Best Revenge Songs

ListCaboodle Playlist: 13 Best Revenge Songs

So your relationship is over. Maybe cheating was involved. Maybe it just lacked chemistry. Whatever the case, we’ve got a healthy outlet for expressing your feelings of frustration and anger: The revenge song.

This playlist of songs goes against the old adage, “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” They crank up the heat on cheaters and dead-beat lovers and leave behind scorched earth. Just what you need in times like these, right?

Revenge songs playlist for breakups

Looking for an outlet to express your anger over a relationship gone bad? This list of female revenge songs (and a few male versions too) will help you feel better after a breakup.

Classic revenge songs

1.) You’re So Vain by Carly Simon

Album: No Secrets
Year: 1972

The long-speculated rumor that Carly Simon wrote her 70s hit “You’re So Vain” about actor Warren Beatty is true. At least in part.

In 2015, Simon finally admitted the second verse is about her former lover but also implied other relationships added inspiration to the song, including musicians Mick Jagger and ex-husband James Taylor.

The song hit number one in the U.S. and #3 on the U.K. charts.

Key lyrics (2nd verse):

You had me several years ago when I was still quite naive
Well you said that we made such a pretty pair
And that you would never leave
But you gave away the things you loved and one of them was me
I had some dreams they were clouds in my coffee, clouds in my coffee and
You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you

2.) You’re No Good by Linda Ronstadt

Album: Heart Like A Wheel
Year: 1974

The way Linda Ronstadt belts out “You’re No Good” with heartfelt conviction, you might think she had someone in mind when she sang the song. We may never know for sure, but we do know the words were written by songwriter Clint Ballard, Jr. ten years earlier.

Ronstadt wasn’t the first to record the song either. In the early 1960s, two different singers, Dee Dee Warwick and Betty Everett, recorded their own versions. But it was Linda Ronstadt’s powerful vocals that took the song to number-one on the U.S. charts in 1974.

Key lyrics:

Feelin’ better now that we’re through
Feelin’ better, ‘cause I’m over you
I learned my lesson, it left a scar
Now I see how you really are
You’re no good, you’re no good, you’re no good, baby you’re no good

Country songs about getting even

3.) Fist City by Loretta Lynn

Album: Fist City
Year: 1968

Instead of revenge against a former lover, this song’s target is another woman who has eyes for Loretta Lynn’s man.

According to Lynn, the song is based on a true story. A woman was having an affair with her husband Doolittle, so Loretta put an end to it all with an old-fashioned beat down.

The country classic became Lynn’s second #1 hit out of 11 total over her legendary career.

Key lyrics:

You’ve been makin’ your brags around town
That you’ve been a lovin’ my man
But the man I love
When he picks up trash
He puts it in a garbage can
And that’s what you look like to me
And what I see’s a pitty
You better close you face and stay outta my way
If you don’t wanna go to fist city

4.) Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood

Album: Some Hearts
Year: 2005

Carrie Underwood almost passed on recording this cheating boyfriend revenge song. She feared her fans might not approve of the ‘bashing his four-wheel drive with a baseball bat’ lyrics.

“I remember at that time… we [were] on the road, and then I get this song. I [thought], ‘People are going to hate me for singing this song.’ They’re gonna be like, ‘Oh my gosh, we can’t listen to her album. She’s bad, and I can’t let my children listen to this.’ Finally I was just like, ‘You know what? I like this song. I would turn this song up on the radio, so I’m just gonna go for it,” she recalled.

Her relationship-payback hit song reached #8 on the U.S. charts.

Key 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 headlights
I slashed a hole in all four tires
Maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats

5.) Not Ready To Make Nice by The Chicks

Album: Taking The Long Way
Year: 2006

At first listen this song seems to be about a grievance or argument between lovers that isn’t yet resolved.

But according to songwriter Dan Wilson, his collaboration with The Chicks (then Dixie Chicks) is about the rift created by the group’s political leanings and their fans. Lead singer Natalie Maines famously said she didn’t approve of president George W. Bush at a London concert in 2003.

Because of the comment The Chicks lost fans, got dropped from radio station playlists, and even received death threats. Instead of backing off or apologizing, The Chicks decided to be true to themselves and not “forgive and forget.” Not just yet, anyway.

Their revenge song took the #4 spot on the U.S. charts.

Key lyrics:

It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
‘Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

Check out this list of songs with whispering in them.

Ex-boyfriend revenge songs

6.) Bad Blood by Taylor Swift (featuring Kendrick Lamar)

Album: 1989
Year: 2014

We could have picked any number of revenge songs from the Taylor Swift library of relationships gone bad. Good examples include “Dear John,” “Picture To Burn,” and “Better Than Revenge.”

But in this hit song, Taylor expresses her anger toward another female musician who tried to sabotage Swift’s tour. “She tried to hire a bunch of people out from under me. And I’m surprisingly non-confrontational. You would not believe how much I hate conflict. So now I have to avoid her. It’s awkward, and I don’t like it,” she said about the incident.

Many speculated that Katy Perry was to blame, but Swift hasn’t officially confirmed this.

“Bad Blood” rose to #1 in the U.S. and #4 in the U.K.

Key lyrics:

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 (hey!)

7.) You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette

Album: Jagged Little Pill
Year: 1995

Canadian rocker Alanis Morissette wrote “You Oughta Know” about an ex-boyfriend. Her journal from the time was a source of many of the song’s lyrics.

