The concept of trust is tough, because its essentially married to having faith in other people—especially those most close to you. But trusting someone is scary, because it always come with the inherent danger that someone will break your trust and hurt you emotionally.
Thankfully, there are tons of great songs that sing to our fears when it comes to trust. So, in this article, I’m going to present you with my favorite songs about trust—ones that discuss the topic of lying, cheating, and in some cases, hope and reliability.
Lie by Sasha Alex Sloan
In a heartbreaking ballad about the inevitable end of a romantic relationship, Sasha Alex Sloan puts into words the desperate emotions we face when something so important in life comes to an end.
“Lie” discusses the concept of trust in a way that might seem unfamiliar. Instead of a break in trust causing her heartbreak, Sloan begs her partner to lie to her in order to protect her heart, if only for one more night.
Get to know singer-songwriter Sasha Alex Sloan by reading this Billboard interview in which she details herself as an artist.
I want you to lie, lie
Lie to my face
I want you to put your hands on my waist
Can we just dance ‘til the sky’s awake
‘Cause I really can’t get my heart broken tonight
I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner
Foreigner may be known for their classic rock headbangers, but “I Want to Know What Love Is” is one of their most popular releases that conveys the thoughts of a person who has experienced heartbreak but wants to pick up the pieces of broken trust and start love anew.
Lou Gramm, former lead singer of Foreigner, sings the introduction and verses alone to symbolize the loneliness that a life filled with heartbreak entails.
However, a choir of voices joins him to sing the chorus of the song. The flourishing instrumentals and passionate voices combine to convey the idea that we all may feel lonely after experiencing heartbreak, but we all yearn to trust someone else to lead us out of the darkness.
In my life, there’s been heartache and pain
I don’t know if I can face it again
Can’t stop now, I’ve traveled so far
To change this lonely life
I wanna know what love is
I want you to show me
I wanna feel what love is
I know you can show me
Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri
Christina Perri pours her heart out in this ballad about life after heartbreak. In a song that will almost certainly stand the test of time due to the sheer power of her words, Perri employs indignant and sorrowful diction that truly packs a punch.
She sings about the perilous journey from the destruction of heartbreak to the newfound strength of rebuilding oneself as an individual. In conjunction with her wrathful words, there is something about her intonation and the calming yet eerie melody of the song that greatly aids in the projection of her message.
It took so long just to feel alright
Remember how to put back the light in my eyes
I wish I had missed the first time that we kissed
‘Cause you broke all your promises
And now you’re back
You don’t get to get me back
I Won’t Back Down by Tom Petty
Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” may not be the newest release, but its message continues to be refreshing and inspiring. This song is another example of one that does not involve trust in the stereotypical distrust-from-heartbreak way one might expect.
Petty sings about having trust in himself, and that trust serves as the strength he needs to meet any challenge in life head on. This tune is perfect to listen to when you are feeling down. Whether you feel uninspired, unaccomplished, defeated, or any combination of negative emotions, Petty will have you feeling better in no time.
The upbeat rhythm and steady beat, combined with the encouraging lyrics, will get your feet tapping and your head nodding. In this interview with GQ, Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra discusses his collaboration with the late Tom Petty to write the classics “Free Fallin’” and “I Won’t Back Down”.
Well I know what’s right
I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
But I’ll stand my ground
Count On Me by Bruno Mars
In a world where songs about trust and distrust and everything in between usually revolve around romantic relationships, “Count On Me” by Bruno Mars is special because it is a lighthearted tune about what it means to have trust in a friendship.
The easygoing tone of the song is conveyed by the playful, tender rhythm and smooth vocals. The lyrics are simple and straightforward yet convey Mars’ yearning for meaningful friendship. He sings about how counting on each other should be as easy as counting to three.
You can count on me like one, two, three
I’ll be there
And I know when I need it, I can count on your like four, three, two
And you’ll be there
‘Cause that’s what friends are supposed to do, oh, yeah
Trust by Brent Faiyaz
In this smooth R&B song with a steady beat that builds in intensity, Brent Faiyaz sings about the paradox of feeling alone after rising to fame. Artistically, Faiyaz does not simply rely on meaningful lyrics to convey this juxtaposition. Throughout the song, his voice is constantly accompanied by another, singing its own lyrics.
