21 Songs About Pretending (2023)

Songs about pretending encompass a variety of songs with lyrics and themes related to pretending, acting, or putting on a facade. These songs often explore the concept of masking one’s true emotions, desires, or identity, either in relationships, personal struggles, or societal contexts. They delve into the intricate dance between authenticity and illusion depicting tales of hidden desires and concealed pain. These musical expressions invite us to reflect on the fragile balance of pretense.

21. “Just Pretend” by Elvis Presley

Album: Elvis Now (1972) | Style: Pop

It is the kind of song you’d want to sway to with your special someone on a dimly lit dance floor as the music starts to captivate a dreamy atmosphere. The song’s lyrics tell of a bittersweet story of lost love and the longing to bring back the magic of a relationship that has faded away. It heartfully reminds us of the power of imagination and the illusions of love. Close your eyes and be immersed in the make-believe world conveyed through this song.

20. “Pretending” by Alec Benjamin

Album: Narrated for You | Style: Pop

This song will take you on an emotional journey of being lost in the web of relationships and the art of pretending. It is a kind of song that compels you to reflect on the moments when you tried to put on a brave face despite secretly wanting something else.  “Pretending” is a song that speaks to the universal experience of pretending in relationships, reminding us that sometimes we must face the truth and let go of the charades we create to protect our hearts.

19. “Game of Pretend” by Lindsey Buckingham

Album: Out of the Cradle | Style: Pop Rock

The dynamics of this song grab every listener’s attention right from the start with its infectious guitar riffs and distinct vocals. There is an undeniable intensity and emotion in the song as it draws us closer to a story of a relationship built on illusions and falsehoods. The lyrics delve into the complexities of playing games and putting on masks, exploring the delicate balance between reality and make-believe.

18. “Can’t Pretend” by Tom Odell

Album: Long Way Down (2013) | Style: Pop

This song evokes a lot of empathy in people who realized that sometimes we can’t fake our emotions, no matter how hard we try. It reminds us that it will always be okay to embrace our true selves, even when it hurts. This song will really hit hard on you once you listen to it.

17. “Pretending as Always” by Anouk

Album: Sad Singalong Songs | Style: Pop

This track is a perfect companion at moments when you are lost in your thoughts, contemplating the complexities of relationships. As the lyrics unfold, you can relate to the sentiment of putting on a facade, pretending that everything is okay even when it’s not. This song also invites you to reflect on the masks we wear and the toll it takes on our hearts.

16. “Pretend It’s OK” by Little Mix

Album: Salute (2013) | Style: Pop

Let go of your worries and dance like nobody is watching while tuning in to this song. Its infectious harmonies deliver a message of resilience and inner strength that encourage you to put on a brave face and rise above the challenges life throws your way. Truly, why wouldn’t we just pretend it’s okay and conquer the world with confidence and positivity?

15. “Don’t You Pretend” by Kelly Clarkson

Album: Unbreakable | Style: Pop-rock

This song is all about staying true to oneself and not putting up a front for others, with Kelly’s powerful vocals empowering us to stand up and own our authenticity. This song also reminds us to never be swayed by other people’s biased expectations. So, whether you are having a hard time or you need some confidence boost, this song is perfect for you.

14. “Can We Pretend” by Pink

Album: Hurts 2B Human | Style: Pop

Hit the dance floor with the pulsating electronic elements of this song as it weaves a story about escaping reality and finding solace in pretending. This song’s thought-provoking lyrics remind us of the power of imagination as much as the joy of escaping the monotony of everyday indulgence in life.

13. “Pretend” by Seinabo Sey

Album: Pretend | Style: Pop

Your heartstrings will be tugged by this beautiful blend of soulful vocals and pop beats. It follows a tale of longing and desire exploring the bittersweet nature of unrequited love in deep vulnerability. This song invites you to delve into the complexities of love and the struggle to hide true feelings that resonate deeply, as it captures the universal experience of yearning for someone who may not reciprocate those feelings.

12. “Pretend You’re Missing Me” by Betty Who

Album: The Valley | Style: Pop

We’ll be greeted with a pulsating beat to hook into as the vibrant and energetic vocals of Betty Who takes center stage. She belts out lyrics about longing for someone who is no longer around, and it captures that familiar feeling of missing someone. More so, it captures the persona’s wishful thinking of being missed back.

