Songs about secret love are excellent for lyrics with a romantic twist. In this article we aim to give the low down on the best songs about secret love which are dominated by female singer-songwriters
Many wax lyrical on being unable to hide their love and can do nothing more than keep it a secret. Here’s hoping that you too can find a relatable message in each musical piece.
“Tears Dry On Their Own” – Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse was considered by many to be one of the best female singers, with this song about the elusive nature of love and the inevitable need for intimacy. However, her success was cut short due to death.
Amy still managed to be featured on one of the lists of top singers. The song is about a woman who has a crush on her best friend and doesn’t know how to tell him about it. It was featured on her album Back to Black. It was written by Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson, and Salaam Remi.
“Love” – Lana Del Rey
This song is about the ability of love to make people do crazy things. Lana Del Rey and Rick Nowels wrote the song.
It is featured on her album Born to Die. It was then released as the second single from her debut studio album Born to Die  and has become a hit internationally, reaching number ten in Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Korea, and Belgium and number 20 in France.
This song was featured in a New York Times article describing its use in making modern-day music videos. The song has been praised by fans and critics, who have deemed it a highlight on Born to Die.
“My Little Secret” – Xscape
The song is about a person who has fallen in love with another person despite being in a relationship. However, they realize the consequences of their secret love and want to keep it from those around them.
The song is written by Kandi Burruss, Jermaine Dupri, and Manuel Seal. It is released as the second single from their debut album, Xscape. The song charted at number 33 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Beautiful Liar” – Beyonce ft. Shakira
The song was about lying to yourself about cheating. The song was written by Beyoncé Knowles, Nadir Khayat, Elhadji Francois Mebara, Tommy Mottola, and Shakira.
The song is featured on Beyonce’s album B’Day and Bey also does a part of the background vocals. It was released as a second single from the album B’Day. The song peaked at number five in Switzerland and six in Germany and Austria.
“Don’t Leave Me This Way” – Thelma Houston
This song is about leaving a relationship before it becomes too difficult to handle. This song was co-written and produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.
It was peaked at number three in the United States, becoming Houston’s first single to reach the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.
It was sampled in 2003 by house music producer Todd Terry, with Houston’s vocal included on his single, Don’t Leave Me Alone Uh Oooh, Uh Oooh.
“Secrets” – One Republic
The song is about a man who has fallen in love with his wife but couldn’t tell anyone because others would judge him for that. He sings that he knows she loves him too. However, the only thing that keeps them apart is their secrets.
The singer sings how he will forever keep her secret safe because if they disappear, then so will his love for her. it is featured on the album ‘Dreaming Out Loud.’
“Secret” – Maroon 5
This song is about a man who finds it difficult to tell the woman he loves that he wants to be with her forever. The two will be together, but they will keep their love a secret, so no one will know that they are in love.
Because people say they can’t get along because they know what will make them happy, and nothing else matters. However, this makes them treat each other like strangers. It is featured in the 2009 movie The Proposal.
“Illicit Affairs” – Taylor Swift
This song is about a female who has fallen in love with her best friend. She knows that if her friend finds out about her feelings, they will ruin their friendship. She stays quiet about her feelings for him because she does not want to lose them.
This song is also featured in the 2015 film Fifty Shades of Grey and covered by the Xscape band. It is a remake of Motown’s 1976 song Love Child.
The lyrics suggest that this song is about an affair, as the singer tiptoes from her lover’s house, careful not to wake him. A beautiful love song where Beyonce sings about being in love, she also sings about keeping their love a secret.
“No One” – Alicia Keys
This song is about a woman falling in love; however, she fears that her lover doesn’t feel the same way. The singer sings that she’s happy to be her lover’s friend, but she can’t keep feeling like this or she will die.
It is featured in the film The Family That Preys. The song was performed by the American R&B singer Alicia Keys. It topped charts across Europe and reached number two in both Canada and New Zealand and charted at number seven in Australia.
“Unfaithful” – Rihanna
This song is about a woman who is cheating on her significant other. She is unfaithful by seeing someone else, and she practically begs them to leave and gives her space to figure out what she is feeling.
The song’s ultimate message is that no matter how you feel, you should always be true to yourself and not bail on your roots with promises that would more than likely not be kept.
Many on the road seem like they want to come back to you, but they want attention and money. Why is this song the best song about secret love?
“Mrs. Robinson” – Simon & Garfunkel
While filming The Graduate, a movie all about secret love, director Mike Nichols became obsessed with listening to Simon & Garfunkel and met with executives at Columbia Records, intending to license some of their music for the movie. Paul Simon also begrudgingly agreed to write a few new songs for the film.
The song “Mrs. Robinson” follows the story central to the plot of The Graduate. The titular, bored, married, older Mrs. Robinson is having an affair with the younger son of one of her friends.
In 1969, “Mrs. Robinson” was the first rock song to win the Grammy for Record of the Year.
“I Heard It Through the Grapevine” – Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye’s “I Heart It Through the Grapevine” is about a man who has just discovered that his lover has been seeing her ex behind his back. Since he’s heard about her secret love “through the grapevine.” Through friends and acquaintances, he’s begging her to tell him what’s going on.
“I Heard it Through the Grapevine” was composed for Motown Records in 1966. It was also initially recorded by Gladys Knight and The Pips and The Miracles. A huge hit, both Marvin Gaye’s and Gladys Knight’s and The Pips’ versions were inducted into The Grammy Hall of Fame.
“Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” – Rupert Holmes
From the 1979 Rupert Holmes album, Partners in Crime comes a slightly unusual tale of secret love. In “Escape (The Pina Colada Song),” a man bored with his lady looks over the personal ads in the papers, and one catches his eye. He writes back to her, telling her to meet him at this bar. When she gets there, wouldn’t you know, it’s his old lady!
This is a song about a couple who have gotten bored with each other and are looking to meet people outside of the relationship, only to discover how much they didn’t know about each other and, in a weird way, rekindle their spark.
“Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” has an extremely catchy chorus and shot up to number one in the Billboard Top 100 at the end of 1979.
“The Kiss” – Carly Rae Jepsen
Carly Rae Jepsen’s “The Kiss,” from the 2012 album of the same name, was written by Jepsen, Kelly Covell, RedFoo, and Matthew Koma. They wrote the song mainly by phone, email, and text message.
“The Kiss” is a song about desperately wanting to kiss someone else even though you’re already in a relationship. The song’s narrator knows she shouldn’t, knows what she’s risking, but she wants to kiss him so badly.
“Part-Time Lover” – Stevie Wonder
From Stevie Wonder’s 1985 album, In Square Circle, “Part-Time Lover” is a man’s song to the woman he has on the side. He’s telling her how he feels about her and ensuring she knows her place as a “part-time” lover.
By the end of the song, you find out his partner also has a “part-time” secret love. Through and through, it’s a song about secrets. The secrets we keep and the secrets kept from us.
“Jessie’s Girl” – Rick Springfield
Sometimes a secret love is so secret it only lives in one person’s head. In Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl,” a man is in lust and love with his friend’s girlfriend. He can hardly stand seeing them together because he wants to be the one with her.
“Jessie’s Girl” was from Rick Springfield’s 1981 album, Working Class Dog. While “Jessie’s Girl” was inspired by a real person, the real-life Jessie’s name was Gary, and Rick Springfield doesn’t remember Gary’s girlfriend’s name.
“She Don’t Have to Know” – John Legend
If you’re looking for R&B songs about love affairs, John Legend’s “She Don’t Have to Know” from 2004’s Get Lifted has you covered. In this song, a man tells his lover that their partners don’t have to find out about their affair.
It is a song about the complexity of trying to hold down two relationships, especially when one is illicit and risky.
“I Know Places” – Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift is the queen of writing country alternative songs about secret love. In “I Know Places” off of the 2014 album 1989, this secret love isn’t about an illicit affair but rather about keeping the love secret and private from the paparazzi.
This is a song about the difficulties of having a personal relationship out in public and finding a way to keep some things secret and some things hidden.
“Dirty Little Secret” – The All-American Rejects
The All-American Reject’s “Dirty Little Secret” is a rock song about secret love affairs. In this 2005 song, a man is talking to the woman he’s cheating on his partner with, calling her his “dirty little secret.” He threatens her to keep quiet about the affair, telling her they both have so much to lose.
This song highlights the fact that many affairs have an unhealthy power dynamic and are toxic at their core.
“Saving All My Love For You” – Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston’s “Saving All My Love For You” is about a secret love with a married man who won’t leave his wife. He clearly doesn’t feel the same way as she does, and while she knows she should move on, she truly loves him, and she can’t.
Penned by Michael Masser and Gerry Goffin, “Saving All My Love For You” was first recorded by Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. It won a Grammy for Whitney Houston for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
“Holding Her and Loving You” – Earl Thomas Conley
“Holding Her and Loving You” is a country song about secret love written by Walt Aldridge and Tom Brasfield. Earl Thomas Conley recorded it as part of his 1983 album Don’t Make It Easy for Me.
In “Holding Her and Loving You,” a man tells his mistress that he loves her more than his wife, but he can’t leave his wife for her. He’s telling his mistress that living this lie is hard for him, but he’s staying with his wife out of a sense of duty.
Born and raised in Austin, David is a dedicated writer and avid fragrance lover. When he's not trying out perfumes, he enjoys traveling and exploring new restaurants.