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Your Cheating Heart / Music

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  • As you might expect, cheating songs are quite common in Country Music, considering the old saying about country: "My dog died and my woman left me, pour the whiskey."
    • "Your Cheatin' Heart" by Hank Williams is the Trope Namer and provided previous page quote. This one is a classic and has been covered by everyone from fellow country artists Patsy Cline and LeAnn Rimes to Van Morrison to Fats Domino to James Brown to The The.
    • "Lady Down On Love" by Alabama.
    • "The Thunder Rolls" by Garth Brooks.
    • "The Night Will Only Know," another Garth Brooks song, is about two people married to other people who have a one-night stand and end up witnessing a murder.
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    • "Papa Loved Mama," also by Garth Brooks, is about a trucker who learned that his wife slept around while he was away, so he got in his big rig and ran his wife and her paramour over... while they were still in the motel.
    • Lefty Frizzell's "The Long Black Veil" features a dead narrator who was falsely accused of murder and chose to hang for the crime rather than reveal his alibi (he'd been with his best friend's wife on the night in question).
    • "In Another's Eyes", a duet by Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood (though this one is more about two people who are trying not to cheat).
    • "Revenge of a Middle-Aged Woman" by Tracy Byrd.
    • "Lyin' Eyes" by the Eagles.
    • "Carolyn" by Merle Haggard.
    • "Have Mercy" by The Judds.
    • "Heaven's Just A Sin Away" by The Kendalls.
    • "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" by Vicki Lawrence (later revived in a cover by Reba McEntire).
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    • "Who's Cheatin' Who" by Charly McClain (later revived in a cover by Alan Jackson)
    • "Jolene" by Dolly Parton (a rare instance of the song being from the point of view of the person about to be cheated on)
    • "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town" by Kenny Rogers.
    • "Should've Said No" by Taylor Swift.
    • "Here's A Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)" by Travis Tritt.
    • "I May Hate Myself in the Morning" by Lee Ann Womack.
    • "Cheater, Cheater" by Joey + Rory, wherein the female asks why her man was cheating.
    • ...same with "Cheatin'" by Sara Evans.
    • "Does He Love You" by Reba McEntire and Linda Davis is sung by the wife and the 'other woman'.
    • Reba: "Whoever's In New England" and "It's Your Call." Both involve a wife aware of her husband's cheating - the first says, "You'll always have a place to come back to, when whoever's in New England's through with you," and the second has the lover calling the house.
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    • Reba: "Little Rock," which involves a woman deciding to cheat because the marriage fires have dwindled.
    • "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood. It went double-platinum. However, it's possible he hasn't even cheated as the title implies.
    • "Stay" by Sugarland and "From a Table Away" by Sunny Sweeney are rare examples from the other woman's POV.
      • Jennifer Nettles, one-half of Sugarland, released a twist on the formula in "That Girl". The woman in the song unintentionally has an affair with a man who didn't let on that he was already married, so she consults his wife and tells her "I don't wanna be that girl".
    • "The Way We Make A Broken Heart" by Roseanne Cash is another example from the other woman's POV.
    • "Long Black Veil" by Johnny Cash, where the POV singer is hung for murdering his best friend because he couldn't bear to reveal his alibi (he was sleeping with his friend's wife at the time).
    • An unusual Played for Laughs version is "You Can't Have Your Kate and Edith Too" by The Statler Brothers
    • "On the Other Hand" by Randy Travis, where the man contemplates an affair.
    • "Married but Not to Each Other" by Barbara Mandrell, with two cheating spouses.
    • To give you an idea of how common this trope was in country, for three years in a row (1960-62) the biggest hit on the country chart was a cheating song (Hank Locklin's "Please Help Me, I'm Falling", Leroy Van Dyke's "Walk On By", Carl & Pearl Butler's "Don't Let Me Cross Over").
  • "Me and Mrs. Jones" by Billy Paul
  • "Woman, Woman", by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, is sung from the POV of a guy who suspects this may be going on.
