Ah, the love song. About my lovely baby and my heart going out for you. About the pain of having lost you. About the fear that I can never have you. About ninety-nine percent of all songs in existence, and their lyrics all sound the same, and you just can't stand it any more!
Sure, there are subcategories of love song — passionate R & B, broken-hearted ballads, and so on. But there are so many of each that each subcategory can feel overdone.
For anyone who has burned out after one love song that Tastes Like Diabetes too many, the cure is obvious: the Anti-Love Song. This medicine comes in several flavors:
The hate song, where you croon about your heart-breaking desire to kill somebody.
The subliminal message song, which sounds like a love song... at first.
The weird context song, where you sing a straight love song, in circumstances that really don't fit.
Of course, for the truly jaded, the Anti-Love Song has become as formulaic as the love song.
It is practically guaranteed that the subliminal song will be misunderstood by at least half of the people who hear it, who will think it's a straight love song. This is especially true of advertisers, who will often use it without realizing what the lyrics mean.
On the other hand, some people get the joke and love it so much that they still use it unironically.
Normal breakup songs do not belong here. They have their own entry. Look at Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone": it's a breakup song, and it talks about how happy and free she is now, so it must go here, right? Wrong. It's not humorous, and it's not a parody of a love song. This is about music with some humor about it, even if it's black humor.
Compare Anti Christmas Song, Spoof Aesop. See also Lyrical Dissonance. Contrast Silly Love Songs.
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Comedy / Parody
Tom Lehrer was the pioneer and undisputed master of the Anti-Love Song. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, he traumatized generations with songs like "When You Are Old and Grey" (see the quotes page), "I Hold Your Hand In Mine" (My joy would be complete, dear, if you were only here — but still I keep your hand as a precious souvenir) and of course, "The Masochism Tango".
Although "The Masochism Tango" is more about a genuinely loving relationship among a very kinky couple.
"Weird Al" Yankovic does at least one of these on every album, such as "I Was Only Kidding" and "I'm So Sick of You". He's parodied every sub-genre, too, from Prince's leers in "Wanna Be Ur Lover" (I don't have a library card, but do you mind if I check you out?) to break-up songs in "You Don't Love Me Anymore" (I still remember the way that you laughed / when you threw me down the elevator shaft), "One More Minute" (I'd rather clean all the bathrooms in Grand Central Station with my tongue / Than spend one more minute with you), and "Since You've Been Gone" (I feel almost as bad as I did / when you were still here). He also wrote a mild-affection-song, "You're Good Enough For Now."
Possibly the funniest one of these is "Do I Creep You Out", a stalker-related parody of overblown love songs (and specifically American Idol-winner Taylor Hicks' song "Do I Make You Proud"):
I like to feel the warm spot on your chair Sometimes I drool And usually I stare My precious one I saved that gum That you threw in the garbage!
From the same album Confessions Part 3 continues the theme of confessions by being way too honest with his significant other.
"Melanie" was an earlier Stalker with a Crush style love ballad that ends with him jumping out of the 16th story window above her apartment to get her attention. He may be dead but he still loves her.
"Pancreas", about...well...a guy who loves his pancreas.
The Arrogant Worms wrote the weird context "Log Into You," about a computer geek with pick-up lines like I gotta open up your motherboard — put my Pentium inside.
Mötley Crüe wrote a song called "This Ain't A Love Song" in their Saints of Los Angeles album
The Capitol Steps did exactly the same joke as the Arrogant Worms in "Nerd Perfect Blues" and "Yuppie Love".
Da Vinci's Notebook has the weird-context "Window-Washing Cowboy," which is by far the most tragic tale about doomed love you will ever hear, if you only hear songs about window washers. They also wrote "Title Of The Song," the perfect generic love song for all occasions.
Mitch Benn does a lot of these. In "Imagine You Were Mine" the singer is a Stalker with a Crush, and the final verse reveals he's composing this in prison, having broken the restraining order. "Now He's Gone" is a parody of 1950s Teenage Death Songs songs like "The Leader of the Pack", about a girl who kills her boyfriends before they can cheat on her. "These Ghoulish Things" is a gothic song with a man describing somebody as various horrible things in a complementary way, and then getting confused when she takes offense.
Sam Kinison's infamous "You Fucking Whore" (preceded by his equally infamous "emotional tampon" rant) expresses how every guy has felt after a bad break-up, but wouldn't admit for fear of seeming like a Jerkass.
Bill Bailey's love ballad, which "encompasses all aspects of love; betrayal, hatred and depression." It shifts from a traditional ballad to a vitrolic parody halfway through, (and the cute moment of watching a duck in the park comes back):
The duck lies shredded in a pancake / Soaking in the hoi sin of your lies...
