In The Mourning Bride, William Congreve wrote “Heaven has no rage like love to hate turned nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.” This little pearl of wisdom is often paraphrased to a commonly repeated quote you’ve likely heard a time or two – “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” What does it mean? Quite simply put, it means that it’s best not to mess with an angry woman with a broken heart and if the twenty songs on this list are any indication, that’s probably true. Let’s take a look at twenty of the best scorned woman songs ever written.
20. Amy Winehouse – Me & Mr. Jones
This is not just my favorite song from Back to Black. It’s not just one of my favorite songs by Amy Winehouse. This is, quite possibly, one of my favorite scorned woman songs. It’s about more than the meaning of the song. There’s just such a cool, ‘screw you’ vibe to the song. I miss Amy Winehouse. Troubled as she was, the woman’s voice was incredible.
19. Sheryl Crow – Anything But Down
This song isn’t about getting revenge, unless, of course, we’re talking about getting revenge through song. Sheryl has never been one to mince words and this song is definitely no exception. The thing that I really like about this song is that she doesn’t try to pin all the blame on the guy. She sings about her relationship honestly and that honesty is what makes the song so great.
18. Adele – Rolling in the Deep
Adele took the pain and anger of a broken relationship and turned it into last year’s best selling album, earning a place among the most respected and admired women in the music industry. This song is mostly a reflection on the lost promise of a failed relationship but it also serves as a reminder that the man threw away everything they could’ve had. It’s about seeing things the way they really are and not losing sight of where the blame belongs.
17. Martina McBride – Broken Wing
This song might not be what you think of when you think of scorned women songs but it’s there if you really listen to the lyrics. The woman in this song has been pushed down and held back by the man in her life until she finally decides to leave to follow her dreams. She’s tired of being told she isn’t good enough and gets her revenge by taking off to try to prove to herself that she is.
16. Kelly Clarkson – Low
This is one of my all time favorite scorned woman songs. Although I don’t know for sure what the song is about, to me it sounds like friends became lovers and then lovers became exes. The first verse of the song is really what gets me because I think we’ve all been there at some point, especially the line, “they look at me with sad eyes but I don’t want their sympathy. It’s cool you didn’t want me.” It’s about accepting the end but making sure your feelings are known.
15. Kim Stockwood – Jerk
A little juvenile? Perhaps but that doesn’t change the fact that at one point in time, most of us have wanted to grab a stereo Say Anything-style and stand outside the window of the man whose wronged us and play this one at full volume. Okay, maybe I’m the only lunatic that has those sorts of fantasies but this song definitely says a lot of things we’ve all thought at one time or another.
14. Jo Dee Messina – Bye Bye
Who would’ve thought country music would offer so many great scorned women songs. I have to admit that this one is one of my favorites. It’s fun, upbeat and is all about putting a bad relationship behind you so you can move on to bigger and better things. I love the woman’s attitude in this song. She never loses sight of the fact that as much pain as she’s felt over the relationship, it will be alright.
13. Lorrie Morgan – Watch Me
It’s easy to say you’re going to leave in the heat of the moment but actually following through with it can take a little more. In this song, a woman is being mistreated in her relationship. The man takes her for granted, thinking she’ll never leave. She responds by not only leaving but rubbing his own foolishness in his face as she leaves.
12. Carley Simon – You’re So Vain
I don’t mean to oversell it, but this is quite possibly the best woman scorned song ever written. It isn’t just about the lyrics. It isn’t just about the way Carley sings those lyrics. It’s the success of the song that really makes it so perfect. They say the best revenge is living well and it’s pretty clear this song helped Carley do just that.
11. Blu Cantrell – Hit ‘Em Up Style
What better way to get back at a shallow, money grubbing ex than to hit him where it really hurts – his wallet. In this one, Blu treats herself to a shopping spree on her cheating ex’s dime. Not a bad way to get revenge when you really think about it. You get the satisfaction of sticking it to your ex but you also get something physical to remind you of that revenge.