  • "Your Time Is Gonna Come" by Led Zeppelin
  • "It's Late" and "Too Much Love Will Kill You" by Queen are both songs about a man cheating on his wife and feeling guilty about it, but not seeing a way that he can't cheat.
  • English boy band Big Fun's most famous song, "A Handfull of Promises", deals with a man having a breakdown after he finds out that his girlfriend is cheating on him and everyone knew what was going on. And it's a cute, catchy 90's pop song.
  • Unusually for her genre, Halsey implies that she's the Other Woman in "Is There Somewhere".
    ''You're writing lines about me; romantic poetry.
    Your girl's got red in her cheeks 'cause we're something she can't see.
    And I try to refrain, but you're stuck in my brain,
    And all I do is cry and complain because second's not the same.''
  • The Murder Ballad "Matty Groves" revolves around the titular character spending the night with a nobleman's wife, only to have the nobleman himself come home early (thanks to a tattletale servant). The nobleman kills Matty Groves right away, then asks his wife which man she prefers. When she defiantly answers "I'd rather a kiss from dead Matty's lips than you or your finery," he kills her too.
  • "Lips of an Angel" by Hinder, which has been Covered Up by country singer Jack Ingram to some audiences, is about a man calling his ex while his new girlfriend is in the next room.
  • "Lying" by Amy Meredith
  • Glasvegas' "It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry," which never quite makes its mind up as to which side it's on (the relationship is certainly screwed, but it's tricky to tell whether it's because he cheated or because he's completely petrified about her cheating or both or neither or...). In a cross between Soundtrack Dissonance and Foreshadowing, it appears in Skins when Naomi And Emily finally get together and Thomas And Pandora reconcile in S3's penultimate episode; by the time they get two episodes into S4 though... well, see the Skins list in Live Action TV above.
  • Whitney Houston's “Saving All My Love For You” deconstructs this trope from the other woman’s perspective, expressing how sad and hopeless it is to be in love with a married man but unable to find anyone more compatible.
    You used to tell me we’d run away together
    “Love gives you the right to be free”
    You said, “Be patient, just wait a little longer”
    But that’s just an old fantasy!
  • The Veronicas:
    • Revenge Is Sweeter (Then You Ever Were), Everything I'm Not, Did Ya Think".
    • "All I Have" is from the perspective of the cheater
  • "The Long Black Veil"
  • "Over the Hills and Far Away," a folk ballad by Gary Moore covered by Nightwish and Thyrfing, has a similar plot to "The Long Black Veil," with the protagonist unable to confess his innocence to a robbery because of spending the night with the wife of his best friend and having to go to prison.
  • "Wake Up Dead" by Megadeth is about a married man sneaking back home late at night, after seeing his 'other lover' named Diana.
  • Two Wham! songs deal with cheating in various ways — "Last Christmas" features a protagonist who's just broken up with his partner because his partner cheated on him, but "this year to save" the protagonist "from tears" on Christmas, he'll give his heart "to someone special". Then there's "Careless Whisper", a song where the protagonist is the cheater and is feeling extremely guilty about having done so. ("Guilty feet have got no rhythm", "Should've known better than to cheat a friend/The wasted chance that I've been given", etc.)
  • Duran Duran's 1981 song "Careless Memories" deals with the protagonist's anger at having found out about his partner's cheating on him and how disgusted he is with said partner. He even regards the exchanges of love and devotion that went on during the relationship as "careless memories."
  • "The Other Man" by Canadian band Sloan, based on Chris Murphy's relationship with Feist, who was also dating Andrew Whiteman of Broken Social Scene at the time.
  • "My Big Mistake" by Delta Goodrem.
  • "Kiss N Tell" by Kesha.
  • "Womanizer" by Britney Spears and as being the cheater in He About To Lose Me
  • Vanessa Amorosi: "Sleep With That" and "Blow Me Away".
  • The infamous and massively memetic song "El Venao" by Los Cantantes, in which the protagonist tries to fend off all the rumors about his girlfriend cheating with him with many others. Played completely for the lulz.
  • "Lately" and "Part-Time Lover" by Stevie Wonder.
  • "Save It For The Bedroom" by You Me At Six is another example where the singer is the one cheating: "Keep your hands to yourself, these lips belong to someone else..."
  • “O.P.P.” by Naughty by Nature is an ode to this trope.
  • Rupert Holmes' "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" is a strange example. A man decides to cheat on his wife with an unknown woman who posted an ad in the paper looking for romance. He arranges to meet with her by sending a reply message to the paper, and when he reaches the rendezvous, he discovers that the woman he plans to cheat on his wife with is... his wife. Strangely, catching each other trying to cheat on each other revitalizes their marriage instead of destroying it.
    • His following song "Him" is about the singer finding out that his lover is cheating on him with someone else, with the singer saying "she's gonna have to do without him, or do without me."
  • "You Know I'm No Good" by Amy Winehouse is sung from the cheater's perspective- she loves her partner but has trouble staying faithful. "You say when we marry 'cause you're not bitter/There'll be none of him no more/I cry for you on the kitchen floor"
  • Backstreet Boys's The Call is about a man who cheats on his girlfriend during a party. Made even more obvious in the music video, where the five band members are chased around by a beautiful woman who seems to be the incarnation of the guilt the narrator feels.
  • In Pepe Deluxé's Queen of the Wave, the hero Zailm's downfall comes about because he begins an affair with Lolix, "leading to duplicity with Anzimee [his wife] and a strange blindness to the wrong he has committed."
  • "Who Is It?" by Michael Jackson
  • "It Wasn't Me" by Shaggy is an interesting example. The song's protagonist was just caught cheating and goes to Shaggy for advice. Said advice ranges from hoping she'll forget, to flat-out denying, to hoping she doesn't have a gun. In the end, the protagonist decides to ignore all of Shaggy's advice and man up to what he's done, showing that there may still be hope for their relationship.
  • “Creep” by TLC describes how the singer is cheating on her boyfriend because he is cheating on her. Yet she doesn’t do this out of revenge, but rather because she needs emotional support in order to stay in the relationship. LeftEye didn't care for the song, feeling the protagonist should just leave instead of cheating and added a line saying "Don't creep if you don't want to."
  • "Smile" by Lily Allen is about a woman who takes systematic revenge on her cheating ex, which includes getting him beaten up, putting laxative in his coffee and having his stuff in his apartment destroyed, including his precious LPs.
  • The Mercedes Lackey song "Lovers Untrue" plays this trope for laughs. Verse 1: Boy and girl swear to be true to each other unto death. Verse 2: Boy starts courting second girl. Verse 3: Girl starts courting second boy. Verse 4: Boy and Girl 2 go on date and run into Girl and Boy 2 on date. Upon realizing they were both unfaithful, boy says "Well, I guess we must be dead!"
  • "Cheating" by John Newman, who sings as the partner of a serial cheater.
  • “Baby Baby” by the Miracles is a plea to take the singer back after he cheated.
  • "Does He Love You?" by Rilo Kiley.
  • "More Than You Deserve" by Meat Loaf is about a man who repeatedly caught his girlfriend making out with other guys.
  • "Adult Friends" by Xiu Xiu is from the cheater's perspective, and probably one of the most disturbing songs in the style.
  • "The Other Woman" by Ray Parker Jr.
  • "I Don't Wanna Know" by Mario Winans is about a man whose girlfriend is cheating on him, but contrary to most examples he doesn't want to know more about it.
  • Melanie Martinez has more than a few of these:
    • "Dollhouse" is about a family pulling a Happy Marriage Charade. The husband is cheating and the wife is depressed and an alcoholic due to it.
