“Tell Me Why” by Taylor Swift: Songs about Dating Violence

Break the Cycle compiled a list of songs that deal with dating violence. Use these lyrics as part of a lesson plan on dating violence, for a school project or as a good starting point to talk to your kids.

The Songs

“Tell Me Why” by Taylor Swift

This song portrays the confusion, feelings of betrayal and questions someone might have whose dating partner has become abusive. Here are a few of the lyrics:

“And I need you like a heartbeat But you know you got a mean streak Makes me run for cover when you’re around”

“Here’s to you and your temper, Yes, I remember what you said last night. And I know that you see what you’re doing to me. Tell me, why?”

“I’m sick and tired of your attitude, I’m feeling like I don’t know you. You tell me that you want me then cut me down.”

“Face Down” by the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

This song is great example of how art can be used to speak out against dating violence. With its powerful chorus, the song calls questions traditional ideas of masculinity by urging abusers to think about the consequences of their actions:

“Do you feel like a man when you push her around?
Do you feel better now as she falls to the ground?”

“Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga

The name says it all. Some key lyrics from the song are:

“Caught in a bad romance”,

“I want your love, your lover’s revenge“

“I want your ugly, I want your disease.”

Music Videos

If you want to see the videos for any of these songs, we collected them (when available) in a playlist on our YouTube channel.

Learn More

Check back as we add more songs that deal with unhealthy relationships. Know a song that would be good for our list? Let us know – email info@breakthecycle.org.

A Note of Caution

Break the Cycle does not condone the performers of or messages in these songs. We make no claim about the artists, their views or experiences. We select songs only because they address dating violence in some way.

-Published on April 30, 2010.