Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler, teacher, scientist; Published author & Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published July 1st 2022
Keeping a secret by singing about it
A reader request, which I haven't done in a while.
Songs about secrets are rather common. A lot of songs about infidelity or the like involve the secret being a big part of it, and then there are secret unrequited feelings and other secrets. Fertile ground for lyricists… and writers of romance stories. And horror stories, if I'm being honest.
So, these are songs about secrets. They have the word "secret" in the title in some form, and they are about secrets in one way or another. As such, I have avoided instrumentals. And the usual rules apply – one song per artist, one version of each song, I need to like it, in my collection.
Enjoy songs about secrets!
'Do You Want To Know A Secret' by The Beatles (1963)
From the album Please Please Me, this was one of the first tracks written by Lennon/McCartney to have a chart-topping cover version (in this case, by Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas). But, yes, I do prefer this original.
'Secret Love' by The Righteous Brothers (1968)
This is a cover version of the song made famous by Doris Day. I find the Day version a little twee, and much prefer this one, with their vocal harmonies leading the track. Maybe it's a touch over-orchestrated, but the voices – wow.
'No Secrets' by The Angels (1980)
The Angels, the band I saw love more than any other, and one of their better-known pub-rock songs. This was one of those songs that translated well to the live stage, but the studio version is just as good.
'Secret Messages' by Electric Light Orchestra (1983)
The title track from ELO's 1983 album, this song is a great example of the way they combined the orchestral sounds they developed in the 70s with the synth-pop they became associated with in the 80s. A faster track, this one does not get enough recognition.
'Secret' by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (1985)
Standard 1980s synth-pop here, from one of the better exponents of it. This was a minor charting single, but I remember liking it at the time, and I still find it quite an enjoyable listen. OMD deserve more recognition.
'Secret' by Heart (1990)
Brigade was an album that had some really good songs on it – including this one – but way too much filler. This track is one of those power ballads that Heart did so well, and is all but forgotten nowadays.
'I've Got A Miniature Secret Camera' by Peter Murphy (1990)
This is a strange song that I have on a compilation album, so I know nothing about it or the artist, but it is catchy and infectious and a load of fun. And a song about a miniature camera is something I've not heard any other time.
'Secret Love' by The Bee Gees (1991)
This track from the latter part of the career of the Brothers Gibb is one that sort of slipped under the radar, which is a shame, because it is a strong track. It nudged the charts at the time, but has fallen into obscurity since. This mid-tempo song is better than that.
'Secret Garden' by Bruce Springsteen (1995)
A song released as a single from a greatest hits package and used (I believe) in the film Jerry Maguire, this is one of Springsteen's ballads, a slower song that is rather pretty to chill out to.
'In My Secret Life' by Leonard Cohen (2001)
Cohen had an amazing career, stretching across many decades, and into the twenty-first century he was still releasing some fine albums and really strong tracks. This one, with sparse backing, is one of those tracks where the lyrics are amazing, and Cohen's raspy voice fits it so well.
'Secret' by The Veronicas (2005)
The Veronicas are one of those groups that I like some of their tracks, but would not consider myself a follower. Still, I was given a copy of The Secret Life Of… album and found I enjoyed most of it, and this song, a mid-tempo pop piece, is certainly one of the better ones on the collection.
'Secret Love Song' by Little Mix feat. Jason Derulo (2015)
I admit, I don't mind the Little Mix album Get Weird, and some of their other singles (though much of their latter output left me cold). This song was one I really did like, so much so that I based a short story on it, which I managed to sell. They show they can sing here, and this is one of the very few times I could stomach Jason Derulo.
There we are – a dozen songs about secrets. There is a nice spread of years here (none from the 1970s, though…) and hopefully you'll find something you enjoy.
And unlike the songs here, don't keep this one a secret. If you enjoy it, let people know!