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35 Songs About Honesty, Truth and Integrity

Updated on March 8, 2017
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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, Truth, and Integrity: Values Worth Celebrating

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. | Source

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 back set. 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 truthtelling 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

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, | Source

Reader Poll

These days, the biggest LACK of honesty, truth and integrity can be found in ...

See results

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.

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?

In the Comments Section Below, Tell Us About a Time in Your Life When Someone Displayed Uncanny Honesty or Integrity

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 - 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 of two dudes and a lady, 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.

Integrity Counts

"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 | Source

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. | Source

Even More Songs About Truth, Honesty and Integrity

Song
Artist
Year Released
21. Honest Town
Simple Minds
2014
22. Truth and Honesty
Aretha Franklin
1981
23. Honesty Is No Excuse
Thin Lizzy
1971
24. Try Honesty
Billy Tallent
2001
25. Anything but the Truth
Jack Johnson
2010
26. Love Is The Truth
Jack Johnson
2016
27. Mad Truth
The Pop Group
2015
28. The Truth
Ledisi
2014
29. The Truth Is Lyin' Next to You
Randy Travis
1987
30. The Truth About Love
P!nk
2012
31. Truth
Jason Aldean
2009
32. Truthfully
DNCE
2016
33.The Truth
Staind
2008
34. That's the Truth
McFly
2011
35. Would I Lie to You
Eurhymics
1985

What's in a Name? Locations with Names Associated with Honesty, Truth, and Integrity

show route and directions
A markerHonor, Michigan, USA -
Honor, MI 49640, USA
get directions

B markerTruth or Consequences, New Mexico, USA -
Truth or Consequences, NM, USA
get directions

C markerIntegrity Peak, Canada -
Integrity Peak, Central Kootenay K, BC V0E, Canada
get directions

D markerCorrect, Indiana, USA -
Correct, IN 47042, USA
get directions

E markerJustice, Illinois, USA -
Justice, IL, USA
get directions

F markerHonest Lake, Canada -
Honest Lake, Kenora, Unorganized, ON P0V, Canada
get directions

G markerCharacter Ridge, Idaho, USA -
Character Ridge, Idaho 83837, USA
get directions

H markerMoral Township, Indiana, USA -
Moral Township, IN, USA
get directions

I markerSincère, France -
Sincère, 32120, France
get directions

J markerCandor, North Carolina, USA -
Candor, NC, USA
get directions

Well, This Is Refreshingly Honest

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Nearly first quality merchandise.  At least they're honest, right?Not the best, but still a good buy.  Exceedingly honest advertising.  No fun.  Is this an honest description or a command?Cancer suxs.  But no one was expecting much of a party.
Nearly first quality merchandise.  At least they're honest, right?
Nearly first quality merchandise. At least they're honest, right? | Source
Not the best, but still a good buy.  Exceedingly honest advertising.
Not the best, but still a good buy. Exceedingly honest advertising. | Source
No fun.  Is this an honest description or a command?
No fun. Is this an honest description or a command? | Source
Cancer suxs.  But no one was expecting much of a party.
Cancer suxs. But no one was expecting much of a party. | Source

© 2017 FlourishAnyway

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 11 days ago from USA

      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.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 11 days ago from Orlando Florida

      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 profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA

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

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 weeks ago from Riga, Latvia

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

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 5 weeks ago from USA

      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!

    • profile image

      Suhail and my dog K2 5 weeks ago

      FlourishAnyway,

      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.

      Regards,

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 6 weeks ago from USA

      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 profile image

      Genna East 6 weeks ago from Massachusetts, USA

      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 profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 6 weeks ago from USA

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

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 6 weeks ago from Great Yarmouth

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

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 6 weeks ago from USA

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

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 6 weeks ago from USA

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

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 6 weeks ago from South Africa

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

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 6 weeks ago from Dubai

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

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 6 weeks ago from USA

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

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 6 weeks ago from USA

      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.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 6 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      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.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 weeks ago from Nashville Tn.

      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 profile image

      Larry Rankin 6 weeks ago from Oklahoma

      Great read as always.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 6 weeks ago from USA

      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 profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 6 weeks ago from USA

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

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 6 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      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 profile image

      Kaili Bisson 6 weeks ago from Canada

      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 profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 6 weeks ago from USA

      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 profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 6 weeks ago from USA

      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.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 6 weeks ago from Chicago Area

      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!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      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 profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 6 weeks ago from USA

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

    • Frances Metcalfe profile image

      Frances Metcalfe 6 weeks ago from The Limousin, France

      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 profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 6 weeks ago from USA

      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 profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 6 weeks ago from USA

      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 profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 6 weeks ago from USA

      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 profile image

      Frances Metcalfe 6 weeks ago from The Limousin, France

      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.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 6 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      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 profile image

      kallini2010 7 weeks ago from Toronto, Canada

      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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