Infidelity is a topic that has been featured in music for decades. It is a tale as old as time told from different perspectives. While some songs focus on the anger and pain of the betrayed partner, others tell the story of the outsider – the other woman. These songs reveal the complexity of relationships and the blurred lines between right and wrong.
They evoke emotions of guilt, shame, and longing. In this article, we will take a closer look at songs about being the other woman, exploring the narrative, themes, and emotions that make them relatable to so many.
“Jolene” – Dolly Parton
At the forefront of any discussion covering misadventures of romantic entanglements must be a consideration for “Jolene,” the raw and emotional ballad from legendary country songstress Dolly Parton.
The song’s vulnerability and unflinching portrayal of the agony of being unable to win over the man she loves from another, along with its haunting harmonies and enigmatic storytelling, make it an unforgettable snapshot of the unique pain that can come with loving a person who belongs to someone else.
“Before He Cheats” – Carrie Underwood
One standout track from the collection of songs about being the other woman is a powerful hit by a country music darling. This tune delves into the deviousness of a betrayed woman’s plan to carry out some fiery revenge on her philandering partner.
Exalting the power of women, she sings like a symphony: “I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped-up four-wheel drive, carved my name into his leather seats. I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights, slashed a hole in all four tires. Maybe next time, he’ll think before he cheats.”
“The Other Woman” – Ray Parker Jr.
Ray Parker Jr.’s popular song explores the theme of being in a complicated relationship as the “other woman”. The track’s intricate lyrics elegantly capture the feelings of guilt, jealousy, and passion that come with being in such a relationship.
Parker Jr.’s impeccable vocal performance and the soulful instrumentation of the track, create an emotive experience that truly leaves a mark in the minds and hearts of its listeners.
“You’re Cheatin’ Heart” – Hank Williams Sr.
This particular melody delves into the emotional struggles of a person who is involved in a romantic relationship with someone who’s already taken. The song encapsulates the feeling of being stuck in a love affair that will never truly be theirs.
It highlights the pain of being in a relationship with someone who’s torn between their loyalty to their significant other and their feelings for the other person. The lyrics evoke a sense of disillusionment and heartache, making it a fitting addition to the list of songs about infidelity.
“I Will Always Love You” – Whitney Houston
One entry on the list details the tumultuous experience of a woman who, in the face of romantic adversity, must come to terms with an unconditional love for her partner despite the knowledge of his infidelity.
A song that explores the pain and complexity of being the “other woman” in a relationship, and the decision to prioritize emotional honesty over personal gain.
“Unfaithful” – Rihanna
Rihanna’s hit single “Unfaithful” explores the complexities and emotional turmoil of being caught in an affair as the other woman. The lyrics poignantly capture the shame and guilt associated with cheating, as well as the confusion and longing for the forbidden love. Rihanna’s vocal delivery is raw and vulnerable, allowing the listener to empathize with the protagonist’s predicament.
Musically, the song’s dramatic piano and orchestral arrangement heighten the tension and drama of the narrative. Overall, “Unfaithful” is a compelling and thought-provoking commentary on infidelity and its consequences.
“Jessie’s Girl” – Rick Springfield
One popular tune in the “other woman” genre is an upbeat number with a catchy hook by a renowned male artist. It tells the story of a guy who longs for his friend’s romantic partner and wishes he was the one to have her. The protagonist is fully aware that his desire is inappropriate, and feels guilty for betraying his friend, but he can’t help being envious of their blissful relationship.
The song’s upbeat rhythm contrasts with its theme of internal conflict, creating a tension that mirrors the protagonist’s own dilemma.
“My Best Friend’s Girl” – The Cars
The heart-rending ballad speaks of the bittersweet moments of a clandestine love affair and the inevitable guilt that comes with it. Billy Paul’s mournful voice underscores the emotional turmoil of a man who finds himself in love with a married woman. The haunting melody hints at the notion that, despite the pain, the protagonist is unable to walk away from the adulterous relationship.
Paul’s vocal range echoes perfectly with the poignant lyrics, creating a stunningly soulful performance that is sure to leave a lasting impression.
“Bust Your Windows” – Jazmine Sullivan
“Possessing an eerie burst of energy that captures the gripping emotion of an unfaithful lover, Jazmine Sullivan’s ‘Bust Your Windows’ explores the raw and turbulent emotional terrain of being the other woman with perplexing finesse.”
“If You Had My Love” – Jennifer Lopez
“If You Had My Love” by Jennifer Lopez is a powerful tale of the yearning and confusion that comes with being involved with someone already taken. With its pulsating rhythm and Lopez’s captivating vocals, the song draws you in and leaves you wondering what will happen next.
The lyrics are suffused with the tension and uncertainty of a woman caught in the middle, wrestling with her emotions and trying to make sense of her place in this complicated situation. It’s a must-listen for anyone grappling with the complexities of forbidden love.
“You Give Love a Bad Name” – Bon Jovi
“You Give Love a Bad Name” by Bon Jovi captures the essence of a lady who is sneaking around with her lover, causing chaos in his relationship. The track’s infectious melody and powerful guitar riffs perfectly convey the passion and intensity of the situation, blending old-school rock and roll with a modern flair.
The bold lyrics and soaring chorus add to the overall impact, making it a standout anthem for anyone who has found themselves in a similar situation.
“The Boy is Mine” – Brandy and Monica
This popular R&B song performed by Brandy and Monica explores the tumultuous relationships between two women who are both vying for the same man’s attention. The song tells the story of the infidelity of the man involved and the two women’s desire to be with him, despite knowing that their love is toxic and destructive.
Throughout the song, both singers showcase their emotive vocals as they express their conflicting emotions and the complex nature of being the other woman.
“Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” – Rupert Holmes
The fourteenth song on the list tells the story of a man who is looking to spice up his relationship. He places an ad in the paper and receives a response from a woman who wants to meet up with him. To his surprise, the woman is actually his girlfriend.
The upbeat tune lends itself to a narrative of deception and infidelity, and it is a prime example of how pop music can turn complicated relationships into catchy tunes.
“I Want Your Girlfriend to Be My Girlfriend Too” – Reel Big Fish
This particular selection details an individual expressing their desire for the partner of their friend to engage in a romantic connection and leave their friend out of the equation.
The lively melody and energetic rhythm stand in contrast against the underlying theme of deception and infidelity, leading to an overall sense of turbulence within the listener’s emotional state.
“I Will Survive” – Gloria Gaynor
“I Will Survive” is a defiant, empowering anthem of a woman standing up for herself and moving on from a toxic relationship. It’s a timeless classic that celebrates independence and resilience against all odds, making it a must-listen for anyone looking for inspiration and motivation in their love lives.
Whether you’re the other woman or trying to recover from a breakup, this song is a perfect reminder that you can get through anything if you believe in yourself and never give up.