Your Cheating Heart

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A few months ago, I was helping some friends of mine put together a playlist for their wedding reception. I may have some questionable taste in music, but I also know and own a lot of music and they wanted to tap into that reservoir of free tunes. There were a few of us bouncing off song ideas, when someone suggested Whitney Houston’s “Saving All My Love For You.” Everyone agreed that they liked the song and it might have made the playlist, until I spoke up to remind everyone that if you listen to the lyrics that it is a song that is about having an affair and that it might not really be appropriate at a wedding. Everyone was shocked; they had no idea that’s what the song was about. I am a lyrics person more than a music person, so I tend to pay more attention to the words than other people:

A few stolen moments is all that we share
You’ve got your family, and they need you there
Though I’ve tried to resist, being last on your list
But no other man’s gonna do
So I’m saving all my love for you

Needless to say, that song was vetoed.

This anecdote popped into my head in the last week, as I’ve been listening to The Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack on repeat; there is so much cheesy 70s goodness on there that I can hardly stand it. One of the songs is “Escape (the Piña Colada song)” by Rupert Holmes, a song that I have always really liked but that has also really bothered me, since it is essentially about two people deciding to cheat on each other. They respond to each other’s personal ads and have a good laugh about it in the song, which I am pretty sure is NOT how most people would react to such a situation. Hidden behind such a catchy hook is a song that is really kind of sad; not only were both participants in this relationship pretty OK with the idea of infidelity, but they really don’t even seem to know each other very well. I’m happy every time that I hear the song, but in the back of my head this debate wages on during every listen.

This got me thinking about the staggering number of songs that I really like that are about cheating; I’m really not sure what that says about me as a person. I guess it makes sense that there are a number of songs that deal with the topic, since there are so many passionate feelings involved. The songs about infidelity are varied – some are from the viewpoint of the cheater, some are about the cheatee and a smaller number are from the perspective of the other man or woman. The emotional component is varied as well – some are confessional, some are tearful and a fair number are confrontational. There are even a handful that are proud or bragging about what they have done. While I’ve never cheated on my significant other, I’ve known people that filled all three roles in a love triangle and these songs do a pretty good job of capturing the entire spectrum of emotions associated with having an affair.

 

“Run to You” – Bryan Adams

 

She says her love for me could never die
But that’d change if she ever found out about you and I

 

“Tempted” – Squeeze

 

Tempted by the fruit of another
Tempted but the truth is discovered
What’s been going on
Now that you have gone

 

“If That’s Your Boyfriend (He Wasn’t Last Night)” – Meshell Ndegeocello

 

You can call me wrong and say that I ain’t right
But if that’s your boyfriend
He wasn’t last night

 

“Before He Cheats” – Carrie Underwood

 

I might’ve saved a little trouble for the next girl,
’cause the next time that he cheats…
Oh, you know it won’t be on me!

 

“Creep” – TLC

 

So I creep yeah
Just keep it on the down low
Said nobody is supposed 2 know

 

“Say My Name” – Destiny’s Child

 

Say my name, say my name
If no one is around you,
Say baby I love you
If you ain’t runnin’ game

 

“Follow Me” – Uncle Kracker

 

I’m not worried ’bout the ring you wear
Cuz as long as no one knows than nobody can care
You’re feelin’ guilty and I’m well aware
But you don’t look ashamed and baby I’m not scared

 

“Cry Me a River” – Justin Timberlake

 

You don’t have to say, what you did,
I already know, I found out from him
Now there’s just no chance, for you and me, there’ll never be
And don’t it make you sad about it

 

“O.P.P.” – Naughty By Nature

 

Have you ever known a brother who have another like ah girl or wife
And you just had to stop and just ‘cos he look just as nice
You looked at him, he looked at you and you knew right away
That he had someone but he was gonna be yours anyway

 

“Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” –Journey

 

When I’m alone all by myself
You’re out with someone else
Lovin’, touchin’, squeezin’ each other

 

“You Lie” – The Band Perry

 

That ain’t my perfume
I bet she had a curfew
You told me you were out with the boys and baby I believed you
So why you lookin’ so nervous
You know you’re gonna deserve this

 

“Lyin Eyes” – The Eagles

 

So she tells him she must go out for the evening
To comfort an old friend who’s feelin’ down
But he knows where she’s goin’ as she’s leavin’
She is headed for the cheatin’ side of town

 

“Thunder Rolls” – Garth Brooks

 

But on the wind and rain
A strange new perfume blows
And the lightnin’ flashes in her eyes
And he knows that she knows

 

“Your Love” – The Ourfield

I didn’t immediately recognize that this was a song about cheating, but it’s right there in the opening line: “Josie’s on a vacation far away, come around and talk it over.”

 

Stay the night but keep it undercover
I just wanna use your love tonight, whoa
I don’t wanna lose your love tonight

 

“Just a Friend” – Biz Markie

 

So I came to her room and opened the door
Oh, snap! Guess what I saw?
A fella tongue-kissin’ my girl in the mouth,
I was so in shock my heart went down south
So please listen to the message that I say
Don’t ever talk to a girl who says she just has a friend

 

Now it’s your turn – what are you favorite songs about infidelity? Sound off in the comments below.

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