Music tends to be at its best when you’re not just enjoying a song you’re listening to, but genuinely relating to it. When an artist or band releases a song that feels like it was made for you. A song that can help ease the pain of any struggle you’re going experiencing.
And one of the tougher realities to deal with is the realization that a friend or loved one has lied to you. Whenever deceit is involved, it makes for a messy life—but a potentially excellent song.
So in this article, I’m going to provide you with my personal picks for what I feel are some of the top songs about lies and deceiving loved ones.
Let’s get started with a fairly new song by the artist The Weeknd!
Is There Someone Else by The Weeknd
The Weeknd has been pumping out some excellent music as of late in the R&B genre, and his song Is There Someone Else is no exception.
On the album Dawn FM, The Weeknd’s Is There Someone Else takes us on a journey to discover the truth of what’s really happening inside a tragic relationship.
But what I find interesting about this particular song, and what I feel is pretty atypical from most songs about lying, is that while The Weeknd performs the song in a way that accuses his partner of potentially cheating, he also uses the song to admit that his own previous lies within the relationship (or perhaps a previous relationship) are at least partially to blame for the strain and distrust between he and his lover.
I know that look you give when we’re fighting
‘Cause I used to be the one who was lying
Oh, is there someone else or not
‘Cause I wanna keep you close
I don’t wanna lose my spot
‘Cause I need to know
On this track, The Weeknd’s self-esteem is in the absolute gutter, as he claims he doesn’t even deserve to be with someone loyal.
I think Is There Someone Else is one of the rare tracks where an artist (or character) gets extremely introspective, becoming more focused on his behavior within the relationship rather than the lying and pain his loved one has caused.
Love Should Have Brought You Home by Toni Braxton
Toni Braxton has been in the R&B game for several decades, and yet I still somehow feel that she’s underrated as an artist.
And trust me, that’s no lie.
Speaking of which, if you want to pick a Toni Braxton song about lying, you have a lot to choose from. But I think perhaps her most memorable song, and arguably her best song, is Love Should Have Brought You Home.
On this track, Toni sets the scene immediately:
Should I even listen?
Should I even try?
Will I just be hearing the same old lines, baby?
This is a particularly interesting song about lying to me, in part due to the bolded line in the first verse shown below:
See, it doesn’t matter
What you say this time
‘Cause our whole relationship is built on one lie
Now while many love songs (or songs about lying or cheating) stick with you as a listener, most of the time, these songs don’t make you sit down and ponder their meaning.
What’s the “one lie” here that Toni refers to? Is it simply that the man Toni’s singing about is a cheater, and that the trust in her lover has been irrevocably damaged?
Or is something deeper going on here? Is it possible that, after all this time, Toni has come to the realization that she is the “other woman?” That her relationship was never real? That her man considered her a “side chick” this entire time?
Who knows. But to me, the intrigue is what makes this song so memorable all these years later.
Why U Turn On Me by Tupac Shakur
We all know Tupac went hard in the paint whenever he was angry at someone. And although many would say his greatest diss track devoted to people he hated (or thought were liars) was “Hit Em Up,” I’d argue it was a song that was released posthumously (on the album Until the End of Time) entitled Why U Turn on Me?
On this song, ‘Pac is mad about a lot of things and frustrated at a lot of people. But no one gets blasted the most by ‘Pac’s venom than Wendy Williams.
Well, at least it’s believed to be Wendy Williams.
According to outlets like The New Yorker, it’s believed that 2Pac verbally bashes Wendy Williams hard on this song because of an unsavory claim of what she alleged happened to Tupac while he was locked up in prison in the mid-1990s.
But in this song, 2Pac refutes those claims very strongly—and you can tell that he’s really upset that he’s being lied on:
I never got a single visit, yet I carry on
All my old friends too busy, now my money gone
Said I got ***** in jail, picture that?
Revenge is a payback *****, get ya ***
Although Wendy Williams is not named directly in this song (all references to any name regarding this specific verbal attack were censored when this track was released), it’s been believed for years by some that ‘Pac was referring to Williams.
Regardless, this is a fascinating song about lying to me, because it shows an artist actually firing shots back at someone that’s deemed to be an alleged liar.
Who Is It by Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson has made so many songs, and so many great songs, that it’s legitimately difficult to select one song for an article such as this.
And when it comes to the topic of lying, Michael has a few songs that deal with the concept of lies or deceit head on. While some might choose to go with something like Billie Jean or Money, I think Who Is It is the best and most worthy fit for this list.
Off the album Dangerous, Who Is It starts off very calm and quiet—before that bass line kicks in and begins thumping with unabashed authority.
This is a song that, on its surface, is about a man torn to absolute shreds over his lover’s decision to mysteriously walk out on him. He doesn’t know why this has occurred, and his inability to find clarity on where the relationship went wrong is killing him inside.
While Jackson evokes deep pain and loneliness on this song, what’s interesting to me is that this track is also about Jackson conveying the challenge of having to continuously lie to himself about what’s likely going on with his lover.
Sure, Jackson’s keeping a stiff upper lip to the world, hiding his pain and hoping for the best. But internally, deep inside his core, he knows the truth is ugly—even if he can’t prove it.
And it doesn’t seem to matter
And it doesn’t seem right
‘Cause the will has brought no fortune
Still I cry alone at night
Don’t you judge of my composure
‘Cause I’m lying to myself
And the reason why she left me
Did she find in someone else?
Who is it?
Is it a friend of mine?
Who is it?
Is it my brother?
Who is it?
Somebody hurt my soul now
Who is it?
I can’t take this stuff no more
At this point, Jackson’s questions are in search of relief for himself. He demands the truth for the sake of closure—to bring an end to his indefinite torment.
- You might also enjoy: The 8 Best Michael Jackson Albums to Own on Vinyl
Lie to Me by Ne-Yo
Is it me, or has Ne-Yo been fairly under-appreciated for what he’s given to R&B music? From penning some very memorable songs in the genre to his own stable of strong albums, Ne-Yo seems to get a bit lost amidst the likes of Usher and Chris Brown.
OK, I’m getting off track. Let me jump down off this soap box before I twist an ankle.
On the track Lie to Me, off the album The Year of the Gentleman, Ne-Yo’s song here is actually very much similar to Michael Jackson’s Who Is It. No, they don’t sound the same, but they both share the same sentiment and tell a similar story.
On Lie to Me, Ne-Yo sings about having knowledge that his woman is cheating on him, but that truth is too hard to deal with. So instead, he wants her to lie to him—to tell him it’s not true so he can exist in a space of blissful ignorance.
I just wanna be numb
I don’t wanna feel a thing
I don’t want reality
Actually, reality stings
How about we just pretend
That your cellphone didn’t even ring
And that I wasn’t on the other side of the door
Listening to everything, tell me another lie
Unlike most songs about deceitful behavior, Ne-Yo sings of a man that’s desperate to hear the lie. He needs the lie to function because the truth is too painful to bare.
The Other Woman by Caro Emerald
On this moody, retro sounding track, Caro Emerald sings of wanting a “Happily Ever After” for her relationship, but quickly realizing that her fantasy will never become reality.
Little girl, just keep on waiting
For that man to give you a life
You keep on hoping, so this prince can save you
Keep on dreaming his scandalous lie
Because not only does Emerald sing of enduring the pain of lying and infidelity within a relationship, she soon realizes that the intimacy with her man is suddenly off.
And that’s when her lightbulb moment occurs, as Emerald isn’t singing about being cheated on. Emerald’s singing about being, unbeknownst to her, “the other woman” in this affair.
At the start of his goodbye
Do you ever realize
That you’ll never get the chance
All you get is alibis
When smoke begins to fade
And you’re standing face to face
Does he kiss you in a way to say
You’re the other woman
Along with the vibe of this song that totally feels like something out of a 1940s film noir flick, always stands out as a unique way to craft a song about infidelity.
Creep by TLC
This might just be the most honest song about lying ever made.
On Creep, T-Boz sings of a woman who absolutely knows that her man is cheating on her. And in most songs where this is the case (as outlined in this article), this knowledge causes someone to become emotionally tormented and perhaps a bit paranoid.
But that’s not the case here on Creep. Instead, T-Boz sings of a woman that wants to still be with her man—despite all of his lying.
She still loves him—despite all of his lying.
And she’s not going to leave him—despite all of his lying.
She’s just going to…you know…mess around with someone else too.
The 22nd of loneliness and we’ve been through so many things
I love my man with all honesty, but I know he’s cheating on me
I look him in his eyes but all he tells me is lies to keep me near
I’ll never leave him down
Though I might mess around
It’s only ’cause I need some affection
Creep is a song that we don’t hear much of when it comes to the topic of lying and cheating—a woman that cares about her man and won’t walk away from him despite his infidelity. And, at the same time, she finds it only fair to lie and deceive him back in order to get her needs fully satisfied.
With so many secrets and lies floating around, I think it’s a good bet that this relationship is doomed. But it makes for one heck of a song.
My Little Secret by Xscape
Xscape and TLC have always been linked because they both were female groups in the 1990s operating in the R&B space. And it’s well known that Kandi Burruss, a member of Xscape, wrote TLC’s No Scrubs.
So it’s really no surprise that Xscape dropped a similar song to TLC’s Creep with My Little Secret, a hit song from 1998.
But My Little Secret’s sensibility is definitely different from Creep. On this Xscape track, the women sing of not only being excited about having an affair—they’re outright bold with it.
I like being in the same room as you and your girlfriend
The fact that she don’t know
That really turns me on
She’ll never guess in a million years
That we’ve got this thing going on
Not too many songs surrounding the topic of lying and deceit openly flex on the thrill of the lie and deceit. It’s a bold move in a very bold song.
It Wasn’t Me by Shaggy (featuring Rikrok)
In a society where it seems that the truth is rarely believed, there’s probably no better song that fully encapsulates this reality than It Wasn’t Me.
This reggae crossover hit of 2000 tells the story of a man desperately knocking on the door of his friend’s home. He needs help quick—his woman just caught him cheating.
What should he do?
Well, the answer to this question is now music history thanks to an incredibly infectious chorus:
Just say it wasn’t you.
But she caught me on the counter (Wasn’t me)
Saw me bangin’ on the sofa (Wasn’t me)
I even had her in the shower (Wasn’t me)
She even caught me on camera (Wasn’t me)
She saw the marks on my shoulder (Wasn’t me)
Heard the words that I told her (Wasn’t me)
Heard the screams gettin’ louder (Wasn’t me)
She stayed until it was over
This was always a wild, hilariously over the top song when it came out in 2000. And ironically enough, over 20 years later, we now live in a world where “alternative facts” has become accepted into the pop culture lexicon.
Read Between the Lines by Aaliyah
Most songs about lying don’t really wade into the waters of nuance. But they really should, because lies aren’t always clear and easy to spot.
Sometimes, you have to catch small signals that indicate someone is lying, and I think Read Between the Lines by Aaliyah illustrates this fact perfectly.
On this track, Aaliyah sings of a woman that’s reading all of the tea leaves that show that her man is lying and concealing an affair.
He’s mumbling on the phone.
He’s rushing to leave the house.
And his excuses aren’t making sense.
Nine in the mornin’ up, up, up way before breakfast
Homeboy gettin’ restless (the room is full of questions)
Little replyin’, whole lot of denyin’
You’re steady collidin’ (so why do he keep on trying, trying?)
I search for the median, now he’s a comedian
That’s all the more reason (he’s changing like the seasons, seasons)
But what’s great about Read Between the Lines is Aaliyah’s message to the listener: don’t be naive or lie to yourself about what the truth is.
Because sometimes, the truth is staring you right in the face—even if the words don’t match:
Your replies are gettin’ old
It’s in his eyes (in his eyes), got to read between the lines
Your lies are getting told
Look in his eyes (look in his eyes), got to read between the lines