11. “Pretend” by Tinashe

Album: Aquarius | Style: Pop

This song draws you into a mesmerizing melody and seductive voice that creates a dreamy and introspective mood. Tinashe’s vocals are pure magic, conveying a range of emotions from longing to vulnerability to strength and empowerment. So, if you’re in the mood for a moody and introspective R&B track that oozes emotion and sensuality, give “Pretend” a listen.

10. “Pretend We’re Dead” by L7

Album: Bricks Are Heavy | Style: Alternative Rock

This song is about laying back and conforming to things you already know are wrong. It’s kind of a backward, sarcastic stinging blow to people who just follow blindly and never question things. Probably, when you hear this song on your radio, you would want to dive into a crazy mosh pit and go wild!  

9. “The Pretender” by Foo Fighters

Album: Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace | Style: Alternative Rock

The song is a full-on assault of energy and passion for a wild ride with a lyrical narrative that delves into defiance and standing up against the fake and phony. It is a rallying cry to not succumb to the societal pressures and pretense in life, and that it is important to stay true to oneself.

8. “Don’t Pretend You Didn’t Know” by Dinosaur Jr.

Album: I Bet on Sky | Style: Alternative Rock

This song delves into the touch of longing, confusion, and frustrations that comes with trying to read someone’s true intentions and plans. Its dynamic musical elements glide over to a sense of nostalgia and introspection that compels us to embrace the freedom of the open road. It’s perfect for those moments when you want to feel a little rebellious and let loose.

7. “Call It Pretending” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Album: Mardi Gras | Style: Rock

The song tells a story of a love gone sour wrapped up in a bittersweet package as its lyrics paint a picture of a broken heart, where two people drift apart despite their best efforts to save the relationship. This soulful song will remind you of those moments when love felt real and painful all at once. Musically, it captures that stripped-down essence of rock and roll.

6. “World Leader Pretend” by R.E.M.

Album: Green | Style: Alternative Rock

“World Leader Pretend” is a soul-stirring masterpiece that instantly grabs your attention as its distinct vocals kick in to deliver poignant lyrics that touch on themes of power and disillusionment. This song enables us to make us simultaneously feel intimate and grand as its lyrics explore the struggles of someone who feels like they’re pretending to be someone they’re not. Prepare to be captivated by its raw emotion and intricate sonic tapestry.

5. “Pretend” by The Mavericks

Album: In Time | Style: Country/Pop

If you’re into a sweet blend of country and pop with a dash of Latin flavor, this one’s for you as it is filled to the brim with catchy tunes. It explores the idea of pretending to be okay after a breakup and putting on a brave face while your heart is hurting. Throughout, you’ll be fully immersed in its feel-good vibes.

4. “Pretend” by Nat King Cole

Album: The Nat King Cole Story | Style: Jazz/Pop

This song will transport you back to that time of first loves and first heartaches. The bittersweet longing for a lost romance is vividly painted by the emotive lyrics of this song. It’s the kind of song that makes you think about that one person who got away or brings back memories of a past love.

3. “Pretend Love” by The Avett Brothers

Album: Closer Than Together | Style: Folk/Rock

This song delves into the pain of feeling like love isn’t genuine and the lyrics beautifully capture the struggles of trying to maintain a facade, pretending that everything is okay, while deep down, you know it’s not. It’s a universal theme that hits home for anyone who’s ever experienced a love that just wasn’t true.

2. “Pretending” by Van Morrison

Album: Avalon Sunset | Style: Folk Rock/Blues

You’ll be swaying along with this song in no time because of its perfect blend of rock and blues. As it explores the yearning and longing for something meaningful in life, it delves into the complexities of relationships and the desire to break free from pretensions. This song carries a depth of emotions that only people who are wearing masks to fit in can truly relate to.

1. “The Great Pretender” by The Platters

Album: The Great Pretender | Style: Doo-Wop/R&B

Are you a great pretender too? You will surely ask yourself this question while listening to this legendary classic song. This song will take you back to those times when we hide behind our smiles to cover up our pains of heartbreaks. Undoubtedly, this is a relatable song that resonates with anyone who’s ever experienced a broken heart.

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