We’ve finally made it to the Top 10! Here are the first and second installments of “The 25 Best Cheating Songs from the Cheaters Themselves” playlist if you missed them. How did we get here? Let’s do a quick rundown of the first 15:
25. “She Don’t Have to Know” by John Legend
24. “Maybe I Deserve” by Tank
23. “Second Chance” by .38 Special
22. “The Other Woman” by Ray Parker, Jr.
21. “Human” by Human League
20. “Unfaithful” by Rihanna
19. “Infidelity” by Trey Songz
18. “You Know I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse
17. “Never Keeping Secrets” by Babyface
16. “Ooo Baby Baby” by The Miracles
15. “Confessions Part II” by Usher
14. “Heart Turns to Stone” by Foreigner
13. “Creep” by TLC
12. “Picture” by Kid Rock featuring Sheryl Crow
11. “Thin Line Between Love and Hate” by The Persuaders
Leave your judgment at the door and step on into my Top 10 cheater songs. With no further ado…
10. “O.P.P.” by Naughty by Nature – Yeah, you know me. I had to put this song on the list and put it high. It just might be the hardest-hitting, realest, and most lighthearted song of all 25. Hell, I’ll go ahead and call this one the anthem. First of all, this isn’t a gender-specific song. Men cheat. Women cheat. The only difference is what you choose to let the last “P” in the acronym stand for.
Favorite Line: “That wasn’t the thing; it must’ve been the way she hit the ceiling / ‘Cause after that, she kept on coming back and catching feelings / I said, ‘Let’s go. My girl is coming, so you gotta leave.’ / She said, ‘Oh, no, I love you, Treach.’ I said, ‘Now child, please.’”
9. “Listen to the Clock on the Wall” by The O’Jays – I didn’t know The O’Jays had this kind of song in them. I must have been too busy chasing money, taking the stairway to heaven, crying with my woman, looking for my euthanized dog, Brandy, and waiting for the love train. Somewhere in the midst of all of that, I discovered this dark song. Two married people step out to see each other regularly and imagine a day they won’t be rushed by ticking clocks and oblivious spouses.
Favorite Line: “Girl, you better hurry / Your husband might get worried / And my wife, she doesn’t see / The change in me”
8. “I’m Gonna Miss You in the Morning” by Quincy Jones featuring Luther Vandross & Patti Austin – Before Luther Vandross was known by one name and before Quincy Jones was known by one letter, there was this romantic ode to unfaithfulness. Patti Austin lends her angelic voice to this and mixes with Luther to create one sinful, soulful serenade. Once again, time is of the essence and spoken-for lovers find themselves stealing away…if only for a short while.
Favorite Line: “I’m gonna miss you in the morning / So, baby, love me tonight”
7. “Bad Habits” by Maxwell – One of the most confusing songs lyrically that a lot of people still don’t understand. Based on the steamy video and cryptic lyrics, I’m able to surmise that this is another regretful ballad inspired by cheating. Comparing the other woman to a bad habit is something we have yet to hear from anyone else. Maxwell has a way of making bad things sound so…alluring.
Favorite Line: “You’re my bad habit, baby, you’re my / You’re takin’ my soul down to the letter ‘O’ / Can’t escape the way you got me locked out, baby / I gotta break from you, break from you, break from you”
6. “As We Lay” by Shirley Murdoch/Kelly Price – I went back and forth trying to decide which version of this song I like best, but it was really difficult to decide. Today, I give Kelly Price’s slower cover the nod over Shirley Murdoch’s original. Although Kelly and the man she refers to in this song both belong to someone else, the man’s wife takes precedence. Kelly seems to care more about not hurting the man’s wife more than she cares about hurting her own man. Oh, what a tangled web we weave…
Favorite Line: “We should have counted up the cost / But instead we got lost / In the second, in the minute, in the hour”
5. “Secret Lovers” by Atlantic Starr – The recurring theme of this playlist aside from cheating is time. This classic doesn’t stray from that worn path. Here, we have a man and a woman singing to each other about their hot affair that is reignited nightly in secrecy. Unfortunately for them, time constraints always leave them wanting more. Well done and perfectly formulaic.
