyfriend” tackles a classic pop song setup. The singer discovers his boyfriend is not exclusive and struggles with the realization.
The song twists the convention by having the singer state that while he knows his boyfriend is lying to him about loving him and his other lovers, he’s decided he doesn’t care. The song suggests the singer himself isn’t terribly honest; although he says he doesn’t care, he laments his partner’s infidelity.
While he claims he has a backlog of guys eager to replace the truant boyfriend, he hasn’t actually left the cad.
The Magnetic Fields included “I Thought You Were my Boyfriend” on their 2004 record i, a concept album where every song starts with the titular letter.
Poor Carly Rae Jepsen has boy problems. “Beach House,” the second single off her album The Loneliest Time.
The singer is dealing with not one lying boyfriend but several. She’s dating around and finding the scene pretty unpleasant. Carly Rae’s boyfriends lie about things ranging from a secret wife to whether or not they intend to harvest her organs.
“Beach House” is a fun dance song with a wicked sense of humor. While the singer wants to find love, she’s sardonic about her failures. The song considers the various lies early-stage boyfriends tell to deceive their partner into entering a relationship.
“Before He Cheats” is the ultimate cautionary tale for lying boyfriends. The singer discovers her boyfriend’s blown her off to spend the evening in a dive bar with another woman. Carrie seeks vengeance by destroying his car while he’s in the bar.
“Before He Cheats” is triumphant and cathartic, a classic revenge tale. Its gender politics don’t hold up to scrutiny, however. The singer’s assessment of the other woman is scathing, mean-girl vitriol.
The boyfriend’s a liar, and there’s no reason to assume the girl in the bar has any knowledge of her lover’s girlfriend. Calling the other woman a “tramp” and “white trash” sours an otherwise victorious anthem. Underwood included the hit on her 2006 album Some Hearts.
“The Call” was an unexpected direction for the squeaky clean Backstreet Boys to take. The lying boyfriend sings the song about his decision to cheat on his girlfriend and how it blew up in his face.
This liar manages a two-front deception. His first lie is the phone call he places to his girlfriend. He tells her that he’s hanging out with his friends, nothing untoward, and definitely not cheating on her.
The upbeat number assures listeners that nothing good came of his lies. His partner’s friend discovers his infidelity, leading his girlfriend to leave him.
The track appears on the Backstreet Boys 2001 record Black & Blue.
Shaggy joyously celebrates the fine art of gaslighting in the hit single “It Wasn’t Me.”
The song’s premise is simple; Rikrok simply can’t stop cheating on his girlfriend. He’s not discreet in his indiscretions with the girl next door, and his partner keeps walking in on him. Shaggy advises denial; the narrator should tell his girlfriend it’s not him who she is looking at, actively cheating on her.
Shaggy gives terrible advice, and Rikrok decides to come clean with his girl and apologize. Shaggy included the hit on his 2000 album Hot Shot.
It’s hard to imagine anyone cheating on Beyonce, but that is the central premise of “Say My Name.”
The singer becomes suspicious that her boyfriend refuses to say her name or call her any terms of endearment on the phone. She determines that another woman is in his house, and he is lying to both of them. Beyonce gives her errant mate plenty of opportunities to come clean, but he continues to lie. He tells her he’s alone, but she hears another voice in the background, confirming her worst suspicions.
“Say My Name” appears on Destiny’s Child’s 1999 album The Writing’s on the Wall.
Sam Smith wrestles with his boyfriend’s ability to continually lie to him in the poignant “How Do You Sleep?”
The singer knows his boyfriend’s been deceiving him. Smith wonders how it’s possible to find rest when lying to someone you love. The song examines the ways toxic relationships separate us from ourselves.
The singer behaves in ways antithetical to his nature. He begins searching his partner’s phone and, upon learning his boyfriend is lying, descends further into behavior he loathes. Smith included “How Do You Sleep?” on his 2019 record, Love Goes.
The narrator of “The Hardest Thing” is a busy boy. He’s lying to his girlfriend and his mistress.
The singer explains that he’s beginning to feel guilty about lying to his partner. He tells the other woman that he has to leave plans to make the break as clean as possible by telling her he doesn’t love her. He still harbors romantic feelings for her, and the declaration is a lie.
98 Degrees released “The Hardest Thing” at the peak of boy-band mania. The group skewed more R&B than similar bands, and “The Hardest Thing” is a soulful anthem.The song appears on the 1999 album 98 Degrees and Rising.
“You Lie” presents deception as a tragic but noble act of self-sacrifice.
The singer knows her partner stopped loving her. He continues to profess affection because she loves him so much that the truth would devastate her. The singer isn’t angry at her boyfriend. She understands why he’s lying to her and can’t handle living without him.
This song about lies and secrets suggests that the singer’s boyfriend will keep him bound to her for at least a little longer.
The tragic anthem reached number one in both Canada and the United States.
Reba McEntire included “You Lie” on her 1990 album Rumor Has It.
Lying boyfriends inspire a wide array of emotions. These songs explore every possible reaction and motivation for a partner’s deception. They stand the test of time because we see something of ourselves in them, either as deceived or deceiver.