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It is the wellspring of trust, upon which strong relationships are built.
Today, we’re sharing a collection of songs about honesty.
These tracks highlight the important role this character trait plays in bringing blessings into our lives. Some of the songs also describe the consequences when honesty is lacking in a relationship.
Before we dive into today’s featured tracks, let’s discuss the benefits of living an honest life.
What You Will Learn
- The Perks of Being Honest
- 1. Broken Strings, James Morrison feat. Nelly Furtado
- 2. Truth, Gwen Stefani
- 3. Honestly, Kelly Clarkson
- 4. If We're Honest, Francesca Battistelli
- 5. Truth and Honesty, Aretha Franklin
- 6. Do I Lie?, Alisha's Attic
- 7. Gimme Some Truth, John Lennon
- 8. Saint Honesty, Sara Bareilles
- 9. True, Marina
- 10. Honest, Kodaline
- 11. Just Being Honest, Rhett and Link
- 12. Policy of Truth, Depeche Mode
- 13. Easier Lying, Duff McKagan’s Loaded
- 14. The Cold Hard Truth, George Jones
- 15. Honestly, Harem Scarem
- 16. The Truth Is Lyin' Next to You, Randy Travis
- 17. Truthfulness, Red Grammer
- 18. Honesty, Billy Joel
- 19. Honesty (Write Me a List), Rodney Atkins
- 20. Would I Lie to You, Eurythmics
- 21. I'd Lie for You (And That's the Truth), Meat Loaf
- 22. Honest Man, Ben Platt
- 23. Trust in Me, Etta James
- Final Thoughts
Here are the songs we’ve handpicked for today’s collection. We hope you enjoy them.
via James Morrison
“You can't play on broken strings. You can't feel anything that your heart don't want to feel. I can't tell you something that ain't real. Oh, the truth hurts. A lie's worse. How can I give any more when I love you a little less than before?”
Honesty is one of the most important ingredients for romantic relationships. If one or both partners are not honest, the relationship will soon be in shambles.
This song is about how a romantic partner’s lies have destroyed their relationship. Perhaps the only way to move forward is for them to go their separate ways.
via Gwen Stefani
“So this is what the truth feels like. This is more of what I had in mind… And I'm feeling it.”
This song is about realizing what a healthy and honest relationship is like and appreciating how different it is from being in a toxic relationship.
via Kelly Clarkson
“Face me, make me listen to the truth. Even if it breaks me. You can judge me, love me. If you're hating me do it honestly.”
Have you ever suspected that a partner doesn’t really love you? Sadly, many people stay in these kinds of relationships rather than acknowledging the painful truth.
“Truth is harder than a lie. The dark seems safer than the light. And everyone has a heart that loves to lie.”
Speaking of painful truths, many people go to great lengths to avoid them. This song is about wallowing in a lie because it’s where your comfort zone is.
Facing the truth and being honest with yourself can be the catalyst for change, but many people aren’t ready for that.
via Aretha Franklin
“With truth and honesty, that's what we need to hold on. To the good stuff we believe in. Before we land up loose and sad and free. Before we find that it's gone. We could pull it back together, truth and honesty. Open up your hands, show me your heart.”
We mentioned earlier that honesty is one of the most important factors for achieving long-lasting happiness and success.
In this song, Aretha Franklin urges listeners to be honest and truthful. She sings about having these character traits, and how they bring what is good in life.
“And I wonder if I'll ever know the truth. Yeah, I wonder ‘coz the Devil is a gentleman. He says, ‘Hey, babe, do I lie to you?… ‘Coz if I say you're beautiful it’s like magic you forget it all. It's like that, babe. Do I lie to you?'”
Sadly, many people lie in order to get what they want.
In this song, one such person is likened to the Devil, who, as described throughout literature, resorts to insincere flattery and other dishonest means in order to get what he wants.
“I'm sick and tired of hearin' things from uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocritics. All I want is the truth. Just gimme some truth.”
Many people rely on the news to obtain information about social issues. What journalists say about those issues can influence how people think and what they believe.
Sadly, there are some journalists who allow their biases to show through in their reporting. Some even blatantly lie for the sake of high approval ratings.
In this song, John Lennon is asking for the truth, not the sugar-coated lies that many media personalities and politicians dish out to the public.
via sara bareilles
“Oh, we won't let go, we'll be soaked to the bone. Baptized by truth, we will reap what we sow. Build our own higher ground when the rain's coming down. This is worth it to me, Saint Honesty.”
This song is about two friends finally expressing their true feelings. These confessions may be unpleasant, but they are truly necessary.
A relationship is healthiest when two honest individuals are willing to face what each has hidden behind the facade of “niceness.”
Surprisingly, after this type of confrontation, the friendship, which is now based on honesty, often becomes stronger.
“Cause you don't need nobody else when you are true, true to yourself. You're skin and bone, you're full of fear. But you are just a human being (no matter what they do).”
People often build false identities in order for others to like them. However, an identity built upon lies will eventually crumble.
This song urges us to be our authentic selves. We are all humans, and we are unique in many ways. We are also weak and flawed. But if we own this imperfection, there’s no longer any room in our lives for lies.
“Honest. Say what it is you're trying to say. But if you lie to me again, I'll be the one that walks away. Is it in you to be honest?”