The works of Music: P.D.Q. Bach include a few such songs, such as "My Bonnie Lass She Smelleth", "The Queen To Me A Royal Pain Doth Give", and "Jane, My Jane" (For your hair is your crown (which you remove when you retire) / and your breath is like down (wind of a compost heap on fire)...)
Also in the classical genre is Paul Sjolund's "Love Lost," settings of four great(?) anti-love poems.
When you're away I'm restless, lonely, wretched, bored, dejected. Only here's the rub, my darling dear: I feel the same when you are here.
On the album for A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All, there's the song "A Cold, Cold Christmas". Colbert sings about a breakup wishing death upon the girl who broke up on him to extreme degrees. Sample lyrics:
You hung up my heart like a stocking/Then went and stuffed it with coal/Now I want a cold, cold Christmas/To gnaw at the depths of your soul.
There's also Stephen and the Colberts' 80s hit "Charlene (I'm Right Behind You)", which has the subtext of being a song about a girl Colbert is stalking.
Wilco's "Via Chicago" begins: "I dreamed about killing you again last night/ and it felt alright to me."
Robby Roadsteamer's "I Hope You Get Ugly In Heaven" is a power-ballad duet where Robby offers up some already skewed romantic sentiment ("I hope you get ugly in heaven/ 'cause you might love someone, someone like me"), which guest vocalist Heidi Lee bluntly rebuffs:
I hope you don't call me in heaven 'Cause you were creepy back on earth I hope they have counseling in heaven 'Cause maybe that'd help you take it down a notch
Even his complete non-sequitur reference to Pee-wee Herman is followed by her impassioned cry of "I love Pee-wee Herman/ but I doooooonnnn't love yooooooooouuuuu!"
Lily Tomlin and Barry Manilow released the appropriately titled "Last Duet" as seen by the introductory lines:
The Lonely Island also have "Dreamgirl", which starts out as a love song about an ugly, insane girl with bad fashion sense ("Yo, you're a vision in sweats with the neon pouch, half-eaten squirrel hanging out of your mouth"), and by the end suddenly becomes a love song about Chex Mix.
Although this one is less "anti-love" (he's at pains to express that he does love his wife, to whom the song's addressed) as it is "anti-stupid ideas about love like that everyone has exactly one soulmate with whom they fall in love instantly and permanently instead of forging a powerful connection over time with shared experience".
Minchin himself insists that the song is not about love at all, but about math. The lyrics are based on statistics, not cynicism.
Then of course there's his very genuine love song to an inflatable sex doll. And two-thirds of his other songs...
"Nothing Can Stop Us Now" is particularly effective thanks to the refreshingly realistic final line.
"You Grew On Me" might seem like this, but gets subverted, and you have to listen to it to see how comparing love to a tumor can describe true love and not come over as an Anti-Love Song.
The German artist Farin Urlaub has a song titled "Phänomenal Egal", which narrates the singer's phenomenal indifference the singer feels towards his girlfriend.
Though if you read between the lines, it becomes clear that this is actually a true-blue love song in disguise. Word Of God says Farin wanted to write a straightforward love ballad, but thought he couldn't make it sound cool enough, hence the denying lyrics.
Amy Rigby's "Cynically Yours", pretty much what it sounds like: "At the end of the day / I've got nothing good to say / But you don't suck / So I'm cynically yours".
A possible Ur Example of this type of song was written in 1913, "And The Green Grass Grew All Around", not to be confused with the similarly titled nursery rhyme "The Green Grass Grew All Around", although it's also somewhat a spoof of the latter, which was written just a year before. The song involves little Johnny Green and little Sally Brown, starting out all innocently enough like a cute little Edwardian era love song before we see hints of what's to come. Wealthy little Johnny promises to take care of Sally and share his wealth, seeing as how he already gave her a lot of gold. The second verse is a Big Lipped Alligator Moment discussing Johnny and Sally buying a "Ford machine" and getting into a violent hit and run accident with a butcher cart. Instead of "green grass grew all around" it's "lamb chops/spare ribs flew all around", and the accident injured the poor butcher quite graphically possibly even killed him, apparently they heard his kidneys rupture, and his ribs were broken and his heart was physically damaged (although "broke his ribs and heart" could have been a heartbreak metaphor, although in the context it's unlikely). Third verse rejoins our lovebirds after marriage, and we find out that the meal they cook together isn't so tender of a moment when she poisoned his biscuits which kills him. The end is a sad version of the chorus with the last line an inappropriately happy version. So we have gold digging black widows, vehicular homicide, and graphic deaths described in great detail.Yeah, that's really a clean, wholesome innocent song about the 1910s.
