- Electric Six have "She's White", "Rubber Rocket", "Kukuxumushu", "I Don't Like You", "Waste of Time and Money", "Simulated Love", "We Use the Same Products"... "Steal Your Bones" and "Watching Evil Empires Fall Apart", however, are Silly Love Songs in ridiculous settings.
- Post-punk band Public Image Ltd.'s "This is Not a Love Song"
- Bright Eyes' "I've Been Eating (For You)":
Yeah, you were just some song I wrote
A poem on a page
But now you're more of a basketball
Boys just pass you around
They bounce you hard on the ground and dribble
And then we all get high fives
And you may think I'm an asshole now
Well, that's probably right
But at least I'm not blind to the facts
But I still hope you get everything
That you care to possess
And unbelievable sex with him
Or any one of my friends
- Devo love these kinds of tropes, and evoke this one pretty well on "Gut Feeling (Slap Your Mammy)" from their debut album:
Something about the way you taste makes me want to clear my throat
There's a method to your movements that really gets my goat
I looked for sniffy linings but you're rotten to the core
I've had just about all i can take, you know, I can't take it no more!
Got a gut feeling!
- Placebo's "A Song to Say Goodbye":
You are one of God's mistakes
You crying, tragic waste of skin
I'm well aware of how it aches
But you still won't let me in [...]
Now I'm breaking down your door
To try and save your swollen face
Tough I don't like you anymore
You lying, trying waste of space
- The Killers has a few, namely "Forget About What I Said":
We used to tear it down
But now we just exist
The things that I've done wrong
I bet you got a list
Now I know how you remember
All those moments that you choose
Will define me as a traitor
Stealing everything you lose [...]
Forget about what I said
The lights are gone and the party is over
But my heart, it don't beat, it don't beat the way it used to
And my eyes, they don't see you no more
And my lips, they don't kiss, they don't kiss the way they used to
And my eyes, don't recognize you no more.
For reasons unknown
- "All the Pretty Faces" (though, to be honest, he seems bothered by it)
Help me out, I need it
I don't feel like loving you no more [...]
Well how did it happen
I spent two years in a strange strange land
Well how did it happen
I'd do anything just to be your man
- They also have the Murder Trilogy, inspired by the real story of a man who killed the girl he was having an affair with. It starts with "Leave the Bourbon on the Shelf", that tells the man's reaction to his lover leaving:
Jennifer, tell me where I stand
And who's that other boy holding your hand?
Oh, Jennifer, you know I've always tried
Before you say goodbye [...]
And I've never liked your hair or those people that you lie with
But I'm not satisfied until I hold you tight
And I love you endlessly
Oh, darling, can't you see? -> That I'm not satisfied untill I hold you tight
- "Midnight Show" has him killing her:
I took my baby's breath under a chandelier
Of star and atmosphere
And watched her disappear
Into the midnight show
- And "Jenny Was a Friend of Mine" is him lying to the police about her murder (Ain't no motive for this crime / Jenny was a friend of mine) with the lines 'She couldn't scream when I held her close' being changed to 'She kicked and screamed while I held her throat' in live performances.
- "Every Breath You Take" by The Police is a classic subliminal Anti-Love Song, which was written during Sting's divorce — but lots of people only listened to the chorus and thought it was a love song, when it's actually about a guy stalking the woman who scorned him.
- British parody group The Barron Knights did a version of this with the same lyrics but with the delivery altered, to turn it into a song about the KGB watching someone.
- Mötley Crüe wrote "You're All I Need" in Girls, Girls, Girls, that sounds like a typical love ballad, but in reality is about obsessively killing a woman and ending in jail.
- They also wrote "Too Young to Fall in Love" which describes a bitter relationship (This song would be mentioned in their song "Don't Go Away Mad")
- For all of their straight-up love songs, Queen wrote a surprising number of these, ranging from "I'm in Love with My Car" to "You Don't Fool Me".
