Holidays are a tense time. Whether feelings were hurt during Thanksgiving or you anticipate a blowout come Christmas time, chances are an apology lies somewhere in the future. Why not let a song do the talking for you? Here are the six best apologetic songs. Let us know your favorites in the comments, but be aware that "All Apologies" by Nirvana did not make the list because it's not actually apologetic and songs from Sorry For Party Rocking were also disqualified because LMFAO isn't actually sorry.
6. All-4-One - "I'm Sorry" If I had to summarize the '90s in three musical phenomena, it would be grunge, gangsta rap, and R&B slow jam apologies. You know, like "On Bended Knee" by Boyz II Men and "I'm Sorry" by All-4-One, which is the modernized, slightly grown up version of Brenda Lee's song by the same name. Slow dance tempo, crystal production, dense harmonies, "I'm Sorry" has it all. The only thing that could make this track better would be one of those "Please forgive me, baby..." spoken pseudo-raps during the bridge, preferably by the dude with the low voice who gets a miniature solo at 3:48.
5. The Get Up Kids - "Don't Hate Me" In its early years, The Get Up Kids mostly wrote about feeling sorry, usually to a girl who was miles away on the other end of a calling-card operated pay phone (this was the late 90s, mind you). The band penned songs named "Forgive And Forget" and "My Apology," but the group's best plea for redemption was "Don't Hate Me" from its kind of shitty in hindsight debut Four Minute Mile. It opens with "Forgive me," begs in the chorus "Oh Amy, don't hate me for running away from you," and later shouts "Sorry I can't be everything to you!" Essentially, the song says "Sorry, baby, I gots to go on tour now." For some reason, I doubt Amy took him back. 4. Hall & Oates - "I'm Sorry" Besides its inviting arrangement and interesting melodic turns, Hall & Oates' "I'm Sorry" succeeds because it portrays the apologizer as a pathetic individual. If you are either writing an apology in song form or trying to find the right track to say how you feel, you can probably relate.
3. Os Mutantes - "I'm Sorry, Baby (Desculpe, Babe)" There's nothing too clever to say about this track. Os Mutantes is one of the greatest bands of all time (I will fight you over this, physically), "Desculpe, Baby" is one of its best tracks, and it happens to translate to "I'm Sorry, Baby." The Brazilian band put "Desculpe" on its early record A Divina Comédia ou Ando Meio Desligado and re-recorded it for the mostly English crossover album Tecnicolor. The Portuguese version is better, but the Tecnicolor version has certain advantages because I do speak English.
2. Chicago - "Hard To Say I'm Sorry" First off, it's hard to comprehend that Chicago, the band who did the monster ballad "Hard To Say I'm Sorry" included a seven minute guitar noise track on its debut album. Seriously, this is so smooth that I thought it was a Peter Cetera track for years. Chicago used its pop powers to write the ultimate sorry slow jam, one that infuses the humbling nature of the apology into its hook. All-4-One should take notes. 1. Nerf Herder - "Sorry" "Sorry" by Nerf Herder is totally ridiculous. It's the epitome of the loser apologizing for being a loser. Lyrics range from "Sorry we broke up, sorry I missed you" to "Sorry I puked up on your bedspread." The latter is tame compared to the true nuggets of creepiness, both of which are oddly window-based: "Sorry I jacked off outside of your window while you were sleeping" and "Sorry I crashed through your window on acid." It's a similar song to Usher's "Confessions Part II," but Usher never actually says he's sorry for his behavior. Nerf Herder is a joke band with serious tendencies, and "Sorry" works because it falls just short of parody. But after analyzing literally thousands of apologetic songs and narrowing them down to the six best, the whole sorry song concept could use a good poke.