28 Of The Best Songs About Envy And Jealousy

Written by Dan Farrant

Jealousy and envy. These two emotions are as old as human history itself. They seep into every corner of our lives, from the playground to the boardroom, from the heart’s deepest desires to the world’s grandest stages.

And where there are such universal emotions, there is music. Songs crafted around these powerful feelings give voice to words unsaid.

These songs span genres, eras, and artists, but they all share one common thread: they breathe life into two of the most human emotions we know. Thus, read on to delve into 28 of the best songs about envy and jealousy.

1. “Green Is The Colour” By Pink Floyd

We begin our exploration into jealousy and envy songs with Pink Floyd. “Green is the Colour” is part of their album More, which came out in 1969. Interestingly, green is a color often associated with these emotions. And as you can see from the title, it plays a central role in the narrative of this song.

In the lyrics, the songwriter Roger Waters uses various colors such as shades of blue, some white, and of course, green. These portray the complex feelings many feel, including envy.

“Green is the Colour” is a hauntingly beautiful depiction of the human experience. It also showcases Pink Floyd’s ability to create songs that resonate with listeners.

2. “Found Out About You” By Gin Blossoms

Up next, we have one of two Gin Blossoms songs about jealousy. This one is “Found Out About You” from their 1989 album Dusted.

The lyrics tell of the narrator’s past love and the bitterness that comes when he finds out about his ex’s new life. He is consumed by jealousy as he learns of her new relationship, and he questions, “Did you love me only in my head?”

“Found Out About You” resonates with anyone who has ever experienced the sting of seeing a beloved moving on, especially when they themselves are still caught in the throes of past emotions.

3. “Hey Jealousy” By Gin Blossoms

Around the same time “Found Out About You” was released, Gin Blossoms had another song about the green-eyed monster. “Hey Jealousy,” re-recorded in 1992, is considered the band’s signature song.

The song is a candid confession of the protagonist’s struggle with jealousy and longing after a failed relationship. He regrets that he and his partner are no longer together, thinking that she was “the best [he] ever had.”

At the time of writing, songwriter Doug Hopkins had just been through a breakup. This song was inspired by his desire to get back with his ex-girlfriend.

4. “You Oughta Know” By Alanis Morissette

Heartbreak can often lead to jealousy, especially if only one party has moved on. In Alanis Morissette‘s “You Oughta Know,” you can hear the anger, betrayal, and jealousy felt by the protagonist after experiencing a breakup.

In the lyrics, the protagonist is directly addressing her ex-lover, who apparently has moved on. She is happy for him, but at the same time, the green eye of jealousy makes an appearance.

She questions many things about the man’s current relationship, like if his new lover is “perverted” like her or if she will have his baby. She feels “it was a slap in the face how quickly [she] was replaced” by him, and he “oughta know … / the mess [he] left when [he] went away.”

5. “Mr. Brightside” By The Killers

Rock band The Killers made quite a debut with their single “Mr. Brightside,” leading to a successful music career. This song is a key track from their album Hot Fuss, released in 2004.

The narrative of “Mr. Brightside” is compelling, as it delves into the mind of a man who is consumed by jealousy. The protagonist is caught in an imaginative loop, picturing his significant other with someone else.

The way The Killers mention jealousy in this song is both relatable and poignant. Many listeners can identify with the feelings of insecurity and paranoia after relationships end.

6. “Pacify Her” By Melanie Martinez

Singer-songwriter Melanie Martinez presents a captivating song in “Pacify Her.” Released as part of her debut album, Cry Baby, its story revolves around a complex love triangle.

The protagonist finds herself attracted to a man who is involved with another woman. She perceives this other woman as annoying, “getting on [her] nerves,” and wishes to silence her; hence the term “pacify her.”

Jealousy is a central theme in this song. The protagonist’s desire to replace the other woman and win over the man’s affection is driven by jealousy and envy.

7. “All Would Envy” By Sting

Up next is a song with “envy” in the lyrics by the British singer Sting, “All Would Envy.” It’s not as well-known as his other songs, but its theme is a perfect example for this list.

The song’s narrative is of an unconventional relationship between an older man and a much younger woman. He is old enough to be her father. Despite the age difference, they find themselves drawn to each other as he wooes her with flowers and limousines.

