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36 Songs About Honesty, Truth, and Integrity

FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.

Honesty and integrity may be in short supply, but they're values worth celebrating. Make a playlist about truth and doing the right thing using these pop, rock, and country songs.

Honesty and integrity may be in short supply, but they're values worth celebrating. Make a playlist about truth and doing the right thing using these pop, rock, and country songs.

Challenge: Can You Go a Week Without Lying?

It seems like honesty is in short supply these days. People stretch the truth and even flat-out lie to friends, romantic partners, family, bosses, coworkers, strangers, and, yes, even themselves. Think about the last fib you told. Was it worth it? Why'd you do it?

Research shows that, on average, people tell one to two lies a day, although most lies are told by prolific liars. (Anyone come to mind?) Often, we lie about supposedly innocuous details in order to gain social acceptance. Lying has become a facilitator of relationships, with truth and integrity taking a convenient backseat. But that doesn't make it right.

So here's the challenge: Can you go one whole week without lying? That means

  • no white lies,
  • no lies for convenience,
  • no saying you're "fine" when you're feeling blah or crummy, and
  • no telling people they look great when they don't (really, they know how they look).

See how long you can last, then report your experience back to us. (Hey, we're all human, so expectations are low that anyone can make it a whole week.)

Until then, why not not create a playlist of songs about truth-telling and doing the right thing? Celebrate the values of honesty, truth, and integrity. We have a long list of pop, rock, and country songs to start you out.

Honesty is still in style.  Take the Honesty for a Week Challenge and report back your experience.  No lies for convenience, no white lies, just the unvarnished truth,

Honesty is still in style. Take the Honesty for a Week Challenge and report back your experience. No lies for convenience, no white lies, just the unvarnished truth,

1. "Honesty" by Billy Joel

You can be supportive and kind to those you care about, but can you always be honest? In this classic pop ballad from 1979, The Piano Man laments the lack of candor in even the closest of interpersonal relationships:

Honesty is such a lonely word
Everyone is so untrue
Honesty is hardly ever heard
And mostly what I need from you.

Beyoncé re-recorded the song in 2008, when she shared it with a new generation of music lovers who had probably never heard of Billy Joel.

2. "Honesty" by Rodney Atkins

A divorcing couple is trying to divide up their property in this sad 2003 country song. The husband asks his wife to write down what she wants from him. Her wish list is filled not with material items like the house or land but significant intangtibles such as honesty, sincerity, tenderness and trust. She turns the list over to him and their future rests in his hands.

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3. "Honestly" by Kelly Clarkson

Drowning in self-doubt, the narrator in this 2011 song seeks to hear the unvarnished truth about their relationship and her friend's feelings about her. She says that rather than acting two-faced, her friend should expresses any envy or hate openly. But can she handle the truth?

4. "I Honestly Love You" by Olivia Newton-John

A young woman makes a plain-spoken admission about her feelings in this lovely 1974 song which became a worldwide hit. Her declaration of love flows from the narrator's heart rather than her head, and she expects nothing in return.

Newton-John re-recorded the song in 1998, replacing the earlier version's aura of innocence with more sex appeal. Big mistake.

5. "Be Honest" by Jason Mraz (Featuring Inara George)

The narrator in this 2012 pop song wants to know where he stands with his love interest, even if it means rejection. He appeals for an honest response, even if it hurts, and he promises unconditional love.

6. "Honest" by Kodaline

Is it in you to be honest? Sometimes the truth is so hard to squeeze out, especially to those we love the most. That's assuming, of course, that there are things to hide.

However, brutal honesty is what the narrator of this 2015 rock song demands from his lying girlfriend. He cautions her against any more Pinocchio games ... or it's splitsville.

7. "Honestly" by Hot Chelle Rae

To be honest, I'm not a fan of this band's name. "Hot Chelle Rae" misleads you into thinking that the group is a woman named "Chelle Rae" who is overly confident about her body image. It also makes me want to insert "Hot" before everyone else's names. If Chelle Rae can do it, then why can't others? Wouldn't that be a confidence booster? But I digress.

Hot Chelle Rae is a now-defunct rock band, and their 2011 pop song "Honestly" profiles an emotional breakup. The narrator comes home to find his clothes on the street and his car keyed.