"Told my girl I'd forget her
Rather buy me a new carburetor"
- "Heavy In Your Arms" by Florence + the Machine is a pretty vicious Anti-Love Song about how the narrator is a dead weight around her lover's neck, always dragging him down until he decides to just let her drown in a river. It contains this lyric:
This will be my last confession: "I love you" never felt like any blessing
Whispering like it's a secret only to condemn the one who hears it
- "Up The Hill Backwards" by David Bowie, immediately after leaving Angela.
- Years earlier (in his Old Shame days before Space Oddity) he had "Love You Till Tuesday", a deliriously cheerful pop number in which a Stalker with a Crush speaker implores a girl to return his endless love, and by "endless" he means "it will last for two days".
- Who could forget Meat Loaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light"?
- "I swore that I would love you to the end of time! [...] So now I'm praying for the end of time!"
- How about another Meat Loaf/Steinman contribution:
How do you abuse me - let me count the ways
How many hours in how many days
How does it amuse you - let me count the pain
How many rules breaking how many games
You got your ass out of gear and your soul out of whack
Go on and take all your stuff - don't even bother to pack
In every way I want you out of my life -
But I'll kill you if you don't come back
I'll kill you if you don't come back
- We also seem to be missing Two Out of Three Ain't Bad
I want you, I need you
But there ain't no way I'm ever gonna love you
Now don't be sad
'Cause two out of three ain't bad
- Frank Zappa's first album, Freak Out, is almost fifty percent Anti Love Songs, with each one parodying a different sub-genre of doo-wop. "I Ain't Got No Heart," or "Go Cry On Somebody Else's Shoulder," anyone?
- Paul McCartney actually made fun of this, possibly to the point of subversion, in "Silly Love Songs":
But I look around me/And I see it isn't so
Some people wanna fill the world with silly love songs
And what's wrong with that?
I'd like to know, 'cause here/I go/Again!
- "Every Day I Love You Less and Less" by the Kaiser Chiefs. The title is pretty self-explanatory, really.
- Even The Beach Boys did this. "Here Today" starts off sounding like a conventional love song, but the lyrics take a turn for the worse real fast, with lines like:
- "A brand new love affair is such a beautiful thing / But if you're not careful think about the pain it can bring..."
- And more relevantly: "Right now you think that she's perfection / This time is really an exception / You know I hate to be a downer / But I'm the guy she left before you found her..."
- Well, it was from Pet Sounds, the album where their subject matter got Darker and Edgier.
- Pulp seem to have at least one of these on each of their albums.
- 10cc's "I'm Not In Love" messes with the listener's head - on the surface it sounds like an anti-love song, but on another level it sounds as if the narrator is unsuccessfully trying to convince himself that he isn't in love.
- About half of the band's output was "weird love"/stalker songs, very often featuring extremely odd symbolism
- One up-and-coming genius in this field is Jonathan Coulton. For example, from his evil-genius-in-love song Skullcrusher Mountain:
I made this half-pony half-monkey monster to please you
But I get the feeling that you don't like it
What's with all the screaming?
You like monkeys, you like ponies
Maybe you don't like monsters so much
Maybe I used too many monkeys
Isn't it enough to know that I ruined a pony making a gift for you?
- There's also "A Laptop Like You," which is a country ballad-style love song sung to...a MacBook Pro.
- And "Someone is Crazy":
The world's against you so you think or maybe wish it was
And at least that way someone would care but baby no one does
Not even you
Baby someone is crazy and it's you.
- The Beautiful South song "Song For Whoever" sure sounds like a love song, but it's actually a parody; the song is about a songwriter gleefully describing how he uses his relationships with women — good and bad — as inspiration, and how this brings him loads and loads of cash and critical acclaim.
- A part of the reason why R.E.M.'s "The One I Love" became the band's first hit was because many people saw it as a love song: "this one goes out to the one I love". Their ears didn't pick that not only the particular loved one has been left behind, but the narrator also calls her "a simple/another prop to occupy my time".
- "Used To Love Her" by Guns N' Roses is a fairly blatant and obvious example. Sure is fun to sing after a breakup, though.
- It's a subversion: it's actually about Axl's Dog.
- "Locomotive", and how!
- Also "Back Off Bitch".
- "My Michelle" is this because Axl thought a straight-up ballad was not an homage that fit the titular Michelle (in fact, she loved the song because it was honest!).
- The Pogues', "Fairytale of New York" (also an Anti-Christmas Song, of course):
You're a bum
You're a punk
You're an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag, you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it's our last
- Sara Bareilles has become famous for songs of this nature. Her portfolio includes "Bottle It Up", about the downside of love and obsession; "Gravity", about destructive love; and the ironically titled "Love Song", which was heavily influenced by her label trying to force her into writing a peppy love song in order to become more successful. Ironically, it is her biggest-selling single to date.
I'm not gonna write you a love song
Cause you've asked for it
Cause you need one
Yeah, you see...I'm not gonna write you a love song
Cause you tell me it's make or break in this
If you're on your way...I'm not gonna write you to stay
If all you have is leaving, I'm gonna need a better reason
To write you a love song today
- Also "Fairytale", about fairytale love and how it doesn't work.
- The Sisters Of Mercy did this one in "I Was Wrong".
I was wrong
I was wrong to ever doubt
I can get along without
I can love my fellow man,
But I'm damned if I'll love yours
- And "Ribbons", too, depending on how you interpret it.
- The Cardigans "Lovefool" (of Romeo + Juliet fame) is mistaken for a love song because of the upbeat tempo but the song is actually a woman begging her boyfriend to just pretend that he loves her even if he doesn't because she can't stand to be alone. There is the line
I don't care if you really care as long as you don't go
- And of course, the chorus:
So I cry and I pray and I beg
Love Me, love me
Say that you love me
Fool Me fool me
Go on and fool me
Love Me love me
Pretend that you love me
Leave me leave me
Just say that you need me
- Most of their songs actually tend to come under this heading, if you look at the lyrics more closely. And even the ones that look like straightforward lovesongs lyrically tend to be undermined by Nina Persson's delivery, e.g. the snarky monotone in which she sings "And now I've found a partner, no one could be happier than I am" (it doesn't help that the song is called "Happy Meal", which suggests less the anticipation of a romantic dinner the lyrics overtly deal in than cheap fast food)
- Music/Maroon5 songs fall victims to this sometimes. "If I Never See Your Face Again" is about an unhealthy relationship about two that kind of hate each other but have sexual chemistry that keeps them coming back to each other.
- Songs About Jane and Hands All Over have heaps of these types of songs.
- "Payphone" is a Breakup Song, but it also has Silly Love Songs bashing. Radio version lyrics:
If happy ever after did exist
I would still be holding you like this
All those fairytales are full of it
One more stupid love song, I'll be sick
- Linkin Park's second album Meteora has as a common lyrical theme which links psychological damage to staying in an unhealthy relationship.
- Played more straight in Minutes to Midnight with the song "In Pieces", which could be a description of Chester Bennington's divorce. It's essentially the speaker telling his partner to do her worst, because he will endure and not "be the one" to abandon his vows before she does.
- "Where Were You When I Needed You", by the Grassroots (also done by the Bangles).
- Richard Thompson's "Shane and Dixie" seems to be fairly sweet love song about a Bonnie and Clyde-type bank robbing couple- until the guy in the couple decides to perpetrate a murder-suicide with the girl so he can get his name in the paper. He dies and is quickly forgotten, she lives and marries the reporter who comes to cover the incident.
- Led Zeppelin's "Fool in the Rain": the "fool" is stood up and stands in the rain wondering where he went wrong...other than waiting on the wrong block.
- Another anti-love song by Led Zeppelin is "Your Time Is Gonna Come", in which the singer tells his lying and cheating ex-girlfriend that one day she's going to reap what she sows.
- We've gotten a long way down this list without Ludo's "Love Me Dead":
You suck so passionately
You're a parasitic psycho, filthy creature
Finger-bangin' my heart
You call me up drunk
Does the fun ever start?
- Their "The Horror of Our Love" fits a different part of this trope, being a completely serious love song... from a murderous stalker to a girl he kills midway through the song.
- The Turtles' "Eleonore" is an example of the overdone sort of parody, complete with a line in the chorus lampshading how cliched everything is ("You're my pride and joy, et cetera"), though it's often mistaken for a straight silly love song. The band felt they were being forced to churn out simple pop songs by their record company when they wanted to go in a more progressive direction, and intentionally wrote the lyrics to be as cliched, cheesy, and behind the times as possible, hoping the result would point out how out-of-fashion this kind of song was. Of course, this backfired spectacularly: The record company loved it, and it became one of their biggest hit singles.
- Also, Good Charlotte's song "Bloody Valentine" is about a man who kills a girl's boyfriend to show that he loves her. It has to be heard to be believed.
- The beginning of the song:
Oh my love
please don't cry
I'll wash my bloody hands and we'll start a new life.
I ripped out, his throat
And called you on the telephone to
take off my disguise
Just in time to hear you cry...
- The Mountain Goats' "No Children:"
I hope I lie
And tell everyone you were a good wife
I hope you die
I hope we both die
- Used to great effect in Moral Orel to highlight the hate-filled and miserable relationship between Stepford Smiler Bloberta and Clay Puppington.
- Actually, just about every song by The Mountain Goats qualifies.
- The Smiths' bitter song "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" features this memorable lyric:
I still love you, oh, I still love you
Only slightly, only slightly less than I used to, my love.
- The Who had "The Kids Are Alright," which is a fairly catchy, upbeat song about a man leaving his girlfriend. In a similar vein (and on the same album) there's "A Legal Matter", about a man who's been forced into marriage now that his girlfriend is knocked up.
- "Anthrax" by Gang of Four features two vocal tracks. One is a typical set of anti love lyrics. The other is (largely) this monologue:
Love crops up quite a lot as something to sing about, most groups make most of their songs about falling in love or how happy they are to be in love, you occasionally wonder why these groups do sing about it all the time - it's because these groups think there's something very special about it either that or else it's because everybody else sings about it and always has, you know to burst into song you have to be inspired and nothing inspires quite like love. These groups and singers think that they appeal to everyone by singing about love because apparently everyone has or can love or so they would have you believe anyway but these groups seem to go along with the belief that love is deep in everyone's personality and I don't think we're saying there's anything wrong with love, we just don't think that what goes on between two people should be shrouded with mystery.
- And it doesn't get much better in "Damaged Goods" or "We Live as We Dream, Alone", though at least the latter is marginally less caustic.
- Rammstein revels in songs like these. Most of their lyrics have hidden meanings and most of those tend to be cynical or sadistic in the extreme.
- "All Sparks" by the Editors:
Be careful angel, this life is just too long, all sparks will burn out in the end...
- "Die, Die My Darling" by The Misfits.
Die die die my darling
Don't utter a single word
Die die die my darling
Just shut your pretty eyes
I'll be seeing you again
Yeah I'll be seeing you in hell...
- Many of their songs are pretty anti-love (like "Angelfuck") and pro...erm...old horror movies, really.
- Trio ** "Da Da Da" Those crazy Germans. The refrain is "Ich liebe dich nicht, du liebst mich nicht". It is only at the end of the song that they say it in English: "I don't love you you don't love me".
- GWAR has a few songs like this: "Sick of You" ("It's just your luck/You really suck/That's all—I'm sick of you") and "Hate Love Songs, which is about, well, hating love songs, among other things.
- Elvis Costello:
Sometimes I wish that I could stop you from talking when I hear the crazy things that you say
I think somebody better put out the big light, cause I can't stand to see you this way
- Pretty much every other song he wrote for the first ten years or so after that first album was this.
- "Telephone Line" by Electric Light Orchestra
- Bowling For Soup's "A Friendly Goodbye" fits this trope perfectly, along with another.
Ain't that a "B" with an itch
Ain't that a mother trucker
You can go to H-E-Double-Hockeysticks and F yourself
'Cause I'm so flippin' gosh darn
Sick of all the S-word you put me through
- As does "Here's Your Freakin' Song"
- The Bitch Song ultimately subverts it, the entire song is about how much the singer hates his girlfriend but ends with
You're a bitch
but I love you anyway
so why don't you stay
- The Coasters "Poison Ivy" is also about STDs, and the song was released in the 50's.
