Songs in the Key of Jealousy

'It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all,' the old saying goes. But to many those words are cold comfort when an ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend changes their Facebook relationship status to "In A Relationship." These eight rock songs explore the subject of jealousy in unique ways.

01
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Nirvana - "Lounge Act"

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana. Frans Schellekens-Redferns-GettyImages

As with most of Nirvana songs, Kurt Cobain's lyrics to the song "Lounge Act" are oblique and open to interpretation. What is clear is that the character in the song has jealousy issues. Cobain sings: "Don't - tell me what I wanna hear / Afraid of never knowing fear / Experience anything you need / I'll keep fighting jealousy / Until it's f**king gone." At the end of the song he repeatedly sings: "I still smell her on you" as if he recognizes his ex's scent on another guy like a bloodhound. Watch Nirvana play "Lounge Act" live at the 1992 Reading Festival here. Buy from Amazon »

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The Killers - "Mr. Brightside"

The Killers. Fox-GettyImages

The first song The Killers ever wrote was "Mr. Brightside" — a true life account of singer Brandon Flowers catching his then girlfriend with another man and writing his feelings in the song's lyrics. Flowers painfully imagines what his girlfriend is doing with the other guy. Although feelings of jealousy pain him, at least he found out she was cheating. The lyrics, "Destiny is calling me / Open up my eager eyes / 'Cause I'm Mr Brightside," show that he's glad to have found out about the girl's infidelity and the bright side is that he's moving on. Listen to an early demo of The Killers' Mr. Brightside here. Buy from Amazon »

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The Police - "Every Breathe You Take"

The Police. Brian Rasic-Hulton Archive-GettyImages

Although many people think The Police's "Every Breathe You Take" is a romantic love song, if you listen closely to the lyrics the song is revealed to really be about jealousy and stalking. The opening lyrics: "Every breath you take and every move you make / Every bond you break, every step you take, I'll be watching you" set an ominous tone that is easy for a casual listener to overlook. Sting has said the song is about obsession with a lost lover, and the jealousy and surveillance that follows. Sting once told American Top 40 host Casey Kasem, "One couple told me 'Oh we love that song; it was the main song played at our wedding!' I thought, 'Well, good luck.'" Watch The Police's "Every Breathe You Take" music video here. Buy from Amazon »

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Weezer - "No One Else"

Weezer. Martyn Goodacre-Hulton Archive-GettyImages

In Weezer's song "No One Else" singer Rivers Cuomo dreams of his impossible to achieve, idealized girl. In the song's chorus he sings: "I want a girl who will laugh for no one else / When I'm away she puts her makeup on the shelf / When I'm away she never leaves the house." In reality he knows his girl won't live up to his expectations and is afraid to breakup with her himself, "And if you see her / Tell her it's over now." "No One Else" is an unlikely sing-along anthem with lyrics that are riddled with insecurity and self-doubt. Watch Weezer play "No One Else" live in 1996 here. Buy from Amazon »

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The Black Crowes - "Jealous Again"

Black Crowes. Brian Rasic-Hulton Archive-GettyImages

The Black Crowes' hook laden debut single "Jealous Again," from their 1990 debut album Shake Your Money Maker, is less straightforward lyrically than some songs on this list. The song's most focused lyrics come in the bridge section when Chris Robinson sings: "Stop, understand me / I ain't afraid of losing face / Stop, understand me / I ain't afraid of ever losing faith in you." It's clear that someone has been wronged in a relationship but it's unclear if the wrongdoer will own up to his mistakes. "Jealous Again" reached No.75 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 5 on the Mainstream Rock charts. Watch The Black Crowes "Jealous Again" video here. Buy from Amazon »

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John Lennon - "Jealous Guy"

John Lennon. Tom Copi-Michael Ochs Archives-GettyImages

John Lennon's "Jealous Guy" is an apologetic song about subject of jealousy. When Lennon sings: "I didn't mean to hurt you / I'm sorry that I made you cry / Oh my I didn't want to hurt you / I'm just a jealous guy" the lyrics clearly show a man doing his best to make up after a lover's quarrel. "Jealous Guy" was released on Lennon's 1971 album Imagine. The song was not released as a Lennon single until November 1985, five years after his death. "Jealous Guy" has become one of Lennon's most covered solo songs. Watch a video of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy" here. Buy from Amazon »

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Gin Blossoms - "Hey Jealousy"

Gin Blossoms. Promo photo courtesy: A&M

Gin Blossoms biggest hit is a tale of regret, self-loathing, and jealousy. The lyrics: "And you know it might not be that bad / You were the best I'd ever had / If I hadn't blown the whole thing years ago / I might not be alone" reveal a person who know their past relationship mistakes that can't be corrected but is jealous anyway. "Hey Jealousy" was Gin Blossoms breakout hit from their 1992 debut album New Miserable Experience. Watch Gin Blossoms "Hey Jealousy" music video here. Buy from Amazon »

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The Cars - "My Best Friend's Girl"

The Cars. Chris Walter-WireImage-Getty Images

The Cars "My Best Friend's Girl" is one of the most catchy, straightforward songs about jealousy ever. Frontman Ric Ocasek wrote the 1978 hit about a pretty girl who the narrator obviously is still in love with but laments, "She's my best friend's girl, but she used to be mine." The song was The Cars second single off their self-titled debut album and reached No. 35 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. "My Best Friend's Girl" was performed by Nirvana as their opening song at the band's final concert on March 1, 1994 in Munich, Germany (watch here). Watch The Cars play "My Best Friend's Girl" live in 1978 here. Buy from Amazon »