By Amanda Wicks
With word coming down the pipeline that Calvin Harris will be dropping a revenge track about his ex-girlfriend Taylor Swift tomorrow (July 8), we began thinking of all the great pop songs that have burned former flames. While this list could easily number far past five, we narrowed it down to some classic pop tunes that strike back at love gone bad.
“Same Old Love” by Selena Gomez
Time will tell if Gomez’s track, allegedly about her ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber, will stand the revenge song test of time, but for now it’s a sharp dig at a man who broke her heart. Repeatedly. In Gomez’s case, though, she’s not waiting around anymore to see if he’ll change. She’s sick of his behavior and empty promises, and she’s moving on.
“Sorry” by Beyoncé
Bey’s had some memorable revenge songs like the empowered “Irreplaceable” and the angry “Ring the Alarm,” but it’s her newest track “Sorry” that feels like a necessary addition to this list. Between her couldn’t-care-less attitude and the now famous “Tell him ‘Boy, bye'” line, Beyoncé has given one big middle finger to the man who broke her heart (her husband Jay-Z). But don’t worry: She ain’t thinking ’bout him.
“Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson
One of Clarkson’s biggest hits, “Since U Been Gone” rattles between low thrumming verses that offer necessary perspective and a huge, anthemic chorus that screams forth with her newfound strength. Looking back on a toxic relationship, Clarkson can finally see how what she thought she wanted wasn’t worth a damn. She’s grown as a result of what she’s learned and she’s all the better for it.
“Forget You” by Cee Lo Green
Where other artists have danced around their feelings in more metaphorical ways, Green lays it all bare with his title alone. He isn’t mincing words. He’s upset about how an ex-flame treated him, but he sees right through her shallow ways and calls her out throughout “Forget You.” Even though the radio edit offered listeners a more tame message with “Forget You,” Green’s song still says everything you want to say when someone hurts you deeply.
“Cry Me a River” by Justin Timberlake
If there was going to be one song on this list, it was going to Timberlake’s. Not only is his revenge tune catchy as all get out, but it also allegedly reveals the truth about his relationship with ex-girlfriend Britney Spears. Like others on this list, Timberlake isn’t waiting around for his ex to regret her decisions. He’s got no sympathy to spare. To up the ante, Timberlake even cast a Spears lookalike in his music video. Talk about double burn.