"When I said you oughta marry me, when I said that we should settle down,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:
Well, I was pullin' your leg there, honey, I was just foolin' around!
I never meant to upset you, darling, I never meant to hurt anyone,
I was only kidding, baby, why don't you just put down that gun?"
Well, I was pullin' your leg there, honey, I was just foolin' around!
I never meant to upset you, darling, I never meant to hurt anyone,
I was only kidding, baby, why don't you just put down that gun?"
— "Weird Al" Yankovic, "I Was Only Kidding"
- The hate song, where you croon about your heart-breaking desire to kill somebody.
- The overdone song, where the lyrics get so purple you have to laugh.
- 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.
- The mocking bait-and-switch song, where you sing to the person about how they are truly and wholeheartedly loved for all their character flaws by... well, someone who certainly isn't you.
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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 bleeding-purple "The Masochism Tango" (My heart is in my hand—Ecch!).
- Virginia O'Brien sang the dysfunctional torch song "Say That We're Sweethearts Again", later covered by Dorothy Shay (the "Park Avenue Hillbillie") and Harley Quinn.
- "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, "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.
- 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"):
- 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.
- The Axis Of Awesome's "How to Write a Love Song" is a parody of R&B love ballads, right down to commenting on a random spoken word section, a key change and the various elements in the music video.
- 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.
- There's a good reason Stephen Lynch rebuffs enthusiastic female applause when he announces he's going to sing a "song for the ladies..."
- 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 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:
Lily: You creep
Into my heart
And make my heart burn
Barry: You sneak
Into my mind
And make my head ache
Both: There are things I long to tell you
Lily: You're much too blond
Barry: You snore
It's time to face the music
Barry: Bye bye
Lily: Don't slam the door
And I don't want
Barry: I don't want
Lily: I don't want
Barry: I don't want
Both: No, I don't want your flowers anymore!
- "Jizz In My Pants". Anybody?
- 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.
- "Dick In A Box" may also be an example.
- "Happy Birthday Fungus Face" by Da Yoopers.
- Tim Minchin assures his love that if he didn't have her, he'd probably have someone else.
- 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.
- It's the one-semester-of-Spanish, Spanish love song!
- This song compares a boy's laugh to a "constipated monkey".
- On SCTV, Dave Thomas and Catherine O'Hara do a brilliantly caustic, chipper impression of Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme.
- 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.
- Just a couple of years before "And The Green Grass Grew All Around", H. H. Munro imagined a song writer who was so bored with writing endless glurge that he penned 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.
- 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.
- "U Stink But I (Heart) U" by Mucky Pup, which was originally credited to Billy And The Boingers, appearing on a flexidisk record along with "We're The Boingers" in Billy And The Boingers: Bootleg.
- John Forster's "Way Down Deep (You're Shallow)" deserves a mention, as it's ostensibly a love song between two utterly-superficial people who claim to love one another because there's nothing in the other to love.
- Australian comedian Kat Mc Snatch's "Love" is a song of hatred towards love itself. She even wonders "why everybody wants it".
- Natalia Kills' song "Break you hard" The opening lyrics are: "This is not a love song, honey if you want one better turn it off."
- 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:
I know I might lose you by taking the chanceBut love without pain isn't really romance...
- Frou Frou, "Close Up"
- IAMX's song "Missile" is about a destructive relationship.
- The Crystalline Effect, "When You're Asleep".
- Markus Schulz's "Nothing Without Me", which is sung from the perspective of a Yandere who claims her 'beloved' is nothing without her.
- The Flemish folk group Laïs had the very upbeat song "'t Smidje" (The Blacksmith) that chronicles the memories of a blacksmith who wants to get married but ends up with a worse deal than being alone:
''She's the most beautiful of all womenbut she's such a serpentShe never shuts her yapShe's never content
- I've had it with being marriedWhy can't I be a widowerI'll stay in a cornerAnd keep myself out of danger.
- Ben Taylor's "Wicked Way"
- 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.
- "Poison & Wine" by The Civil Wars is a rather poignant song about being in a caustic relationship with someone you can't help but love anyway. The majority of the song is just the mantra "I don't love you, but I always will" repeated over and over.
