10 Songs About Men – Men Being Good Guys and Jerks

Here are my picks for the best songs about men!

If you’re looking for songs about men, it’s a bit of a roll of the dice in terms of what you’re going to get.  You can get something fun and cheeky like “It’s Raining Men” by The Weather Girls or find a song that leans a bit into the socio-political realm like “The Man” by Taylor Swift.  Well, good or bad, here are some of our favorite songs about guys.

10 Best Songs About Men

Let’s start with a classic Carly Simon track.

You’re So Vain by Carly Simon

In the timeless 1972 hit, Simon, a recently added member to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, teases men by writing specific details about their relationship, and then suggesting that they’re selfish for assuming that’s what she did. She remembers what color his scarf was, where they went, and what he said to her.

With those details, you’d have no choice but to assume that it was written about someone specific. Moreover, men who were previously involved with Simon would believe the same. And the assumption would be correct; but the kicker is that each verse in You’re So Vain is about a different man. The title rings true, only she’s referring to three men instead of just one. By doing this, she gives her exes a glimpse at how small their selfishness and immaturity made her feel.

Been a Son by Nirvana

Nirvana, and front man Kurt Cobain, are no strangers to speaking on socially relevant issues. Misogyny has always been rampant in our culture, and the more people have become aware of it the less taboo the topic has become. Been a Son was released in 1992, not incredibly long ago but before the age of social media where everyone has nearly equal opportunities to speak on their lives.

Cobain’s own daughter was born that same year, which may be a simple coincidence, but it’s not clear what or who exactly the song was written about. What is clear is that men have always had the upper hand in many ways. Kurt Cobain surely knew this, and whether the song was about his own daughter or no one in particular, he felt bad that little girls grow up into a world where they feel less heard than their male counterparts. One line stands out in particular: “she should have fallen on her stance,” suggesting that when a woman holds her ground while speaking her opinion around men, she is more likely to be ridiculed and shut down than a man would be.

Norman F**king Rockwell by Lana Del Rey

Norman F**king Rockwell, titled after the artist who would often critique American culture, is a ballad about loving a man with narcissistic tendencies, knowing you can’t change him, but loving him all the same. Lana Del Rey repeatedly calls him a “man-child,” and expresses her frustrations for the way he takes out all of his anger on her (“your poetry’s bad and you blame the news, but I can’t change that, and I can’t change your mood.”)

Although she knows she could do better, she doesn’t want her time with this man to end (“why wait for the best when I could have you?”). Instead of regarding his behavior as fundamentally wrong and further finding fault with him, she says, “you’re just a man, it’s just what you do, your head in your hands as you color me blue.” He hurts her but then plays the victim, and while she knows this, she finds that through her denial of the fact that he may just be a bad person, it’s easier to cope with it by saying this is just the way things are. 

Bad Apples by Emily Deahl

One apple can spoil the whole batch. In Bad Apples, the apples are a metaphor for men that Emily Deahl has had previous experiences with. She doesn’t want to give up, and she wants to find real love, but she can’t shake the feeling that she’s just going to keep running into the bad ones and the idea of being with a man will be entirely ruined for her. 

She feels lonely since she’s sworn off “apples,” and she wants to experience something sweet, but it becomes increasingly difficult for her to see a silver lining and find the (seemingly) one in a million that she’s looking for. Still, “if an apple ain’t ripe, it won’t matter if it’s right, but you still gotta take a bite to see.”

The Man by Taylor Swift

If you're looking for songs about guys being jerks, check out this Taylor Swift jam.

Whether you’re a fan or not, you’ve likely heard the criticism that Taylor Swift faces. She has another song about that, but The Man is about how the things that she gets put down for are often the same things that male celebrities get praised for. For instance, Swift has faced lots of scrutiny for going around with different guys all the time but never sticking with one.

She theorizes that if she were a man, “they’d say I played the field before I found someone to commit to, and that would be ok for me to do.” She pictures herself being described as an alpha, a leader, and a hustler. People wouldn’t question her motives, her credibility, or her behavior. Society is generally easier on men when it comes to how they treat others and is quick to excuse them and chalk it up to a bad day instead of defining them by it. 

