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"Fraud" is a song on Jonathan Coulton's eighth studio album, Artificial Heart.

Live performance

This song has not been played live as of yet.


"Fraud" is available on the album Artificial Heart, which can be ordered through Coulton's website or on iTunes.

Fan Interpretation

One interpretation that has been discussed is that the artist, suffering after a break up with a significant other ["it"], has been religated to "the friends zone" and is arguing with him/herself ["you fraud"] about how to handle the current situation with the significant other.

Lines like:

It tells you lies

You say you won't but you compromise

Just don't imagine you'll ever win

Any race you aren't running in

Seem to indicate that the artist understands that he or she will not be able to be with the significant other ["it"].

Or, this song could be about a cat...Sharp teeth test your skin/Too late, you let an angel in.

Another interpretation of this song involves the creative process and self-doubt as an artist. The "it" is in reference to an idea or inspiration that the artist cannot get out of his head. In this interpretation, lines like the aforementioned excerpt refer to insecurity of concept and trust in personal vision, and encouragement to continue creating despite self-doubt (respectively). The bridge is from the perspective of the "little voice" that causes an artist to doubt him/herself; this is the voice of the "internal editor", so to speak.


Primary Theme:

Secondary Themes:

Other Themes:

  • Self-doubt
  • The creative process

Artificial Heart
1. Sticking It To Myself · 2. Artificial Heart · 3. Nemeses · 4. The World Belongs to You · 5. Today With Your Wife · 6. Sucker Punch · 7. Glasses · 8. Je Suis Rick Springfield · 9. Alone at Home · 10. Fraud · 11. Good Morning Tucson · 12. Now I Am An Arsonist · 13. Down Today · 14. Dissolve · 15. Nobody Loves You Like Me · 16. Still Alive · 17. Want You Gone · 18. The Stache