Revenge Playlist: 59 Songs About Getting Even
When Karma Needs a Little Nudge
Sometimes you have to say, "Oh, to hell with 'living well.'" On occasion, karma needs a little nudge. Or maybe a kick in the pants. (As if you've never sought revenge!)
For me, a little friendly revenge is ideal for those special situations when someone intentionally inflicts harm for no apparent reason, shows little mercy, and no sign of letting up. When rationality fails, striking back can at least make you feel better.
A Pesky Neighbor Meets Her Match
Years ago, I lived in a condo and had a pesky neighbor, Edna. She was an old fart who hated animals. My husband and I had no idea. While we blissfully kept a bird feeder, old Icy Veins stewed in her condo. She hated us for attracting the tweeting vermin and those horrible squirrels and chipmunks, too.
Then there was my orange cat, Oscar, who preferred to sit on Edna's walkway just to spite her. Cats are smart that way! Wouldn't it have been easier just to talk to us?
Instead, Edna called in the Powers That Be. As my husband and I watched television one evening, the entire Board of the Condo Owners Association toured the grounds as Edna pointed with her gnarled hands at our bird feeder and then our orange cat in the window.
Hell Rained down on Edna with Junk Mail
After much ado, we kept both the bird feeder and the cat (and added another cat). We'd be damned if we were going to move because of pesky Edna. But her complaints were a call to action. Edna was hurtin' for some payback.
The heavens soon opened up on that old woman with junk mail and telemarketing. I signed her up for every special offer, sweepstakes, and magazine I could get my hands on. (Yes, Edna, it was ME! Bahahaha!)
Old Icy Veins received solicitations for credit card offers, timeshare vacations, and mail order sex toys. Edna joined a panty hose club and got her name, address, and phone number added to every list I could find. Her mailbox was always jam packed with exciting offers to keep her attention occupied.
When someone REALLY crosses you and talking doesn't seem to work, what is your most typical response?
Songs of Revenge: Insults and Wishes for an Awful Life
1. "Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift
Have you ever had a relationship in which a lover did something to completely ruin your trust? As Taylor Swift notes in this 2014 song, "Bandaids don't fix bullet holes." There will be no forgiveness here.
Most vengeful lyrics: "(Hey) now we got problems, and I don't think we can solve them. You made a really deep cut, and baby, now we got bad blood."
2. "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon
One of Billboard's Greatest Songs of All Time, this 1972 hit is about a narcissistic ex-lover who made promises and didn't keep them. Ultimately, he was his own biggest fanboy.
The classic song has spun a legendary guessing game over who it's really about. In her 2015 memoir, Simon revealed that it's about Warren Beatty and two other men. Mick Jagger has been one of the other suspected culprits. She has denied the song is about her ex-husband James Taylor.
Bittermost lyrics: "You're so vain, I'll bet you think this song is about you. Don't you? Don't you?
3. "Since U Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson
This 2004 song takes the perspective that living well is the best revenge. The narrator gives the middle finger to the ex-boyfriend who wronged her.
Most spiteful lyrics: "But since you been gone, I can breathe for the first time. I'm so moving on."
4. “The One in the Middle" by Sarah Johns
In this 2007 song, the betrayed woman tells the boyfriend who cheated on her to shove off and has some choice descriptors for the woman who stole him away.
Most biting lyrics: "You've fooled around and a'wrecked my heart. She's just a skank rode hard and put up. Well, good luck."
5. "Pray For You" by Jaron and the Long Way Home
In this 2010 dark comedy song, the narrator has found his way back to church after a broken relationship, and he's praying hard. He listens to the preacher say that you cannot hate others, that you need to pray for them. And so he prays for all kinds of misfortune to befall his former sweetheart.
Most vengeful lyrics: "I pray your tire blows out at 110."
Don't Mess With This Chick
6. “So What” by Pink
Betrayed by love, Pink shows her ex in this 2008 revenge song that she'll be just fine and she didn't need him anyway.
Best vengeance lines: "So, so what? I'm still a rock star. I got my rock moves, and I don't need you. And guess what. I'm having more fun. And now that we're done, I'm gonna show you tonight."
7. "Better Than Revenge" by Taylor Swift
You just don't cross some chicks. They'll make a game of vengeance. In this 2010 song, Taylor's man was stolen by someone who is "better known for the things that she does on the mattress." Taylor didn't see it coming, but she is determined to have the last word.