“When I hear that song, I hear the anger as a protection around the searing vulnerability. I was mortified and devastated. It was a lot easier for me to be angry and feel the power from that anger versus the broken, horrified woman on the floor,” she told Spotify.

The song reached #13 on the U.S. pop charts and #22 in the U.K.

Key lyrics:


And I’m here, to remind you
Of the mess you left when you went away
It’s not fair, to deny me
Of the cross I bear that you gave to me
You, you, you oughta know

8.) Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson

Album: Breakaway
Year: 2004

Kelly Clarkson won a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance with “Since U Been Gone.”

The song’s video tells the story of a girl trashing her ex-boyfriend’s house after everything falls apart—something anyone just ending a bad relationship can relate to.

The “American Idol” winner reached the number 2 spot on the U.S. charts and #5 in the U.K. with her hit song about relationship revenge.

Key lyrics:

But since you been gone
I can breathe for the first time
I’m so moving on, yeah, yeah
Thanks to you
Now I get what I want
Since you been gone

Revenge songs about karma

9.) My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It) by En Vogue

Album: Funky Divas
Year: 1992

En Vogue’s top-ten single “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” along with two other hits from their second album, Funky Divas, earned the vocal group widespread fame and recognition. The album went multi-platinum and the group even scored an endorsement deal with Converse shoes.

The song’s lyrics detail a relationship-gone-bad and a friend steps in to tell the ex-boyfriend how he screwed up. It rose to number 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #4 in the U.K.

Key lyrics:

Now you promise me the moon and stars
Save your breath, you won’t get very far
Gave you many chances to make change
The only thing you changed was love to hate
It doesn’t matter what you do or what you say
She doesn’t love you, no way
Maybe next time you’ll give your woman a little respect
So you won’t be hearing her say, No way

10.) So What by Pink

Album: Funhouse
Year: 2008

When Pink and her husband Carey Hart separated because of his rumored infidelity, she chose to write a song about it instead of wallowing in the pain.

But the song is not completely about her marriage, according to Pink. She and co-writer Max Martin started with a funny line, “I guess I just lost my husband, I don’t know where he went,” and added lines that in her words “just got more and more wrong.”

The couple reconciled, got back together, and had a child in 2011.

The song became Pink’s first solo #1 on the “Billboard” Hot 100 in the U.S. and also reached #1 in the U.K.

Key lyrics:

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

11.) Sorry Not Sorry by Demi Lovato

Album: Tell Me You Love Me
Year: 2017

Demi Lovato rocks the girl power in this anthem to female independence. She explains, “’Sorry Not Sorry’ is a song basically to the haters. It is basically saying ‘I am good now, I am sorry that you may not be loving where your life is at the moment.’ It is just a song about the haters.”

The song’s title came from an argument Lovato’s co-songwriter Warren “Oak” Felder got into with his wife. In the ‘discussion’ that ensued, his wife used the phrase to state her position on the conflict at hand. The phrase struck him as unique and one he could use in a song.

“Sorry Not Sorry” rose to #6 in the U.S. and #9 in the U.K.

Key lyrics:

Now, I’m out here lookin’ like revenge
Feelin’ like a ten, the best I’ve ever been
And, yeah, I know how bad it must hurt to see me like this
But it gets worse (Wait a minute)
Now, you’re out here lookin’ like regret, ain’t too proud to beg
Second chance, you’ll never get
And, yeah, I know how bad it must hurt to see me like this
But it gets worse (Wait a minute)

Revenge songs from a man’s point of view

12.) Forget You (F*** You) by CeeLo Green

Album: The Lady Killer
Year: 2010

CeeLo Green gets straight to the point in the original version of his song with the expletive in the title. The radio-friendly version uses the title “Forget You” instead.

Although the song sounds like a lashing out by a jilted lover, Green revealed it was inspired by a conflict he had with his label, Electra Records. He wrote the song “…to be an a-hole, to be spiteful toward the label. Because it had taken about three years to do The Lady Killer, and I just felt that after recording almost 70 songs I could not please them,” he clarified.

His song about a gold-digging ex reached #2 in the U.S. and #1 in the U.K.

Key lyrics:

I see you driving ‘round town
With the girl I love
And I’m like forget you!
I guess the change in my pocket wasn’t enough
I’m like forget you!
And forget her too!

13.) What Goes Around… Comes Around by Justin Timberlake

Album: FutureSex: LoveSounds
Year: 2006

This song by Justin Timberlake may or may not be about his past relationship with Britney Spears. But according to Timberlake himself, the song is about a friend of his, Trace Ayala, breaking up with actress Elisha Cuthbert.

“It was one of those songs where the words kind of flowed out. It was based on an experience that one of my best friends went through,” Timberlake explained.

The song reached #1 in the U.S. and #4 on the U.K. charts.

Key lyrics:

Hey girl, is he everything you wanted in a man?
You know I gave you the world (world)
You had me in the palm of your hand
So why your love went away
I just can’t seem to understand
Thought it was me and you, babe (babe)
Me and you until the end
But I guess I was wrong (uh)


Bonus track

Rolling In The Deep by Adele

Album: 21
Year: 2011

The lyrics say all you need to know about this powerful vocal performance by Adele:
We could have had it all
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
Rolling in the deep
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
You had my heart inside of your hands
(You’re gonna wish you never had met me)
And you played it to the beat
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)


Thank you for checking out this playlist of the best revenge songs for a breakup. You may also enjoy these great song playlists:

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