Where would pop music be without lying lovers? Deception leads to betrayal, which leads to a catchy melody.
Lies take many forms, however. The deceptions in music often spring from infidelity, but they can also be about claiming love or simply about where a person intends to be. Lies provide a fertile base and a slew of song-writing potential.
While deception isn’t limited to one gender, many have written songs about lying women. This list looks at ten classics of the category.
Top Songs About Lying Women
“Lyin’ Eyes” – the Eagles
Eyes are the windows to the soul, and “Lyin’ Eyes” suggests they’re also great polygraphs.
The song tells the story of a young woman who marries a much older man for his money and connections. However, she longs for romance and physical connection and takes a young lover.
She assures her husband she is only visiting a friend, but he reads her eyes and knows she’s lying. Our young heroine also lies to her boy on the side, promising she’ll leave her husband.
While the song calls out her “lyin’ eyes,” it takes a surprisingly sympathetic view of a young woman trapped in a difficult situation.
“Tell Me Why” – The Beatles
The Beatles understood the basics of a perfect pop song better than any other band. While many of their earworms relied on requited love, often, the group used conflict to create memorable tunes.
“Tell Me Why” keeps it simple. The singer wants to understand why his girlfriend lied to him. She’s been treating him poorly and mysteriously breaking out in tears. The narrator loves her and wants to move forward, provided she explains her deceit.
John Lennon’s 1964 song appeared on the Beatles’ record A Hard Days Night and features in the identically named movie.
“Tell Me Why” is a sad song with an upbeat tempo. The tune mimics the doo-wop girl groups popular in the 60s. It’s been covered numerous times, most notably by the Beach Boys.
“Found Out About You” – The Gin Blossoms
Discovering your partner’s lying is bad enough, but finding out that everyone knew before you is devastating.
“Found out About You’ explores that misery over a catchy pop beat. The singer tells a story of quick, hot love. The pair spent a summer together before things went sour. The narrator begins hearing rumors about his lady-love, and their relationship falls apart.
He questions whether every profession of love she made was a lie and the secrets she kept. He hears “whispers at the bus stop” and learns what everyone else already knew about his erstwhile lover.
“Found Out About You” was inescapable in 1990. The massive hit played on every radio station, propelled by relatable lyrics and catchy guitar work.
“Cry Me a River” – Justin Timberlake
The mythology of “Cry Me a River” often overshadows the song itself. Justin Timberlake wrote the song hot off his relationship with Britney Spears.
“Cry Me a River” is a song about cheating and deception. The singer establishes how important his girlfriend was to him and how devastating her lies are.
He says that he discovered her deceit and infidelity from the man she cheated with, making the betrayal even more devastating. He’s moving on, stating he may have been able to forgive her if she’d been honest with him.
The public poured over the song, desperate for hints about the young couple’s private life. “Cry Me a River” helped establish Timberlake as a serious artist beyond his boyband roots.The tune was an immediate hit, flying up charts.
“You Know I’m No Good” – Amy Winehouse
Few artists have held a mirror as unflinchingly to their faults as Amy Winehouse did. Her songs were honest and brutal ruminations on human frailty.
“You Know I’m No Good” is both the song’s title and its thesis statement. Winehouse cheats on her steady and beloved boyfriend. She lies to him about fidelity, even though the relationship is good and valued.
Her partner knows she’s lying and cheating on him. He tells her that once they wed, she’ll have to stop.
He discovers she’s still philandering in the final verse but shows indifference. She finds this reaction worse than outrage and knows her worst qualities destroyed her relationship.
“Take It On the Run” – REO Speedwagon
“Take it on the Run” is surprisingly high-concept for its bright pop beat. The song tells the story of a man trying to separate his girlfriend’s potential little white lies from the enormous rumors surrounding her.
The singer believes his girlfriend is deceiving him. He thinks she might be cheating, but he’s not certain. However, the neighborhood rumors are much larger and more elaborate than anything he’s prepared to accept.
The song presents a pragmatic look at betrayal. The singer doesn’t deny the possibility of infidelity. He also isn’t prepared the accept whispered-down-the-lane rumors. The truth in “Take it on the Run” is nebulous and shifting.
“Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off” – Panic! At the Disco
“Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off” is more subtle than the cumbersome title suggests.
Panic! At the Disco uses their signature wit to tell the story of a love gone wrong. The singer was in a happy relationship with his girlfriend until she cheated on him for what he assures her is a fleeting attraction. He’s confident she’ll regret her deception once she realizes that her spark with the new guy is temporary and the singer deserved better.
Brendan Urie, Ryan Ross, and Spencer Smith co-wrote the song. The single was a modest success for Panic! At the Disco.
“Better Man” – Pearl Jam
Eddie Vedder’s mumbled vocals sometimes obscure what a nuanced and gifted lyricist he is. “Better Man” is a sympathetic look at a woman trapped in a loveless relationship. This song’s lying woman deceives out of kindness.
She tells her partner she still loves him even though she doesn’t. Her fib isn’t based on a desire to cheat while maintaining the relationship. The heroine wants to leave, but she’s afraid of hurting a man she still cares about, despite losing the spark.
“Better Man” enjoyed critical acclaim and modest success.
“Honesty” – Billy Joel
Lies provide comfort to some. Well-intentioned people sometimes deceive to spare another’s feelings. In “Honesty,” Billy Joel implores his lover not to do that.
The singer suspects his partner is lying to him. He understands all the reasons someone may lie out of kindness. However, Joel wants honesty more than sympathy, finding the trait rare in others.
Joel composed the melancholic ballad in 1979. While not Billy Joel’s biggest hit, “Honesty” appeared on several charts.
“I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Met)” – Bob Dylan
The lie at the heart of “I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Met)” isn’t based on infidelity. Instead, the woman lies about her one-night stand.
The singer spent a fantastic night with a beautiful woman. In the morning, however, she spurns his company and treats him like a stranger. Dylan ponders the events of the previous evening, trying to determine if his actions spurred the woman’s betrayal.
Dylan wrote and released the song in 1964.
Lying is part of human nature. While deception causes pain and betrayal, musicians turn it into catharsis and art. These ten songs about lying women will help you exorcize your own betrayal demons, all to catchy pop beats.