Best bitter b*tch lyrics: "She should keep in mind there is nothing I do better than revenge, ha."
8. "Gives You Hell" by All-American Rejects
Whether it's a boss, a frenemy, or an old flame who caused you grief, this 2008 song conveys revenge in a fun way: have an awful life.
Best bad wishes: "When you find a man that's worth a damn and treats you well
then he's a fool you're just as well. Hope it gives you hell."
9. "Kiss This" by Aaron Tippin
If you've ever been cheated on, you probably have dreams of telling your no good, two-timing lover off in front of a crowd. In this 2000 song, that's exactly what this half-drunk woman did. She gave him a dressing down that no one will forget.
Most spiteful lyrics: "Why don't you kiss, kiss this? And I don't mean on my rosy red lips."
10. “Cry Me A River” by Justin Timberlake
Some people can forgive a lover who strays while others never can. It'll be a cold day in Hell before the man in this 2002 song feels sorry for the woman who stepped out on him. The song is reported to be about Britney Spears' betrayal of Justin Timberlake.
Most seething lines: “Your bridges were burned, and now it’s your turn to cry. Cry me a river.”
11. "Picture to Burn" by Taylor Swift
Realizing that your love interest is a self-obsessed heiney hole is upsetting. But the important part is what you do about it. If you're like Taylor Swift in this 2008 song, you seek revenge by threatening to date all of his friends and sicking your daddy on the poor fella.
Best revenge lyrics: "So go and tell your friends that I'm obsessive and crazy. That's fine! I'll tell mine you're gay."
12. "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'" by Nancy Sinatra
In dealing with a cheating man, the lady in this 1966 song has had enough. She's turning the tables on him with a promise that he is going to get his comeuppance for his cheating, lying and bad behavior.
Most heart squashing lyrics: "These boots are made for walking, and that's just what they'll do. One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you."
13. "Payback" by Rascal Flatts
The man in this 2014 song notices a fine-looking lady in a bar who seems a little out of place. He knows the type: recently been done wrong, wants to settle the score with her ex-boyfriend. He's more than happy to help out. What a guy!
Best revenge lyrics: "We can show him what he can't have, if you wanna play that game. Yeah, baby I can be your payback."
Revenge: Is It Justified?
14. "White Liar" by Miranda Lambert
In this 2009 song, there are veiled threats to a no good lying man who just won't come clean. The female narrator lets her man know that that the truth always comes out eventually, and when it does there will be hell to pay. Confess your sins or consider yourself warned.
Best vindictive lyrics: You better be careful what you do. I wouldn't wanna be in your shoes if they ever found you out. ... I got friends in this town."
15. "Forget You" by Cee Lo Green
When the man in this 2010 song has his heart broken by a gold digging gal pal, he pours out his anger and heartache regarding her and her new beau.
Most vengeful lyrics: "I pity the fool that falls in love with you oh ... Oh ssh she's a gold digger."
16. "Dear John" by Taylor Swift
This 2010 song is an open letter to John Mayer, Taylor Swift's womanizing ex-boyfriend 12 years her senior. She claims that he was manipulative and took advantage of her. Her revenge was to shame him through song.
Best shame lyrics: “I lived in your chess game, but you changed the rules every day, wondering which version of you I might get on the phone. Tonight, well, I stopped pickin’ it up, and this song is to let you know why.”
Songs of Revenge: Finding Their Weak Spot and Hitting Them Where It Hurts
17. "Irreplaceable" by Beyonce
Queen B delivers a searing kick in the gonads to her cheating man in this unforgettable 2006 hit. She warns him, "You must not know 'bout me," piles all his stuff in a box to the left, to the left, and calls a cab to haul his sorry you-know-what off. Good riddance.
Most spiteful lyrics: "I could have another you in a minute, matter of fact he'll be here in a minute, baby."
What's Your Favorite Revenge Story? Share It With Us In the Comments Section Below!
18. "Revenge of a Middle Aged Woman" by Tracy Byrd
Sometimes the best way to exact revenge is through the bank account. When a forty-something year old wife discovered her husband's affairs, she places an ad for his two year old Mercedes in the local paper for $700. The hot cowboy who shows up to buy the car also gets the husband's Arnold Palmer golf clubs, a little nookie, and complimentary breakfast (charged to the husband's credit card). Ewww, burn! What a fun getting even song (2005).