- They did it again with "The One that Got Away", in which both parties wish they could go back in time and make it so that they'd never met.
- "Lemon Tree", written by Will Holt and performed by many other singers. (It was based on the Brazilian folk song "Meu limão, meu limoeiro".)
- "The Errant Apprentice" by Bill Watkins and Andy M. Stewart is about a man who becomes a soldier to impress his girl, only to learn she married another. He gets into a fight with the other guy, but on learning he's outmatched quickly decides Screw This, I'm Outta Here! His conclusion:
For there's many things worth tryin' for,
And occasionally worth lyin' for,
But there's bugger all worth dyin' for,
So I'll stick to the single life.
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
- Eamon's ''Fuck It''.
- Likewise, Cee Lo Green's Fuck You has a similar vibe.
- 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...
One, two, you're the girl that I want
- '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:
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..
- Cage's "I Never Knew You", about a man who falls in love with a woman he sees across the street and proceeds to stalk and murder her.
- Reggae rapper Snow has a song called "Anti-Love Song".
- "Icky Vicky" from The Fairly OddParents.
- 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".
- Harley Quinn sings "Say That We're Sweethearts Again" (see Comedy/Parody) in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Harlequinade".
- Bart writes a quick one in The Simpsons episode "Stark Raving Dad", quoted above.
- To the music of the "Colonel Bogey March" (AKA "The song from Bridge Over The River Kwai")
- 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.
But it all was bullshit!It was a goddamn joke!And when I think of you, LindaI 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!Kill me!I want to die!Put a bullet in my heeeeaaaad!
Cause, trust me, love always endsYou'll be fat, divorced, and brokeWhile she has sex with all of your friends
- Not to mention "Casualties of Love" in the musical version.
- In the South Park episode "Christian Rock Hard" Cartman embarks on a quest to get rich writing Christian Rock songs, using the formula of taking ordinary pop songs and replacing the word "Baby" with the word "Jesus". The result is a series of creepy songs that make it sound like the singer is physically in love with Jesus, with lyrics like "Crawl into my bed, Jesus, and let's keep each other warm tonight."
- 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.
- In That '70s Show Hyde tells Jackie an Anti Love Haiku:
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.
- The film Team America: World Police features the song "The End of an Act". It's half love song, half dissing of Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor.
I miss you more than Michael Bay missed the mark
When he made Pearl Harbor
I miss you more than that movie missed the point
And that's an awful lot girl
And now, now you've gone away
And all I'm trying to say is
Pearl Harbor sucked, and I miss you.
- "Still Alive," the now-famous ending theme of Portal, is an unusually passive-aggressive example.
- Played With in Aladdin: The Return of Jafar. Iago sings "Forget About Love," but it's actually a ploy to get Jasmine to forgive Aladdin for lying to her. Naturally, it's transformed into a legitimate love song between the couple by the end.
- 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.
At least out loud / I won't say I'm in love.
- The Villain Song "Don't Fall in Love from the Beauty and the Beast The Enchanted Christmas.
- In Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the protagonist sings one to himself.
Everybody hates you.../everybody wishes that you were dead/ 'Cause Peter you suck,/ Peter you suck/ Peter your music is fucking terrible...
- The title song for Diamonds Are Forever is an ode to love sucking and jewelry being awesome.
- The J. Geils Band's "Love Stinks" is a clear example. It was even sung by Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer, mentioned above!
- 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!.
- "Dumped Over a Text Message" from Look a Vlog.
- Rock & Rule features Omar's band singing one of these at a talent night.
- FernGully: The Last Rainforest features a lizard singing a highly sexualised song about devouring a shrunken man. With no reason. And it never comes up again.
- In Kingdom of Loathing the Libram of Love Songs allows you to create love songs of Disturbing Obession, Icy Revenge, Naughty Innuendo, etc.
- The Looney Tunes Show: "We Are In Love", aka the Ode to Stalking, alternates between Stalker with a Crush Lola singing about how in love they are, and Only Sane Man Bugs singing about how it's friggin' creepy that she taps his phone lines and spends all night outside his house staring in through the windows with a terrifying grin.
- Skyclad's "Little Miss Take":
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.
