The number of successful singles that comprise the ten best songs about cheating proves infidelity can be mined for catchy, inspired tunes. Some songs bemoan being cheated on, some lament being the one to cheat, while others celebrate the joys of fooling around.
- “I Don’t Want You Back” – Eamon. The male “You Oughta Know,” Eamon's signature song has become the anthem for ticked off, cuckolded men everywhere. “Now you asking for me back/ You just another act/ Look elsewhere/ Because you done with me.”
- “Before He Cheats” – Carrie Underwood. A smash hit, Carrie informs her lover that cheating on her wasn’t nice. So she does what any mature, level-headed adult would do: “I dug my key into the side/ Of his pretty little souped-up four-wheel drive/ Carved my name into his leather seat/ I took a Louisville slugger to both head lights/ Slashed a hole in all four tires.”
- “Say My Name” – Destiny’s Child. When the dude in this Destiny’s Child hit starts ordering other items off the menu, his main course isn’t having it. “Any other day I would call, you would say/ ‘Baby, how's your day?’/ But today it ain't the same/ Every other word is uh huh, yeah, okay/ Could it be that you are at the crib with another lady?”
- “You Oughta Know” – Alanis Morissette. The debate continues to rage over which of Alanis’ celebrity lovers inspired this song about cheating, but hopefully time has healed all Ms. Morissette’s wounds. That and the truckloads of money she’s made. “And I'm not gonna’ fade/ As soon as you close your eyes and you know it/ And every time I scratch my nails down someone else's back/ I hope you feel it…well, can you feel it?”
- “Me & Mrs. Jones” – Billy Paul. A tale about a married man and a married woman who happen to be married to different people. The most soulful of the songs about cheating, it’s also the most realistic when it comes to the relationship’s chances at survival: “We got to be extra careful/ That we don't build our hopes up too high/ Because she's got her own obligations/ And so, and so do I.”
- “Tempted” – Squeeze. As close to bubble-gum pop as any of the best songs about cheating, “Tempted” was Squeeze’s biggest hit in the U.S. Inspired by lead singer Chris Difford’s rush to catch his plane, the meaning has evolved into a cheating-fueled guilt trip. “I bought a novel, some perfume, a fortune all for you/ But it's not my conscience that hates to be untrue/ I asked of my reflection/ Tell me what is there to do?”
- “O.P.P.” – Naughty by Nature. One of the most popular rap songs ever, the clean definition of “O.P.P” is “Other People’s Property”, aka someone else’s boyfriend or girlfriend. “O.P.P.” is an unabashed celebration of getting some on the side set to an infectious beat. “It's OPP time/ Other people's what you get it/ There's no room for relationship/ There's just room to hit it.”
- “I Heard It through the Grapevine” – Marvin Gaye. A longtime darling of fans and critics alike, it’s undoubtedly Marvin Gaye’s most popular song. Part of its appeal comes from the true-to-life way most people learn about their significant other’s indiscretions: “Ooh, I bet you're wondering how I knew/ About you're plans to make me blue/ With some other guy that you knew before.”
- “Thunder Rolls” – Garth Brooks. Rumored to be inspired by Brooks’ own infidelity, “Thunder Rolls” is one of the more dramatic songs about cheating. “The thunder rolls/ And the lightning strikes/ Another love grows cold/ On a sleepless night.”
- “If She Would Have Been Faithful…” – Chicago. There’s nothing like seeing the silver lining in heartbreak, which is what Chicago does in the best song about cheating. A jilted lover would never have met the woman of his dreams if his ex hadn’t cheated. “She had another lover/ She emphatically denied/ But they were doing me a favor/ A blessing in disguise.”
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