If you were asked, “What is the most important necessity in any relationship?” what would you answer? You might say things like honesty, loyalty, love, or a few other emotions. But, before we can feel any of those, that has to be one other – Trust.
You can’t really love someone if you don’t trust them. Likewise, you won’t feel real loyalty to someone you don’t trust. Honesty is a two-way thing, and it builds the trust that exists between two people.
- An Important Emotion
- Honesty – Billy Joel
- Songbird (2004 Remaster) – Fleetwood Mac
- That’s What Friends Are For (Remastered) – Dionne Warwick and Friends
- Only Trust Your Heart – Diana Krall
- Dear Prudence (2018 Mix) – The Beatles
- Gimme Some Truth (Remastered 2010) – John Lennon
- Trust Me – Janis Joplin
- Truth and Honesty – Aretha Franklin
- Trust In Me – Etta James
- Trust No Man – Jimmy Cliff
- God Only Knows (Remastered) – The Beach Boys
- Searching for Some Interesting Songs?
- Songs about Trust – Final Thoughts
An Important Emotion
Some might call trust a thought. But, it is far stronger and more important than that. It is what binds people together, and sometimes what holds them together. It is worth hanging onto because if it goes, there is going to be a problem. And it is very hard to regain trust that is lost.
Needless to say, songs about trust have been a popular subject for songwriters. So, let’s take a look at some of the best of them, starting with…
Honesty – Billy Joel
This isn’t a bad place to start. This is a song with two meanings. He is speaking to his partner and emphasizing the need for honesty. Clarifying how important it is and how relationships won’t work with it.
But, he is also talking about other individuals. It comes from his album, 52nd Street, from 1979. Was he being prophetic with his line “everyone is so untrue”? I can think of a few people these days that would apply.
Over forty years later, this is still such a popular song talking about trust and one that sums up the need for honesty and trust. A great song by a great songwriter and artist.
Songbird (2004 Remaster) – Fleetwood Mac
Christine McVie was probably not in the spotlight as much as a couple of the other members of Fleetwood Mac. Nevertheless, this great song is all her. She wrote, sang, and played the piano.
It came from the Rumours album, and we all know about the problems at the time that album was recorded. Ironically, some of those internal issues concerned trust. In amongst all the furor and clashes, Christine was able to write one of the great songs from one of the great albums.
They knew this was special
When everyone heard it, they knew this was special, and it was often chosen to close their concerts. The album producer decided he wanted to get the ‘feel’ right for this recording.
They went to an empty auditorium and set up and did it live with a dozen mics. He put a bunch of flowers on the piano to create the mood. Lindsey Buckingham strummed guitar quietly off stage to get the guide tempo right.
It is a song about how trust can help you heal. It is about when you need to turn the page from something bad and then start again with someone new. And, it’s about finding the strength to have trust again.
The much underrated former member of Chicken Shack produced a masterpiece with this one.
That’s What Friends Are For (Remastered) – Dionne Warwick and Friends
In my opinion, Dionne Warwick was one of the voices of the 60s and 70s. Able to turn her hand to anything, she was sensational when she sang anything that Burt Bacharach had anything to do with. And that is what this is. Bacharach wrote this particular song with his wife, Carole Bayer Sager.
This cover version of the song was recorded in 1985 with Stevie Wonder, Elton John, and Gladys Knight. It was recorded for charity and became a monster hit, and raised a lot of money for AIDS research.
They all recorded their parts separately, so putting it all together required some clever production. It is a song about having and giving trust to friends, and that trust means you can rely on them whatever the reason.
Only Trust Your Heart – Diana Krall
Diana Krall is a Canadian singer, and this is a track from her 1994 album of the same name. The song was written by Sammy Cahn and Benny Carter. It has been a popular song in the past, and the version by Stan Getz with Astrud Gilberto is also excellent.
This is a song about trusting your instincts and not, as the song says, “the moon, the stars, or our dreams.” It says if you are clever, you will believe and trust in your heart. Instinct rather than reasoning will usually be the best path to follow.
Dear Prudence (2018 Mix) – The Beatles
On the face of it, not a song about trust at all. But, there is a backstory to this song, and trust is exactly what it is all about.
The Beatles went to India in 1968. The purpose was to study transcendental meditation and not to get away from pressures in the UK, as some like to say. As was usually the case, there were a fair few others that made their way to the ashram as well. One of them was a lady by the name of Prudence, who happened to be the sister of Mia Farrow.
She Isolated Herself
After she had arrived, she placed herself in her assigned room and refused to leave it for any reason. Weeks went by, and finally, John and George were asked if they could go and see her and ask her to come out to join the rest of the gathering.
They were chosen because they thought that Prudence would trust John and George. That is how it transpired. Prudence showed her trust in what John and George were saying to her, came out and joined in, and John wrote his song.
Looking back on it now, it seems rather insignificant. But for Prudence, it was a big step. Her trust helped her to be able to join in with the rest.
Gimme Some Truth (Remastered 2010) – John Lennon
Let’s stay with John for another song. I read a few months ago that it was a shame that John Lennon wasn’t still with us. They were discussing what he would have made of today’s world. Of claim and counterclaim. Of politicians and leaders who wouldn’t know the truth if they were run over by it.