There are people who take their personal relationships for granted.
They have separate couple goals, they don’t include their partners or spouses in crucial decision making, and they tend to be dishonest when it comes to communication.
In this song, Kodaline urges listeners to practice honest and sincere communication, especially in relationships.
via Rhett & Link
“I'm just bein' honest-est-est-est. Uh-uh-uh-honestly honesty means that much to me.”
In this song, YouTube personalities Rhett and Link show that there are moments when being honest can do more harm than good.
The whole song and video is actually a commercial for a popular US fast food chain. Nevertheless, it causes us to ask, “Does it pay to be honest all the time?”
via Depeche Mode
“You had something to hide. Should have hidden it, shouldn't you? Now you're not satisfied with what you're being put through. It's just time to pay the price for not listening to advice. And deciding in your youth on the policy of truth.”
This song was Depeche Mode’s hit single when it was first released in 1990.
It makes you consider if it is a good idea to be honest all the time. In this song, a person who lives by the policy of truth faces the consequences of telling the truth all the time.
“Nothing is easy when nothing is true. It never gets easier lying to you. Burning the days down and hiding from you. It never gets easier lying to you.”
A 2013 study reveals that some people consider lying to be a “social lubricant.” That is, lies are told to promote positive results in interactions.
For example, a spouse might lie about a recent expensive purchase by not telling the actual price of an item in order to prevent a negative reaction from their significant other.
This song is a confirmation of how difficult it is to keep lying, especially to someone you care about.
“I've come to set the record straight. I've come to shine the light on you. Let me introduce myself to you. I'm the cold hard truth.”
People sometimes describe truth negatively. We’ve heard it described as:
This song is about coming face to face with the things we tend to deny about ourselves, and finally dealing with them rather than just ignoring them while they fester.
“Tell me honestly if you're still loving me. Look into my eyes, honestly.”
This power ballad was first released in 1991. In it, the singer begs for honesty from his partner, and tells her that if there’s still love left, they should keep the relationship going.
via Randy Travis
“Truth is I'm gonna be here for a long, long time. I'll stay forever or 'til you say goodbye. Don't need a neon moon to make my night shine. And if you need some lovin' proof, just reach out. The truth is lyin' next to you.”
It’s rare to find true and honest love these days, and when we do finally find it, we sometimes struggle to believe that its real. This may be because we’ve been disappointed in relationships in the past.
This song is a refreshing reminder that this kind of love does exist.
“Truth, truth, truthfulness. No means no. Yes means yes. Lyin's playin' with a hornet's nest. ‘Cause truth is truth, no more no less.”
Children need to be taught the importance of honesty as early as possible. It is the foundation of respect and trust.
Here’s a fun song that introduces truthfulness and honesty to children.
via Billy Joel
“Honesty is such a lonely word. Everyone is so untrue. Honesty is hardly ever heard. And mostly what I need from you.”
In this song, Billy Joel despairs that honesty has become so rare in the world, even though it’s what we need most in our relationships.
via Rodney Atkins
“Honesty, tenderness, and trust. A little less for the rest of the world and more for the two of us. Kisses each mornin'; I love yous at night. Just like what it used to be. The way life was when you were in love with me.”
This song is about romantic partners who are on the verge of breaking up. One is asking for a list of things that he can use to reassess how much he’ll lose in the breakup. He was expecting a list of objects, and perhaps financial support as part of his partner’s demands, but instead his partner hands him a list of things he doesn’t expect.
This song re-affirms that honesty and trust, as well as tenderness and affection, are necessary for a relationship to last.
“Would I lie to you? Would I lie to you, honey? Now would I say something that wasn't true? I'm asking you, sugar, would I lie to you?”
This song is about a person walking out on a romantic partner who cheated on her. It shows that if a relationship is lacking in honesty, it never lasts.
via Meat Loaf
“I'd lie for you and that's the truth. Do anything you asked me to. I'd even sell my soul for you. I'd do it all for you. If you just believe in me.”
This song is a declaration of all the things the singer is willing to do for the person they love. It even claims that he will lie for her if necessary.
How about you? Would you knowingly lie for the one you love?
via Ben Platt
“I'm an honest man. Why can't you take my hand? I'm not what you planned. But I'm a safe place to land. I am an honest man.”
When someone is honest, they are also reliable and trustworthy. They make a good confidante.
This song is about convincing someone to trust you because you are honest. The singer declares that they are a “safe haven” for those who need someone to talk to about matters they don’t usually share with others.
via Etta James
“Trust in me in all you do. Have the faith I have in you. Love will see us through, if only you trust in me. Why don't you, you trust in me?”
In order for love to flourish in any relationship, there has to be trust between partners. And as we’ve discussed above, trust can only happen if there is honesty.
In this song, Etta James begs someone to trust in her so that their love can thrive.
There you have it—23 songs about honesty and truthfulness.
We hope you enjoyed today’s collection of songs and are able to add a few new favorites to your playlist.
Now, more than ever, we need to cultivate the habit of truthfulness in our personal lives. Not only will this bring us success in our careers and relationships, it can actually keep us healthier and help us live longer.
If you enjoyed today’s article about honesty, you might also want to check out these posts:
Meanwhile, the following are some song collections for specific topics that you might want to check out as well: