Narcissists are absolutely dreadful. With their constant arrogance, lack of empathy, and gaslighting tendencies, they make life incredibly difficult for those around them. If you happen to have a narcissist in your life, you might be seeking some validation. Surprisingly enough, many musicians have written songs about narcissists. Take a look at this collection of songs and see if any of them resonate with your experiences.
“You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon
Song Year: 1971
Carly Simon’s timeless classic, “You’re So Vain,” depicts a woman struggling with the extravagant and conceited behavior of her lover. From his entrance to a casual party in high-fashion attire to his decision to leave Simon in pursuit of an affair with his friend’s wife, this person is the epitome of a narcissist. Simon beautifully captures the essence of a narcissist’s absolute vanity, which anyone who has dealt with narcissists can surely relate to. After all, don’t narcissists always believe that everything revolves around them, even when it clearly doesn’t?
“Girl” by The Beatles
Song Year: 1965
In this timeless Beatles tune from the album “Rubber Soul,” the fab four sing about a girl who thinks she’s superior to everyone, including her partner, the protagonist of the song. She consistently belittles him in front of others and dismisses his compliments as if it’s a given that she is exceptionally good-looking. Just like narcissists in real life, this song’s protagonist finds it incredibly difficult to break free from his aloof and conceited partner. Even though her behavior suggests otherwise, when she makes grand promises, he falls for them time and time again. If you’ve ever dealt with a narcissist’s empty promises and heartless nature, this song might strike a chord with you.
“Toxic” by Britney Spears
Song Year: 2003
The behavior of a narcissist is toxic, poisoning everyone around them, even those they claim to love. Britney Spears understands this all too well as she sings about a narcissist she just can’t seem to quit. Spears warns us that narcissistic individuals should come with a warning label, as they are incredibly dangerous yet irresistibly alluring. In the end, Spears falls for this fatally toxic and narcissistic man, despite her attempts to break free. Like Spears, many of us find it incredibly difficult to escape the clutches of narcissists in our lives.
“I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred
Song Year: 1992
In this pop tune from the 90s, the narcissist takes center stage. He confidently claims that he is simply too sexy for everyone and everything around him. According to him, he’s even too sexy for his own clothing, car, and the most famous cities in the world. Narcissists hold such high opinions of themselves that it is impossible to convince them otherwise. They genuinely believe that they are too important or good-looking to associate with anyone or anything they consider beneath them. If you ever cross paths with someone who perfectly embodies this song, it’s time to run in the opposite direction.
“Fame” by David Bowie
Song Year: 1975
This song delves into the life of a man grappling with the pitfalls of fame, providing a glimpse into the kind of attention that fuels narcissism. The protagonist in Bowie’s “Fame” revels in the glamorous lifestyle that his fame affords him, including attention, extravagant limo rides, and the ability to dominate everything. As a result of his fame, he dismisses his loved ones and considers himself too cool to be around them. Narcissists would rather bask in the spotlight than embrace genuine love and care. It’s no wonder that the narcissist in this song eventually realizes that fame is hollow and emotionally chilling.
“Super Bad (Parts 1, 2, & 3)” by James Brown
Song Year: 1970
This James Brown hit portrays a man who believes he is too cool for everyone and everything. In “Super Bad (Parts 1, 2, & 3),” Brown is so confident in his abilities that he doesn’t need anyone else. He shamelessly expresses a desire to kiss himself, as he is utterly infatuated with his own image and fame. While we all appreciate and aspire to exude self-assuredness and self-worth, there is a fine line between confidence and narcissism. The protagonist in Brown’s song crosses that line, alienating those around him, even if he revels in the self-assurance that narcissism brings.
“Can’t Tell Me Nothing” by Kanye West
Song Year: 2007
Named one of the richest rappers in the world, Kanye West has unsurprisingly become quite full of himself and his wealth. In “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” West boasts about his achievements and material possessions. He flaunts his jewelry, champagne, and designer clothing, believing that no one can bring him down. He purposely ignores any criticism, deafened by his own narcissism and arrogance. Ultimately, West is convinced that he has made it big, reveling in his riches and adoration.
“Applause” by Lady Gaga
Song Year: 2013
There is nothing a narcissist loves more than attention, and Lady Gaga captures this sentiment perfectly in “Applause.” She describes the addictive allure of having an audience and revels in the cheers and screams that emanate from her fans. The narcissist in Gaga’s song shamelessly seeks and craves accolades and attention. She lives for the spotlight, fame, and, above all, applause.
“Gaslighter” by The Chicks
Song Year: 2020
Narcissists are notorious for gaslighting those they claim to love. Gaslighting involves minimizing, denying, and placing blame on others for their own bad behavior. The man depicted in “Gaslighter” by The Chicks is a classic example of this manipulative approach to life and relationships. He lies, cheats, and condescends to justify his actions at every turn. However, The Chicks refuse to be fooled. They see the “Gaslighter” for who he truly is – a pathetic individual desperately trying to cover his tracks. Like The Chicks, calling out a narcissist and exposing them for their conceit and deceit can feel empowering.