- Aside from that, there's "Shy" which is also a stalker song, "Misery" about an unhealthy relationship, "Paid In Full" about realizing and leaving an unhealthy relationship, "San Sebastian" which ends in breakup, "My Selene" which ends in suicide... Sonata Arctica likes this trope almost as much as they like wolves.
- 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 farThink I know how you got where you areThink I'll hate ya when you're dead? I know I'll hate ya!Smile to my face, know you'll lieSay 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 awayI hope you sufferI won't let love ever drive me insaneUnleash the pain laugh as you sufferYou turned our love into my ugly shameSick of your ways sick of the futureI take my life back to live it my wayJust walk away leave me foreverYou 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.
- Halestorm's "Miss the Misery" is an rather angry song about how you don't miss your ex but all the pain and misery they caused you. "It's Not You" could also probably count.
- 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 poet John 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.
- Thou Shalt Not's "True Love" is initially a Gothic cabaret-style depiction of former flames meeting for what would appear to be innocent drinks and reminiscences for old times' sake, picks up into a drunken, menacing waltz, and then, well, gets worse from there.
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.
- The Cut Song "Happily Ever After" from Company.
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-
- "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's "To Keep My Love Alive" is not the sentimental torch song one might infer from its title (and that it was one of the last song lyrics Hart wrote before he died), but a List Song sung by a lady about the many, many husbands of hers she's murdered.
- 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)"
- 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".
Eddie: "Because I'm not."
- "No One Will Ever Love You (Like You Do)" from Goldilocks.
- "Ooh, Do You Love You!" from It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman.
- "Without You" from My Fair Lady has Eliza Doolittle telling Henry Higgins that she's better off without him in her life. Although, the play does end on an ambiguous hint that they may get back together after all.
- "I'll Never Fall in Love Again", written by Burt Bacharach for the musical Promises, Promises, and famously covered by Dionne Warwick, in which the singer bemoans her own love-life and warns other women off the topic.
- 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.
- The Baddest Girl, an original song by A Cappella group Pentatonix:
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 youJust another player in your game for twoYou may hate me but it ain't no lie,Baby, bye, bye, byeDon't really wanna make it toughI just wanna tell you that I had enoughIt might sound crazy, but it ain't no lieBaby, 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 awayYou might as well put your finger on the triggerErase my loveI 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 friendsYou can watch Good Will Hunting by yourself ‘til your eyes fall outYou can watch Good Will Hunting by yourself – I hope your eyes fall outWhy 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.
I used to obsess over livingNow I only obsess over youTell me you'd like boys like me betterIn the dark lying on top of you
- An example from "Get Busy Living Or Get Busy Dying":
I got your love letters, corrected the grammar, and sent them back
- Another from “The Music or the Misery”:
It's true, romance is dead
I shot it in the chest then in the head
- 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 greatI'm a little boredWhen I see you out, maybe walking in the streetYou always cross the roadListen, honey, there is nothing you can do to offend me any moreYou 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.
- Most of what Reel Big Fish writes, when they're not mad at their label.
I wrote this song about you
- Perhaps the best example is "Your Guts (I Hate 'Em)"; The opening lines say it all:
I wrote this song about you
just to let you know... that I hate your guts
and I think... you suck.
- A lot of Hello Project songs.
- The Dropkick Murphys' song "The Dirty Glass" starts out sounding like a "lost love" song, but before the guitars even kick in Darcy gives herself away.
"Murphy, Murphy, darling dear, I long for you now night and day./Your pain was my pleasure, your sorrow my joy./I fear now I've lost you health and good cheer."
- Except that as the song goes on, it becomes apparent that it's not even a breakup song at all; "Darcy" is the Anthropomorphic Personification of a pub.
- The Offspring's rewrite of the song "Feelings", changing it from a sappy love song to someone singing about another person they absolutely hate.
- 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."