At first, the second voice is quiet and sporadic, but as the song goes on, it becomes louder and more frequent, almost fighting with Faiyaz. This represents the artist’s constant inner battle with himself; he and his ‘inner’ voice sing about desperately wanting to trust someone but not being able to because he feels he will be used for his fame and status.
And swimming in deep water
Save me from my sorrows
Swimming in deep
Just some peace is all I need
So why can’t I get that for free?
Trust Fall by Caye
“Trust Fall” is a beautifully instrumental song about having trust in the universe. Caye incorporates guitar, drums, bass, a variety of other instruments, and his raspy voice to create a work of art that encapsulates how soothing it can be to put your trust into the world and just “play your part” to do good for the greater good.
Caye creates vivid imagery through the use of powerful words and phrases such as “field filled with sunflowers” in an effort to “see things on the bright side”. His metaphors successfully translate his feelings of desperately grasping for inspiration.
You gotta take it easy
I know life can be hard
I need something to believe in
I got a restless heart
And I’m down on my knees
Praying up to the stars
I’m not trying to be Jesus
Just trying to play my part
Traitor by Olivia Roderigo
Rising star Olivia Roderigo is the lyrical genius we never knew we needed. Somehow, in only three minutes and forty-nine seconds, she passionately and angrily sings about a situation many of us are all too familiar with and puts into words emotions most of us can only fully express with raging tears.
“Traitor” is sung from the perspective of a girl whose partner may not have cheated, but he might as well have due to how quickly he moved on. Roderigo employs gut-wrenching diction and painfully precise phrasing to capture what it means to feel betrayed by someone you loved so dearly.
Rumor has it Roderigo wrote this song about ex-boyfriend Joshua Basset and his betrayal, discussed in further detail in this PopBuzz article.
You betrayed me
‘Cause I know that you’ll never feel sorry
For the way I hurt, yeah
You’d talk to her
When we were together
You gave me your word
But that didn’t matter
Lean On by Major Lazer & DJ Snake Ft. MO
The steady beat, rhythmic snaps, and pumping bass of “Lean On” all contribute to create an EDM song that promotes both head-bopping and thought provocation.
There is a great juxtaposition to this song; the beat and electronic instrumentals make listeners want to dance mindlessly, but the lyrics have a much deeper meaning.
This song is about what it means to trust someone and be with them over a long span of time. Relationships bonded by trust, love, and a shared taste for adventure create an exciting life, but they also have their fair share of fighting and turmoil. The artists convey this through the paradox of the repeated lyric “blow a kiss, fire a gun”.
Do you recall, not long ago
We would walk on the sidewalk?
All we did was care for each other
But the night was warm
We were bold and young
All around, the wind blows
We would only hold on to let go
Take Care by Drake Ft. Rihanna
This iconic song by artists Drake and Rihanna has an addictive beat and rhythm with lyrical content about loving someone who lacks trust due to previous heartbreak.
The steady beat and instrumentals of “Take Care” will leave the song stuck in your head for days. This hip-hop song has a slower tempo that features many styles, including R&B and electronica.
Songwriters perfectly capture what it means to love someone who has lost everything due to a failed previous relationship, namely the foundation of simply being able to trust another individual.
While “Take Care” may be of the hip-hop and R&B genres, Drake and Rihanna make the song feel like a ballad by singing the words as if they are speaking to each other. An NPR article contains a detailed conversation about, and analysis of, Drake’s “Take Care” album, discussed by Frannie Kelley and Ann Powers.
I know you’ve been hurt by someone else
I can tell by the way you carry yourself
If you let me, here’s what I’ll do
I’ll take care of you
You Give Love a Bad Name by Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi is a classic rock band whose name will go down in history, and “You Give Love a Bad Name” is one of their most iconic songs. As classic rock songs do, the song features epic electric guitar solos and catchy drumbeats.
Lead singer Jon Bon Jovi’s rock ‘n’ roll vocals depict the damage done in a relationship where his partner was not who she appeared to be. Putting an edgy spin on the idiom “don’t judge a book by its cover”, “You Give Love a Bad Name” employs powerful metaphors and vivid imagery to describe the woman who ruined love and trust for the singer.
Paint your smile on your lips
Blood red nails on your fingertips
A school boy’s dream, you act so shy
Your very first kiss was your first kiss goodbye
Bad Blood by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” puts a twist on the concept of trust in that it is not necessarily about an ex-romantic partner. The generalizable lyrics mean the song can be about anyone in life who committed an act of betrayal.
The music video features Swift’s complete girl squad consisting of Gigi Hadid, Selena Gomez, Martha Hunt, Cara Delevingne, Hailee Steinfeld, and Karlie Kloss. These strong women are depicted in epic costumes wielding weapons and ready for a major feud, bringing to life the bite of the lyrics themselves.
Upon the release of the song, fans were curious about whether there was a personal meaning to it, and although Swift never named anyone, she revealed that the song was about business gone wrong with another music artist. You can check out that Rolling Stone interview here.
Now we got problems
And I don’t think we can solve ‘em
You made a really deep cut
And baby, now we got bad blood (hey!)
Lyin’ Eyes by The Eagles
As can be deduced from the title, “Lyin’ Eyes” by classic rock band The Eagles is about a woman who cheats on her husband, making the song perfect for this list of songs about trust, or lack thereof in this case.
This song tells the story of the woman through the sounds of acoustic guitar, drums, piano, and mandolin. The instruments, in conjunction with the harmonious vocals, give the story a country feel that is pleasing to the ear but somber and thought-provoking to the mind.
Interestingly, the lyrics convey that the husband in the story is aware of his wife’s affair and turns a blind eye to it, complicating the idea of trust and what it means to be in love and be happy.
You can’t hide your lyin’ eyes
And your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you’d realize
There ain’t no way to hide your lyin’ eyes
In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins
To conclude this list, we have a song by an iconic artist who perfectly formulated many factors to create a work that depicts powerful emotions and provokes those strong feelings from listeners.
Collins wrote such compelling, irate lyrics for this song, and his careful use of wrathful diction accurately conveys the anger and sadness he felt when he wrote it.
In addition to impactful words, “In the Air Tonight” contains one of the most well-known drum solos known to man which serves as both the climax of the song and catharsis for Collins himself.
Over the years, fans speculated about the origins and inspiration of the song. In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2016, Collins revealed that he wrote the song after suffering a jarring divorce from his wife Andrea Bertorelli.
Well, I was there and I saw what you did
I saw it with my own two eyes
So you can wipe off that grin, I know where you’ve been
It’s all been a pack of lies
Lean On Me by Bill Withers
Ah—this is the ultimate song about trust, to be honest. On this track, Bill Withers sings of being the best supportive person a friend could ever need. When you’re not strong, he’ll be there to lift you up and help you carry on.
On this song, Withers paints the picture of a friend not only in need, but at their lowest point. And when all hope seems lost, he asks his friend to trust in him—to trust that he’ll be there to build you back up after you’ve been knocked down countless times.
It’s a wonderful song about trusting someone to be the backbone you need, especially when you’ve begun to feel like you no longer have reliable friends or family members.
Lean on me
When you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For, it won’t be long
Till I’m gonna need, somebody to lean on
While songs about trust vary in tone, tempo, and context, they all involve a common message: trust is a fundamental condition of the human existence in society.
This list compiles songs that discuss trust in the many conditions it comes in. These are songs about not wanting to face the truth, about feeling betrayed by a loved one who swore to never do such a thing, about anger and the desire for revenge once trust is broken, about having trust in oneself and the universe.
So, when it comes to feeling any certain way about something in life involving trust, consider referring to this list to channel the emotions inside you that yearn to be let out.
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