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Top 8 Best Songs About Revenge

Revenge is something we’ve all dreamed about at some point. Whether it was a cheating partner or being scammed out of money, thoughts of payback can dominate your mind after events like these.

But, as most of us know, revenge doesn’t help you in the long term. And it often causes more problems than it solves. Rather than plan a dastardly deed in the name of getting even, it’s far better to focus your energy on something more positive.

Revenge is also a subject that has been revisited many times by songwriters from across the musical spectrum. So, rather than take direct action, maybe you can get those feelings out of your system by listening to one of these classic songs about revenge instead.

Songs About Revenge

Top 8 Best Songs About Revenge

These Boots Are Made for Walkin – Nancy Sinatra

Released in 1966, this #1 hit for Nancy Sinatra has remained in the public imagination for almost 60 years. And it remains a popular song about getting even.

The song is about the experience of being in a toxic relationship where truth is a rare commodity and promises are routinely broken. Pledges that they will change and cheating won’t happen again, fall by the wayside.

So what do you do in this situation? 

You turn the tables by no longer accepting that behavior. It’s time to flip that script, stand up for yourself and trample all over their feelings for a change.

Lee Hazlewood wrote this song and intended to sing it himself. However, Sinatra thought that it would be better sung by a woman. That’s because the lyrics would sound a little harsh if they came from a male voice. The enduring success of this song goes to show she was right.

How Do You Sleep? – John Lennon

Not many revenge songs come packed with more bitterness and resentment than John Lennon’s tirade against his former bandmate, “How Do You Sleep?”

The song was written in the aftermath of The Beatles’ breakup. And it’s a full frontal assault on Paul McCartney’s abilities as a songwriter. Lines like, “The only thing you done was yesterday” and “The sound you make is muzak to my ears”, let you know what Lennon thinks of McCartney’s skills.

By all accounts… 

Lennon wasn’t a particularly nice person with a rather large ego to match. “How Do You Sleep?” would seem to verify these rumors. The song is pretty decent, but naturally, any fan of The Beatles finds it very hard to listen to.

In fairness to Lennon, he later admitted that he was full of resentment against Paul and used that fuel to write this song. Paul got his revenge by taking swipes at John in his song “Too Many People.” The two later put their rivalry to bed before Lennon’s death in 1980.

Don’t Get Mad, Get Even – Aerosmith

As odes to revenge go, they don’t come much more balls-to-the-wall than Aerosmith’s “Don’t Get Mad, Get Even.” It’s a simple concept encapsulated within the title of the song. Whatever the wrong committed against you, don’t waste time and energy getting angry about it. Get revenge instead.

Take from their hugely successful 1989 album, Pump; this blues/rock number is full of lines that don’t beat around the bush. “Then you catch your girlfriend/With her skirt hiked up to here/Honey, don’t get mad, get even.”

Steven Tyler’s trademark vocals get a good workout in the raucous chorus. He’s right about not letting people get to you. However, whether his call for revenge will ultimately make you feel better is up for debate.

Here Comes Revenge – Metallica

Taken from their 2016 album, Hardwired To Self-Destruct, this song is a towering inferno of rage dedicated to the act of revenge. Lines like, “I am here, I’m hell unbound – Burn your kingdom to the ground” sum up the feeling of unbridled malice perfectly.

However, once the promises of payback have been proclaimed, the chorus goes on to admit how revenge also hurts the person seeking it. “Revenge, it’s killing me – Revenge, set me free” are admissions that you won’t be at peace once you’ve gotten revenge.

Metallica has many songs based on the themes of anger and betrayal. This song isn’t the first time they’ve broached such dark subject matter. And, we doubt it will be the last. Either way, it’s a very well-written song that more than deserves its place on this list of songs about revenge.

Brain Damage – Eminem

A semi-autobiographical track from Eminem’s second studio album. The Detroit rapper recounts the terrible experience he had as a child of being relentlessly bullied.

He tells the story of being so badly beaten by a bully named D’Angelo Bailey that he suffered a serious concussion. The song also documents all the psychological abuse and torment he suffered daily.