Jealousy comes into play as the young men around them, presumably of the woman’s age, are unable to accept this relationship. They feel aggrieved and envious as they watch the woman being swept away by the older man’s charm.

8. “Deja Vu” By Olivia Rodrigo

From her debut album, Sour, Olivia Rodrigo presents to us “Deja Vu.” This song tells the story of a girl who has just come out of a relationship. She sees her ex-boyfriend repeating all their unique moments with his new girlfriend.

The protagonist isn’t necessarily envious of the new girl. However, she feels resentment toward her ex-boyfriend for reusing their special moments, triggering a sense of déjà vu. It’s a different kind of jealousy — not wanting what someone else has but feeling protective and possessive about her past experiences.

9. “You Belong With Me” By Taylor Swift

Country pop singer-songwriter Taylor Swift is no stranger to creating relatable songs. One of them is the standout track, “You Belong with Me,” from her 2008 album Fearless.

Its story is a classic tale of unrequited love. The protagonist is a girl who’s deeply in love with her best friend. Unfortunately, the boy is currently in a relationship with another girl. Envious of their relationship, she feels she is the better match for him and that he belongs with her, hence the title of the song.

“You Belong with Me” is one of Swift’s greatest hits. It took the #1 and #2 spots on Billboards Hot Country Songs and Hot 100 charts, respectively. It also received three Grammy nominations.

10. “Ring The Alarm” By Beyoncé

Jealousy is often the driving force behind wanting to keep your significant other close and the competition away. This is the sentiment of Beyoncé‘s “Ring the Alarm” from her album B’Day.

It is about a woman who is in a relationship, and she feels threatened by another woman. The protagonist’s partner is being lured away by this other woman, and she is prepared to fight to keep him.

The protagonist is fiercely protective of her relationship. Thus, she is filled with rage and jealousy at the thought of her partner being with someone else. This is captured in the lines “Tell me how should I feel / when you made me belong … / To know you give it to her like you gave it to me.”

11. “I Want Your Girlfriend To Be My Girlfriend Too” By Reel Big Fish

American ska punk band Reel Big Fish presents a humorous track in their song “I Want Your Girlfriend to Be My Girlfriend Too.” The song is from their debut studio album, Everything Sucks, which came out in 1995.

As you must have surmised from the title, the narrator is envious of another man’s girlfriend. His desire is expressed quite blatantly in the repeated lines, “I want your girlfriend to be my girlfriend.” The reason: “’cause she is so cute.”

It’s a fun and catchy tune with a light-hearted tone that is typical of ska punk. It’s also a great example of how the genre often blends upbeat music with tongue-in-cheek lyrics.

12. “Jealous” By Nick Jonas

Ever feel so possessive of your significant other that the green-eyed monster’s head pops out whenever another person looks at him or her? Nick Jonas feels this sentiment in his song aptly titled “Jealous.”

In the song, the protagonist is deeply in love with his partner and finds himself unable to control his jealousy when other men show interest in her. He reasons, “‘Cause you’re too sexy, beautiful / and everybody wants a taste / That’s why … I still get jealous.”

“Jealous” became a relatable piece for many listeners, showing that even the most intense emotions can stem from a place of love. It reached #1 on Billboard‘s Dance Club Songs chart and #2 on the UK Singles.

13. “Treat You Better” By Shawn Mendes

The talented Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes is up next with his song “Treat You Better.” This was released as the lead single from his Illuminate album in 2016.

The narrative follows a man who believes he can provide a better, more loving relationship to a woman who’s currently in an unhappy one. The protagonist is convinced that he can “treat her better” than her current partner.

Jealousy plays a significant role in the song, but it’s portrayed differently. Instead of the destructive emotion that jealousy often is, here it’s shown as the driving force behind the protagonist’s desire to provide a better life for the woman he cares about.

14. “Jealous Of The Angels” By Donna Taggart

Sometimes, being jealous has nothing to do with romantic relationships. In this emotional song, Irish singer Donna Taggart leaves an indelible mark on her listeners with “Jealous of the Angels.”

The song’s story is deeply moving, revolving around losing a loved one and the ensuing grief. The protagonist expresses feelings of longing and sadness, imagining their departed loved one among the angels.

The protagonist is “jealous” of the angels who get to be in the company of her loved one. This suggests how they miss their presence and wish for a connection again. The song’s use of jealousy uniquely and touchingly makes it a piece many can relate to in times of sorrow and remembrance.

