Have you ever been totally betrayed by someone? Found out they only liked you for your money or took advantage of your love for them? If so, you’re not the only one, which is why these songs about being used, whether it’s by family members or friends, will likely hit home.
Songs About Being Used You’ll Appreciate
Let’s begin with an Olivia Rodrigo song.
Traitor by Olivia Rodrigo (2021)
Traitor is a one of the more recent songs about being used and lied to that really stand out. More specifically, it’s about betrayal in a past relationship. The song, off of Olivia’s album SOUR, tells the story of how the singer was strung along and gaslighted by someone who didn’t even realize that they did anything wrong. Effectively, she was being used as just an object instead of a person until he was able to move on to the next girl.
You betrayed me
And I know that you’ll never feel sorry
For the way I hurt, yeah
You talked to her when we were together
Loved you at your worst, but that didn’t matter
It took you two weeks to go off and date her
Guess you didn’t cheat, but you’re still a traitor
The song starts slow and sad, almost sounding like a cry. It’s very emotive throughout the whole song, and the chorus is so iconic and powerful – the loudest part of the song.
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You Ruin Me by The Veronicas (2014)
This one is a classic ballad kind of song, with the instrumentals mostly just being some simple piano. What’s cool about this one is the surprisingly powerful vocals; these kinds of pop songs tend to have breathier sound, but this one doesn’t. This song has some really impressive voices, with great high notes and low notes.
Looking at the lyrics, they talk about being ruined and used in a relationship.
‘Cause you play me like a symphony
Play me ’till your fingers bleed
I’m your greatest masterpiece
You ruin me
Later when the curtains drawn
And no one’s there for you back home
Don’t cry to me you played me wrong
You ruin me
Within the song, you can even hear their voices break at certain points, like they’re crying while singing. You really won’t want to miss out on this hidden gem! You can feel exactly what they are feeling. Really, truly beautiful.
How Do You Sleep by Sam Smith (2019)
This has a kind of trippy track! But don’t let that fool you – the song is about being used in a relationship, being lied to, but also about feeling the pull to go back to the same person that hurt you. Quite heart wrenching.
You’ll probably recognize the chorus even if you don’t often listen to Sam Smith!
Baby, how do you sleep when you lie to me?
This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, as Sam Smith’s vocals in this one are on the nasal side, but it’s definitely worth checking out and appreciating the great lyrics!
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Don’t by Ed Sheeran (2014)
I don’t usually listen to Ed Sheeran, but I remember playing this one on repeat when I was in high school. It’s just so catchy. And there are so many lyrics! It’s a vent – a real word vomit of a song. I think that’s what makes it so great, because you really get to hear exactly what he’s thinking with very little filter.
The lyrics discuss a relationship where Ed is seemingly being used for sex, despite the girl trying to lead him to believe otherwise.
She told me, “I was never looking for a friend
Maybe you could swing by my room around ten
Baby, bring the lemon and a bottle of gin
We’ll be in between the sheets till the late AM”
It’s a really cool song – one that I guarantee you’ll be singing at the top of your lungs!
Show & Tell by Melanie Martinez (2019)
Show & Tell is from Melanie’s iconic “K-12” album released in 2019. This is possibly my favorite on the album! Not only is the message so impactful, but the track is just so eerie and creepy. Totally the right vibe for the subject of the lyrics.
You pull me by my hair so I don’t go nowhere
Tell me you love me, but you treat me like I’m never there
You say the cruelest words, and yes, they break my heart
‘Cause I’m over here working my *** off
She talks about being in the spotlight, how hard it is to face constant hate and criticism from people who think that forget that you are just a person. It’s about being used by fans, and by the industry itself – like she’s just an object to them.
Buy and sell (Buy and sell me, baby)
Like I’m a product to society
Art don’t sell
Unless you’ve f***** every authority
What’s really heartbreaking is the moments towards the end where she sort of breaks the fourth wall and asks why people can’t hear her. You can hear all that pain and anguish in her voice. Just so, so powerful.
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Pros and Cons of Breathing by Fall Out Boy (2003)
Pros and Cons of Breathing has got that classic Fall Out Boy sound – loud, heavy on the guitar. It’s got some musical theater elements in it too, making it a really fun listen despite the dark lyrics. The song talks about being made to feel like you’re nothing.