The immortal Anna Russell recorded "Miserable", a Torch Song parody in which she sings of how awful it is to be happy without her lover and how she'd much rather be miserable (or as she renders it, "mizz-urr-ubb-ull") with him.
Electronica / Techno
Future Bible Heroes, "I'm Lonely (And I Love It)." I'm lonely and I love it / If only I'd dreamed of it / I'd have broken up with you so long ago...
"Only This Moment" by Röyksopp can be interpreted in many ways, but these lyrics stand out:
Surprisingly averted by Tom Waits with the song "I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You" about a lonely bar patron who falls for a woman who is also there alone.
Many of Waits' songs from his early years skit the edge between this trope and tender or touching love songs. His songs are often sad or gritty, depicting couples in rough points in their relationships, sadness after a relationship has ended, or lamenting what could have been.
"Lemon Tree", written by Will Holt and performed by many other singers. (It was based on the Brazilian folk song "Meu limão, meu limoeiro".)
Hip-Hop / Rap
The Insane Clown Posse can arguably be said to have never done a straight-up love song. One rather notable example is "Another Love Song", which features Violent J singing, in full "romantic" style, about how he plans to murder his girlfriend because she cheats on him.
The Rondo Brothers' "Still Your Ghost" features a sultry female vocalist and an up-tempo beat. Only a few lines in, it's clear that the singer is an obsessed Stalker with a Crush for a guy she didn't mean anything to.
Eminem's "Superman" certainly sounds like a love song until you listen to those words. "Crazy In Love" fits too.
"If Your Heart Isn't In It" by Atlantic Starr. Here's the chorus:
If your heart isn?t in it, Why can't you tell me so If my heart wasn?t in it, I'd have gone long ago If your heart isn?t in it Why keep me hanging on Just tell me and I?ll be gone From your life
Tyler, the Creator from OFWGKTA made the ode "Sarah" from Bastard
I wanna tie her body up and throw her in my basement and keep her there, so nobody could wonder where her face went...
'She' might also count. Frank Ocean's vocals in the chorus make it sound like a slow jam, but Tyler's rap is about stalking the object of his affections:
One, two, you're the girl that I want Three, four, five, six, seven, shit Eight is the bullets if you say no after all this And I just couldn't take it, you're so motherfucking gorgeous. Gorgeous, baby you're gorgeous I just wanna drag your lifeless body to the forest And fornicate with it but that's because I'm in love with you, cunt.
Wizard Rock band Split Seven Ways has a song called "Sour Grapes" which may or may not fit into this. In it, Draco Malfoy complains about Harry with lines like: It takes more to win the war than sheer dumb luck / If he's not got his friends around to think for him then he's stuck. But the song's full title is "Sour grapes, or a Passive-aggressive Love Song".
Phineas and Ferb: Dr. Doofenshmirtz and Perry the Platypus have sung multiple songs about their Foe Yay relationship.
Doofenshmirtz also did a song (called "Evil Love") about falling in love with another supervillain.
In the Space Ghost Coast to Coast spinoff The Brak Show, Zorak suddenly acquires a singing voice in the episode "War Next Door". He uses it to croon out such tender ballads as "I'm Gonna Kick Your Ass" and "My Heart Is Full Of Hatred And Loathing". And the audience loves it. After the former song, he even tells the audience outright that "I mean it! I hate you all!"... and they still eat it up!
"Free Love Freeway" by Ricky Gervais (or possibly David Brent, his character on the British version of The Office) is a bona fide and incredibly enthusiastic love song... and also an incredibly silly one.
Adam Sandler's character in The Wedding Singer explains that he wrote the first half of this song when he was with his ex, and the second half after she left him at the altar:
You don't know how much I need you.
While you're near me, I don't feel blue.
And when we kiss I know you need me too.
I can't believe I found a love that's so pure and true. [key change] But it all was bullshit!
It was a goddamn joke!
And when I think of you, Linda
I hope you fucking choke!
I hope you're glad with what you've done to me.
I lay in bed all day long feeling melancholy.
You left me here, all alone, tears running constantly.
Oh would somebody kill me please? Somebody kill me please!
I'm on my knees, pretty pretty please!
I want to die!
Put a bullet in my heeeeaaaad!
Not to mention "Casualties of Love" in the musical version.
Jason once wrote one of these to his sister Paige in FoxTrot.Hilarity Ensues when it gets mixed up with a love poem his father wrote to his wife.
On Metalocalypse, Pickles the Drummer's old band Snakes 'n Barrels recorded the song "Don't Make Me Kill You", which is on the special edition Dethalbum. The lyrics make it sound like it's about a guy who is horribly, horribly abusive, and is constantly this close to straight up killing his girlfriend. The music, however, makes it sound like your typical 80s-Early 90s love ballad.
How I Met Your Mother has a tie-in website here with one of these on the home page. The singer alternates between seething hatred and being Barney's [who was masquerading as Ted] Stalker with a Crush. Oh, and it goes for twenty minutes, getting progressively crazier as it goes along.
My heart aches with pain. When I see you, I vomit. Die away from me.
Most of the songs in Xenosaga are like this, which is quite appropriate, given that pretty much every member of the main cast has had their lives royally screwed up by love in the past one way or another.
Inverted in Disney's Hercules, where Meg's song "I Won't Say (I'm In Love)" is meant to angrily indicate she's not only not interested in Hercules, but in men in general, but naturally by the end of the song she finally admits to herself she is.
In Saki's short story, "The Secret Sin of Septimus Brope," the protagonist writes the following:
How you bore me, Florrie, With those eyes of vacant blue; You'll be very sorry, Florrie, If I marry you. Though I'm easy-goin', Florrie, This I swear is true, I'll throw you down a quarry, Florrie, If I marry you.
In one The Dick Van Dyke Show episode when his usually-shy brother performed songs while sleepwalking, one of his personas was the teen rock 'n roll singing sensation Skid Row. One of his "ballads" was this song:
My heart told me that I should get a wife My heart told me I was in a rut My heart told me I should get a wife I wish my heart would keep it's big mouth shut!.
You can't be accused of procrastination, one brief separation - the dream went stale, You sever all ties with a swift laceration. leave so many loose-ends- (thereby hangs my tale). Were you scared that the truth could have made you fatter? The Queen of Hearts - you dealt me a pack of lies, then laughed in my face like it didn't matter, that you'd crossed my head and I hoped to die Both sickened to learn (and yet glad to discover). that Venus once held me with (ch) arms so fake I'd have once sold my soul for this faithless lover, now I couldn't give a damn for my little Miss Take.
Type O Negative has a fair amount of these, the best known of them being "Unsuccessfully Coping with the Natural Beauty of Infidelity".
Sonata Arctica have done four songs that tell the tale of a stalker, 3 of which are straight examples. "The End of This Chapter" is the original one, explaining why in "Caleb" he's stalking the woman and exploring his feelings. In "Don't Say a Word" he finally decides to kill his former love. In "Juliet" he has killed her, rejoices and takes a poison so that they can be together in the afterlife, only to find that she is Not Quite Dead.
Dream Theater's "Light Fuse and Get Away" portrays a cynical man who has been dumped so many times that he considers relationships a waste of time and one-night stands a more attractive option ("No gain no pain / When it's lust to dust you can crawl from the wreckage").
Apocalyptica's "Anything But Love" doesn't even pretend for a moment to be a love song. lyrically the song details a female character talking to the man who is going to rape her. She essentially tells him to be as cruel and evil as he wants ("Go on infect me, go on and scare me to death.") and make sure she is traumatized and scared. Because she'd rather that than have him love her.
Does Avenged Sevenfold's "A Little Piece of Heaven" count (certainly a case of Love Makes You Evil anyways)? Considering it's about a necrophiliac that kills his girlfriend, eats her heart and then gets killed by her resurrected corpse. Includes such lovely lines as
She was never this good in bed even when she was sleeping now she's just so perfect I've never been quite so ***ing deep in
Anthrax did a mock love-ballad, "dallabnikufesin", complete with the twelve-string acoustic and the tortured bridge that were stereotypical of the hair bands of the time. There was a line in there about "I didn't mean to hurt you / or sleep with all your friends..." and it ends with the couple reunited just before she gets hit by a truck, to which the singers start mock-sobbing and asking for tissues.
Within Temptation: "What Have You Done Now" is both a Love Song and an Anti-Love Song, about two lovers who are now mortal enemies, but still in love with each other.
Overkill wrote a song called "I Hate" about a disgruntled worker's utter contempt for his colleagues, bosses, and customers, and anyone else he comes into contact with.
Think I know how you got this far
Think I know how you got where you are
Think I'll hate ya when you're dead? I know I'll hate ya!
Smile to my face, know you'll lie
Say I got problems? Ask yourself why!
Testament cranks this up to eleven and beyond with their song, "Leave Me Forever." The lyrics end on possibly one of the most venomous and hate filled rants against an ex-girlfriend ever.
I can't get away
I hope you suffer
I won't let love ever drive me insane
Unleash the pain laugh as you suffer
You turned our love into my ugly shame
Sick of your ways sick of the future
I take my life back to live it my way
Just walk away leave me forever
You can't erase all the damage you've done
"Love?" by Strapping Young Lad all but states that love is just a way to avoid loneliness and get sex.
Where to start with Avantasia? The Scarecrow Saga has tons of these, such as "What Kind of Love" about rejection and "Your Love is Evil". A dominating theme in the trilogy is the inability of the protagonist to find love or acceptance.
Psychostick has a couple of these, Throwin' Down is about an obsessive girlfriend, and Orgasm = Love is pretty self explanatory.
Megadeth's song "The Hardest Part Of Letting Go" according to Dave Mustaine ""While everyone writes cheesy love songs, mine are a little different....boy meets girl, girl doesn't like boy, boy kills girl."
Also done with some humor in "1000 Times Goodbye".
"One More Fucking Time" by Motorhead is about a man who is left bitter and cynical after being dumped by his woman.
The Reduced Shakespeare Company's Millennium Musical had "The Hitler/Khan Duet", a spoof of the obligatory Broadway love song by, well, Adolf Hitler and Ghengis Khan.
Hitler: I guess that every show needs a song like this. Khan: Fine by me, as long as we don't have to kiss.
In the musical version of Wicked, Elphaba and Glinda sing a song about one another (titled "What is This Feeling?" but frequently referred to as "Loathing") which could almost be a love song if only a few words were tweaked.
Subverted, weirdly enough, by "Yesterday I Loved You" from Once Upon A Mattress:
Yesterday you seemed as lovely to me As anyone ever could be. Now I see what tricks my eyes can play. Yesterday I must have been totally blind, Or else I was out of my mind, For you seem so much lovelier today! My heart cannot be trusted, I give you fair warning. I openly confess Tonight I love you less Than I will tomorrow morning.
Similar to a line from the Renaissance poetJohn Donne: Methinks I lied all winter when I swore / My love was infinite, if spring makes it more. He also wrote some Anti Love Poems, such as "The Apparition".
Another subversion is Jonathan Coulton's "You Ruined Everything", which sounds like it's going to be one of these for the first verse or so, except that it's an unironic song of parental love.
In the musical Out Of This World, "Cherry Pies Ought To Be You" is first sung by Mercury and Chloe as a perky love duet in List Song format. It is soon reprised by Nikki and Juno, but with lyrics of a different mood:
Nikki: Shooting pains ought to be you. Juno: Addled brains ought to be you. Nikki: Florida, when it rains, ought to be you. Juno: Pinchers in subway trains ought to be you.
I'll burn with your love like I was Birkenau, I'll conquer your love like you were Poland. I'll act on my love like Pontius Pilate, I'll give you my love like I was Brutus, I'll radiate love like Three-Mile Island, I'll prove you my love like I was Judas.
Someone to hold you too close Someone to hurt you too deep Someone to love you too hard Happily Ever After Someone to need you too much Someone to read you too well Someone to bleed you of all the things you don't want to tell That's happily ever after Ever, ever, ever after- In hell.
"Love Song" from the musical Love Life is a strangely downbeat number sung by a hobo about nobody to nobody.
Leonard Bernstein's Literature/Candide has "Ring-Around-A-Rosy" (incorporated into the "Auto-Da-Fé" number in the Final Revised Version), a song for the syphilis-stricken Pangloss. Its lyrics are along the same lines as Tom Lehrer's "I Got It From Agnes," only with a refrain saying love makes the world go round.
Rodgers and Hart wrote a few other Anti Love Songs, one being the duet "Ev'rything I Got" from By Jupiter, which has lines like "I'm not yours for better but for worse." (The reprise is a more standard sort of love song, though a highly martyred one.)
Avenue Q's "The More You Love Someone (The More You Want To Kill Them)"
Theatre/Chicago has The Cell Block Tango, a song about six "murderesses", detailing their crimes. Their six reasons were, in order, "Popping" gum, Lying about being single, A reaction to a 'jealous rage', (an innocent Hungarian woman whose lover was killed), Cheating on her with her sister, and Cheating on her with random people. Some of the scenarios start out rather romantic.
In Blood Brothers, Eddie serenades Linda with how, if he were Mickey, he'd easily be able to tell her how much he loves her and show how much he cares... but "I'm Not Saying A Word".
In Spanish language, Paquita la del Barrio seems to be the embodiment of this trope. "Rata de dos patas" is the most notorious example.
Subverted in The Bible (no, really), though you have to know the context. The Song of the Vineyard in Isaiah 5 speaks of a vineyard that's just no good, even though its owner does everything he's supposed to, so he's advised to just ditch it. Apparently, the people of Jerusalem were supposed to understand this as an ironic metaphor with the vineyard being a wife. When the metaphor is explained in the end, it turns out that the man is actually God and the vineyard is the nation of Israel. Oops.
Do you really love me? (Tell me that you love me, say it) Do you really care? (I won't hold you to it, put me through it) Do you really want me? (Don't worry, my heart is made of steel) Do you really.. at least pretend to love me girl, I don't care if that love is real.
Pop / Punk
NSYNC's "Bye Bye Bye" is a rare example of an anti-love song sung by a boy band:
Don't wanna be a fool for you
Just another player in your game for two
You may hate me but it ain't no lie,
Baby, bye, bye, bye
Don't really wanna make it tough
I just wanna tell you that I had enough
It might sound crazy, but it ain't no lie
Baby, bye, bye, bye
"Bye Bye Bye" was the first single from the band's first album after an acrimonious breakup with their previous manager and record label. Whether there is real-life subtext to the song is debatable, but if there is the video makes it really obvious, with a woman playing with the boys as marionettes.
Pet Shop Boys' "I'm With Stupid"—on the surface, a fun little pop song about being in love with someone perceived as a dim bulb. The hidden meaning (cheerfully admitted by the Boys)? A satire of the relationship between Tony Blair and George Bush, sung from Blair's point of view. Contains the gem "Is stupid really stupid, or a different kind of smart?"
Mika's "Lollipop" is a happy little pop song about how love will ruin your life. "Erase" sounds like a regretful breakup song until you realize he's actually taunting his former lover, and suggesting they they kill themselves in order to get over him:
When the pain won't go away
You might as well put your finger on the trigger
Erase my love
I bet you can't erase my touch
Ludo's "Good Will Hunting By Myself" starts as a standard whiny breakup song and quickly devolves into a spiteful rant about how awful the ex-girlfriend in question actually was. The spoken-word climax must be heard to be believed, but the final chorus is pretty great as well:
You can watch Good Will Hunting by yourself (you bitch, please die)
You can waste your life without my help (you bitch, please die)
You can hang out with your friends, that is if you have any friends
You can watch Good Will Hunting by yourself ‘til your eyes fall out
You can watch Good Will Hunting by yourself – I hope your eyes fall out
Why don’t you go watch it by yourself?
Go to hell!
Arguably, everything Fall Out Boy have ever written, or at least about 90% of it.
An example from Get Busy Living Or Get Busy Dying:
I used to obsess over living
Now I only obsess over you
Tell me you'd like boys like me better
In the dark lying on top of you
Belle and Sebastian's "You Don't Send Me" is upbeat and peppy, but is all about how happy the singer is that his girlfriend broke up with him:
Since you went away, everything is looking great
I'm a little bored
When I see you out, maybe walking in the street
You always cross the road
Listen, honey, there is nothing you can do to offend me any more
You don't send me any more...
So despite the suggestion that "the key is change, getting over all your problems", we're left thinking that he's maybe protesting a little too much.
The Magnetic Fields. Examples include "I Don't Really Love You Any More" (self-explanatory) and "I Don't Believe You", which contains the lyric "You seemed to be / In love with me / Which isn't very realistic."
Much, if not all, of their three-album set 69 Love Songs falls under this trope.
In fact, it includes all four of the sub-categories listed in the trope description, and probably makes up a few more.
"I Don't Believe You" strikes me more of a song about someone with such low self-esteem that they can't believe the person actually loves them. It's what I get from quotes like
You say you quote unquote love me
Well, stranger things have come to be
But let's agree to disagree
Cause I don't believe you
You tell me of what once was
And all about Buck, Butch, and Buzz...
And how I'm not like them because...
But I don't believe you
So you may set your charm on stun
Say I'm delightful and fun
But you say that to everyone
So I don't believe you
And don't forget 'I Can't Touch You Anymore', with lines like
I can't touch you anymore
There's so much to hate you for
You're asking the wrong questions
You're opening wrong doors
I love you, but I can't touch you anymore
Also, "You Must Be Out Of Your Mind" - A hate song about an ex including the lines:
I want you crawling back to me
Down on your knees, yeah
Like an appendectomy
"100,000 Fireflies" is, for the most part, an earnest (if bleak) love song, but then you get to the coda:
You won't be happy with me
But give me one more chance
You won't be happy anyway
Lit - "Miserable" has a series of lyrics which suggest this.
"Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend" by The Mr. T Experience.
Before writing the many romantic hit songs of ABBA, Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus wrote "Det Dar Med Karlek" ("That Thing With Romance"), mocking the amount of love songs dominating the top ten list. (A bad translation of the chorus follows.)
That thing with romance
Who invented it?
We're never left in peace
It's advertised everywhere
That thing with romance
What's so great about it?
How can we all stand it anymore?
Most of it's just a big pile of crap!
"Goodbye Good Guy" by Frente starts off sounding like the typical pining-for-a-lost-lover-please-take-me-back number, but by the end of the song the singer has realised they've been tricked all along.
Something was hovering over you boy, just then
you scolded me, told me don't bother, and vanished again
and everything perfect you said was just mirrors and wires
you look left, I was right
Here with my feet in my fire
"Possession" by Sarah McLachlan. An intense, highly erotic song... based on mash notes from an insane stalker fan. (Who tried to sue her for plagiarism, then killed himself when he lost the case.)
Baby, I hate you, I hate to tell you that I hate you
I tell you, I hate you, baby
'Cos I'm counting on your suicide
I can't be happy while you're still alive
And as the minutes crawl slowly by
I'm counting on your suicide
"Don't Bother" by Shakira. The video has her destroying her boyfriend's Ford Mustang.
Many Only Ones songs fall under this, particularly "No Solution": "Some girls say they're loving ya/but love is just destruction disguised under another name...you stand for everything I despise, but when you hold me and look in my eyes I know I can't let you go..."
Fiona Apple's "Get Him Back" is pretty much a hate song in its first two verses, then ricochets into an upbeat love song in verse #3.
"Polly" by Captain Dangerous is an Anti-Love Song in which the singer gleefully describes how utterly unenamoured he is with the titular young lady. It features the classic line "By the way: I'm gonna kill you", as well as the chorus:
I've got condiments in my kitchen That kill people like you in the evening You look like something I've never seen before, see I've got three words, and they're "fuck you, Polly".
We can't mention Captain Dangerous in this section without mentioning "Boozehounds" either.
20 Fingers' "Short Dick Man" (also known as "Short Short Man" due to censorship) is a song about a woman turning down a man with micropenis.
Isn't that cute an extra belly button You need to put your pants back on honey
"Where Is The Love" by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway - a song about a couple having an affair with each other, each demanding to know when they were going to have the other to themselves, and both refusing to answer.
The Divine Comedy had one called 'Frog Princess', in which the singer recounts on a girl from his past who didn't actually believe in love, and drifted from partner to partner. His true feelings for her shine the most in these lines:
And now I'm rid of her, I must confess To thinkin' 'bout what might have been... And I can visualise my frog princess Beneath a shining... guillotine.
"It's Yer Money I'm After Baby" by The Wonder Stuff includes the adorable "Don't worry 'bout your heart/it's your bank I want to break"
"Love Fool" by The Cardigans. A sweet sounding song about how a women cannot get over wishing her boyfriend would still love her.
''Love me, love me, say that you love me Fool me, fool me, go on and fool me, Pretend that you love me.
Madonna and Prince's "Love Song" from Like A Prayer has it right in the words that it isn't a love song.
Sara Bareille's "Love Song" falls under this trope with her saying that "I'm not gonna write you a love song/Cause you asked for it/Cause you need one". It is reportedly in response to her record label asking her to write a love song in order to become more successful, which she did not want to do. Ironically, it is her biggest-selling single to date.
Space's approach to songwriting was summed up by one of their members as 'boy kills girl, falls in love'. 'The Ballad Of Tom Jones' (couple keep trying to kill each other), 'Bastard Me Bastard You' (boy loves girl so much he wants to kill her), 'Me And You Versus The World' (boy meets girl, they wind up dead), 'Begin Again' (boy keeps getting dumped), 'Influenza' (boy compares girl to various diseases), 'Drop Dead' (boys stalks girl), 'A Liddle Biddy Help From Elvis' (boy meets girl, Elvis Presley accidentally shoots them), 'I Love You More Than Football' (boy abuses girl), Pretty Suicide' (couple kill themselves), 'Kill Me' (boy wants girl to kill him), 'Diary Of A Wimp' (Dogged Nice Guy can't move on)...the list goes on.