10. No Doubt – Sunday Morning
This song isn’t just about getting one over on your ex. This song is about finding your strength and using that strength to turn the tables. It’s about putting your ex where you were and taking over his role. After growing confident and putting her ex in the past, the woman in this song realized her ex is now the weak one, wishing for another chance she won’t let him have.
09. Pussycat Dolls – Whatcha Think About That?
What do you do when your man is causing you to shed tears and you finally decide that enough is enough? You turn the tables on him. Why sit home alone and cry, wishing your man was better to you when you could go out, have fun and turn the tables on him. This song is all about refusing to let someone walk all over you and make you feel like less than you are. It’s about refusing to shed tears over someone who has never shed tears over you.
08. Nancy Sinatra – These Boots Are Made For Walking
This one is a classic. All about the scorned woman warning her man that she won’t be taken for a ride, this song could pretty much bet the scorned woman’s anthem. It’s about being strong, confident and letting your man know that you don’t tolerate games but if he wants to play anyway, you will win in the end. If he wants to play with fire, he’ll be the one that gets burned.
07. Carrie Underwood – Before He Cheats
And Carrie always seemed to sweet and innocent! This monster hit not only showed the world a whole new side of Carrie but also gave scorned women everywhere an anthem they could crank up and sing along with to vent their frustrations. While I would never suggest taking a baseball bat to your ex’s car or slashing tires, there’s nothing wrong with living vicariously through a song. That way, you can get out some of that anger but not have to worry about dealing with silly things like the police and vandalism (at least) charges.
06. Miranda Lambert – Gunpowder and Lead
This one is all about being strong and taking charge of your life. Much like Goodbye Earl from the Dixie Chicks a few years back, this song is about ending the cycle of an abusive relationship in a very permanent way. This song takes it a step further, talking about how the woman in the song has pressed charges over her man’s abuse but has learned he’d getting out of prison and plans to come home. She knows what that means and refuses to be the victim – vowing to show him exactly what she’s made of.
05. Beyoncé – Irreplaceable
Out of all the women scorned songs out there, this is perhaps my favorite. It’s not about whining about how your man has done you wrong. It’s not about wallowing in self pity. It’s not even about getting revenge to reclaim your strength. It’s about never letting go of your strength in the first place. It’s about keeping your head up and your shoulders back, standing toe to toe with the man who wronged you and telling him you’re just fine and always will be – with or without him in your life.
04. Pink – Funhouse
There’s nothing about this song I don’t absolutely love. First, Pink is one of my all time favorite pop artists. She’s gutsy, honest, strong and confident but isn’t afraid to show her vulnerable side – not that you see it in this song. The whole mood of the song is intense, aggressive and a whole lot of fun. Pink knows how to play the scorned woman right.
03. Jazmine Sullivan – Bust Your Windows
There are a few things I like about this one but the biggest selling point for me is that the woman in the song acknowledges busting the windows out of her ex’s car won’t actually fix her broken heart. The woman in this song is hurt and angry but she isn’t looking to fix things with an act of revenge. She’s just looking to make herself feel a little bit better. While I wouldn’t recommend this path personally, I can see why it’s appealing.
02. Reba McEntire – Take It Back
Now this is everything a scorned woman song should be and more. Strong, confident and smart, the woman in this song knows her man is cheating on her and she’s not going to let him get away with it. Instead, she’s going to kick his lying butt to the curb while telling him exactly how she caught him. She she’s hurt and she’s angry but she’s also not willing to let him back into her heart.
01. Alanis Morissette – You Oughta Know
This song helped Alanis’ album Jagged Little Pill sell millions upon millions of copies and was one of the biggest singles released in 1995. At its core, its about jealousy, anger and all of the hurt feelings of seeing your ex move on with a new love. It’s full of bitterness and rage but in the end, it’s ultimately it tells a story of success. The brutal honesty of the lyrics and Alanis’ aggressive delivery connected with women everywhere who have been in that position and suddenly, a song written from a very dark place brought Alanis success many never imagined she’d have.