There’s nothing like a great song about getting even. And there’s nothing the public loves more than discussing who the song’s about. When Taylor Swift released her latest single about her highly publicized feud with Kanye West, it nearly broke the Internet. But while country music has had its share of celebrity feuds, country revenge songs are usually saved for two-timing exes, terrible spouses, gossipy townsfolk and trifling women trying to steal someone’s man. Here are 10 of the best country music revenge songs.
10. Travis Tritt, “Here’s A Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)”
Telling your ex where to go when they come crawling back is a common theme in music, but it’s perfectly executed in Travis Tritt’s 1991 single “Here’s a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares).” The song, which references the cost of a payphone call, was Tritt’s first big hit. Payphones may be a thing of the past, but the thrill of getting the last word never goes out of style.
9. Waylon Jennings, “Mental Revenge”
In this 1967 Waylon Jennings single penned by Mel Tillis, the narrator ponders all the terrible things that could happen to the woman who broke his heart and her new man. Among the things he hopes for: “I hope that the train from Caribou, Maine runs over your new love affair/ you’ll walk the floor from door to door and pull out your peroxide hair.” It may be petty, but heartache does a number on us all.
8. “You’re the One,” Dwight Yoakam
Dwight Yoakam’s “You’re the One” is a classic “what comes around goes around” situation. The song went to No. 5 in 1991 and was undoubtedly the soundtrack to several “I told you so” late night phone calls.
7. Martina McBride, “Independence Day”
In this gut-punch of a song, Martina McBride sings of a woman who commits arson to be free from her abusive spouse. The song, written by Gretchen Peters, tells a powerful story about difficult decisions.
6. Miranda Lambert, “Gunpowder and Lead”
Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead” tells the story of a woman at the end of her rope. Her abusive husband is getting out of jail so she waits by the front door, lights a cigarette and loads her shotgun.
5. Patty Loveless, “Blame it on Your Heart”
“Blame it on Your Heart” is the ultimate country kiss-off to the one who did you wrong. If you’re searching for the perfect insult, you really can’t do better than “lyin’, cheatin’, cold, dead-beatin’, two-timin’, double- dealin’, mean, mistreatin’ heart.” Thanks, Patty.
4. Jeannie C. Riley, “Harper Valley P.T.A.”
There’s nothing worse than hypocritical gossips who try to shame you when you’re just trying to live your life and wear a miniskirt. No one knows that better than Jeanne C. Riley, who tells the story of the day her mama socked it to the Harper Valley P.T.A. in this 1968 hit written by Tom T. Hall.
3. Dixie Chicks, “Goodbye Earl”
“Goodbye Earl” was one of the Dixie Chicks’ earliest forays into controversy. The song raised eyebrows for its tale of two best friends who murder an abusive husband via a batch of deadly black-eyed peas. But murder songs are nothing new in country music and judging by the response the song continues to receive, no one’s shedding any tears for ol’ Earl.
2. Carrie Underwood, “Before He Cheats”
No one does scorned girlfriend quite like Carrie Underwood. This 2005 tale of Shania karaoke, bathroom cologne and one destroyed pickup truck made every potential cheater think twice.
1. “Fist City,” Loretta Lynn
Loretta Lynn doesn’t know how to be anything but direct. In “Don’t Come Home A Drinkin'” she tells her husband to shape up. In “You Ain’t Woman Enough” she gives fair warning to a woman making eyes at her man to back off. But in “Fist City” she comes out with, well, fists flying. In dressing down a treacherous woman spreading rumors around town, Loretta lets loose with what is one of the best put downs in country music history: “You’ve been making your brags around town that you’ve been lovin’ my man/ but the man I love, when he picks up trash, he puts it in a garbage can.” Harsh. Let’s just say it’s best not to cross Loretta.