Barbra Streisand sang a couple of these. "Down With Love" suggested giving it back to "the birds and the bees and the Viennese," while "Love is a Bore" compared it to a number of useless and/or little-desired things:
Love is a bore Love is a ball game without a score Love is a sail boat without a sail The lock on the candy store
"I Saw Her Again" by The Mamas and the Papas. A song about someone who's stuck in a relationship with a girl who he doesn't love but keeps stringing along because "I'm lonely, too."
Joe Jackson's LP's are chocca with this sort of song. The two most famous examples are Is She Really Going Out With Him? and It's Different For Girls. But the Look Sharp album is one where you could play any track and it will be an anti-love song. Happy Loving Couples is quite possibly the most misanthropic and embittered of the lot.
Happy Loving Couples make it look so easy,
Happy loving couples make it seem so fine;
But if I can't do my dancing with a partner -
Love ain't a friend of mine!
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.
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
"For Reasons Unknown":
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, Jeniffer, 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.
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?
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
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.
This hits its peak where it becomes clear that he loves making his girlfriends cry, because that always leads to great materials for songs. ("Deep, so deep, the number one I hope to reap/Depends upon the tears you weep, so cry, lover, cry...")
So it really was about that? I had taken it at face value, the songwriter fondly recalling past relationships that were so brief and numerous he couldn't place any of their names.
They've done a fair few. "I'll Sail This Ship Alone" is essentially about a man accepting his ex-partner's decision to leave him, while still trying to win her back. However, the song ends with the line "Well they said if I burned myself alive/That you'd come running back." Another is "We Are Each Other", which sounds, on the surface, like a song about an intensely close lyrics, until it becomes clear that the relationship was suffocating for them and is now over.
Their most straightforward anti love song is probably "Something That You Said":
The perfect love song it has no words; it only has death threats.
And you can tell a classic ballad by how threatening it gets.
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".
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.
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.
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 snarkymonotone 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)
Maroon 5 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.
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' "Elenore" 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.
"Du Hast", literally, is about a woman asking a man to marry her, with the man refusing to reply. However, the chorus is a pun - "Du hast, du hasst mich, du hast mich gefragt" should be translated "you have, you hate me, you've asked me".
"Stein um Stein" is about possessive love of the worst kind. It seems sweet enough at times, with lyrics like "I will build us a home with a garden outside" and "I will always be with you" - but then the details of the house are described... "No windows, no door, inside will be darkness", "with your feet in the concrete, you will beautify the foundations" - "Stone by stone I wall you in, and no one will hear you scream."
"Amour Amour" is an outright damnation of love itself, likening the feeling to a predator who cannot be tamed. At the end of the song the singer begs for a way out:
Please, please. Give me poison!
"All Sparks" by the Editors:
Be careful angel, this life is just too long, all sparks will burn out in the end...
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?"
Subverted by Trace Adkins' "This Ain't No Love Song". Although he says that he's driving by her house and can't sleep at night but isn't in love, the song's tone and lyrics make it obvious that he knows he's in love, and she knows he knows, and he knows she knows he knows.
"You're the Hangnail in My Life" by Hoyt Axton.
Johnny Cash sang a touching lost love ballad titled "Flushed From the Bathroom of Your Heart" (written by his producer Jack Clement). You can hear the convicts laughing during the song.
Roy Clark's "Thank God and Grayhound (You're Gone)" starts as if the singer is sorry to see his former love leave. The lyrics soon make it clear that he's anything but.
Jaron and the Long Road to Love (really Jaron Lowenstein of Evan and Jaron) wrote a country song called "Pray for You". Though very few would mistake its meaning once the chorus starts.
I haven't been to church since I don't remember when
Things were going great til they fell apart again
So I listened to the preacher as he told me what to do
He said you can't go hatin' others who have done wrong to you
Sometimes we get angry but we must not condemn
Let the good Lord do his job, you just pray for them
I pray your brakes go out runnin' down a hill
I pray a flower pot falls from a window sill
And knocks you in the head like I'd like to
I pray your birthday comes and nobody calls
I pray you're flyin' high when your engine stalls
I pray all your dreams never come true
Just know wherever you are, honey, I pray for you
You might think just from the title that Jack Ingram's "Love You" is a love song, but the first verse makes it plain that it's not ("the heck with this, the heck with us"), and then the chorus starts: "Love you, love this town / Love this motherlovin' truck that keeps breakin' lovin' down."
Jessica Lea Mayfield's song, "For Today" is a subliminal anti love song:
And while these words may sound so sweet
I could care less about you
Care less about you
And I love the sound of you walking away
"Goodbye Earl" by the Dixie Chicks, which is a lighthearted, peppy song about an abusive husband and his deservedly unpleasant end.