- Steely Dan: to name a few, "Dirty Work", "Reeling In The Years", "Rikki Don't Lose That Number", "Hey Nineteen".
- Breaking Benjamin's song "Topless" is a sexually charged hate song. "I love your face/Just Get away/ I'm on my knees/ fuck you fuck me"
- Faith No More's album closer on The Real Thing, called "Edge of the World." It starts out sounding lounge-swing romantic and heartfelt right up until "Come here little girl, would you like some candy . . ."
- Andrew Jackson Jihad has a lot of songs like this, most notably "I Love You" off of the album Candy Cigarettes and Capguns, which contains lyrics such as "I love you like the moon and stars, when little kids get hit by cars, girl you know its true," and "but I'll take anything, and I'll take anyone. I'll take an angry lesbian with a loaded gun. I'll take a whore with syphilis and gonorrhea too. But darling, I love you."
- Most Arab Strap songs.
- Jonathan Coulton is known for this enough that Paul and Storm imitated him for a competition (and doing so very well) by writing a song ("Live") about a mad scientist trying to create the perfect girl by making a female Frankenstein's monster.
- Will she be friendly? / Or will she break free? / Will she terrorize the villagers? / — Will she notice me?
- Paul and Storm also wrote a song called "Your Love Is (Love Song With Metaphor)" featuring a really demented view of unrequited love.
- "My Future Ex Girl Friend" by Voltaire.
- Voltaire also has "Stuck With You," about a married couple complaining about how their vows force them to stay together despite the fact they can't stand each other. Though after they die, they decide they prefer moldering in the ground together to alone.
- As a non-American example: a Ukrainian band Skryabin made a song in 2008 that started as a love song... until its third line, then for the remainder of the song the singer threatened to mutilate his girl if she even disobeys him or cheats on him (basically a creepy song about domestic violence).
- "Taxidermy" by Erin Murray starts out as a normal lost-love ballad, until the singer starts explaining how she's going to keep him.
- Just about any song about relationships, sex or romance by The Buzzcocks.
- "Love comes in spurts" by Richard Hell and the Voidoids ("and it murders your heart/they didn't tell you that part")
- Psychobilly/Gothabilly bands seem particularly fond of singing terms of endearment at corpses, zombies, vampires, and other nasties, with tongues planted firmly in cheeks.
- Grace Potter and the Nocturnals' "Ah, Mary," which sounds enough like a normal love song, albeit a conflicted one to a terrifyingly disturbed woman, except is that the name is only used in the chorus, where it's always "Ah, Mary"... that's right. It's made clear in the last refrain:
"Ah, Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary-kaaa!
- The Beatles have a soft, lilting ballad called "Norwegian Wood" about burning down a girl's apartment for being a cocktease. Apparently John Lennon was writing about an affair while trying not to let his wife know he was having one, and Paul McCartney thought it was a laugh to burn the place down at the end.
- No My Chemical Romance? For shame. Who could forget I Don't Love You?
- Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have "Where the Wild Roses Grow", which is about a tragic love affair. Of course, it's tragic because Nick Cave's character in the duet bashes Kylie Minogue's head in... Adding to the weirdness is the duet he and PJ Harvey recorded on the same album, "Henry Lee", where Harvey's character slits Cave's throat and dumps the corpse down a well mostly for spite. Depending on who you ask, this fits their brief relationship rather too well.
- His album Let Love In has the songs "Do You Love Me?", which are sung from the perspective of an obsessive, almost murderous man.
- "Fool" by Everything Else is a good example. What makes it better is that it's a Sequel Song to "If You Loved Her".
- "The Final Cut" by Coheed and Cambria:
In the final curtain call, / You left me here with the coldest of feelings,
Weight, kind, depression, / Blessing the floors with the places you've stepped in.
Will they ever measure up, / To the way you left me here by the roadside,
The bloodiest cadaver, / Marked in your words, I'm the joke, I'm the bastard.
Here, wait, so I guess that you knew, / That you're a selfish little whore,
I'm the selfish little whore, / If I had my way I'd crush your face in the door.
