36 Songs About Honesty, Truth, and Integrity
Honesty, Truth, and Integrity: Values Worth Celebrating
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
These days, the biggest LACK of honesty, truth and integrity can be found in ...
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, 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.
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.
Even More Songs About Truth, Honesty and Integrity
21. Honest Town
22. Truth and Honesty
23. Honesty Is No Excuse
24. Try Honesty
25. Anything but the Truth
26. Love Is The Truth
27. Mad Truth
The Pop Group
28. The Truth
29. The Truth Is Lyin' Next to You
30. The Truth About Love
34. That's the Truth
35. Would I Lie to You
Well, This Is Refreshingly HonestClick thumbnail to view full-size
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
© 2017 FlourishAnyway