The more I thought about this particular sin, the more I realised it was an impossible task: I reckon at least 50% of all pop songs ever written deal with envy of one kind or another. Here, then, are some of the most blatant...
10. Ash - Envy
Remember when Ash were a 4-piece? I envy those guys, getting to play with Charlotte Hatherley... for as long as it lasted.
9. Octopus - Jealousy
Three cheers for obscure 90s indie! Three cheers for the youtube commenter who claims "the lead singer of this band is an English teacher at my school now".
8. Nick Lowe - Where's My Everything?
This one almost made it onto the third deadly sin, but I decided it's more to do with jealousy than greed.
Where is the beautiful family home7. Momus - A Complete History Of Sexual Jealousy (Parts 17 To 24)
That I was promised on the news at ten?
Like my personal place in the sun
It never happened along
And as for the greatest love of all
That's been sworn in a billion lines
And is mine by birthright
I'll bet I'll see none
Yes, I did include this on my Top Ten Sexual Songs, but it's far too good not to feature here too. Just wait for my Top Ten History Songs!
I'm jealous of the man the man you broke the heart of6. John Lennon - Jealous Guy
Broke the heart of
I'm jealous of the men you knew before
In a life that I can never be a part of
There's more than meets the eye
In the way a stranger meets your eye, I know there's more
A Complete History of Sexual Jealousy, Parts 17-24
Given my aversion to all things Beatlacular, you might have expected me to go for the Roxy Music version. But I watched that on youtube and Bryan Ferry's 80's leer scared the bejeebus out of me, so I think I'll stick with the original.
See also Jealous Guy by Art Brut... although it only shares the title.
5. Queen - Jealousy
It's sad that they're going for a PG-friendly take on the Freddie Mercury biopic, and that in choosing to do so they've discouraged Sacha Baron-Cohen from taking part.
Still, we'll always have the real Freddie, whenever we listen to songs like this.
4. The Black Crowes - Jealous Again
The Crowes at the most Stoned. (Rolling, that is.)
3. Del Amitri - Just Like A Man
So I'm thinking "who's most likely to have written a song about jealousy... even if they haven't given an obvious nod in the song's title?" Before I even remembered this song, I thought: Justin Currie.
And just like a man he holds you gently2. The Pet Shop Boys - Jealousy
And just like a man he strokes your hair
And just like a man I still pretend that I'm
Immune to the whole affair...
Poor Neil: he looks so glum. Somebody give him a hug!
Where've you been?One of their best. Dubstar did a lovely version too.
Who've you seen?
You didn't phone when you said you would!
Do you lie?
Do you try
To keep in touch? You know you could
I've tried to see your point of view
But could not hear or see
1. Meat Loaf - More Than You Deserve
I almost put this in my Top Ten Greed Songs too, but having watched the video, I realised it's more about jealousy. It's a simple enough tale in which Meat falls in love with a girl, only to catch her making love to his best friend. Only, in classic Jim Steinman style, that's not quite enough. Before Meat knows what's happening, the object of his affection is getting off with not one of his best friends... but two... and, eventually, a whole group of them! Basically, she'll shag everyone he knows (all at once, by the sound of it): the only one she won't touch with a barge pole is poor old Meat himself. Being the nice guy he is though, Meat is prepared to step aside and watch this happen... through gritted teeth...
Won't you take some more?(The bit where Meat bellows, "Listen here, group!" makes me howl with laughter while my heart simultaneously breaks into a million pieces every time I hear it.)
It's what you came for
And don't mind me
I won't throw you no curve
Have yourself a ball with my good woman
Won't you take some more, boys?
It's more than you deserve...
I was frankly horrified to discover I'd lived 41 years of my life ignorant to the fact that this song had a video. Perhaps the greatest video ever recorded in the history of videos. The Citizen Kane of music videos. There are times in my life when I think I could happily survive on a desert island with nothing but the complete Jim Steinman / Meat Loaf collaborations to sustain me. Having finally seen this video, I think I could even make do with just a ratty old VHS of this promo and nothing else. It's more than I deserve...
Also: Jack Black stole his entire act from Meat Loaf. Fact.
Which song brings out your green-eyed monster?