32 Top Songs About Being Treated Unfairly: A Playlist for the Disappointed

Songs About Being Treated Unfairly
Written by Corey Morgan

Songs About Being Treated Unfairly

Songs have always been a powerful way for artists to express their emotions and experiences. One of the most common themes in music is the feeling about being treated unfairly.

Whether it’s in relationships, society, or just life in general, many of us have experienced the frustration and anger that comes with being treated unjustly.

From country to rap, pop to rock, there are countless songs that explore this theme. These songs can be cathartic for listeners who have gone through similar experiences, providing a sense of validation and understanding. They can also be educational for those who haven’t experienced injustice firsthand, helping to build empathy and awareness.

In this article, we will explore some of the best songs about being treated unfairly. We will delve into the lyrics and themes of these songs, examining how they capture the complex emotions that come with feeling mistreated.

Whether you’re looking for a way to process your own experiences or just want to broaden your musical horizons, these songs are sure to resonate with you.

Historical Context

Songs about being treated unfairly have been a part of music history for centuries. These songs have often been used as a form of protest against social injustice and to raise awareness about issues that affect marginalized communities.

In this section, we will explore the historical context of songs about being treated unfairly and highlight some of the key themes that have emerged over time.

  • Women’s Rights

The fight for women’s rights has also inspired a number of songs about being treated unfairly. Throughout the early 20th century suffragettes and the feminist movement of the 1960s and beyond, women have employed music as a means of conveying their dissatisfaction with gender disparity.

These songs have become feminist anthems, empowering women to stand up for themselves and demand equal treatment.

1. “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor

The lyrics of this are empowering and encouraging, telling the story of a woman who has just ended a bad relationship but is determined to move on and be strong. The chorus, which is one of the most famous in music history, repeats the line “I will survive” several times, emphasizing the message of resilience and self-confidence.

The song has since become an anthem for many people who have gone through difficult times and emerged stronger on the other side.

2. Respect by Arthea Franklin

Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” is a classic song that embodies the spirit of empowerment and self-worth. The song is a powerful message about the need for respect and dignity in relationships. Franklin’s lyrics are powerful and uplifting, and the song remains a timeless anthem for women’s rights and equality.

3. The Man by Taylor Swift

“The Man” by Taylor Swift is a song about gender inequality and the double standards that exist between men and women. The song is written from the perspective of a man, highlighting the privileges and advantages that come with being male.

The lyrics address issues such as workplace discrimination and the pressure for women to conform to societal expectations.

4. “Can’t Hold Us Down” by Christina Aguilera ft. Lil’ Kim

This is an empowering anthem released in 2003 that addresses sexism and double standards faced by women in society. The song encourages women to stand up for themselves and fight against oppression and discrimination. With its catchy beat and strong message, “Can’t Hold Us Down” became a popular feminist anthem of the early 2000s.

  • Labor Rights

The struggle for labor rights has also been a common theme in songs about being treated unfairly. From the coal mines of Appalachia to the factories of the industrial Midwest, workers have faced exploitation and abuse at the hands of their employers.

5. “Which Side Are You On?” by Florence Reece

“Which Side Are You On?” is a song written by Florence Reece in 1931 during the Harlan County, Kentucky coal miners’ strike. The song was inspired by the violence and brutality that the striking miners and their families faced from the coal company and the authorities who supported them.

Reece’s husband, Sam, was a union organizer who was targeted and threatened by the company’s agents. In response, Reece wrote the song as a rallying cry for the strikers and their supporters.

The powerful message of “Which Side Are You On?” continues to inspire people to fight for their rights and stand up against injustice.

6. “Joe Hill” by Joan Baez

“Joe Hill” is a folk song written by Alfred Hayes and Earl Robinson in honor of the labor activist Joe Hill, who was executed in 1915. The song has been covered by many artists over the years, but one of the most well-known versions is by Joan Baez.

In Baez’s rendition, the song is performed with her signature clear and soaring vocals, accompanied by a simple guitar melody. The lyrics tell the story of Joe Hill, a labor organizer who fought for the rights of workers and was eventually framed for murder and executed.

Her powerful performance and the song’s message of fighting for justice and equality resonated with many people who were also struggling for their own rights and freedoms.

Overall, Joan Baez’s rendition of “Joe Hill” is a testament to the power of music to inspire and unite people in the fight for social justice.

Songs About Unfair Treatment in Relationships

Relationships can be beautiful, but they can also be challenging. Sometimes, one partner or friend may feel they are being treated unfairly. This section will explore some of the best songs about unfair treatment in relationships.

  • Romantic Relationships

Unfair treatment in romantic relationships can come in many forms, including infidelity, manipulation, and emotional abuse. The following songs explore some of these themes:

7. “Irreplaceable” by Beyonce:

This song was released in 2006 and became a hit single for Beyonce. It is an R&B and pop song that features Beyonce telling her ex-boyfriend that he is easily replaceable and that she doesn’t need him.

8. “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood:

This song was released in 2005 and is a country-pop song. It tells the story of a woman who takes revenge on her cheating boyfriend by vandalizing his car.

9. “Love Lies” by Khalid and Normani:

This song was released in 2018 and is a slow-burning R&B track. It features the vocals of Khalid and Normani and is about the uncertainty and confusion that can come with a new romantic relationship.

10. “Gaslighter” by The Chicks:

This song was released in 2020 and is a country-pop song. It is about a woman who has been gaslighted by her partner and has finally had enough of the lies and manipulation

11. “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette:

This song was released in 1995 and became a hit single for Morissette. It is a rock song that features Morissette’s powerful vocals and lyrics about a former lover who has moved on and left her feeling angry and confused.

  • Friendships

Unfair treatment can also occur in friendships. The following songs explore some of the themes of betrayal and unfairness in friendships:

12. “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift:

The song is about Swift’s falling out with a former friend and fellow musician, whom she has never publicly named. The lyrics describe the betrayal and hurt caused by the friend’s actions, and the anger and resentment Swift feels towards them.

13. “Fake Friends” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts:

The song’s lyrics deal with the theme of superficial friendships, warning listeners to be wary of people who only want to be friends for personal gain.

14. “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon:

“You’re So Vain” is a classic song about an egotistical friend.

15. “Mean” by Taylor Swift:

The song’s lyrics deal with the theme of bullying and the negative impact it can have on individuals.

16. “Best Friend” by Rex Orange County:

The song is about a friend who isn’t there for him when he needs them.

  • Racism and Discrimination

Many of these songs were written and performed by African American artists, and they often highlighted the systemic racism and discrimination that defined life for Black people in America.

Racism and discrimination continue to be major issues in society, and many artists have used their music to speak out against these injustices. Songs like “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday and “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy have become anthems for the fight against racism. Other notable songs include:

17. “We Shall Overcome” Song by Pete Seeger

This is a protest song that has become an anthem for the movement for civil rights in the United States. The song was originally sung by African American gospel singers in the early 20th century, but it was popularized by the folk singer Pete Seeger in the 1950s and 1960s.

The lyrics of the song are simple and repetitive, which makes it easy for people to sing along and participate in protests and demonstrations.

The song’s message is one of hope and determination in the face of adversity, and it has been used as a rallying cry for various social justice movements.

18. Blowing in the Wind Song by Bob Dylan

This is a timeless classic that addresses the questions of freedom and equality. The song is a powerful message that highlights the injustice and unfair treatment of people in society. Dylan’s lyrics are thought-provoking and compel the listener to reflect on the world around them.

19. A Change Is Gonna Come Song by Sam Cooke

This is a soulful ballad that addresses the struggles of African Americans in the 1960s. The song is a powerful message of hope that speaks to the need for change and equality. Cooke’s lyrics are heartfelt and emotional, and the song remains a powerful anthem for the civil rights movement.

20. Strange Fruit by Blue Holiday

“Strange Fruit” is a haunting and powerful song that addresses the horrors of racism and lynching in America. The song is a chilling reminder of the injustices and brutality that African Americans have faced throughout history.

Billie Holiday’s rendition of the song is particularly powerful, and her voice captures the pain and suffering of those who have been mistreated and oppressed.

21. Fight the Power by Public Enemy

Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” is a powerful and defiant anthem that addresses the need for change and resistance against oppression.

The song is a rallying cry for those who have been treated unfairly and marginalized in society. Public Enemy’s lyrics are bold and unapologetic, and the song remains a powerful message of resistance and empowerment.