The discussion agreed it was a shame he wasn’t still here. I have to disagree. It’s probably a good idea he isn’t here to witness it. I’m not sure what this would have done to him. But I bet we would have got some great songs. Perhaps that is what they meant.
He Knew The Truth
It was written towards the end of the Vietnam War. It was quite obvious what had happened and was going on, but politicians tried to give us another story. He knew what was going on and didn’t try to shock us. He just issued a series of denunciations.
Like many today, he was sick and tired of the truth being obscured and buried beneath the wishes of corporate-owned governments. This song is him screaming for us all, just give us the truth. We can have no trust in people or organizations who lie to us. It came out in 1971 on his Imagine album.
Fifty years later, and did anyone listen?
Of course, the reality now is that the truth never comes out. Too many ‘keyboard warriors’ trying to make sure their own agendas are fulfilled. And that also applies to certain media and journalists who work for their benefit.
No, I am glad he isn’t here to see all of this.
Trust Me – Janis Joplin
Staying in the same era, let’s look at a track from another of the greats of the period. This is a track buried in its greatness but also in its tragedy.
Janis was well-known for her unique Blues style with Big Brother and the Holding Company. So, this track came, in some ways, as a complete surprise and showed her in another light.
The song was written for her by Soul writer Bobby Womack. It gave us a little glimpse of Janis, the soul singer. It was released on her album Pearl, which was her final studio album released in 1971.
The song was recorded in September with finishing touches by her on October 3rd, 1970. She died the next day. The album was a posthumous release.
A great song about trust that could easily have been sung by Otis Redding or Billie Holiday.
Truth and Honesty – Aretha Franklin
A song with a great message from the irrepressible Aretha Franklin. She sings about the need to be open and honest in any relationship. The song also indicated the importance of opening your heart and letting someone in.
Not an easy thing to do. Especially if you have been on the receiving end, as we all are from time to time. But, the message is to give truth and honesty and develop your trust. A great song with important sentiments if you’re about to embark on a new relationship.
Trust In Me – Etta James
Etta James had plenty of hands-on experience when it came to singing songs about trust and the issues surrounding it. Whilst she had a high-profile life, in many ways, she had to deal with her fair share of troubles along the way. And that included having some bad relationships.
A Different Slant
This song about trust has a different slant from most. Many songs dealing with trust are written about partners, husbands, and wives. But here she is singing to her father to trust her. Maybe that is not a side to this topic that people consider. But it certainly exists.
It was written in the mid-30s and was covered by different singers, including Eddie Fisher. But, it was Etta who made the song her own with her 1961 release taken from her album, At Last.
Was Etta James the greatest Blues singer we have had? There would be a good case for that for many people. On this track, she demonstrates why that might just be the case.
Trust No Man – Jimmy Cliff
We have covered quite a few genres, so let’s carry on with something new and put in a bit of reggae. Most of the songs thus far have been encouraging trust and what you need to do to allow people to trust you. This comes at the subject of trust from a totally different angle.
This is a song that has a simple message. Don’t trust anyone, not even those you think are your best friends. It tells the story of a man and his business associate, someone he had known and trusted since he was seventeen.
His partner gunned him down for the princely sum of one pound when they were both in their seventies. A very typical reggae song from the writer of other reggae hits like “The Harder They Come” and “You Can Get It If You Really Want.”
God Only Knows (Remastered) – The Beach Boys
It’s always good to save the best for last, and on that basis, this is it. There has never been a better love song than this from the album Pet Sounds, released in 1966. Yes… 1966. Brian Wilson a bit before his time? Just a bit.
It is a love song. But, it is also a song that says at the core of any good relationship must be trust, honesty, and reliability.
When we first heard this as young teenage musicians, we had no idea what on earth was going on. The harmonic innovations and the total disregard for the pop music styles of the time left us very confused. And remember that when Brian Wilson wrote this with Tony Asher, who was just 24.
We Came To Understand
As you mature musically, you begin to understand and appreciate a little of what is involved in this to make it sound like it does. Then you can sit back in awe. If it had been released fifty years later, we would still be amazed.
The message of the song, though, is clear. A confirmation to the partner that he is always going to be there, and she can count on that. The ultimate statement that builds trust between two people.
No better place to close this look at songs about trust than with Brian Wilson’s masterpiece.
Searching for Some Interesting Songs?
We can help. Take a look at our detailed articles on the Best Songs About Dreams, the Best Songs About Friendship, the Best Songs About Change, the Best Songs about Fighting, the Best Songs About Walking, and the Best Songs about Friday for more great song options.
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Songs about Trust – Final Thoughts
Haven’t always been shining examples themselves. That isn’t an unfair statement when considering the track record of many musicians and singers. But, it also applies to anyone in what these days are a ‘very public eye.’
However, with musicians, it is rarely the case that there is longevity in the relationship. Maybe that is why there are so many songs written about trust as a subject. Perhaps it is a way of purging your demons by writing it all down. Both what you should do and, perhaps more importantly, what you shouldn’t.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you your relationships are not hard to work. They are. But, the first step is to develop trust with your partner and vice versa. Once that is in place, and it is real trust, not just lip service, then you are on your way.
The trick then is ensuring they maintain their trust in you. Some of these songs tell you how that can be achieved.
Until next time, let the music play.