That’s where the biographical account ends… 

And Eminem’s revenge fantasy takes over. “I’m gettin’ you back, bully, now once and for good – I cocked the broomstick back and swung hard as I could – And beat him over the head with it ’til I broke the wood.”

There is no evidence to suggest this revenge attack took place. It’s more of a cathartic piece of writing for the rapper. However, the real D’Angelo Bailey tried to sue Eminem for $1 million in 2003 for slandering his character and making up stories. He was unsuccessful in this venture.

I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down – Ann Peebles

Rarely in musical history has a song about getting revenge sounded so sweet. In this 1973 Soul classic, Ann Peebles bemoans her man “playing daddy with every mama in town.” He’s not taking their relationship seriously and cheating on her at every opportunity.

Well, she’s had enough of standing by and having her heart broken. So, she promises to bring him down to size. “One of these days while you’re at play – I’m gonna catch you off guard – I’m gonna tear your playhouse down pretty soon – I’m gonna tear your playhouse down room by room.”

Sweet revenge…

Never has a threat of dire consequences been sung so delightfully as this. Released in 1973, during the golden era of Soul Music, the song wasn’t particularly successful, only reaching #31 on the Billboard 100 chart. 

As a result, it never became as widely known as it should be. This elegy to the act of revenge deserves a far wider audience than it ever managed to achieve.

Revenge – Pink (feat. Eminem)

It’s hard to imagine a more toxic song about payback than “Revenge,” a collaboration between Pink and Eminem. The song details a dreadful relationship where both protagonists constantly cheat on each other as an act of revenge. Just to make the other feel as bad as they do.

Both seem to hate each other but can’t seem to escape the vicious cycle of abuse that they’ve got into. It seems pointless here to repeat any of the lyrics as it’s very hard to choose a winner from the vitriolic barrage of bile that’s served up here. Just take my word for it.

Of all the songs that deal with revenge, they don’t come much more hate-filled than this. Sadly, there are probably a lot of people out there that can relate to this in some way.

Having A Blast – Green Day

Now for possibly the most disturbing song on this list. “Having a Blast” is a song about getting payback in the most devastating of ways. How about this for a first verse:

“Takin’ all you down with me – Explosives duct taped to my spine – Nothing’s gonna change my mind – I won’t listen to anyone’s last words – There’s nothin’ left for you to say – Soon you’ll be dead anyway.”

Yikes!

The protagonist seems to be a man at the end of his tether. So angry with life that he’s prepared to blow himself up and take as many of his ‘enemies’ with him as possible. How he has got to this state, we don’t find out. 

There’s no denying, however, that this is a man who is hell-bent on doling out his terrifying form of justice. Obviously, the term “having a blast” usually means having a good time. Not so much in this case.

Looking for More Awesome Songs?

We can help with that. Take a look at our detailed articles on the Best Songs About Cheating and Lying, the Best Songs About Crying, the Best Songs about Fighting, the Best Songs About Change, and Songs About Betrayal for more great song selections.

Of course, you need to hear those tunes. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Headphones for Music, the Best Headphones For Rock & Metal Music, the Best JBL Wireless Headphones, the Best Bass Earbuds, and the Best Sound Quality Earbuds you can buy in 2023.

The Best Songs About Revenge – Final Thoughts

So, there are eight great songs on this controversial and widely covered subject. If you are experiencing a thirst for revenge, sit down and listen to a few of these tracks instead. Let off steam and rage in the privacy of your own home. Rather than act on suppressed emotion and do something you may regret later. 

If you’re not currently chomping at the bit for payback of some sort, there are still some great songs on this list regardless.

Until next time, happy listening.

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About Joseph L. Hollen

Joseph is a session musician, writer, and filmmaker from south Florida. He has recorded a number of albums and made numerous short films, as well as contributing music to shorts and commercials. 

He doesn't get as much time to practice and play as he used to, but still manages (just about!) to fulfill all his session requests. According to Joseph, it just gets harder as you get older; you rely on what you learned decades ago and can play without thinking. Thankfully that's what most producers still want from him.

He is a devout gear heat and has been collecting musical instruments all his life. As his wife, Jill, keeps on saying, "You're very good at buying nice instruments, but terrible at selling them!".

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