Rather than caving in to the drama, he dishes out some real honesty. He's relieved the relationship is over, and he's going out to celebrate.

8. "If We're Honest" by Francesca Battistelli

With a voice that is rich and inspired, Francesca Battistelli scored a crossover hit with this 2014 Christian contemporary/pop song. It features a narrator who acknowledges the brokenness in her life and encourages others to tear down the walls of lies they have built up and just be honest. Even if you're not typically a fan of Christian contemporary music, you may like this one.

9. "Honestly" by Cartel

When his girlfriend breaks up with him and casually tells him that she'll see him around, the narrator in this 2006 pop song responds with honesty. He says he's not getting over this one easily, and he begs her to stay.

10. "Truth" by Gwen Stefani

Don't fall in love with someone on the rebound. That's the age-old advice. Rock singer Gwen Stefani and country star Blake Shelton both ignored that advice, however, and simply paid attention to their hearts. Both judges on The Voice tv show were divorcing from their spouses when they fell hard for one another.

In this 2016 electropop song, Stefani reflects upon her new relationship after heartbreak and divorce. Even though they're both rebounding, she gushes in the song, "So this is what the truth feels like." She beleives she has found an honest love at last.

11. "You've Got to Stand for Something" by Aaron Tippin

This spunky 1991 country song is one of my favorites. It's about a narrator who recalls his father, a humble man who didn't seek out trouble but wasn't afraid to take a stand in defense of what was right:

He'd say you've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything
You've got to be your own man not a puppet on a string
Never compromise what's right and uphold your family name
You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything.

"We learned about honesty and integrity—that the truth matters . . . that you don't take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules . . . and success doesn't count unless you earn it fair and square." —Michelle Obama, former First Lady

"We learned about honesty and integrity—that the truth matters . . . that you don't take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules . . . and success doesn't count unless you earn it fair and square." —Michelle Obama, former First Lady

12. "This Town" by Niall Horan

Sometimes you don't truly appreciate loved ones until they have moved on from your life. The narrator in this pop song from 2016 has been left lonely by an ex-girlfriend, and he provides an honest acknowledgement of what he should have said before their break-up. He says the truth is that everything leads him back to her.

13. "Honestly" by Stryper

In this1987 power ballad, the narrator expresses honest feelings of love and a commitment to stand by his friend no matter what. From the bottom of his heart, he promises never to betray his friend's trust.

14. "Life Is Now" by John Mellencamp

If you need encourgement that now is your moment to step up and shine, then this Grammy-nominated 1998 rock song is it. The narrator inspires you to take the high road and teach your children to tell the truth. He urges, "This is your time here to do what you will do." What will you do to lift your head up above the crowd and make a positive difference?

15. "Follow My Feet" by The Unlikely Candidates

We all face various forks in the road where we must choose between the high road that is steady and steep and the low road that is easy and deep. One can steal, lie, cheat, and even kill, or one can serve others and the greater good at the risk of being taken advantage of. This 2013 presents the conundrum, with the narrator deciding to follow his feet.

16. "The Truth" by Kris Allen

It's hard when you're mourning a relationship that hasn't died yet. You see the end coming and cannot stop it, and you just have to wait to let the relationship reach its natural conclusion.

In this 2010 rock song, a man mourns the loss of a dying love relationship as he lays beside his girlfriend. The end of their romance is the elephant in the room they cannot discuss, and he finds that honesty about the fizzling relationship is too hard for him to process right now.

17. "Gimme Some Truth" by John Lennon

What's old is new again, and this protest song from the Vietnam era is just as relevant today as was when it was released in 1971. It calls out government hypocrisy, chauvanism, the use of propaganda ("soft soap"), as well as politicians with no integrity.

Tired of the charade, Lennon just demands the truth:

I'm sick and tired of hearing things
From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocritics
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth
Ive had enough of reading things
By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth.

18. "I Won't Back Down" by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

If you need an anthem for having the integrity to stand up for what's right, this 1989 rock song fits the bill. It describes steadfast determination to defend what you believe in, at any cost. The song made a comeback after 9/11 and was used by various political campaigns.

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
And I won't back down.

19. "Integrity Blues" by Jimmy Eat World

It's often said that integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. In this 2016 rock song, the narrator contrasts integrity with the desires of a fool, and he knows he has work to do on his character.

20. "Everything but the Truth" by Lucinda Williams

There's a lot of good advice in this 2014 country song:

  • You have the power to make the world a better place.
  • Before you can have a friend, you must be one.
  • God put the firewood there, but you gotta light yourself.
  • Make the most of what you have.
  • Everything's gonna change but the truth.
Honest Ed's.  Anyone who has to claim that they are honest usually isn't, however this guy was the real deal.  He was a proprietor in Toronto, and after more than six decades in business, his store closed in 2016.

Honest Ed's. Anyone who has to claim that they are honest usually isn't, however this guy was the real deal. He was a proprietor in Toronto, and after more than six decades in business, his store closed in 2016.

Even More Songs About Truth, Honesty, and Integrity

Got a song suggestion? Leave a note in the Comments Section below or hit me up on social media. (Click on my profile at the top of this article for more information.)

SongArtistYear Released

21. "Honest Town"

Simple Minds


22. "Truth and Honesty"

Aretha Franklin


23. "Honesty Is No Excuse"

Thin Lizzy


24. "Try Honesty"

Billy Tallent


25. "Anything but the Truth"

Jack Johnson


26. "Love Is the Truth"

Jack Johnson


27. "Mad Truth"

The Pop Group


28. "The Truth"



29. "The Truth Is Lyin' Next to You"

Randy Travis


30. "The Truth About Love"



31. "Truth"

Jason Aldean


32. "Truthfully"



33. "The Truth"



34. "That's the Truth"



35. "Would I Lie to You"



36. "Honest"

The Chainsmokers


© 2017 FlourishAnyway


FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on April 21, 2020:

Peggy - Your dad knew the long term business value of honesty and integrity in addition to doing the right thing for its own moral sake. What a good example! Thank you for stopping by.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 21, 2020:

My dad always made me proud. He not only built homes but was also a Realtor. Because he knew building as well as he did, when showing homes he would point out potential problems as well as the good points. He wanted customers to know everything that might crop up even if it meant that he would not make a sale.

White lies are often done with the intent of kindness and not hurting someone's feelings. Outright lies, such as those you discussed with nstyclrgywmn are not only wrong but dangerous. I agree with your comment 100%. We need truthfulness and integrity in that office, as well as elsewhere.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on April 01, 2020:

Vikas ahuja - I'm so sorry that's the state of your justice system. Thank you for sharing how it is in your country. It does make me appreciate mine more, as imperfect as it is. I wish you peace and wellness.

Vikas ahuja on April 01, 2020:

Indian Police/ cops and politicians all are totally currupt no doubt even judicial system knows the same fact as the main thing is that the police station is shop to buy justice. Either the criminal or victim both are made pressurised to bribe them for their benefits.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 09, 2018:

Karissa - Thanks for the information. Have a good weekend!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 09, 2017:

nstyclrgywmn - I share both your concerns and questions about how we as Americans got to this sad place in history. As a country, we've been barreling down a fascist path for years and have failed to recognize it . We have ended up with (I hesitate to say "elected") a leader who exemplifies the 14 Points of Fascism to such a scary degree that you wonder how we could fail to learn from the past and just where is this going? I consider him the most dangerous man in America and one of the most dangerous in the world: . Parents need to know how to talk to their children of all ages about the moral and political lessons that are coming out of this White House. It is possible to find good in this terrible time in history if we try, if we band together and stand up to the lies for the good of our collective future.

nstyclrgywmn on June 09, 2017:

I do a local radio show and was planning on the theme this week being "integrity." We are doing a fundraising campaign so I'll put off this one til that's over but I so feel like we need to immerse ourselves in anything promoting/supporting honesty and integrity. Yes, none of us is perfect but the near celebration of the lies coming out of our administration has me floored. How on earth did we get here? What do parents do as they teach their children right from wrong in the face of the lies and deceits coming from D.C? I guess those of us who care will just keep doing what we can to not let this go.

Anyway - thanks for the song list and a place to be in conversation about this. Peace, Shalom, Salaam

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on April 14, 2017:

Catherine - Absolutely, and we need to continue to call Trump out on it! The press and his followers should have held him accountable last year at this time, but they were too distracted by his antics. Thanks for weighing in.

Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on April 14, 2017:

I think you have outdone yourself. And the topic couldn't be more timely. I wouldn't worry too much about the "white" lies, although it is really annoying when I want a honest opinion on my new haircut and I can't seem to get it. The lies that really have me upset are the ones with major consequences for the world.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 22, 2017:

Thank you, Rasma. I agree the world could use a lot more honesty!

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on March 22, 2017:

I am really enjoying these. The one thing the world needs now is more honesty seems everyone is just looking out for themselves.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 19, 2017:

Suhail - I don't seek out Christian bands but occasionally there are those that are worth a shout out for their contributions. They had good clean music that was of good quality. Thaks for your comment!

Suhail and my dog K2 on March 18, 2017:


You have "Honestly" by Stryper. I wish I had listened more to this band. It was a Christian metal band that was just there competing with super-heavy weights of hard rock and metal bands, carving its own niche.

Thanks for finding a song from them.


FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 10, 2017:

Genna - He helped inspire this one! Rather, his lack of honest, truth, and integrity. I'm right with you regarding people who claim they don't lie. It's just not true! You have a wonderful weekend!

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on March 10, 2017:

Whenever I hear someone say, "I never lie," I always look for the door. I think, "Uh huh. Sure." I do tell white lies, but not often because I fear they come across as patronizing. What I found interesting in your poll is that not one person picked the media. I picked politicians. (Is there any way we can make this hub required reading for our POTUS? Lol. Sorry...couldn't resist.) Another great list of songs. My favs would include Billy Joel and Newton-John.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 10, 2017:

Louise - Thanks for stopping by. I enjoy that song just as much. Have a lovely weekend!

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on March 09, 2017:

I'm glad you put Olivia Newton-John's song in there, I Honestly Love You. I do like that song.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 09, 2017:

Martie - If only more people would abide by these values. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great weekend ahead.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 09, 2017:

Nithya - Thank you for reading and commenting. I love Billy Joel's classic song, too.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on March 09, 2017:

Another lovely playlist! Honesty, truth, trust and integrity are so needed in this world. Blessed are those who have it inside their hearts.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on March 09, 2017:

Honesty is the best policy and I adhere to it. A great collection of songs. I love honesty by Billy Joel.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 09, 2017:

Larry - Thank you!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 09, 2017:

Audrey - Thank you for your words of encouragement and support. Hope your day is fantabulous!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 09, 2017:

Linda - I adore that song of hers. It's one of complete innocence. When she rerecorded it and changed the vibe I was icked out but an attempt to sexualize something so sweet. I wish I could unhear it, but it sears my memory, as does the way she saunters around in the video. I'm all for owning your womanhood, but this was not where I was with that song. Sigh. Thanks for stopping by to lend your support.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on March 08, 2017:

This is another interesting and informative list, Flourish. The only song I know is the first one by Olivia Newton-John. I didn't know that she recorded a later version of the song. I'm not going to look for it after reading your opinion. I'm sure I would be disappointed if I heard it.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on March 08, 2017:

Super videos and a wonderful hub. Regardless of what kind of day I'm having ... all I need to do is turn to one of your posts. Thank you - thank you!

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on March 08, 2017:

Great read as always.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 08, 2017:

Ms. Dora - And thank you for your kind endorsement. I can always count on you for uplifting words and kind thoughts. You are such a nice lady, Ms.Dora.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 08, 2017:

Kaili - What a fantastic story about Honest Ed. He's a real treasure! The genuine thing!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on March 08, 2017:

Surely some of these lyrics give a moral boost to the people who sing and listen to them. Themes like honesty are never outdated. Thanks for keeping them in our awareness.

Kaili Bisson from Canada on March 08, 2017:

Hi Flourish,

Love your lists. Can I suggest another song? Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog" ...Need a woman, gonna hold my hand

Will tell me no lies, make me a happy man...