Favorite Line: “In the middle of making love, we notice the time / We both get nervous ‘cause it’s way after nine / Even though we hate it, we know that it’s time that we go / We gotta be careful so that no one will know”
4. “Your Love” by The Outfield – This is my surprise pick. Imagine this setting, if you will. If you’re over the age of 23, you’ve probably been to a bar or wedding where they play this song and everyone sings the chorus at the top of their lungs. You point to the object of your affection or the closest pulchritudinous person and sing, “I just wanna use your love…TONIGHT! I don’t wanna lose your love…TONIGHT!” Newsflash: This isn’t a warm and fuzzy song. This song is about infidelity. The first line tells us that the singer’s woman, Josie, is away on vacation. He then invites an ex (“you know I’d do anything for you”) to…keep him company and stay the night in his current girlfriend’s stead. Of course, he asks her to keep this transgression a secret as she leaves.
Favorite Line: “I ain’t got many friends left to talk to / Nowhere to run when I’m in trouble / You know I’d do anything for you / Stay the night, but keep it under cover / I just wanna use your love tonight / I don’t wanna lose your love tonight”
3. “Me and Mrs. Jones” by Billy Paul – I have a confession to make. This song almost didn’t make the cut. One line in this song gave it its rightful spot on this list, and that is, “Because she’s got her own obligations / And so, and so, do I.” By the “Mrs.” in the title and the majority of the lyrics, you would think that Billy is just the other man and therefore, not a cheater. However, he sings about how much it hurts and how wrong it is, so I’m led to believe that he, too, has a woman back home. It doesn’t seem to hurt unbearably bad because the forbidden lovebirds have a date set for the same time and same place the next day.
Favorite Line: “Well, it’s time for us to be leaving / It hurts so much, it hurts so much inside / Now she’ll go her way and I’ll go mine”
2. “If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don’t Want to Be Right)” by Luther Ingram – Pick your poison. Millie Jackson? Bobby “Blue” Bland? Percy Sledge? David Ruffin? Isaac Hayes? Rod Stewart? LeAnn Rimes? All of them covered this song, but Luther Ingram struck gold first on this musical staple of adultery. This is one brazen and unremorseful song. Ingram, in this case, has a wife and two kids, but calls his woman on the side “the best thing he’s ever had.” At least he doesn’t make any excuses for his feelings and behavior like some of the other people on this playlist.
Favorite Line: “Your friends tell you there’s no future / In loving a married man / If I can’t see you when I want to / I’ll see you when I can”
1. “Part-Time Lover” by Stevie Wonder – The most deceptive, slickest, craftiest, and most lyrically complete song on this list comes from none other than Stevie Wonder. Much like my sentiments toward The O’Jays, I didn’t know Stevie had this kind of song hiding behind his shades. Shame on me for thinking this superstitious, I’ll-be-loving-you-always, happy-birthday-singing, signed, sealed, and delivered crooner couldn’t create this kind of masterpiece. I’m sorry, Stevie. I truly am. This song serves as the cheater’s handbook to not getting caught. 1. When your part-time lover gets back home from a night with you, have her call, let the phone ring once, and hang up. 2. Blink the lights so your part-time lover knows that you’re not with your girlfriend, and tonight is her night. 3. If you’re with friends and you and your part-time lover happen to cross paths, she is to pass you by and not speak. 4. If there’s an emergency, tell your part-time lover to have a male call and ask for you. This is all so scandalous…and impressive. Just know that “two can play the game.”
Favorite Line: “If she isn’t with me, I’ll blink the lights / To let you know tonight’s the night / For me and you, my part-time lover”
To repeat, I do not condone nor do I advocate cheating. However, tell me there haven’t been some great songs as a result of cheaters recounting their transgressions. We’ve seen contrition, confusion, regret, happiness, bitterness, and everything in between as a result of this topic. Let me know your thoughts or if there is a song that didn’t make my list.