This is no beginning, / This is the final cut, open up.
This is no beginning, / This is the final cut, I'm in love.
- A large portion of Xiu Xiu's back catalogue has made great use of this trope, covering many, if not all, of the various angles mentioned above.
- Jennifer Lopez is a sort of open letter to the eponymous singer, asking if she ever gets upset about the fact that her music soundtracks so many mens broken hearts and sexual frustration in (presumably gay) bars around the world every Friday night.
- Sad Pony Guerilla Girl is surely in the running for "creepiest love song ever". Best case scenario is it's about a woman having a one sided affair with a married man, and being unhappy with the arrangement, but too in love with him to break it off. The song also alludes to him beating her up, and the line "I am your little girl" may or may not be intended literally.
- Perhaps the ultimate example is Fabulous Muscles. It's about a young gay man with a muscle fetish who unromantically fellates a closeted jock, who then freaks out and kills him. However, the song is delivered in a tone that suggests he's relatively ok with this scenario. Sample lyrics: "cremate me after you cum on my lips, honey boy. Place my ashes in a vase beneath your workout bench".
- The Cult's "Love Removal Machine" is about the protagonist finding a quick hookup as a way of purging himself of his former SO.
- "The Truth Is...", the 2011 album by Theory Of A Deadman, is about 3/4 this. Mostly songs that are rather explicitly either "I hate my girlfriend I wish she'd leave" or "I hate that bitch, why did she treat me so bad before she left?"
- The Rolling Stones, "Stupid Girl", spits vitriol over a particular type of female
I'm not talking about the way she gets her dough (Look at that stupid girl/Well I'm a talking about the way she grabs and holds! (Look at that stupid girl)
- "She is the New Thing" by the Horrors is one of these.
I wonder how long it will be
before I'm sick of her
and I no longer care
where she goes or has been.
I press your hand in mine however cautiously
I keep a smile right to myself
and I lapse into the grasp of an overriding obsession
and I get sick as I watch my interests fall in deep suspension
- Shellac's "Prayer to God", which is about a person begging God to kill his ex and her lover. The narrator pleads for a delicate, painless death for her, but asks for an unsympathetic murder of the other guy.
- "You Give Love a Bad Name" by Bon Jovi is basically a denunciation of The Unfair Sex.
- The Format's "Inches and Falling" sounds at first like an overly sappy affair - it starts with the line "I love love, I love being in love" - but it soon becomes clear that the lyrics are incredible facetious.
I love love, I love being in love.
I don't care what it does to me.
These pills are fine to pass the time 'til I find my new drug and
We'll take advantage, I'll claim that's what I want! To be the new statistic!
How I love being in love!
- Axl Rose's friend Michelle Young told him while both heard "Your Song" that she always wanted a song about her. He tried writing a pretty ballad... but then decided to write a rocker that translated her carefree life (with only a somewhat romantic message in the bridge), "My Michelle". She approved as it was honest.
- Garbage have a few, like the Obsession Song "#1 Crush", the Tsundere-in-love "Vow" and the self-explanatory "I Hate Love".
- Local H's "Lovey Dovey", although it's implied that the narrator hates seeing loving couples so much because of jealousy:
Don't you hate it
when people are in love?
They're so happy
So fucking happy
- Brett Anderson's "The Empress" is may be a strange and melancholy song about a failed love affair, or it may describe some weirder sort of bad relationship. The first line is definitely "Didn't I try to love her?"
- Death Cab for Cutie has quite a few songs that could qualify. Some notable examples:
- "You Can Do Better Than Me" is a jangly, cheerful-sounding tune about someone who clings to an unhappy relationship because he knows he'll never find anything better.
- "The Sound of Settling" is an upbeat anthem about, well, settling for less than the best.
- In "Someday You Will Be Loved," the narrator leaves a girl an encouraging note about how she will find love in time... as he abandons her after a one night stand.
- Flowers of Flesh and Blood by Nicole Dollanganger. Whole song, but a single line says it all:
How come no one ever told me love was like
Being fucked with a knife?