Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday: Winners Never Cheat and Cheaters Never Win


Jen Kehl

This week’s mix-tape of twistedness revolves around the topic of cheating. Cheating, as defined by the dictionary as:

cheat [cheet]
1. to defraud; swindle: He cheated her out of her inheritance.
2. to deceive; influence by fraud: He cheated us into believing him a hero.
3. to elude; deprive of something expected: He cheated the law by suicide.

When we think of cheating in terms of music, our first thoughts always gravitate towards one lover cheating on another or, in the words of BJ Thomas, “a somebody done somebody wrong” song.

This is a difficult list for me to compile because cheating on a lover is the stuff of cliches and I hate cliches with a passion. So while compiling this list, I struggled with my natural inclination to rebel against the cliche and finding songs about cheating.

I tried. Here’s my five.

1. You Oughta Know-Alanis Morrisette (UNCENSORED-NSFW)

This is the ultimate kiss-off song.  It was the first time, at least that I could remember, that a woman sang a song expressing the anger and hurt and bitterness she felt after a break-up. Prior to this, female break-up songs were either the girl expressing her sadness and how she can’t live without this man who left her or they fell into the “you’re an asshole and I’m done with you” category. This one falls into the mixed emotions that churn and swirl and swing wildly from one extreme to the other. In the beginning, she says “I want you to know that I’m happy for you. I wish nothing but the best for you both.” By the end of the song, Alanis snarls, “And every time I scratch my nails down someone else’s back, I hope you feel it.”

2. Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go?-Soft Cell

I’ve always loved this song because it’s so damn catchy. Most people don’t realize that the Tainted Love portion is a cover song as well as the Where did Our Love Go part.  Both original songs were from the 1960s and both sung by female artists. Most people know that “Where Did Our Love Go?” was a Supremes song. “Tainted Love” was originally performed by Gloria Jones.

3. You Better Run-Pat Benatar

This is also a cover, but I personally like Pat’s version better, because she’s putting the jerk in her life on notice that she won’t stand for his BS any longer. This is from the “you hurt me and I’ll kick your ass” school of break-up songs.  The Rascals originally sang this in the 1960s, but Pat’s cover is much tougher.

4. F*ck You-Cee Lo Green

I included this song because it’s probably the most cheerful and upbeat cheating song I’ve ever heard. I like songs that don’t sound like they are “supposed” to. Cheating songs are supposed to be angry. This one is so darn cheerful.

5. Techno

Okay, this is technically not a song about cheating, but it features The Cheat and it has music in it. And a lightswitch rave. And some memories from about ten years ago or so. ;-)


  1. I can’t believe I didn’t think of Alanis! Yes – that is the perfect song. Album hit when I was 18 – so it was also the perfect time for dating/boy done me wrong angst singing in front of the mirror (not that I ever did that). I’d also never seen the Cee Lo Green video until now. It’s awesome! Great mix for this week.

  2. I love the in-your-face kickassery (if that isn’t a word, it should be) of early Pat Benatar. Love the Alanis and CeeLo too.

  3. Great mix-tape. LOVE that you included Alanis – how did I not think of that song?!

  4. I never thought of you oughta know as a cheating song until people started speculating about who is was about and you realized the nature of the relationship…perfect choice

    I like the yin and yang of anger versus lover’s lament on this list…well done

    Hope aaron Rodgers gets well, soon

  5. Okay, you’ve done it to all of us supposed experts by reminding us of the Alanis song. We’ve been humbled, to say the least. I’d even forgotten the Rascals did You Better Run prior to Pat. (Must’ve been too much inhaling back then affecting the brain.) So, you’re a Packer fan. Way, way back, before the days of Indianapolis having a pro team, the Pack was my fave. I still remember Jerry Kramer’s block on Jethro Pugh to win the Superbowl … oh, yeah, that was a long time ago! lol Great job!

  6. Loved Alanis from the first time I heard this song. I love your list. I agree, cheating songs should sound angry and bitter.

  7. I’ve obviously only ever heard a censored version of that Cee Lo Green song, so I had no idea what it was about! It was so cheery, I assumed that whatever he was saying was something upbeat.
    I just fell in love with that song.

  8. Wait AND MS-DOS (did you read my post about that?)! This list is awesome, I love it. Alanis is so perfect, and tainted love, totally didn’t even think of that one! Classic. Thank you for overcoming your animosity and playing, i get that way about some things too…

  9. Okay Kathy, yours is my favorite list this week (and I’m not being fair because I’m not through the list yet, but I went through your list going “Yes! Yes! Yes!”). The CeeLo one is perfect. Tainted Love and how could I have forgotten the very angry Alanis? Perfect!

  10. I love that Cee Lo Green song. You’re right – it’s SO lovely and cheery while saying “and f*ck you!” which is really just plain old awesome. I didn’t think of Tainted Love either – great choice!

  11. Loved that you included Strong Bad. I was obsessed with that cartoon series. Still funny!

  12. I agree with your choices and the comments. I am still working on my list, because like you, the cliche thing is kind of an obstacle. So many passionate angry anthems (Alanis) are truly cheating songs even though it is not obvious in the lyrics.

  13. I have to agree with Rich Rumple “Okay, you’ve done it to all of us supposed experts by reminding us of the Alanis song. We’ve been humbled, to say the least”. Yes, I had to hit my forehead with my palm at the fact that I didn’t think of this one!

    I included Atlantic Starr’s “Secret Lovers” (NOT because I actually like the song, I actually do not) for the same reason as your Cee Lo song. At first listen, Secret Lovers sounds like such a nice, sweet love song and then you listen to the lyrics and they’re awful–sneaking around, worried they’ve stayed out too long– not a “light” song as it sounds.

    ..Oh! and Pat Benatar! Yes!

    This is a great list!! *applaudes*

  14. Love your choices, especially the Pat Benatar and Alannis Morissette songs! I’ve always had a soft spot for “Tainted Love” — reminds me of a bar we hung out at in our younger days. This was one of the only contemporary (it was the early 1980′s) songs on the jukebox. It was either “Tainted Love” or Sinatra, LOL! So,we played the hell out of it and, if I recall, “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me”! HA!

  15. Thanks. :) Believe it or not, this was the list I had the most difficulty with. Then I saw a few others, and had a few facepalm moments myself (ex. the song “Cecilia” by Simon & Garfunkle).


Speak to Me!

%d bloggers like this: