The future of music

35 Best Apology Songs (Sorry Songs List)

December 14, 2023
Apology songs

I’ve gathered the best apology songs, each one eloquently expressing regret and the desire for forgiveness.

This article is a collection of heartfelt melodies that encapsulate the sincerity and emotion involved in saying ‘I’m sorry.

Table of Contents

Top apology songs

  • “Apologize” by Timbaland ft. OneRepublic
  • “Apology Song” by The Decemberists
  • “All Apologies” by Nirvana
  • “Hello” by Adele
  • “Back To December” by Taylor Swift
  • “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” by Blue ft. Elton John
  • “I Apologize” by Anita Baker
  • “Please Forgive Me” by Bryan Adams
  • “I’m Sorry” by Brenda Lee
  • “So Sorry” by Feist

1. “Apologize” by Timbaland ft. OneRepublic

The easiest way to mend a broken relationship is to apologize.

But sometimes, it gets too bad that moving on is the only solution. 

This song is about moving on from a bad relationship with no time to apologize. 

2. “Apology Song” by The Decemberists 

Everybody wonders why The Decemberists included this song as the 6th track in their ‘5 Songs’ album.

But it is a beautiful apology song about a friend’s stolen bike. 

It reminds us that it’s only right to apologize for hurting our loved ones. 

3. “All Apologies” by Nirvana 

The lead singer, Kurt Cobain, apologizes to his wife and daughter in the award-winning alternative rock song. 

He’s remorseful for all the pain he’s subjected his loved ones to. 

Cobain sadly passed on four months after releasing this song, making it the last track before his demise. 

4. “Hello” by Adele 

Regret is a nostalgic feeling that haunts us when least expected.

You stumble upon an old picture, and the memories come back. 

When that happens to Adele, she writes a song reflecting on her past life. 

The highly celebrated hit has the singer reminiscing about her vulnerabilities. 

It’s all about reflecting on her past life and vowing to make changes for the future. 

5. “Back To December” by Taylor Swift 

Is Taylor Swift trying to reconnect with her ex?

Probably not.

Is she perhaps apologizing?

That’s right.

This song is probably the first time Swift is apologizing to an ex-lover. 

But the lyrics portray a regretful mood rather than apologetic. 

It is a realization that she has lost someone special. 

Only if she could go back to December and recreate the beautiful memories. 

6. “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” by Blue ft. Elton John 

Sorry appears to be the simplest way to mend a broken relationship.

But that isn’t always the case. 

Elton John’s mournful ballad is about a dying relationship. 

It’s that heartbreaking moment you are trying to save a dying relationship while knowing too well a reconciliation is near impossible. 

Is there a reason to apologize at that moment? 

7. “I Apologize” by Anita Baker 

“Just the other night/We had a terrible fight/I admit that I/I was out of control.” 

Sometimes all we have to do is say the simple word when our reckless statements hurt our loved ones.

And Anita Baker’s 1994 song is all about an apology. 

She regrets her hurtful words and begs the addressee to forgive her. 

It is one of the best sorry songs.

8. “Please Forgive Me” by Bryan Adams 

Here’s one of the best songs about apologizing. 

Bryan Adams is desperately begging his lover to forgive him for loving her that way. 

It’s the sweet-sounding apology song we didn’t know we wanted.

9. “I’m Sorry” by Brenda Lee 

I’m Sorry” is a 1960 apology song by the then-15-year-old American pop star. 

It was one of the best teen pop songs at the time, describing the singer’s remorseful behavior. 

She blames age and blind love for her mistakes and hopes the addressee can understand. 

10. “So Sorry” by Feist 

Reckless actions and hurtful statements pushed Feist to write one of the best sorry songs in history. 

She admits to failing her lover but only realizes it after he’s walked away.

The song has a little bit of everything, describing the common flaws we all have in our romantic relationships. 

11. “Jealous Guy” by John Lennon and The Plastic Ono Band

John Lennon is the jealous guy in this track. 

The song is about John’s possessiveness, regretting his insecurities that always brought pain to his lover and family.

He’s not proud of his actions and expresses the sentiments in this song. 

12. “Sorry” by Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber’s iconic hit with Julia Michaels has a universal message of forgiveness. 

Many a time, we screw up in romantic relationships. 

And the least we can do in such cases is to say sorry. 

That’s Bieber’s message in this song, even if sometimes, it could be too late to apologize. 

13. “Hard To Say I’m Sorry” by Chicago 

Chicago’s power ballad is about trying to hold onto a dying relationship by recognizing your mistakes. 

It could be too late to apologize, but the singer is trying. 

Peter Cetera is credited for writing this song, recognized as one of the most romantic tracks by the American rock band

14. “Sorry Not Sorry” by Demi Lovato 

“Sorry Not Sorry” is Demi Lovato’s response to the haters who always poked their noses into her life.

It is a sarcastic song about being yourself no matter what anyone says. 

The hit has been considered a girl anthem in recent years, encouraging them to rise above negative energy.

The singer is telling the haters that her life is much better, now that she’s decided to be herself. 

And why would she apologize for that? 

15. “Baby Can I Hold You” by Tracy Chapman 

“Baby Can I Hold You” is Tracy Chapman’s rallying cry for the many unfulfilled promises in their relationship. 

It’s her lover’s treatment that hurts her the most. 

And Tracy affirms that she only needs good treatment, love, and an apology to feel okay. 

16. “Sorry, Blame It On Me” by Akon 

Akon probably wasn’t aware of the huge uproar a clip of him dancing with an underage girl at a nightclub would cause.  

And he learns his lesson the hard way.

He wrote an apology song, regretting his actions and taking the blame for the reputation-damaging incident. 

He’s genuinely sorry for the pain his actions might have caused and is ready to face the consequences. 

Say what you may, but at least the man is owning up. 

17. “Cleanin’ Out My Closet” by Eminem 

“Cleanin’ Out My Closet” isn’t your ordinary apology song. 

Eminem can’t hide the truth anymore and gives the listeners a glimpse of his struggles growing up. 

While he apologizes to her mother in the song, it’s all sarcastic, and he still blames her for bad parenting. 

The song peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. 

18. “For What It’s Worth” by Liam Gallagher 

Liam wants to put the bad memories behind him and just move on with his life.

And he wrote a sweet song for that course. 

The song is written from an introspective point, with Liam taking a keen look at his life. 

It was a dedication to his kids, mother, and anyone else he might have wronged in the world. 

19. “Forgive Me” by Evanescence

Forgiveness is probably the most powerful word amongst couples. 

This song is about a person apologizing to a loved one after saying regretful things to them. 

Sometimes, emotions can get the better of us, and we end up making reckless comments we may regret later. 

So, you better have the courage to say, “Forgive Me.” 

20. “Sorry” by Ciara

Misunderstandings in a relationship must be sorted out immediately for life to move on. 

Unfortunately, it just didn’t work out for Ciara in this song.

She remembers an ex-lover and only feels sorry for how things turned out. 

Maybe she misses him?

It’s clear as day. 

21. “Sorry For The Stupid Things” by Babyface 

Babyface admits what many people wouldn’t dare do for once; that sometimes we all do stupid things. 

And the least we can do is apologize for our hurtful actions. 

“Sometimes we wish for the better/When we have it good as it gets/Sometimes the grass isn’t greener/Soon as we find out we forget.” 

22. “I’m Sorry” by Blake Shelton 

Sometimes, sorry isn’t just enough to mend irreparable damage. 

That’s Blake Shelton’s message to his lover in this song.

No matter how many times she apologizes, things will never be the same again. 

23. “Sorry” by Madonna 

Madonna’s “Sorry” isn’t a typical apology song because the addressee is willing to hear none of it. 

Perhaps noting that the apology isn’t genuine, she isn’t ready to accept it. 

24. “Swallow My Pride” by The Ramones

Saying “Forgive me” and “I’m sorry” requires humility. 

And sometimes, we have to swallow our pride to be on good terms with our loved ones. 

Just ignore your ego and say the five-letter word. 

25. “Baby Come Back” by Player 

“Baby Come Back” is a genuine breakup song

It is one of those classic “I want you back” songs accompanied by regret and remorse. 

26. “I Did It” by Dave Matthews Band

The singer was never going to say sorry before admitting his mistake. 

And that’s probably the safest thing to do when you want someone back.

27. “A Song For You” by Amy Winehouse 

Amy Winehouse paid tribute to a man she loved.

While she acknowledges that they can no longer be together, she dedicates a beautiful song to him.

She wants him to know that she’s sorry for treating him unkindly. 

28. “If I Could Turn Back Time” by Cher 

Cher’s 1989 pop rock is a confessional hit about life’s regrets. 

The singer is remorseful for her hurtful actions.

And wishes she could get a second chance to redeem herself. 

29. “Don’t Love You No More (I’m Sorry)” by Craig David 

Some songs about being sorry tell the bitter truth we all don’t want to hear. 

Just like Craig David’s “Don’t Love You No More” tells the story of a painful goodbye. 

When the spark of love in his romantic relationship is no longer there anymore, the best they can do is move on. 

30. “In Between” by Linkin Park 

Linkin Park’s “In Between” is a heartfelt apology song. 

Pride, promises, and lies.

But the truth will always lie somewhere in the middle.  

31. “Heartbreaker” by ft. Cheryl Cole 

Heartbreaking wouldn’t be a popular profession if it ever existed.

But when you become a heartbreaker, you only learn how to break other people’s hearts. 

That also means you must learn to apologize, even if it isn’t sincere. 

Then comes and Chery Cole’s 2007 hit about men mistreating their partners and cheating on them. 

“I broke her heart in thirty seconds flat/In thirty seconds flat.” 

32. “Hurt” by Christina Aguilera 

Christina Aguilera pays tribute to her father in her sad 2006 pop song. 

The only thing she ever wanted to tell him before he died was, “I’m sorry, I still love you.”

But she never got the chance to do so. 

And now she will probably regret it for the rest of her life. 

33. “Ms. Jackson” by Outkast 

“Ms. Jackson” is an apology song written by the American hip-hop alternative pair of Big Boi and Andre 3000. 

It is about an out-of-wedlock child and the pain that comes with it. 

The song won an award at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards for Best Rap Performance by a Duo/Group. 

34. “My Stupid Mouth” by John Mayer 

John Mayer is a man in trouble.

Can someone help him, please? 

“My stupid mouth/Has got me in trouble/I said too much again.” 

A stupid mouth will always get you in trouble. 

And Mayer learns it the hard way on the most awkward date of his life. 

“My Stupid Mouth” is about a date gone wrong, with the singer left begging for a second chance. 

We’ve all become casualties of our own words at some point. 

35. “Let’s Be Us Again” by Lonestar 

Another case of saying more than necessary?

The last song on our list is about a man who loses his head and says hurtful statements to his lover. 

He’s close to losing a special someone before apologizing for his mistake. 

We guess that’s what love is all about. 

Apology Songs – Final Thoughts  

Throughout history, musicians have used sweet lyrics to apologize for more than just romantic mistakes. 

Apology songs are the quintessential music genre that has stood the test of time. 

And these 35 songs on our list will tell you that no matter who you are, sometimes, you have to swallow your pride and say the five-letter word.

Similar Articles: 

Songs About Regret

Songs About Respect

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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