You say you quote unquote love meWell, stranger things have come to beBut let's agree to disagreeCause I don't believe you[...]You tell me of what once wasAnd 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 stunSay I'm delightful and funBut you say that to everyoneSo I don't believe you
- 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
I can't touch you anymoreThere's so much to hate you forYou're asking the wrong questionsYou're opening wrong doorsI love you, but I can't touch you anymore
- And don't forget 'I Can't Touch You Anymore', with lines like
I want you crawling back to meDown on your knees, yeahLike an appendectomySans anaesthesia
- Also, "You Must Be Out Of Your Mind" - A hate song about an ex including the lines:
You won't be happy with meBut give me one more chanceYou won't be happy anyway
- "100,000 Fireflies" is, for the most part, an earnest (if bleak) love song, but then you get to the coda:
- Much, if not all, of their three-album set 69 Love Songs falls under this trope.
- Lit - "Miserable" has a series of lyrics which suggest this.
"You make me come.""You make me complete""You make me completely miserable."
- And of course, Good Charlotte's "
I Don't Want to Be in LoveDance Floor Anthem".
- Feargal Sharkey of The Undertones has a good one: "You Little Thief". With lyrics like, "How does it feel to make a grown man wanna die", it definitely qualifies.
- "Gunning Down Romance" by Savage Garden.
- "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 romanceWho invented it?We're never left in peaceIt's advertised everywhereThat thing with romanceWhat'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 thenyou scolded me, told me don't bother, and vanished againand everything perfect you said was just mirrors and wiresyou look left, I was rightHere 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.)
- Zombina And The Skeletones' "Counting On Your Suicide."
Baby, I hate you, I hate to tell you that I hate youI tell you, I hate you, baby'Cos I'm counting on your suicideI can't be happy while you're still aliveAnd as the minutes crawl slowly byI'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.
- How Kirk Thatcher's "I Hate You" took so long to be mentioned
- 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"
- "Wind It Up" by the Barenaked Ladies:
- Madonna and Prince's "Love Song" from Like A Prayer has it right in the words that it isn't a love song.
- 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.
- Oops I Did It Again by Britney Spears
- It's just a crushDoesn't mean that I'm seriousI'm not that innocent
- Little Voice by Hilary Duff is this
- I know I sound insaneLike I'm playing gamescuz all I really want is youBut there's some things a girl won't do
- "In the Dark" by Jojo
- Crush by Jennifer Paige is this Up to Eleven.
- say the word forever morethat's not what I'm looking forAll I can commit to is..maybe
- 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!
- Masked Intruder's primary schtick is Obsession Songs played for humor... But since "Heart Shaped Guitar" is a duet between their lead singer Blue and special guest vocalist Maura Weaver, this time we hear the kind of response these romantic entreaties tend to get:
Dude, you're freaking me out, seriouslyWhat the fuck's wrong with you?I don't even know youI'm calling the copsWhy are you standing thereAt 3 am out in my front yardSinging stupid love songs on a heart shaped guitar?And I don't want to hear it, 'cause I don't even careThe police are on their way, so just stay right there
- Carly Simon's "That's the Way I Always Heard It Should Be" is, at minimum, an Anti Marriage Song.
- 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 wroteA poem on a page[...]But now you're more of a basketballBoys just pass you aroundThey bounce you hard on the ground and dribbleAnd then we all get high fivesAnd you may think I'm an asshole nowWell, that's probably rightBut at least I'm not blind to the facts[...]But I still hope you get everythingThat you care to possessAnd unbelievable sex with himOr 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 throatThere's a method to your movements that really gets my goatI looked for sniffy linings but you're rotten to the coreI'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 mistakesYou crying, tragic waste of skinI'm well aware of how it achesBut you still won't let me in [...]Now I'm breaking down your doorTo try and save your swollen faceTough I don't like you anymoreYou lying, trying waste of space
- The Killers has a few, namely "Forget About What I Said":
We used to tear it downBut now we just existThe things that I've done wrongI bet you got a listNow I know how you rememberAll those moments that you chooseWill define me as a traitorStealing everything you lose [...]Forget about what I saidThe lights are gone and the party is over
But my heart, it don't beat, it don't beat the way it used toAnd my eyes, they don't see you no moreAnd my lips, they don't kiss, they don't kiss the way they used toAnd my eyes, don't recognize you no more.For reasons unknown
- "For Reasons Unknown":
Help me out, I need itI don't feel like loving you no more [...]Well how did it happenI spent two years in a strange strange landWell how did it happenI'd do anything just to be your man
- "All the Pretty Faces" (though, to be honest, he seems bothered by it)
Jennifer, tell me where I standAnd who's that other boy holding your hand?Oh, Jennifer, you know I've always triedBefore you say goodbye [...]And I've never liked your hair or those people that you lie withBut I'm not satisfied until I hold you tightAnd I love you endlesslyOh, darling, can't you see? -> That I'm not satisfied untill I hold you tight
- 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:
I took my baby's breath under a chandelierOf star and atmosphereAnd watched her disappearInto the midnight show
- "Midnight Show" has him killing her:
- 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 blessingWhispering like it's a secret only to condemn the one who hears it
- "Up The Hill Backwards" by David Bowie, immediately after leaving Angela.