Best revenge lyrics: "It was a classic case of a woman scorned. She'll make that man wish he had never been born."
19. "Take It Back" by Reba McEntire
The woman in this 1992 song has waited at home one too many nights while her cheating man has dipped his wand in another pond then lied about it. She ain't having no more of it. Like any good country woman she's throwing his stuff out on the front lawn (or the street, take your pick). If you don't think that stuff really happens, I can tell you it really does.
Most vengeful lyrics: "I hate to steal your thunder, but your playing days are through. At least they are with me cause babe, I got no use for you."
20. "Whatcha Think About That?" by Pussycat Dolls
Turnabout is fair play. That's what the woman in this 2008 song has decided after she realizes she's always on the losing end of a man who has claims to be broke, doesn't take her out, runs the streets, and gets a little side action.
Most vindictive lyrics: "Tonight you're gonna call me a thousand times. Tonight I'mma make up a thousand lies."
Mean People Suck
21. "Hit Em Up Style" by Blu Cantrell
When the woman in this 2001 song caught her man cheating, she didn't cry her pretty little eyes out, she went shopping — with his credit cards. She drained his bank accounts, sold all of his belongings, and ruined his credit by failing to pay his bills on time.
Most spiteful lyrics: "All of the things I sold, it will take you until you get old to get 'em back without me 'cause a marriage is betta than money, you see."
22. "Smile" by Lily Allen
There's one bitter lady giggling her way though this broken relationship. In this 2006 song, an ex-boyfriend is sorry for his transgressions and wants her back, but all she can muster is a smile.
Most searing lyrics: "At first when I see you cry, yeah, it makes me smile."
23. "Someone Will Pay" by Justin Townes Earl
In this 2015 song, someone needs to look over his shoulder for a long time because of the lie he or she has told. The narrator is willing to make it his mission in life to make the person pay dearly, even if it means following them to the gates of Hell.
Most threatening lyrics: "Don’t you think that I’ll forget. Might take years. I’ll get even yet on my Mama’s life. Someone will pay for the way you lied."
24. "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette
This Grammy-winning 1995 song is about a scorned woman who lashes out at an ex-lover. He has replaced way too easily with someone new, and she just doesn't understand. Following promises of forever love, he's on to the next new thing while she still suffers psychological torment.
Most seething lyrics: “Everytime I scratch my nails down someone else’s back, I hope you feel it.”
25. "Don't Think of Me" by Dido
Oh, this one digs at nagging insecurities. Old lovers know where they're kept and how to exploit them. In this 2000 song, an ex-girlfriend plays the buddy who attempts to wish the new couple well but lets a very disturbing rumor slip out.
Lyrics with clearest evil intent: "I know she spreads sweet honey. In fact, your best friend I heard he spent last night with her. Now, how do you feel?"
26. "Trailer for Rent" by Pistol Annies
Sick of 10 years of playing wife to an alcoholic husband and still living in a beat up trailer, the woman in this 2008 decides to get even by placing an ad in the local paper. She's renting out the trailer right out from under him. Pistol Annies is a group that consisted of Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley.
Best "take that" lyrics: "I played the Mrs. and I've done the dishes. 'Bout time somebody got the hell out."
If You Take Revenge on Haters, Do You Become One Yourself?
Songs of No Holds Barred Revenge: What's Wrong with You? Ain't Nobody Worth This
27. "Killing Him" by Amy LaVere
What a haunting song this is (2007). A woman's lover didn't come home until the light of day so she argued with him all day then took a knife to him. Now she occupies a jail cell.
Most poignant revenge lyrics: "Killing him didn't make the love go away."
28. "Black Widow" by Iggy Azalea
The female narrator in this 2014 song is hell bent on making sure her man is sorry he ever met her. Their love affair has turned sour. Way sour. And now she sings, "I'm gonna love you until you hate me. And I'm gonna show you what's really crazy." She's a bunny boiler alright, dead-set on messing him up for a long time.
Bittermost lyrics: "'Cause this here is fatal attraction, so I take it all or I don't want sh*t."
29. "Goodbye Earl" by The Dixie Chicks
What do you do when your BFF's redneck estranged husband stalks her and puts her in intensive care with his physical abuse? If you're the characters in this song, then you poison his black-eyed peas. (The 2000 song is meant to be a dark comedy.)
Most vicious lines: "You're feelin' weak? Why don't you lay down and sleep, Earl. Ain't it dark wrapped up in that tarp, Earl."
30. "Kerosene" by Miranda Lambert
In this 2005 song, the broken hearted narrator is "giving up on love 'cause love's given up on me." She's tired of being lied to and cheated on, so she's recently taken up smoking, a liking for kerosene, and the little lady will be ready to strike a match to get even in the most evil way possible.
Meanest vengeful lyric: “Light ’em up and watch them burn, teach them what they need to learn. Ha!”
Have You Ever Regretted Seeking Vengeance? Tell Us In the Comments Section Below
31. "Sh*t List" by L7
This angry 1992 song strikes out at all of the people who have angered the narrator. Out of revenge, she keeps a list of people she wants to seek vengeance upon.
Most malicious lyrics: "I grab my pen and I write up a list, of all the people that won't be missed. You made my shit list."
32. "One Way Or Another" by Blondie
Call me utterly naïve, but when I was gleefully singing along with this hit as a kid in the 1970s, I had no idea it was about an ex-lover vengefully stalking a woman. Based on lead singer Debbie Harry's own stalking experience, the 1979 song details a man's plans to follow his ex-lover all over town and "getcha getcha getcha."
Psycho revenge lyrics: "I will drive past your house, and if the lights are all down I'll see who's around ... ."
33. "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood
Don't even think about cheating on the woman in this 2006 song. This b*tch will get even and then some. But here's what I wonder: before inflicting major property damage on boyfriend's vehicle, did she consider that it might influence her own future dating prospects?
Most vengeful lyrics: "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 head lights. I slashed a hole in all four tires. Maybe next time he'll think before he cheats."
34. "The Thunder Rolls" by Garth Brooks
The wife in this 1991 song is worried alright. It's 3:30 a.m. and there's a terrible storm brewing outside and her husband has been a no call/no show. There she is in her flannel gown and he in he waltzes smelling of another woman's perfume. Oh, no you don't! There will be major repercussions here, buddy.
Eeriest vengeance lyrics: "She runs back down the hallway to the bedroom door. She reaches for the pistol kept in the dresser drawer ...tells the lady in the mirror 'he won't do this again.'"
35. "Decoration Day" by Drive By Truckers
This 2003 Southern rock song tells the story of a heated, violent intergenerational feud between two families that has gone on so long that no one recalls the event that spawned it. They've beaten each other's kinfolk to inches of their lives over ... what?
Most shameful revenge lyrics: "I don't know the name of that boy we tied down and beat till he just couldn't walk anymore."
36. “Bust Your Windows” by Jazmine Sullivan
After years of being played, the woman in this 2008 song wants to teach her cheating man a lesson by taking a crow bar to his car. Can't you hear the shattering glass now?
Most twisted lyrics: “I bust the windows out your car. You should feel lucky that that’s all I did.”
37. "Two Black Cadillacs" by Carrie Underwood
What's worse than lying and cheating on one woman? Doing it to two women and having them team up on you. That's just what happened in this 2012 song when a wife and mistress plot revenge together then see one another at the graveside service, burying their secret along with their dead lover.
Most chilling lyrics: "Two months ago his wife called the number on his phone. Turns out he'd been lying to both of them for oh, so long. They decided then he’d never get away with doing this to them. Two black Cadillacs waiting for the right time, right time."
38. "A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash
This classic 1969 song tells the story of a three-year old boy who was abandoned by his father. His only contribution to the boy's life was an effeminate name, "Sue." Sadly, the child grew up suffering bullying and shame because of the name. He became determined to one day exact revenge and kill the man who named him. One day in a bar he got that chance. However, he was met with surprising information.
Most vicious revenge lyrics: "I'd roam from town to town to hide my shame. But I made a vow to the moon and stars that I'd search the honky tonks and bars and kill that man who gave me that awful name."
Even More Songs About Seeking Revenge
39. Fist City
40. Red High Heels
41. The Payback
42. Gunpowder and Lead
43. Rolling In the Deep
45. That's What You Get
46. Revenge Is Sweeter (Than You Ever Were)
48. Wide Awake
49. Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (Angry American)
50. War Paint
51. Send My Love (To Your New Lover)
52. My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)
53. Looking Back Now
54. Caught Out There
55. What Goes Around Comes Around
57. Revenge of a Middle-Aged Woman
58. Picture to Burn
59. Another One Bites the Dust
What's In A Name? Locations With Names Associated with Revenge-Seeking
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