It’s got some really hard-hitting lines, too, like this one:
I wish that I was as invisible as you make me feel
The lyrics make me think of how some people will belittle others (use them) to make themselves feel more powerful. Really heartbreaking when you hear the lyrics, and perfect if you’ve ever been made to feel this way.
Satisfied from Hamilton (2015)
If you haven’t seen the musical, check it out now! Or at least listen to the soundtrack. The whole soundtrack is a really great combination of rap and musical theater, with this song in particular being a true masterpiece.
The lyrics tell the fictionalized story of Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler’s marriage, along with her sister’s reaction to the whole ordeal. In the story, Eliza’s elder sister, Angelica, is being used by her family in order to climb the social ladder.
I’m a girl in a world in which
My only job is to marry rich
At the same time, Alexander Hamilton is using both Angelica and her sister Eliza for their social status.
He’s after me cuz I’m a Schuyler sister
That elevates his status, I’d
Have to be naïve to set that aside
Even more interestingly, Angelica is also using Eliza as a way to remain close to Alexander because she has feelings for him.
Maybe that is why I introduce him to Eliza
Now that’s his bride
Everyone is using someone for something in this one! Truly a great one about using people and being used.
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If You Feel Better by Emilie Autumn (2003)
If You Feel Better sounds a lot like a dance or a tango—it’s got the sound of a romantic, sensual song. But it’s anything but that! It discusses a really unhealthy relationship in which she’s basically allowing herself to be used by her partner.
If you feel better
Telling me I’m cruel
Saying I’m unfeeling
I don’t mind
If it’s necessary
If it helps you out
Crying that I’m heartless
It’s definitely an acquired taste, so it might not be for everyone, but it’s worth a listen. I was a huge fan of Emilie Autumn growing up because of her talent as a composer, violinist, and performer.
Your Power by Billie Eilish (2021)
This starts off sounding like a peaceful pop song with lighthearted guitar. It’s got some interesting vocals – we’re used to Billie’s raspy lower range, but she begins with a lot of breathy high notes. While this isn’t the kind of song you’d find yourself blasting on the radio, it’s really beautiful and powerful in its own way.
Your Power has some truly horrifying lyrics that discuss how someone uses their power (through money, class etc.) in order to control others, with implications of pedophilia and sexual harassment.
I thought that I was special
You made me feel
Like it was my fault, you were the devil
Lost your appeal
Does it keep you in control? (In control)
For you to keep her in a cage?
And you swear you didn’t know (Didn’t know)
You said you thought she was your age
A really shocking, important message. There’s a really powerful line (How dare you?) that really had shivers going down my spine when I first heard it.
The First Cut is the Deepest by Cat Stevens (1967)
This has been covered so many times! It’s really an iconic one. The version I remember hearing my parents playing as a kid was the cover by Rod Stewart. I decided to include the original version, so you know where it all started!
It’s deceptively happy with the upbeat sounding track, but the lyrics tell a different story.
I would have given you all of my heart
But there’s someone who’s torn it apart
The song talks about losing faith in love after being hurt by someone. There’s always a sense of feeling used after being hurt in a relationship because you feel like that person has been using you and taking advantage of your love. This is the perfect song to sing after a breakup!
Let’s include one more to this list–a really great song by Evanescence.
Everybody’s Fool by Evanescence (2004)
I absolutely loved this song during my obligatory emo phase in middle school. It’s got such a classic Evanescence sound with its heavy guitar and drums, and the operatic vocals of Amy Lee. It’s dark, beautiful, and depressing – the perfect combination for a song about being used!
She talks about someone who uses and tricks people, all while playing innocent.
Perfect by nature
Icons of self-indulgence
Just what we all need
More lies about a world that
Never was and never will be
Have you no shame, don’t you see me?
You know you’ve got everybody fooled
Even if you’re not usually a fan of this genre of music, the lyrics will really hit home if you’ve ever met someone like the person Amy describes.
You might be seeking songs about being used because you’re tied of being used by your family. Maybe you’re tired of being used by your friends. And, maybe you’re even tired of being used for your body by people that pretend to love you.
Whatever the case, hopefully you’ll find comfort listening to some of these songs by artists who express their pain of being used, and their desire to overcome their anguish and abuse.
- This article was written by Ayla and edited by Michael.