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Your Cheatin' Heart

Your Cheatin' Heart


by Hank Williams


"Your cheatin' heart/ Will make you weep"

Quick Thought

Key words: guilt complex.

Deep Thought

Even if Williams doesn't get his own revenge on the cheater he is singing to, life will come around and make things hard for a cheatin' heart. It's cosmic vengeance—or maybe Freudian subconscious guilt—that will punish the cheater in the end. It's a bit like "The Tell-Tale Heart," minus the murder factor.

We don't even know if the cheater has done anything more than think about another lover. Sort of like this Coca-Cola delivery guy in a 1996 Pepsi ad, who gets caught reaching for a Pepsi. But the point is, watch out: your cheatin' heart will make you suffer, and ultimately give you away.

Do you agree? Can a guilty conscience hide from the truth?

"You'll walk the floor/ The way I do"

Quick Thought

Key words: first person.

Deep Thought

It's the perfect little bite of sadness, small enough not to come off as melodrama but sad enough to strike a chord.

This song has a personal feel to it, but Williams only uses "I" in this one line, repeated only twice in the song. After listing off a whole series of sufferings that his cheating sweetheart will have to endure, this line finally lets us in on the inner workings: Walking the floor is what the narrator is actually in the midst of doing. Rather than composing a song that says "I'm crying, and I'm walking the floor at night, and it sucks for me" Williams lets us know what he's going through by wishing it all on this other person. All that suffering actually belongs to the singer, not to the sung-to. This one "I" lets us know that he's not just a little bitter, he's heartbroken. With writing this clever, Williams doesn't have to use words like "heartbreak" or phrases like "done me wrong."

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