15. “Send Them Off!” By Bastille

From their song “Send Them Off!” the English indie pop band Bastille seems to be no stranger to jealousy. The track, released in 2016 as part of their album Wild World, is actually a plea to be set free from this emotion.

In the song, the narrator is plagued by “demons running ’round in [his] head.” The demons represent the jealousy he’s grappling with as “they feed on” his insecurities.

The song does not state the object of his jealousy, only that he wishes to be exorcised and set free of these green-eyed monsters.

16. “Jealous Guy” By John Lennon

A song by the legendary English musician and former member of The Beatles, John Lennon, is up next. He delivered an honest and vulnerable performance in his song “Jealous Guy.”

Featured on his album Imagine, released in 1971, this track stands out for its raw emotional depth. The story told in “Jealous Guy” is a personal one. Lennon confesses the song is about him, his possessiveness, and insecurity.

He is brave enough to acknowledge his jealousy and how it has caused him to hurt his loved one. This is directly addressed in the chorus: “I didn’t mean to hurt you / I’m sorry that I made you cry … / I’m just a jealous guy.”

17. “When It Was Me” By Paula De Anda

Up next is Paula De Anda‘s “When It Was Me.” From her self-titled debut album, the track resonates with many who have experienced heartbreak.

The song’s narrative revolves around a protagonist who sees her former lover with a new partner. She can’t help but compare herself to this new woman, who is a model, has done acting, and has green eyes and long brown hair — in short, “perfection.”

Though the protagonist states she’s not jealous, she can’t help but wonder why she was left behind. In the end, she wishes she had “everything she’s [the other woman] got.”

18. “Girl With One Eye” By Florence + The Machine

The indie rock band Florence + The Machine offers a unique blend of raw emotion and vibrant storytelling in their track “Girl with One Eye.” Interestingly, this song is a cover originally performed by a band called The Ludes.

The song is shrouded in dark imagery and metaphorical language. It tells the tale of a girl who has been wronged and seeks revenge, cutting out the eye of another girl.

The protagonist’s actions seem to be driven by a bitter sense of jealousy and resentment, as shown in the line, “Get your filthy fingers out of my pie.” It suggests her possessive nature and her sense of jealousy when her belongings are messed with.

19. “Bernadette” By Four Tops

The iconic Motown group Four Tops delivered a hit song in 1967 that continues to captivate listeners. “Bernadette” is a tale of intense devotion tinged with jealousy and fear of losing the one you love.

The story within the song centers on a man’s deep love for a woman named Bernadette. However, his feelings for her are so profound they border on obsession. He constantly fears that others will take her away from him due to her irresistible charm.

The envy and jealousy are not just from the narrator. Other men also envy him whenever he speaks of his precious Bernadette because he has “what other men long for.”

20. “Jessie’s Girl” By Rick Springfield

In 1981, the Australian singer-songwriter Rick Springfield delivered a chart-topping hit: “Jessie’s Girl.” This track perfectly encapsulates the mixed emotions of unrequited love and jealousy.

The lyrics tell the story of the protagonist’s feelings for his friend Jessie’s girlfriend. Despite their friendship, he finds himself envying Jessie because he has a girl who is “watching him with those eyes / and she’s loving him with that body.”

The upbeat melody and catchy lyrics helped “Jessie’s Girl” climb to the top of Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart. Springfield also nabbed a Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for this classic song.

21. “My Best Friend’s Girl” By The Cars

Up next is The Cars‘ “My Best Friend’s Girl,” from their self-titled 1978 album. It shares a similar theme with “Jessie’s Girl,” but with a slight twist.

In this song, his best friend’s girlfriend used to be his girl. It’s clear that he still has feelings for her, and he can’t help but feel a pang of envy every time he sees her with his best friend.

However, he does not allow his jealousy to consume him. Rather, the protagonist chooses to step back and let go, watching them dance with a heavy heart.

22. “Envy & Jealousy” By Sweet Comfort Band

In the world of Christian rock, Sweet Comfort Band has carved out a unique niche with their soulful and thought-provoking music. One of their standout tracks is “Envy & Jealousy,” from their 1984 album Perfect Timing.

A song with “envy” and “jealousy” in the title, you can guess what it’s about. The narrator is wrestling with these emotions, which are often considered negative. He finds it hard to escape these feelings and prays to be saved from them.

