Your love is like bad medicine! Bad medicine is what I need, whoa!"
When Ian Dury sang about Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll, he covered not only the Rock n Roll lifestyle but also the majority of musical lyrics. There are songs about sex, songs about drugs and songs about dancing to and appreciating music itself.
However, it seems Dury was getting into the Department of Redundancy Department because so many songs treat sex or love as though it is a drug. Well after all there are only so many appropriate metaphors out there so the ones that work will turn up a lot.
Certain lines recur in these songs. The love gets the person high, it elates them, being away from it will make them crave it, they will be addicted to it, they feel like they are floating, they have a loss of appetite and so on. A bit of Truth in Television, as the early stages of romantic infatuation will mess with the brain's dopamine levels in much the same ways opiates will.
Sometimes these songs can throw the interpretations into a tailspin with people thinking that songs that are actually about drugs are this and vice versa.
- "Addicted To Love" by Robert Palmer is laden with this trope from top to bottom.
You like to think that you're immune to the stuff, oh yeah
It's closer to the truth to say you can't get enough
You know you're gonna have to face it, you're addicted to love
- "Kiss From A Rose" by Seal uses it straightforwardly in several places with abstract lines like "Love remained a drug that's the high not the pill" and "you're like a growing addiction" as well as the uncertain interpretations of his eyes getting large and what a kiss from a rose actually is.
- "Your Love Is My Drug" by Kesha. The music video is, for lack of a better word, hallucinatory.
- The similarly named "Your Love's A Drug" by Leighton Meester:
I like it, I want it, the way you make my body move
I think I'm addicted, I'm high off everything you do
I need it, that feeling, rushing through my veins again
Whenever you're leaving I feel withdrawal kicking in
- "I Want A New Drug" by Huey Lewis and the News implies that no drug compares to the feeling of being 'alone with you'.
- Roxy Music has "Love Is the Drug", later covered by Divinyls for the Super Mario Bros. soundtrack, and Carla Gugino and Oscar Isaac for Sucker Punch.
- "Bad Medicine" by Bon Jovi, providing the quote up there.
- "You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me" from 42nd Street makes this Older Than They Think.
- "Love Is Like Oxygen" by Sweet:
''Love is like oxygen.
You get too much, you get too high;
Not enough and you're gonna die.
Love gets you high!
- P!nk's song "Just Like A Pill" compares the singer's interest to an addictive drug in pill form, who, instead of making her happy, is bringing her down.
- Britney Spears' "Toxic" is clearly about drugs in reverence to love/lust/infatuation et cetera.
- This appears to be what "The Perfect Drug" by Nine Inch Nails is about. That, or actual drugs.
- "Love is a Stranger" by the Eurythmics includes the lyric "love is a dangerous drug".
- Queens of the Stone Age have a song like this, titled "Like a drug", natch.
- "Hooked on a Feeling" by B.J. Thomas, best known in the version by Blue Swede.
- "Intoxication" by Disturbed.
"A dialogue between that which intoxicates, and its victim. A person, substance or lifestyle."
- "Serpentine" has hints of this as well.
- Mary Elizabeth McGlynn's "You're Not Here" (from Silent Hill 3) has a bit of this:
So now what can I do?
I'm strung out, addicted to you
My body aches now that you're gone
My supply fell through...
- Puffy AmiYumi had Your Love Is a Drug in 2002.
- "Love Is a Drug" by country music band Jypsi.
- "Just Can't Get Enough" by Black Eyed Peas.
- In Brave New World, Lenina sings a song with these lyrics:
"Hug me till you drug me, honey;
Kiss me till I'm in a coma:
Hug me, honey, snuggly bunny;
Love's as good as soma."
- "You and Tequila" by Kenny Chesney compares the temptation of a lover to the temptation one faces when trying to overcome drinking.
- Also by Kenny Chesney: "Being Drunk's a Lot Like Loving You"
- "I Can't Stay Away" by The Veronicas
- "The Drug In Me Is You" by Falling in Reverse. From the same band, the song "Bad Girls Club" gave us the line "Your love is like a drug, but it is not enough!"
- "Hard Habit to Break" by Chicago takes the metaphor a little further, showing that the singer compares his post-breakup situation to the pangs of withdrawal.
- "A Little Love" by Vanessa Amorosi compares Love to cigarettes.
- Lithium by Evanescence is a double up, A guy who she loves is her drug and she needs him to function, but also she addicted to the pain she feels and on purpose puts herself down because THAT is also a drug, which directly relates to their relationship which is based upon sadness.
- Lithium, I wanna stay in love with my sorrowDarling, I forgive you after all, anything better than to be alone
- Placebo's "Special K" and "My Sweet Prince"
- Bad Manners' "Special Brew"
- Dick Holler & the Holidays' "Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)" takes the idea of being "love drunk" literally. The more well-known version by The Swingin' Medallions takes it further by having all eight members sing at once and adding various unintelligible hoots and hollers, making it sound like more of a rowdy Drunken Song.
- "Girlshapedlovedrug" by Gomez.
- "High On You" by Survivor.
- "I'm Your Favorite Drug" by Porcelain and the Tramps.
- "I Get A Kick Out Of You" by Cole Porter compares the sensations of love to champagne and cocaine.
- "Sober" by Little Big Town compares love to alcohol, with the narrator saying that she is drunk on his love and doesn't want to die sober.
- "Medicate" by AFI, more or less.
- Taylor Swift:
- "Clean" compares the protagonist's getting over a relationship (or relationships in general for the time being) to coming out of rehab.
- "Death By A Thousand Cuts" says the song's subject "Gave up on [her] like [she] was a bad drug."
- "illicit affairs" is a Love Martyr song that mentions "A drug that only worked / The first few hundred times."
- In a variant of this, "Smoke" by A Thousand Horses compares a lover to smoking cigarettes, saying that she's a "habit that [he] can't let go".
- Panic! at the Disco:
- "Nearly Witches (Ever Since We Met)":
Ever since we met
I only shoot up with your perfume
It's the only thing
That makes me feel as good as you do
Just one more hit and then we're through
'Cause you could never love me back
Cut every tie I have to you
'Cause your love's a fuckin drag
But I need it so bad ...
Yeah, you're worse than nicotine
- "Nearly Witches (Ever Since We Met)":
- EXO's "Overdose", equating love to overdosing.
- Zac Brown Band's "Beautiful Drug":
Such a beautiful drug, I can't get enough
Got a habit and I'm dying for a hit of your love...
- "Love is like Drugs" by Schmoyoho ft. Jontron is this trope mixed with Dissimile.
Being in love is like being on drugs, without the potential brain damage
- Camila Cabello's Never Be The Same features lines like "got your chemicals all in my veins" and "just like nicotine, heroin, morphine," and "just one hit of you and now I'll never be the same."
- "Baby, Don't Get Hooked On Me" by Mac Davis, as a warning not to get too attached to the singer, with the metaphor extended to the line "'cause I'll just use you, then I'll set you free".
- "Drunk on Your Love" by Brett Eldredge:
The second she walked through the door, I caught a buzz
One taste from your lips knocked me out just like a drug
- Kelly Clarkson's "Addicted" likens dysfunctional relationship to drug addiction.
- "Addiction" by Dope:
She's like cocaine, heroine
Alcohol, and vicodine
- Three Days Grace's Painkiller is an odd, creepy (in)version where the narrator seeks to become someone's drug:
You know I'll give you one for free
Forever you're coming back to me
Now I'm gonna give you what you need
'Cause I know what you fiend on and what you lean on
And what you lean on
The shoulder you cry on
The dose that you die on
- "Love On The Rocks" by Poison, in which love is compared to a shot of alcohol. Much different than the song of the same name by Neil Diamond, in which it is love that is dashed upon the rocks.
- Sara Bareilles also has a song titled "Love On The Rocks":
Hot as hell, cold as ice
Sip it slow 'cause it's so nice
Dulls my senses, drives my pain
But I do it again
Burns a bit to the touch
Dangerous if it's too much
If this bottle could talk
Love on the rocks
- Carly Rae Jepsen's "No Drug Like Me."
You ain't done no drug like me.
- "High Enough" by K. Flay:
I don't need drugs
Cause I'm already high enough
You got me, you got me good
- Phantogram's "You Don't Get Me High Anymore."
- "I Can't Quit Her" by Blood, Sweat, and Tears.
- "There's A New Wine" by Rodney Howard Browne, in which God's love is a drug.
- Diana Ross' "Love Hangover".
- Larry Clinton & His Orchestra's "You Go to My Head":
You go to my head
Like a sip of sparkling burgundy brew
And I find the very mention of you
Like the kicker in a julep or two
- "Boom Clap" by Charli XCX (a Breakaway Pop Hit from The Film of the Book of The Fault in Our Stars) includes the lyrics:
First kiss just like a drug
Under your influence
You take me over, you're the magic in my veins
This must be love
- "The Buzz" by The Pretenders: "It's a drug, like any other". The song is about a manipulative lover using withdrawal to control the singer, who realises this but can't do anything about it.
- Skillet's "Better Than Drugs", just as the title implies, is about a relationship filling the singer's emotional void better than drugs and alcohol usually would.
- VA-11 HALL-A has, while being completely instrumental, the song "Your Love Is A Drug" by *Kira* Miki. The vocal cover by Adriana Figueroa and Carlos Eiene plays this straight with it's lyrics though.
Ecstasy so burned into my mind
You're a drug for me
Pure and crystalline
- Eyes Fade Away by Emigrate compares a toxic relationship to an addiction, expressing a desire to drain you from my veins.