    • The sequel song "Sippy Cup" involves the wife confronting her husband and his mistress. "Confronting" as in "killing" that is.
    • The protagonist in "Pacify Her" is about a woman who is involved with a taken man. The music video has it as Crybaby having unrequited feelings towards him instead.
  • The music video to "I'm Not Yours" by Angus And Julia Stone is about infidelity. It involves a Funny Animal cat whose husband has become distant and is never home. He keeps on using the excuse that he's busy at work but one day his wife finds him proposing to another cat. He's been living a double life. Eventually the "other woman" sees him on the street with his family and breaks up with him. The male cats wife leaves with their infant son and the video ends with him gazing down at the empty crib.
  • "If Loving You Is Wrong I Don't Want To Be Right" by Luther Ingram is about a married man who falls in love with someone.
  • All Saints' "One Strike" is taken straight from member Nicole Appleton's life: her ex-husband, Liam Gallagher, had an affair with a reporter that resulted in pregnancy. The song is about the call she got from him confessing to the matter. "One Woman Man" is her wondering if he will ever be faithful as she tries to move on.
  • "Wedding Dress" by Derek Webb is about the singer's relationship to Jesus Christ being like an unfaithful bride seeking out more than what the groom was going to give in the relationship when they become married.
  • "Spare Me the Details" by The Offspring is about a guy, who finds out that his girlfriend has gotten drunk and had sex with another guy at a party. As he's contemplating the end to the relationship and all his dreams of their future life together, he desperately wants his friends to stop telling him the juicy details of the sex, since they're just making it worse.
  • "I Know I'm not the Only One" by Sam Smith is about a woman who knows her husband is cheating. While she is heartbroken, she nevertheless stays with him without letting him know that she is aware of his infidelity.
  • “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye is a meta-example, as it is directed towards a real woman Gaye wants to have an affair with. Some of the lyrics hint at this.
    There’s nothing wrong with me loving you
    And giving yourself to me can never be wrong
    If the love is true
    • The woman is Nona Gaye’s mother, so the song does the job.
  • Averted by Erykah Badu in "Next Lifetime" where the protagonist is speaking to a man she clearly has feelings for but she refuses to act on it, already being in a relationship. The title comes in where she tells the other man that maybe they can have something next time around.
    You need to know I got somebody
    But you're beautiful
    Still, it ain't that type of party...
  • "Love Me Already" by Black Kids
  • The Vamps' "Cheater" is about a boy telling a girl that her boyfriend is cheating on her with her friend. As it turns out, the singer himself is also cheating with the girl.
  • "What He Don't Know" by Anarbor is about a man trying to have sex with a woman who has a boyfriend that she wants to leave.
  • "Scotty Doesn't Know" by Lustra is about a woman named Fiona who frequency has sex with the lead singer behind her boyfriend Scotty's back.
  • "Unfaithful" by Rihanna, which is told from the perspective of a woman whose lover knows she's cheating on him. She's also highly remorseful about it, not wanting to hurt him anymore but seemingly unable to stop herself.
  • The first verse of "Animals" by Nickelback has a man deciding between which of two girls to take for a ride.
  • Anberlin's "The Feel Good Drag" is about a woman who's cheating on her boyfriend with the singer.
  • Gin Blossoms: "Found Out About You" is a very emotionally bleak song about this. "Cheatin'" on the other hand is a humorous song about the singer trying to make a ridiculous excuse for his own affair.
  • Defied in the Fats Waller song "Ain't Misbehaving", which is about how the singer remains faithful to his lover even though he feels lonely.
  • Insane Clown Posse's "Another Love Song" from The Amazing Jeckel Brothers:
    "I'd rather cut that neck in half
    I'd rather choke out that bitch ass
    I'd rather chop and never stop
    Because you fucked my homie"
  • The Spin Room's "The Pop Disaster" has the singer mention he saw his girl with another guy which means she threw away all the time they spent. This makes him desperate for her and eventually vengeful.

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