Women often feel like they must prove themselves to others to a higher degree than men do, and work harder at times to get paid less. Swift, and many women, are fed up with the double standard. “So many of these perceptions are engrained in even women, and it’s really about re-training your brain to be less critical of women when we are not critical of men for the same things,” she said about the song.

Boys Don’t Cry by The Cure

As mentioned, a patriarchal society affects everyone, not just women. While women are often labeled as dramatic for expressing their emotions, men are taught from a young age to suppress their feelings, out of fear of seeming “weak.” Boys Don’t Cry tells the story of a man who is truly heartbroken but doesn’t want to let this show towards his male friends as he is afraid that they’ll make fun of him (“I just keep laughing, hiding the tears in my eyes.”)

Robert Smith, the band’s front man, spoke on the song; “when I was growing up, there was peer pressure on you to conform to be a certain way… you’re encouraged not to show your emotion to any degree. And I couldn’t help but show my emotions when I was younger. So, I kind of made a big thing about it. I thought, ‘well, it’s part of my nature to rail against being told not to do something.’” 

In the song itself, a boy took his lover for granted and mistreated her, resulting in her leaving. Due to his inability to express his true feelings, he lost something good. He wants her back, but after a life of being told vulnerability is weak, he doesn’t know how to express these big, complicated emotions. After being unable to express his feelings, because “Boys Don’t Cry,” Smith took to writing a hit song about how it is indeed okay, and healthy, for boys to cry. 

The Man by The Killers

The Man is a testosterone-loaded, 80s-esque pop song about being, well, the man. Our narrator feels like he is simply incomparable to other men in every aspect. He has more money, more women, and no care for anyone but himself. It’s a perfect anthem for toxic masculinity and errs on the border of being interpreted as satirical. 

However, Brandon Flowers, front man of The Killers, has said that he created an alter ego of sorts when the band was first getting started. He acknowledged that he put a lot of negativity out with the song, and even went so far as to say that he regrets making The Man. 

Little Lion Man by Mumford & Sons

In Little Lion Man, a man is singing about how regretful he is that he pushed his emotions down, and consequently hurt those around him, but most importantly, himself. He sings to his younger self; “weep little lion man, you’ll never be what is in your heart,” recognizing that he did have true potential, but he was “wasted on fixing all the problems that you made in your own head.” 

In the same fashion that one would fondly talk to the younger version of themselves about their success in life, the narrator talks about how his life has gone south due to unforeseeable, and mainly mental, circumstances. The chorus starts with an apology, “it was not your fault but mine, and it was your heart on the line,” showing the sympathy he has for his younger self yet taking accountability for the pain he’s unintentionally caused. 

That Don’t Impress Me Much by Shania Twain

In this sassy country song, Shania Twain sings about all the egotistical men she’s met and how once they’re taken off a pedestal, they really aren’t all that. She doesn’t care if a man is a rocket scientist—it doesn’t impress her if he doesn’t know how to listen to her and consider what she thinks or how she feels. She can admire a man’s positive traits, but if he’s conceited, his worth is knocked down by many pegs in her mind. 

The story behind perhaps the most famous line in the song: “so you’re Brad Pitt, that don’t impress me much,” is that Twain was having a girls’ night with her friend when nude photos of Brad Pitt were leaked, to which she didn’t have much of a visceral reaction. “I just thought ‘I don’t know what all the fuss is about.’ We see people naked every day,” and mentions that things get blown out of proportion when someone is considered conventionally attractive.  If you’re looking for songs about guys being jerks, I think Shania Twain has cooked up just the right song for you here.

It’s Raining Men by The Weather Girls

It’s Raining Men is an uplifting, “there’s other fish in the sea” anthem. The rest of The Weather Girls’ discography never quite reached the type of stardom that this single did. Our singers seem to have reached an epiphany that any man can be replaced, especially a mediocre one. If you’re looking for songs about hot guys, well, The Weather Girls have you covered.

Wrapping This One Up

Whether you’re feeling heartbroken or need to get up and dance, there are a variety of songs about men that will speak to you and can be a great new addition to your playlist. 

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