You're Not Sorry

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"You're Not Sorry"
Cover art of "You're Not Sorry"
Promotional single by Taylor Swift
from the album Fearless
ReleasedOctober 28, 2008 (2008-10-28)
LabelBig Machine
Songwriter(s)Taylor Swift
Licensed audio
"You're Not Sorry" on YouTube
"You're Not Sorry (Taylor's Version)"
Song by Taylor Swift
from the album Fearless (Taylor's Version)
ReleasedApril 9, 2021 (2021-04-09)
Songwriter(s)Taylor Swift
Lyric video
"You're Not Sorry (Taylor's Version)" on YouTube

"You're Not Sorry" is a song written and recorded by the American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift for her second studio album, Fearless (2008). She was inspired to write "You're Not Sorry" by an ex-boyfriend who she realized was the contrary to what he had appeared to be. Produced by Swift and Nathan Chapman, "You're Not Sorry" is a rock power ballad that incorporates piano and dynamic electric guitars. Big Machine Records released the song for download via the iTunes Store on October 28, 2008. A remix was released for the television episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, in which Swift made an appearance. Some critics praised Swift's songwriting but others took issue with the balladic production as overdone.

"You're Not Sorry" peaked at number 11 on both the Canadian Hot 100 and the US Billboard Hot 100, and it was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Swift performed "You're Not Sorry" at the 44th Academy of Country Music Awards in 2009. She included the song on the set lists of two tours: the Fearless Tour (2009–2010) and the Speak Now World Tour (2011–2012). Following the 2019 dispute regarding the ownership of Swift's back catalog, she re-recorded the song as "You're Not Sorry (Taylor's Version)" for her re-recorded album Fearless (Taylor's Version) (2021). Music critics commented that the re-recorded song showcased Swift's improved vocals. "You're Not Sorry (Taylor's Version)" charted in Canada and on the Billboard Global 200.


"You're Not Sorry" was written by Swift and produced by Nathan Chapman alongside Swift. It was inspired by an ex-boyfriend who was later revealed to be opposite of what Swift had originally thought. Swift recalled that, at first, "He came across as prince charming."[1] As the relationship continued, Swift was informed of numerous secrets about her boyfriend she was not aware of. "And one by one, I would figure them out. I would find out who he really was," she said.[1] She wrote "You're Not Sorry" in an emotional state, which she described as "the breaking point", where she thought to herself, "'You know what? Don’t even think that you can keep on hurting me.'" The circumstances reached a point where she felt she had to walk away.[1] "You're Not Sorry" was first released as a promotional single from Fearless on October 28, 2008, as part of Countdown to Fearless, an exclusive campaign by the iTunes Store.[2] The song was reissued on March 5, 2009, as remix, the same day she made her guest appearance on the television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in the episode "Turn, Turn, Turn".[3] The remix was featured in the episode.

A re-recorded version of "You're Not Sorry", titled "You're Not Sorry (Taylor's Version)", was released on April 9, 2021, as the ninth track from Fearless (Taylor's Version), the re-recorded version of Fearless. The re-recording was part of Swift's move after a public dispute with Big Machine and talent manager Scooter Braun over the acquisition of the master recordings to her past albums.[4]

Music and lyrics[edit]

"You're Not Sorry" is 4 minutes and 21 seconds.[5] It is a rock power ballad.[6][7][8] The arrangement features a soft piano introduction and dynamic, loud electric guitars in the refrain,[7][8] and it incorporates accents of cello and strings.[9] Jordan Levin of the Miami Herald called it a "rebellious" tune,[10] Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone described it as "dramatic",[11] and Anna Rosales of the Evansville Courier & Press thought that the track had a "hard rock edge" to it.[12] According to Jonathan Keefe of Slant Magazine, the refrain contains a prominent pop hook.[13] Scott Mervis of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said that Swift's performance on "You're Not Sorry" was "chanteuse a la Tori Amos".[14]

In the lyrics, the narrator criticizes an ex-lover who betrayed her trust.[9] Sheffield, in a review for Blender, noted the lyrics to "You're Not Sorry" had many "tingling pheromones".[15] Kyle Anderson from MTV said that the theme of "You're Not Sorry" was more "serious" than the "dreaminess" of other upbeat Fearless tracks. He said that "the weight of the lyrics actually weighs down the arrangement" which made it sound like "being played just a hair too slow, which creates a palpable tension".[16] Jennifer Keishin Armstrong from Billboard wrote that "You're Not Sorry" was one of Fearless's "love-gone-wrong" tracks that countered the fairy-tale-inspired optimistic opening love songs on the album.[17] The musicologist James E. Perone found the narrative similar to the preceding Fearless tracks "White Horse" and "Tell Me Why".[18]

The re-recorded "You're Not Sorry (Taylor's Version)" features an identical production as the original; critics also commented that Swift's vocals became richer and deeper.[19][20] According to the commercial music professor Michael A. Lee, on "You're Not Sorry (Taylor's Version)", Swift's vocals are less nasal and come more from the chest, the background vocals are more subdued, and the strings are recorded in a closer proximity to the microphones.[20]

Critical reception[edit]

Music critics gave "You're Not Sorry" mixed reviews. Sheffield in Blender described the track as "drippy" and opined that it is not as effective as other upbeat Fearless tracks.[15] Todd Martens from the Los Angeles Times deemed Swift's vocals weak.[8] Nick Catucci of New York commented that "You're Not Sorry" contrasts with Swift's identity as a country-music artist because the track "isn't the stuff of redneck women but earnest suburban princesses". Catucci said that although he could come up with better songs by other singer-songwriters in the last ten years, "this bittersweet bit of pop fluff succeeds splendidly. She's an American idol, on her own terms."[21] Jonathan Keefe of Slant Magazine was more favorable, remarking that the production of "You're Not Sorry" showcases Swift's songwriting with a prominent hook.[13] Craig Rosen of The Hollywood Reporter said the song proved Swift's crossover potential beyond country music.[22]

Retrospectively, critics have considered "You're Not Sorry" one of Swift's weaker songs in her catalog. Hannah Mylrea in NME (2020) ranked it 146th out of 161 songs in Swift's discography, calling it "overdone".[23] Nate Jones from Vulture ranked it 122nd in a ranking of Swift's 179 tracks, describing it as an "unflinching kiss-off song".[24] In Rolling Stone, Sheffield placed it at number 111 in his 2021 ranking of Swift's 206-song catalog, highlighting the track for showcasing her vocal development from her debut album.[11] Brittany Spanos from the same magazine praised Swift's singing for conveying the dramatic sentiments: "Her voice pierces through the sound of her band for one of her first truly dramatic vocal deliveries."[25] Joe Coscarelli from The New York Times said he had admired Swift's songwriting "You're Not Sorry" but felt the production "[plods] a little"; after the re-recorded version was released, Coscarelli became more appreciative of the track and praised the re-recorded version as "fresh and refined".[19]

Chart performance[edit]

"You're Not Sorry" debuted and peaked at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in November 2008, becoming the week's highest debut.[26] After being featured in the CSI series, supported by the remix, "You're Not Sorry" re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 67.[27] It is one of the 13 Fearless tracks that charted within the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100, breaking the record for the most top 40 entries from a single album.[28] It spent a total of five weeks on the Hot 100.[29] On the Pop 100 chart compiled by Billboard, the track peaked at number 21.[30] By December 2011, "You're Not Sorry" had sold 653,000 copies in the United States.[31] In 2017, the song was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for surpassing one million units based on sales and streaming.[32] In Canada, it peaked at number 11 on the Canadian Hot 100.[33]

Live performances[edit]

Taylor Swift singing on piano, on the Fearless Tour
Swift performing "You're Not Sorry" on the Fearless Tour

Swift performed "You're Not Sorry" on all venues of her first headlining concert tour, the Fearless Tour, which extended from April 2009 to June 2010. During each performance, Swift donned a black cocktail dress with sparkly ornaments along the stomach.[34] She began the performance by sitting on a bench, playing black grand piano. Midway through "You're Not Sorry", Swift ceases playing the piano and commences to sing a cover version of Justin Timberlake's "What Goes Around.../...Comes Around" while whipping her hair, maintaining on the bench. Throughout the remainder of the performance, she intermingled between the two songs as smoke swirled and lightning was projected on the stage.[34][35] Jon Pareles of The New York Times referred to the performance as one of the night's highlights at the August 27, 2009, concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City.[34] Reed Fischer of Miami New Times attended the March 7, 2010, concert at BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida and, of the cover of "What Goes Around.../...Comes Around", said, "That, and some extended beating on an oil drum sculpture, made for the only unsavory moments of the night."[36] Alice Fisher of the United Kingdom magazine The Observer believed the performance at the May 7, 2009, concert at Shepherd's Bush Empire in London, England "was undermined by the way Swift writhed on her stool and awkwardly thumped the piano lid in one of the most unconvincing displays of passion I've seen since Footballers' Wives finished."[37] Swift also performed the song at an exclusive performance, hosted by 95.8 Capital FM,[38] the 2009 Academy of Country Music Awards,[8] and the 2009 CMA Music Festival.[39] During her Speak Now World Tour, she used elements of "You're Not Sorry" and "Apologize" while performing "Back To December". She also performed the song three times during the Red Tour and the first night in Houston on the Eras Tour.[40]



Certifications for "You're Not Sorry"
Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[32] Platinum 1,000,000

Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


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