20 Best Songs about forbidden love

Forbidden Love, a theme as old as time, continues to inspire musicians across generations, leading to some of the most heart-wrenchingly beautiful tracks in music history.

This article delves into the “20 Best Songs About Forbidden Love,” a collection that captures the essence of love in its most clandestine and taboo forms.

Through these songs, artists express the raw emotions, intense passion, and the bittersweet longing of relationships that exist beyond the boundaries of societal acceptance.

From whispered confessions to soulful ballads, each entry in this list offers a unique perspective on the complexities of forbidden love, making them timeless anthems for secret romances and unfulfilled desires.

1. “Dance in the Dark” by Lady Gaga

“Dance in the Dark” by Lady Gaga: This electrifying dance anthem from Lady Gaga’s “The Fame Monster” album tells a story wrapped in metaphors and veiled references. It speaks of a woman’s intimate insecurities and fears, leading her to keep her deepest feelings hidden – a metaphorical forbidden love. Gaga’s powerful vocals are set against a backdrop of pulsating electronic beats, crafting a haunting atmosphere. The song is also an ode to expression without inhibitions, encouraging listeners to embrace who they truly are, even if society deems it unconventional.

2. “Do You Want To Know a Secret?” by The Beatles

“Do You Want To Know a Secret?” by The Beatles: Recorded in 1963, this melodic treasure from the early days of The Beatles has a light-hearted approach to the concept of forbidden love. The song, credited to Lennon-McCartney, was sung by George Harrison, and captures the thrill of having a secret love that’s whispered softly. It’s a gentle and sweet tune that mirrors the innocence of young love that must be kept quiet, reflecting the cultural mores of the time it was released.

3. “This Kiss” by Carly Rae Jepsen

“This Kiss” by Carly Rae Jepsen: “This Kiss” delivers a catchy, synth-infused pop sound that perfectly encapsulates the excitement and hesitation that comes with forbidden love. Carly Rae Jepsen’s lyrics describe a magnetic attraction that seems to defy the rules, as she finds herself drawn to someone she’s not supposed to be with. The song’s upbeat tempo and infectious chorus mirror the unstoppable force of a love that feels so right, even if everything else says it’s wrong.

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4. “Bruise” by Ryan Beatty

“Bruise” by Ryan Beatty: Ryan Beatty’s “Bruise” is a soulful, introspective track that delves into the longing and melancholy of forbidden love. Its R&B-inflected sound provides the perfect canvas for Beatty’s emotive storytelling, as he examines the bruises – both literal and metaphorical – that result from a love that society deems inappropriate. The song’s vulnerability is magnified by its raw vocal delivery and minimalist production, making it thoroughly intimate.

5. “She Don’t Have To Know” by John Legend

“She Don’t Have To Know” by John Legend: Off his debut album, “Get Lifted,” John Legend brings a smooth R&B flavor to a tale of secretive love. He croons about the thrill and guilt of a clandestine affair, acknowledging the deceit involved. The emotional complexity of maintaining a façade while pursuing forbidden passion is rendered in Legend’s expressive voice, underlining the moral intricacies and the fear of getting caught that come with such hidden relationships.

6. “shedontknowbutsheknows” by Tove Lo

“shedontknowbutsheknows” by Tove Lo: This cutting-edge track by Swedish singer Tove Lo, from her album “Blue Lips,” captivates with its candid depiction of an illicit affair. Through a gritty narrative wrapped in Tove Lo’s signature electro-pop sound, the song reveals the story of a person fully aware they are the “other” in a relationship, adding layers of guilt and thrill. It showcases Tove Lo’s skillful storytelling and her ability to capture complex emotional landscapes, making it a bold anthem for the modern complications of forbidden love.

7. “The End of The Affair” by Laura Marling

“The End of The Affair” by Laura Marling: Laura Marling’s folk-inspired “The End of The Affair” is a poignant and introspective portrayal of the aftermath of a clandestine relationship. With her haunting vocals and acoustic guitar, Marling crafts a delicate and deeply personal narrative that captures the quiet devastation and acceptance of love lost. This song stands out for its raw honesty and the beautiful simplicity of its arrangement, emphasizing the universal pain of forbidden love and its inevitable end.

8. “Better” by Khalid

“Better” by Khalid: In “Better,” Khalid explores an intimate connection that makes everything feel brighter despite obstacles. The song’s smooth, velvety R&B tones blend seamlessly with its themes of hidden love and desire that cannot be openly shared. Khalid’s laid-back delivery and the atmospheric production create a sense of longing and bittersweet acceptance, arguing that the moments shared in secret are worth the complexity they bring. “Better” resonates with listeners for its understated elegance and emotional depth.

9. “Long Black Vail” by Johnny Cash/The Band/Lefty Frizzel

“Long Black Veil” by Johnny Cash/The Band/Lefty Frizzell: This classic song, performed by various artists including Johnny Cash, The Band, and Lefty Frizzell, narrates a haunting tale of forbidden love leading to a wrongful death sentence. With its chilling storyline, “Long Black Veil” unfolds the story of a man accused of murder, who chooses death over revealing his alibi: a secret meeting with his best friend’s wife. The mournful melody and stark, lyrical storytelling embody the tragic choices and profound loyalty at the heart of forbidden love, making it an enduring ballad in the country and folk music repertoire.

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10. “Don’t Matter” by Akon

“Don’t Matter” by Akon: Akon’s “Don’t Matter” combines a reggae-infused beat with heartfelt lyrics about a love that defies opposition. Addressing naysayers and societal barriers, the song celebrates a defiant love that refuses to be diminished by external judgment. Akon’s smooth vocal delivery and the song’s catchy chorus convey a sense of triumphant optimism, asserting that true love can overcome even the harshest criticism. “Don’t Matter” is an uplifting and infectious anthem for anyone fighting to keep a forbidden love alive.

11. “Rewrite the Stars” by Zendaya

“Rewrite the Stars” by Zendaya & Zac Efron: Featured in the film “The Greatest Showman,” this duet between Zendaya and Zac Efron expresses the yearning to change destiny and societal constraints to be with one another. The song’s powerful and cinematic production, accompanied by soaring vocals, captures the relentless fight against the odds for love. The lyrics convey a deep sense of hope and the desire to rewrite one’s story for a chance at love, encapsulating the feeling of love that struggles against the boundaries set by the world.

12. “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift

“You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift: A pop-country anthem that resonates with listeners who have experienced unrequited love, “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift portrays the classic “girl next door” longing for the boy who seems out of reach. Taylor’s narrative songwriting paints a vivid picture of youthful yearning and quiet moments of connection that suggest a better, more understanding love. The catchy hooks and relatable storyline have made it an enduring hit, speaking to the challenges and hope of finding love in unexpected places.

13. “Love Story” – Taylor Swift

“Love Story” by Taylor Swift: Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” takes inspiration from William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” transforming it into a modern country-pop ballad with a happy ending. The track draws parallels between the classic tale of forbidden love and modern relationships, offering a more optimistic outcome. Its sweeping melodies and romantic lyrics invite listeners to escape into a storybook world where love conquers all.

14. “I Want to Know What Love Is” – Foreigner

“I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner: This classic rock power ballad from Foreigner captures the universal search for the true meaning and depth of love. The emotional vocals and blending of rock and gospel elements create a timeless appeal, expressing the vulnerability and longing to understand love, which may sometimes seem just out of reach or forbidden. Its powerful chorus has echoed through the decades, becoming a call for anyone who’s ever yearned for a deep, almost transcendent connection.

15. “The One That Got Away” – Katy Perry

“The One That Got Away” by Katy Perry: Katy Perry’s “The One That Got Away” is a reflective pop song that delves into the reminiscence of a lost love that was once so potent and full of potential. The narrative, laced with nostalgia and regret, speaks to the poignancy of looking back at a relationship that could not withstand the test of time, possibly due to circumstances beyond the lovers’ control. Perry’s emotional delivery and the song’s cinematic music production make it a powerfully evocative piece on the lasting impact of love that once was.

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16. “Careless Whisper” – George Michael

“Careless Whisper” by George Michael: This iconic 80s track is synonymous with the sultry saxophone riff that opens the song. George Michael delivers a poignant reflection on guilt and regret following a clandestine affair. The lyrics speak to the torment and irreparable damage caused by infidelity, wrapped in a smooth, soul-infused pop melody. The song’s enduring popularity is a testament to its emotional depth and the universal themes of lost love and remorse, striking a chord with anyone who has experienced the complexities of a hidden relationship.

17. “Saving All My Love For You” – Whitney Houston

“Saving All My Love for You” by Whitney Houston: A classic ballad that showcases Whitney Houston’s unparalleled vocal prowess, this song tells the story of a woman involved in an affair with a married man. The poignant lyrics express longing and the hope for a future where they can be together openly, despite knowing the societal judgments they face. Houston’s emotive delivery captures the essence of yearning and the bittersweet reality of being “the other woman,” making it a powerful ode to forbidden love.

18. “Secret Love Song” by Little Mix ft. Jason Derulo

“Secret Love Song” by Little Mix ft. Jason Derulo: This powerful ballad by Little Mix, featuring Jason Derulo, is a heartfelt exploration of a concealed love affair. Its lyrics convey the pain and frustration of being unable to publicly express love, imbuing the song with a sense of longing and secrecy. The dynamic vocal performances by Little Mix and Derulo, paired with the song’s emotive melody, underscore the intensity and complexity of hidden love, resonating with those who have had to keep a relationship out of sight.

19. “At Last” by Etta James

“At Last” by Etta James: “At Last” is often regarded as a timeless love anthem, but its lyrics can also evoke the sense of relief and fulfillment found in finally being able to openly express a love that was once forbidden or constrained. Etta James’ soul-stirring vocals, full of warmth and depth, perfectly encapsulate the joy and contentment of finding true love against all odds. The classic bluesy arrangement elevates the song, making it a universal symbol of love’s triumph.

20. “Crazy for You” by Madonna

“Crazy for You” by Madonna: Madonna’s tender ballad “Crazy for You” captures the intoxicating feeling of falling deeply in love, possibly with someone unattainable or off-limits. The song, set against the backdrop of a high school dance in the film “Vision Quest,” delves into the feelings of passion and desperation that come with a forbidden attraction. Madonna’s evocative vocals and the slow, dreamy melody create a timeless track that speaks to the heart’s capacity to defy logic and societal expectations in the name of love.


In scrutinizing the “20 Best Songs About Forbidden Love,” we journey through a musical tapestry rich with illicit desire and unspoken promises.

These poignant tracks form the soundtrack for those who love against all odds, their melodies echoing the intricate dance between heartache and ecstasy.

The artists behind these songs masterfully convey the nuances of love that must hide in the shadows, inviting listeners to reflect on the powerful pull of emotions that refuse to be tamed by conventions.

As we close this article, we recognize the timeless allure of forbidden love in music—a testament to love’s enduring power to transcend barriers and touch our deepest selves.

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