“Narcissist” by Baby Queen
Song Year: 2021
Like a true narcissist, Baby Queen loves to brag, even going so far as to acknowledge her own narcissism. In this song, her narcissism stems from a history of criticism and low self-esteem. In response, she embraces her narcissistic tendencies and proudly sings about her high self-regard, her looks, and her fame. Blaming everyone but herself for her narcissism, she proudly wears the label for anyone willing to listen. She becomes devoid of empathy and care for others, wholly consumed by her vanity.
“Mean” by Taylor Swift
Song Year: 2010
Narcissists can be bullies, using their self-centeredness to hurt and emotionally abuse those around them. Taylor Swift addresses this issue in her catchy new-country song, “Mean.” Swift’s bully constantly belittles her, using her flaws as ammunition to bring her down. But Swift is ready to fight back. She confidently tells her bully that someday she will achieve great things, despite their attempts to diminish her. If you’ve ever wished to confront a narcissist who has insulted and mistreated you, this anthem from T. Swift might be just what you need.
“Because of You” by Kelly Clarkson
Song Year: 2004
In this heart-wrenching ballad, Kelly Clarkson recounts the story of someone deeply wounded and crippled by the hurtful actions of a narcissist. She sings about how the narcissist in her life only thinks about themselves and their own pain, never considering the impact they have on others. Meanwhile, Clarkson is left in immense pain, crying herself to sleep every night. Narcissists have the ability to inflict such profound trauma. Recognizing the impact of their behavior is essential for healing.
“Holier Than Thou” by Metallica
Song Year: 1991
Metallica delivers a high-octane metal tune warning against judgmental narcissists in “Holier Than Thou.” The song highlights an individual who is arrogant, ignorant, and quick to pass judgment on others. While presenting themselves as morally superior, they are steeped in lies, gossip, and backstabbing. Lead singer James Hetfield cautions that those who judge others will eventually face judgment themselves – a warning that any true narcissist would be wise to heed.
“Love the Way You Lie” by Eminem and Rihanna
Song Year: 2010
This powerful hip-hop song portrays two narcissistic lovers locked in a tumultuous relationship. They derive pleasure from each other’s pain, with the woman unleashing her fiery temper and hurling insults, while the man takes delight in witnessing her suffering. Despite the initial feelings of love and adoration, the couple eventually comes to despise each other. They are caught in a toxic cycle of narcissism and violence. Relationships between narcissists rarely end well, and the story depicted in this song is no exception. If you find yourself in a relationship that resembles this dynamic, it’s crucial to escape as soon as possible.
“Bed of Lies” by Nicki Minaj featuring Skylar Grey
Song Year: 2014
Narcissists, like the one in this tragic Nicki Minaj song, weave a web of tangled lies that make it impossible to escape. The result is a profound sense of hurt, pain, and betrayal, so deep that Minaj contemplates retaliating in kind. The narcissist in “Bed of Lies” shamelessly takes advantage of Minaj’s fame and fortune, using her as a stepping stone and then deceiving her heartlessly. Despite all her success, he fails to see her or acknowledge her needs and pain. He only thinks of himself, showcasing his true narcissistic nature.
“For Her” by Fiona Apple
Song Year: 2020
This song from Fiona Apple’s groundbreaking album, “Fetch The Bolt Cutters,” depicts the quintessential narcissist. The narcissist treats their partner like a servant, forcing them to clean up their messes while they pursue their own dreams and engage in infidelity. They elevate themselves, refusing to show any vulnerability and instead opting to insult and harm their partner mentally and emotionally. Like many of Apple’s songs, this track delves into heavy and dark themes such as betrayal, substance abuse, and sexual assault.
“Under My Thumb” by The Rolling Stones
Song Year: 1966
In this classic Stones tune, the protagonist exhibits reprehensible levels of narcissism and control. He dictates what his partner wears, forbids her from speaking unless spoken to, and treats her like a pet. He keeps her under his thumb while reserving the freedom to do and say as he pleases. Unashamed of his narcissism, lead singer Mick Jagger revels in the satisfaction he derives from dominating and demeaning the woman in his life. Narcissists thoroughly enjoy their behavior, caring little about the pain it inflicts on those around them.
Whether a song’s protagonist is a narcissist or whether the artist despises them, the musicians featured in this list have a lot to say about narcissism. Through their music, they shed light on the immense pain and betrayal caused by narcissists’ arrogance and self-absorption. If you find yourself struggling with narcissistic behavior from someone in your life, turn up the volume and enjoy these tunes as a healthy dose of validation. Remember, you are not alone – narcissists are everywhere.