Also, in the case of Honest Ed, he really was. He started out poor and made money the hard, old fashioned way. His store was a great jumble of a place where you could find all sorts of stuff at bargain-basement prices. He loved giving back to the community too, and at Christmastime Ed - who was Jewish - gave away turkeys...hundreds of them every year for 28 years. People would line up for blocks in the dark before the store opened to get a free turkey. He also bought and saved old buildings in downtown Toronto and was even made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for saving the Old Vic Theatre :-)

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 08, 2017:

Heidi - I've added your suggested song as #35. Let's hope the good guys and gals win in the end when the truth comes crashing down. I hope your day is all sunshine and roses!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 08, 2017:

Bill - That's one of my favorites. Billy Joel is awesome, although he hasn't produced anything new in a very long time. He indicates that he's said all he needs to say creatively.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on March 08, 2017:

One of my favorites in this topic is the Eurythmics "Would I Lie to You?" Another awesome (and timely) list with all the fake news and other nonsense in the world. Have a truly great day!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 08, 2017:

Yes, I hit #1 this week!!!! I'm improving leaps and bounds. :) And yes, I can go a week without lying. Eight days? Questionable! LOL

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 08, 2017:

Frances - I look forward to reading! Have a wonderful week!

Frances Metcalfe from The Limousin, France on March 08, 2017:

That's so kind Flourish to say I made a good teacher. Actually I intend to write a hub on teaching, although I've done one on inspiration. So much in my head to set down on paper. Thanks for the support!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 08, 2017:

Frances - Wonderful analysis! I'm all for positive feedback, especially during the early learning process as it encourages one to keep at it. I find fascinating that as one becomes an expert at his/her craft, s/he grows through negative feedback. I bet you are a splendid teacher. Would love to hear you play! And yes, we sure do know who the biggest public liar is.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 08, 2017:

Kallini2010 - I know what you're saying. I have someone in my life who is way too honest (unnecessarily so) and ends up hurting feelings over small things where they should have just shut their mouth or some other more socially appropriate strategy. You can avoid lying by neutral statements and reflective listening ("I haven't seen you in a long time!" instead of "How wonderful to see you!" and "That must make you feel ..." instead of "I'm so happy for you!"). If you do it right, often people don't notice.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 08, 2017:

Linda - Chances are, that he whould could really use it wouldn't see himself in it and wouldn't have the attention span to get through the list. But thank you for the kind comment!

Frances Metcalfe from The Limousin, France on March 08, 2017:

Hi Flourish. I think we all know who is the biggest public liar at the moment! We all have these failings, it's a case of trying to keep them down to a minimum, if only for your own self respect. It's difficult, though when you're teaching because the praise you give when a child achieves a certain level, say on the violin, is, just that, relative to that level, but it can still be fantastic, just not as fantastic as the next level. I had a hard job not ripping a violin student of mine's confidence to bits when I took over as he thought he'd no need to improve as he'd been told he was wonderful. And to a degree he was, at the tender age of 12 but he still had basic intonation problems and a long way to go! Enjoyed your hub as always.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on March 07, 2017:

Flourish, not gonna name any names, but it's too bad this won't fit on Twitter. Seems there are a few users of that medium that have some difficulty with the concept of "honesty". This one was fun--thanks for all the hard work you put into these. You never cease to amaze me.

kallini2010 from Toronto, Canada on March 07, 2017:

I suggest to add a track #35 - not yet written - a song about me. The title could be "Oh, you are so intelligent!" or "How can you be so honest?" Music style: some tragic piece of Argentine tango or foxtrot will do. Maybe a swing.

Seriously, I have a reputation for being very/too honest, but even I use selective honesty. The only people who use all encompassing honesty are normal children under the age of five - if they continue using their "honesty" after that, the question should be raised about their intelligence. No lying is equivalent to emotional nakedness - nobody needs that.

A truth that is less than 100% is no longer a truth - it's an adaptation, a version, a ... It's impossible not to lie. However, we choose how much deceit is deceit and how much of it is "that's where you should tell the truth".

That's what we teach our children - to know the difference. So, anyone who tells you he went a day without lying, is lying (honestly lying, that is being sure that he is telling "the truth"). "The ability to conceal one's thoughts" is a sign of intelligence and the better you are, the more intelligent you are supposed to be. Well, it's complicated. But if you go too far with lying, you are setting a death trap for yourself. (there is a film "The Invention of Lying" (2009) - hilarious - you can look up the trailer. It makes me wonder - are there songs about "Underlying Assumptions"?

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