Your Cheating Heart


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.

Rascal Flatts, The Band Perry and Casadee Pope – Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs NY – 6/16/13

I am not what you would call a country music fan; for a long time, when identifying my musical tastes I placed myself firmly in the “pretty much everything BUT country” category. I’ll admit that this attitude arose at least partially from misconceptions about what country music sounded like (twangy and whiny) and who listened to country music (“hicks” and “white trash” – two groups that I have historically had very little in common with). But as I widened my horizons and kept an open mind, I found that while I don’t enjoy all country music it wasn’t nearly as terrible as I imagined and that plenty of nice normal folk enjoy that genre of music. It helped that country music itself went through something of a transformation as well – more and more artists adopted a sound that while definitely country music had a more poppy vibe as well. Country artists began to crossover more frequently and chart on more mainstream music lists as well. County music was no longer as isolated as it had been and was more accessible to the casual fan. Country is still not my first genre choice, but my iPod does have plenty or artists from the genre and some days at work I find myself listening to a country playlist on Spotify. It makes for good background music and unlike some other some types of music that I enjoy I don’t run as great a risk of curse words and foul language forcing me to dive to turn down the volume.

My increased exposure to country music has not translated to the concerts that I attend; the only county act that I had seen live was The Dixie Chicks and that was over a decade ago. It wasn’t from lack of chances – there are lots of country music fans in this neck of the woods and country artists make frequent stops in the area. There is usually a country music festival nearby every summer that is sponsored by one of the local radio stations. So if I really wanted to see some bands live, I had no excuse. I just never had the desire – I go to way too many shows as it is, so going to see some bands that I was moderately interested in seemed like a bad investment.

However, when a friend was looking for someone to go to a show with her this summer, I decided to further my country music education and volunteer to go with her. I picked the line-up of Rascal Flatts and The Band Perry for the experience, since I knew a handful of Rascal Flatts’ songs and I actually quite like The Band Perry’s hit “If I Die Young.” I was able to find some tickets inside the amphitheater that were only a few dollars more than sitting on the lawn, which was a real bonus since a) now that we’re in our thirties, having the option of an actual seat to sit down in is very attractive and b) the onslaught of rain this summer made the thought of sitting out in the open less appealing. Though it didn’t rain during the actual show – as far as I know – it was raining prior to show time so opting for amphitheater was a good choice.

After a slight misstep on what time the gates opened – we got there early thinking that the gates opened about an hour before they did (rookie mistake based on unclear tickets) – I was ready to immerse myself in the world of country music. We purchased some giant PBRs to get in the true spirit of the night, though I would have ordered a PBR at any event. I have a soft spot for that beer.

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We hadn’t even taken a few sips when I saw it – the elusive Poutine food truck. Now close readers of the blog are well aware about how I feel about this concoction of French fries, cheese curds and gravy; I was smitten with Poutine from the first bite when  had it for the first time in Montreal. It’s not quite as prevalent in the States, however, and I find myself having to explain Poutine to just about everyone that I mention it to. My friend Kristin is a seasoned professional when it comes to Poutine; she witnessed my excitement when I found out that they serve it at the Rogers Centre in Toronto when we were there for a Blue Jays game. So she was totally on board with me when we made a bee-line to the truck to place an order; we even went full cardiac arrest and requested the meat lover’s variation – the usual Poutine ingredients plus bacon, ground beef and sausage – to split.

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The fries were a little soggy – I like my fries on the crispy side if they are going to be soaking in gravy – but it was still very tasty. The cheese curds “squeaked” which indicated that they were fresh. After we finished our order, I still had room for a “doughboy,” a Saratoga specialty; after all that yummy food, the concert was becoming something of an afterthought. With the chance of me lapsing into a food coma at “threat level midnight,” we made our way to our seats and waited for the show to begin.

The first opening act was Cassadee Pope, who I knew absolutely nothing about other than she won The Voice last season. She was impressive; she has a strong voice that has a lot of range. She was only on stage for approximately 20 minutes, but she made an impression. I particularly liked “Wasting All These Tears” and “Champagne.” I also thought that she did a great job with her cover of Miranda Lambert’s “Over You,” which you can hear in the clip below (though I didn’t record it, this is from the show I was act and looks to be not too far from where we sat):


The Band Perry then took the stage; I was a bit more familiar with them and could boast knowing at least two of their songs 🙂 I was struck by just how young that they looked in person. The two brothers in the band looked like babies and their sister (the lead singer) didn’t look much older, though Wikipedia tells me that she is 30. Good genes in that family. I quite enjoyed their set – they had a lot of energy and really seemed to be enjoying themselves while up on stage. Their choreography seemed a bit too calculated; I would have liked to see their see a little more spontaneity in their act, but that is only a minor complaint. They sounded great and they did a fair number of covers, which I enjoy at a concert. If you are going to see a show live, you want to have a different experience than you would have sitting at home and listening to the cds. Their rendition of Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” was a raucous good time. The did a beautiful version of “If I Die Young” that incorporated a lot of audience participation, though that I noticed that The Band Perry dwells on death a lot more than you would expect a country group featuring band members under the age of 30 to do. It was just a tiny bit morbid; one song I get, but it was a theme that came up in a few tunes. Of course, fans of the band knew this going in as they would be more familiar with their catalog, but I found it a little weird.

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There was a longer time lag in between The Band Perry and the headlining Rascal Flatts than there had been between TBP and Cassadee Pope, so to entertain the crowd some ridiculous dance troupe came out while the roadies made the necessary set adjustments. Dance Y’all might have had the best of intentions, but they amounted to a waste of time in my opinion. Perhaps they were just pushing against my tolerance for all things country. I basically ignored them, except to complain that this distraction was going on way too long. Of far more interest was something that happened organically in the balcony: once Dance Y’all had (mercifully) left the stage, they piped some music into the theater to fill the void. A gentleman in the section in front of us started to dance, which was noticeable because he was the ONLY person who was dancing. Kristin and I noticed him right away and found him endlessly entertaining, but what was great was that you could literally watch the wave of amusement sweep our section as more and more people started to notice him and start laughing. Then something truly magical happened – everyone in our section started to clap along with him and urge him on, which only inspired him to become more awesome (and further mortify his wife who was sitting next to him). It was a tremendously fun moment, though probably confusing to all the other sections of the venue that could hear the commotion and had no idea what was happening. When he finally finished as the lights began to dim for Rascal Flatts, he took a bow and received a big ovation from the surrounding spectators.

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Dancing Man, I tip my cap to thee

Rascall Flatts were the reason I agreed to go to this particular concert since I had the best working knowledge of their songs than any of the other country bands that were rolling into town this summer. When they first became popular in the late 90s I was far more in tune with all music so they had popped up on my radar with their hits “This Everyday Love” and “Waiting for Daylight.” I’d picked up a few additional songs along the way so I felt confident that even if I didn’t recognize a ton of their songs, I knew and liked the lead singer Gary LeVox’s voice. It helped that they kicked off their set with their cover of Tom Cochrane’s “Life is a Highway” which they have kind of made their own and is an energetic way to get the party started. They played both of the songs that I knew from their early days and also performed their single “What Hurts the Most,” a song that I had always really enjoyed and hadn’t realized was them until very recently. Rascall Flatts have been doing this for a while now and had a great stage presence. They bantered well with the crowd and had a running joke throughout the show as to what that night’s attendance was (at one point they claimed that they were playing in front of millions of people; point of fact, SPAC’s seating capacity is about 25,000). They took a cell phone from a woman in the front and sang into it for the enjoyment of the person on the other end of the line and then briefly stole said phone. They also seemed to really enjoy playing in front of a loud audience and while about a third of the way through the show they had exhausted the songs that I knew, I still enjoyed watching them perform and being exposed to some new music. As I collector, I especially enjoyed the bobbleheads of the band members that were projected on the screens during their song “Bob That Head.” They played for approximately 90 minutes and their encore ended with the crowd being showered with confetti.

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All in all, it was a very fun night and a nice way for a newbie like me to be eased into the world of country music. I don’t know that it will ever be my genre of choice, but I would certainly entertain going to another show in the future. I’ll definitely download additional music from all the performers at the concert. The fans filing out of the show gave every appearance of being delighted by what they had just witnessed and they would know better than I if that was a good show. It pays off to try new things.

Rascal Flatts setlist

Life is a Highway


Here’s to You

This Everyday Love

Love You Out Loud

Every Day

Prayin’ for Daylight

What Hurts the Most

These Days


Why Wait

I’m Movin’ On

(Jay on lead)


I Won’t Let Go

Take Me There

I Melt



Me and My Gang

Bob That Head

Bless the Broken Road

Fast Cars and Freedom


My Wish

Summer Night