All apologies: Songs expressing “Sorry!”

At the same time we were sharing songs from Vagabon’s new LP Sorry I Haven’t Called, our Record of the Week, I thought we could explore more songs expressing apology and/or regret. And this content is plentiful!

Feel super sorry, or not, by streaming the hour-long show we compiled together for this #ThematicStatic (👇). Leave us a request for future themed sets on the socials @WNXPNashville, or by recording your own voice at and/or dialing 615-320-9100!

#ThematicStatic Playlist – 10/12/23

Nirvana – “All Apologies” Sam and Roben both requested this one, and I chose the legendary MTV Unplugged version, which is now 29 years old.

Tyler, The Creator – “Sorry Not Sorry” Evan asked for this and I was able to find a radio-friendly clean version for the set. This one’s not, be warned:

Starflyer 59 “I Was 17” – I’d never heard this song and now I’m diving into the catalog of this California band, who released this track on their Easy Come Easy Go 1994-2000 greatest hits collection. Thanks, Brian, for the great request! Music Discovery is the name of the game on WNXP. Also, let’s hear it for a blanket apology based solely on the fact that when you’re young you’re dumb: “Sorry I broke your heart, I was seventeen.”

boygenius – Emily I’m Sorry” Alex summoned this one from the debut (and surely “Best of 2023” contender) full-length record called The Record by the beloved trio that includes Middle Tennessean Julian Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus.

Kacey Musgraves – Apologize” (One Republic cover) Thematic Static emeritus requester Seth introduced this one in a predictably heart-rending way. I picked local to play the still-country Kacey cover she released in 2013:

Morrissey – “Suedehead” – Andy and Billy both asked for this one.

Adele – “Hello” – Emily Young may lead the 2pm “Power Hour” on WNXP, which most often leans alternative rock, but even she is powerless in the presence of this sorrowful chorus:

Hello from the other side
I must’ve called a thousand times
To tell you I’m sorry for everything that I’ve done
But when I call, you never seem to be home

Hello from the outside
At least I can say that I’ve tried
To tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart
But it don’t matter, it clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore


The Decemberists “Apology Song” – Rachel uncovered this old one from the PacNW indie darlings, lamenting about a lost/stolen bike.

Ben Folds – “Fred Jones Part 2″ Karl asked for this via Instagram and I gasped, so thrilled to play it on this show and make everyone cry like I have to it countless times. This, to me, is primo Folds storytelling. Poor Fred. 😢I love the original recorded Rockin’ the Suburbs version with Cake’s John McCrea on harmony. But here’s a live version so you can behold Ben’s skill with orchestral backing for emotional emphasis:

Solomon Burke – “I Said I Was Sorry” – We went all the way back to 1963 for a pleading, soulful sorry song, thanks to Goose.

Lauren Morrow – “I’m Sorry” – This tune has lived rent-free in my head since I first saw local songbird Lauren Morrow sing it at her Grimey’s in-store the release week of her excellent debut LP People Talk.

Elton John “Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word” Whew, what a heartbreaker. Great request, Anna.

Ted Hawkins – “Sorry You’re Sick” – Nobody requested this, I just liked the way it sounded to break up the sad shit.

Joy Oladokun – “sorry isn’t good enough” – Here’s another fantastic local artist with a “rip out my guts” track expressing that, basically, you can stuff your sorries in a sack because mere words won’t fix this. Woof!

Don’t care what you have to say
That you think it’s okay
That your words have fixed me
Sorry isn’t good enough
No, sorry isn’t good enough

Fuck you and your twisted games
Now you’ve broken everything
Say this time you’ve changed
But sorry isn’t good enough
No, sorry isn’t good enough

“sorry isn’t good enough”

Willie Nelson – “Always On My Mind” – Rodney offered up the perfect set closer by requesting this classic.