- Who could forget Meat Loaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light"?
How do you abuse me - let me count the waysHow many hours in how many daysHow does it amuse you - let me count the painHow many rules breaking how many gamesYou got your ass out of gear and your soul out of whackGo on and take all your stuff - don't even bother to packIn every way I want you out of my life -But I'll kill you if you don't come backI'll kill you if you don't come back
- "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:
I want you, I need youBut there ain't no way I'm ever gonna love youNow don't be sad'Cause two out of three ain't bad
- We also seem to be missing 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":
You'd think that people would have had enough of Silly Love SongsBut I look around me/And I see it isn't soSome people wanna fill the world with silly love songsAnd 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?
The world's against you so you think or maybe wish it was
- There's also "A Laptop Like You," which is a country ballad-style love song sung to...a MacBook Pro.
- And "Someone is Crazy":
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".
- "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 songCause you've asked for itCause you need oneYeah, you see...I'm not gonna write you a love songCause you tell me it's make or break in thisIf you're on your way...I'm not gonna write you to stayIf all you have is leaving, I'm gonna need a better reasonTo 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 wrongI was wrong to ever doubtI can get along withoutI 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
So I cry and I pray and I begLove Me, love meSay that you love meFool Me fool meGo on and fool meLove Me love mePretend that you love meLeave me leave meJust say that you need me
- And of course, the chorus:
- 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.
If happy ever after did exist
- 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:
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.
Oh my loveplease don't cryI'll wash my bloody hands and we'll start a new life.I ripped out, his throatAnd called you on the telephone totake off my disguiseJust in time to hear you cry...
- The beginning of the song:
- 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
- The Smiths' bitter song "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" features this memorable lyric:
Nothing's changed,I still love you, oh, I still love youOnly 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...
- "Die, Die My Darling" by The Misfits.
Die die die my darlingDon't utter a single wordDie die die my darlingJust shut your pretty eyesI'll be seeing you againYeah 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 sayI think somebody better put out the big light, cause I can't stand to see you this way—Alison
- 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 itchAin't that a mother truckerYou can go to H-E-Double-Hockeysticks and F yourself'Cause I'm so flippin' gosh darnSick of all the S-word you put me throughSo F-U
You're a bitchbut I love you anywayso why don't you stay
- 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
- 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.
- Your love is Christopher Walken...
- "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 bebefore I'm sick of herand I no longer carewhere she goes or has been.
I press your hand in mine however cautiouslyI keep a smile right to myselfand I lapse into the grasp of an overriding obsessionand I get sick as I watch my interests fall in deep suspension
- "Little Victories" counts as well, and also crosses over into Love Makes You Crazy and Obsession Song territory:
- 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.
- No mention of their song actually called "This Ain't A Love Song?"
- 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 andWe'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 itwhen people are in love?they're so...They're so happySo 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 likeBeing fucked with a knife?
- 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.
- Alan Jackson's "Three Minute Positive Not Too Country Uptempo Love Song" is a parody of... well, Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- 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 whenThings were going great til they fell apart againSo I listened to the preacher as he told me what to doHe said you can't go hatin' others who have done wrong to youSometimes we get angry but we must not condemnLet the good Lord do his job, you just pray for themI pray your brakes go out runnin' down a hillI pray a flower pot falls from a window sillAnd knocks you in the head like I'd like toI pray your birthday comes and nobody callsI pray you're flyin' high when your engine stallsI pray all your dreams never come trueJust 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 sweetI could care less about youCare less about youAnd 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.