Whether it’s a small, white lie, or a major offending circumstance, saying “I’m sorry” to someone is never quite as easy as it seems. So here are several country songs about being sorry that will help ease those pesky burdens of regret and poor choices, and hopefully assist you or your loved ones becoming healed and whole again.
The Best Country Songs About Being Sorry
Apologies by Brandy Clark
Saying sorry too many times tends to take the meaning out of the gesture. In her song Apologies, Brandy Clark narrates a situation that reflects just that. This song is a slow tempo tune about regret directed towards someone who Clark clearly wronged.
What I love most about Apologies is it’s universal application. This song could be relatable to someone who broke the heart of a lover, a family member, a spouse, a child, or even a friend.
Regardless of who was done wrong, Brandy Clark gives listeners a song that allows them to feel the pain, and hopefully one day, move on from it and forgive themselves for the harm they’ve committed.
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I Should Have Married You by Old Dominion
Sometimes “I’m sorry” doesn’t come out in the exact words. Sometimes it comes out in admitting regret.
In their song I Should Have Married You, Old Dominion gives a cheery twist to a regretful feeling. This song tells listeners about a missed chance to put a ring on the finger of a lover that could have been the one.
The upbeat vibe of this studio written and recorded song is what makes it one of my favorite country songs about being sorry. It not only tells the story of pain and regret, but delivers it in a way that makes the listener wants to dance.
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Better Than I Used To Be by Tim McGraw
Regretting who we’ve been in the past is a commonly felt emotion across the masses and Tim McGraw is no exception. In his song Better Than I Used To Be, McGraw expresses a clear admittance of regret, giving acknowledgement to his embarrassing ways of life up until this point.
This song gives an exemplary demonstration of personal regrets, feeling sorry for past behaviors, knowing you can do better, and committing to growth in the future.
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I Hope You’re Happy Now by Carly Pierce and Lee Brice
In life, we’re not always the ones who get our hearts broken. Sometimes, we’re the ones who break the hearts of others.
In their song I Hope You’re Happy Now, Carly Pierce and Lee Brice sing a heavy hearted tune from two different perspectives about hoping their ex is happy now that the relationship is over.
As Pierce opens the song in the first verse, her lyrics are comprised of sincere well wishes, demonstrating her understanding not only for her actions, but also for her penitence for breaking the heart of Brice’s protagonist.
I love this song not just for it’s demonstration of feeling sorry for breaking someone’s heart, but the unique twist in the response verse. Lee Brice’s lyrics in the second verse are actually from the broken heart’s perspective – which gives this song a lot of depth.
It’s a great example how even when you’re sorry for hurting someone, you still did damage, and they don’t necessarily have to forgive you.
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I Was So Wrong by Chris Stapleton
Even though he’s the one admitting his faults, Chris Stapleton will have you saying “No, no Chris, I’m sorry” after he woo’s you with his incredible vocal range in I Was So Wrong.
There’s not much to decipher about this song. The lyrics are pretty straight to the point. Chris Stapleton is singing his apology to his lover, explaining his regrets over telling her he didn’t want or need her anymore. In a full blown admission of guilt, he begs his ex to come back, repeatedly admitting “Baby, I was wrong.”
Admission of guilt and regret is one of the truest and simplest forms of saying sorry, and Chris Stapleton nailed it both verbally and emotionally in this song.
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Picture by Kid Rock featuring Sheryl Crow
Picture by Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow is a classic song about regret and feeling sorry for leaving a relationship.
Narrating how they both clearly miss each other, and obviously don’t want to move on, we hear each artist sing about their perspective of the situation. Ultimately, in the final verse, they confess they just want each other to come back home.
With the rock music influence of Kid Rock and the country style touch of Sheryl Crow, this song hits hard right in the feels making it a perfect fit for this list.
Her Man by Gary Allan
Words can have a lot of value, but honestly, nothing says “I’m sorry” like changing your ways and taking action.
In his song Her Man, Gary Allan explains how he’s realized he can no longer give his lady the emotional runaround. He’s going to drop all his foolish ways of the past and commit wholeheartedly to just being her man.
Too often are regrets felt after the permanent damage is done. It’s nice to see Gary Allan’s contribution to proactively avoiding having to feel sorry and also lonely because he didn’t figure it out in time.
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Austin by Blake Shelton
Sometimes people have to run away from a situation to give the space they need to see things clearly. In a classic song about being sorry for leaving, Austin by Blake Shelton tells the story of a woman who leaves her lover to move back to her home city of Austin, Texas.
With language some Gen-Zers may not understand, Shelton tells how the woman leaves very specific messages on her land line’s answering machine so that in case the man she feels sorry for leaving calls, he’ll get her message that she still loves him.
This song is an emotional storyline that compels listeners to follow through till the very end.
Look At What I’ve Done by Chris Cagle
When you finally decide to break up with someone, you usually anticipate the person being broken up with to feel crappy. But what happens when your leaving turns into their strength?
Look At What I’ve Done by Chris Cagle is a song about feeling sorry for leaving someone.
At first, Cagle explains how he feels sorry for leaving because he knows he hurt his ex by breaking up with her. However, shortly after he sees her moving on, not actually needing him at all. In an epic, hilarious turn of events, he ends up feeling sorry for leaving because he sees her get stronger for it and then regrets letting her go.
I really love the irony in this song, and how it twists feeling sorry from one version to another based on how the broken hearted person in the story recovers from their loss.
This song was likely meant to shine a spotlight on Cagle and his heartache, but honestly, I think it gives more attention to the real shining star; the woman he left. We should all be more like her.
Another Try by Josh Turner and Trisha Yearwood
Bad habits are hard to break, but Josh Turner is determined in his song Another Try featuring Trisha Yearwood.
This song is a beautifully written piece about a man who’s realizing all of his bad habits are the reason he’s still alone at this point in life.
Not only does he feel sorry for all the wrongs of his past, but he actively wants to change them by becoming a better version of himself. Maybe, by doing so, love will give him another try.
I really love this song because of it’s ability to show the power of self reflection, and how changed habits can lead to an ultimately happier quality of life.
The Greatest Man I Never Knew by Reba McEntire
Feeling sorry about missed relationships doesn’t always reflect the romantic kind. Sometimes one can feel sorry about a parental relationship.
In her song The Greatest Man I Never Knew, Reba McEntire uses that famous country voice of hers to sing powerful lyrics about the missed relationship she never had with her father.
This song is a beautiful rendition of feeling sorry about never having a paternal relationship growing up. While it clearly isn’t her fault she didn’t get a chance to know him, that doesn’t mean the regret and feeling of misfortune isn’t still present.
Feeling sorry can come in many forms, and that is true for fathers and daughters as well.
Stupid Boy by Keith Urban
Making a woman fall in love with you just to turn around and break the ever living crap out of her heart is the ultimate trust fall betrayal.
In his song Stupid Boy, Keith Urban sings repeatedly about a “stupid boy” who took a perfectly happy woman, fell in love with her, made her fall in love with him back, and then broke her heart in half.
Towards the end of the song, Urban admits that he’s been that “stupid boy” before, and how he now realizes he screwed it all up. In the final verse, he admits he’s sorry for what he’s done, and he realizes that she’s never coming back.
This song is written from a very personal place, one that stems from a life experience, and that’s clear to hear with the emotional guitar riffs, intense lyrics, and gradual build throughout the composition.
I’m Not The Devil by Cody Jinks
Getting better can be an active and constant state, even in terms of getting your life together.
I’m Not The Devil is a beautiful song by Cody Jinks, narrating a man who admits he may not present well or have a great track record, but he’s also sorry for those reflections of himself and is working to get better.
This song tugs at the heart strings a little more than the others mostly because it showcases the self esteem damage that comes from understanding your faults.
Luckily, as reflected in the song, Jinks is determined to battle that poor self image, and works on getting better every day.
Walkin’ Back To Georgia by Jim Croce
The first thing that will catch your ear about Walkin’ Back To Georgia by Jim Croce is the beautiful guitar picking in the very beginning. Shortly after, the message will.
This song narrates the feeling of a man being sorry for all the time missed with the woman he loves.
With lyrics explaining all he owns is what’s on his back and the fact he’s walking instead of taking some mode of transportation, would imply he lost everything in the time he was away from his lover.
When a man’s run down to nothing but the shirt on his back, the home found within the woman he loves is the one thing that make his feelings of misfortune fade away, and turn into gratitude for the present.
Choices by George Jones
In life, everyone has to make choices. As we grow, some of those choices are temporary, whereas others are permanent, and impact the trajectory of the rest of our life.
In his song Choices, George Jones sings of choices he’s made. In each passing verse, and with the repetition of each chorus, there seems to be an air of regret in some of his life choices.
While the song doesn’t come right out and say it, it’s safe to assume the mention of alcohol use and constantly losing in the game of life means Jones is regretful of some of those choices he’s made and now has to live with.
Sometimes feeling sorry isn’t felt towards other people. Sometimes it’s felt within oneself, and is something we need to live with, or learn to forgive.
Whiskey Lullaby by Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss
Temporary pain can sometimes bring people to make mistakes, resolving them with permanent resolutions.
In “Whiskey Lullaby,” Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss sing of two lovers, both of whom encounter feeling sorry at some point in the song.
From Brad Paisley’s point of view, the man can’t shake that feeling of misfortune from being wronged by a relationship. Between that and the alcoholism he eventually ends his life.
From Alison Krauss’s point of view, the woman does nothing but blames herself, and feels sorry for ever causing the man so much pain. Eventually, she too succumbs to the feelings and takes her own life too.
This song is timeless and powerful. It’s also a great demonstration of just how intense the feeling of being sorry can be on the human spirit.
Wrapping It Up
Whether it’s feeling sorry for something you’ve done, a way you’ve lived, lives you’ve impacted, or things you’ve missed out on, feeling sorry eventually happens to everyone.
Thankfully, we have great country songs like the ones listed above, and many more, to get us through that hard emotion, and on to bigger and brighter next opportunities.
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This article was written by Paige and edited by Michael.