At its core, “Envy & Jealousy” is a reflection of the struggles that many of us face in our daily lives. It encourages listeners to confront and manage these emotions, thereby promoting personal growth and spiritual development.

23. “Anyone Else” By Blake Shelton

Country singer Blake Shelton is known for his compelling songs. One song that truly captures listeners with its relatable lyrics is “Anyone Else.”

This tells the story of a man wrestling with another person’s feelings of jealousy. Despite their friendship, this so-called friend always puts the protagonist down. Disheartened, the protagonist laments, “Anyone else would shake my hand / wish me luck, be proud for a friend.” He wishes that his friend would just be happy for him instead.

“Anyone Else” is a reminder that sometimes, even the closest friendships can be toxic and bring out negative emotions in us. It also shows how jealousy can easily consume someone, damaging relationships in the process.

24. “We Don’t Talk Anymore” By Charlie Puth

Two of America’s beloved singers, Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez, came together to create a powerful duet titled “We Don’t Talk Anymore.” This song dives deep into the aftermath of a breakup, exploring emotions that many listeners can relate to.

The lyrics are about two individuals who have parted ways. Despite their separation, they continue to think about each other and what could have been.

Jealousy is an emotion that lingers after the breakup, as the protagonists still imagine the other with someone new. This feeling is most apparent in the lines, “I just heard you found the one you’ve been … looking for / I wish I would have known that wasn’t me,” expressing their longing and regret.

25. “David Watts” By The Jam

Simply put, envy is to want what another person has. It is a common emotion many of us have experienced. This is what The Jam‘s song “David Watts” is about.

The protagonist, a young boy, is a “dull and simple lad.” David Watts is a schoolmate who is rich, smart, and charming. The boy wishes he “could have all that he has got.” It is clear that what the little boy feels is envy.

“David Watts” was originally recorded by The Kinks in 1967. The Jam released their cover in 1978, later including the song in the album All Mod Cons. A success for the band, “David Watts” climbed to #25 on the UK Singles Chart.

26. “Lounge Act” By Nirvana

Since starting in 1987, the grunge band Nirvana has released many notable tracks. Our next song, “Lounge Act,” is not so well-known, yet it tells a compelling story worthy of discussion.

The song’s protagonist has a friend “who makes [him] feel” and makes him want “more than [he] could steal.” The lines “I’ll go out of my way to prove I still / smell her on you” imply that his feelings might be because of a woman.

Disliking this, the protagonist goes out of his way to fight jealousy “until it’s fucking gone.” It is a relatable emotion for people who have experienced feelings of jealousy in a relationship or friendship.

27. “Jealous Bone” By Patty Loveless

Penultimate on our list is a country track by Patty Loveless. “Jealous Bone,” from her Up Against My Heart album, dives deep into — you guessed it! — jealousy.

Written by Steve Bogard and Rick Giles, the song’s protagonist grapples with a “jealous bone” caused by a man. She loves him so much that she “can’t bear to see [him] out of [her] sight,” nor can she “stand the thought of [him] with anyone else.”

The protagonist is aware this emotion is not good. She fears she will eventually run him off, but she can’t help being born with a jealous bone.”

28. “Feel The Envy” By Franz Ferdinand

Ending this list is Franz Ferdinand‘s “Feel the Envy.” This song follows a protagonist who seemingly struggles to experience the sting of envy that others do.

The lyrics “I can’t seem to feel the envy, I should feel / or maybe I don’t need the sour side of love” suggest a character who either lacks the capacity for jealousy or chooses not to engage in it. This unique twist to our list of songs adds an intriguing layer to the song’s story.

With its thought-provoking narrative, “Feel the Envy” encourages listeners to reflect on their own emotional responses. It offers a fresh perspective on jealousy, framing it as a choice rather than an uncontrollable impulse.

Summing Up Our List Of Envy And Jealousy Songs

Jealousy and envy — these complex emotions can both sting and inspire. Through this list, we’ve seen how music can turn these two emotions into relatable narratives.

The power of music lies in its ability to express what is often inexpressible, so we hope that listening to these songs has been an enjoyable experience.

Music’s landscape is vast, filled with innumerable songs. If you have any recommendations to add to this list, let us know. We’d love to hear them!

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.