The 10 Best Rock Songs About Masculinity

The Cure — “Boys Don’t Cry”

It’s blessed with one of the most instantly recognizable riffs ever, and yet it’s about an inability to communicate — the gods of music, it seems, are not without a sense of humor. It’s fairly obvious that the title and chorus here allude to the idea that men are somehow supposed to demonstrate emotional strength by never showing emotion, but even the ostensibly confessional and regretful verses are shot through with the narrator’s inability to fully express himself, and also to empathize. Take the opening lines, for instance: “I would say I’m sorry/ If I thought that it would change your mind.” Not, you’ll note, “I am going to say I’m sorry/ Because that’s how I feel.”