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