Overall, these songs are a powerful reminder of the struggles and injustices that people face in society. They are a call to action for change and a reminder that we must continue to fight for equality and justice.

22. “Black Lives Matter” by Dax

In the song, Dax delivers a series of powerful lyrics that highlight the ongoing struggles faced by Black people in North America.

He references the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and calls for an end to police brutality and racial profiling. He also addresses the ongoing disparities in education, healthcare, and housing that disproportionately affect Black communities.

Throughout the song, Dax emphasizes the importance of unity and solidarity in the fight against racism, and encourages listeners to use their voices and take action to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

Overall, “Black Lives Matter” is a powerful and timely song that highlights the ongoing struggle for racial justice in North America, and calls on listeners to take action and stand in solidarity with Black communities.

23. Formation by Beyoncé

Beyoncé’s “Formation” is a powerful song about black pride and the struggle against racism. It addresses the unfair treatment of black people in America and calls for unity and resistance against oppression.

24. This is America by Childish Gambino

“This is America” by Childish Gambino is a commentary on the state of America and the injustices that exist within it. The song addresses issues such as police brutality, gun violence, and racism, and highlights the hypocrisy of American society.

The music video for the song is also a powerful visual representation of the message, featuring scenes of violence and chaos juxtaposed with happy, carefree dancing.

These songs highlight the experiences of Black individuals and communities, and call for an end to systemic racism and discrimination.

25. Thought by Kendrick Lamar

“Thought” by Kendrick Lamar is a song about the struggles of being a black man in America. The song addresses issues such as police brutality, racial profiling, and the challenges of growing up in poverty.

The lyrics are powerful and thought-provoking, challenging listeners to confront the harsh realities of the black experience in America.

  • Economic Inequality

Economic inequality is another major issue faced by many individuals and communities. These songs speak to the struggles of those facing economic hardship. Other notable songs include:

26. “The Times They Are A-Changin'” by Bob Dylan

“The Times They Are A-Changin'” is a song by the legendary American musician Bob Dylan.

The song is a powerful call to action, urging people to wake up and recognize the rapidly changing world around them. It reflects Dylan’s own growing awareness of the social and political turmoil of the era, as well as his belief in the power of music to inspire and motivate people to action.

27. “The Ghost of Tom Joad” by Bruce Springsteen

This is a haunting ballad released in 1995 that addresses issues of poverty, inequality, and social injustice. With its stark imagery and haunting melody, “The Ghost of Tom Joad” is a powerful commentary on the human cost of economic hardship and inequality.

28. “Living for the City” by Stevie Wonder

This is a soulful and socially conscious song released in 1973. It tells the story of a young man from Mississippi who moves to New York City with dreams of a better life, but instead experiences the harsh reality of racism, poverty, and injustice.

The song’s powerful lyrics and Stevie Wonder’s emotive vocals make it a timeless classic that still resonates today. These songs highlight the struggles of those living in poverty or facing economic injustice, and call for a more equitable society.

Songs About Overcoming Unfair Treatment

Music has the power to heal, inspire, and empower. There are many songs that speak to the experience of being treated unfairly and the struggle to overcome it. In this section, we will explore some of these songs and the messages they convey.

  • Empowerment

Many songs about overcoming unfair treatment focus on empowering the listener to take control of their own life and rise above their circumstances.

29. “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera.

One such song is “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera. The lyrics encourage the listener to use their struggles as a source of strength and to never give up:

30. “Roar” by Katy Perry

Another empowering song is “Roar” by Katy Perry. The lyrics encourage the listener to find their voice and speak up for themselves:

These songs and others like them can be a powerful source of motivation and inspiration for those who are struggling to overcome unfair treatment.

  • Forgiveness

While some songs focus on empowerment, others focus on forgiveness as a way to overcome unfair treatment.

31. Sorry by Justin Bieber

One such song is “Sorry” by Justin Bieber. The lyrics acknowledge the mistakes that were made and express a desire to make things right:

32. Survivor by Destiny’s Child

Another song that focuses on forgiveness is “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child. The lyrics encourage the listener to let go of anger and resentment and move forward with their life.

These songs and others like them can be a powerful reminder that forgiveness is a key part of the healing process and can help us move past the unfair treatment we have experienced.