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"Should've Said No" is a single written and recorded by American country/pop singer Taylor Swift. It is the fifth and final single released from her self-titled debut album. It has also become her second Number One single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the week of August 23, 2008, and like her four prior singles, it was a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. In addition, "Should've Said No" has been certified as a platinum single by the RIAA. The song was performed by Swift and Jonas Brothers on the Burning Up Tour. It is included in the 3D movie of the tour, as well as in the soundtrack to the film.

"Should've Said No" was certified Gold by the RIAA on September 3, 2008.[1]

Content

The song is an up-tempo in which the central character addresses a former lover who has cheated on her, telling him that he "should've said no" to the female who has taken her place in his life ("You should've said no/You should've gone home/You should've thought twice before you let it all go/You should've known that word 'bout what you did with her would get back to me").

Taylor Swift wrote the song when she was sixteen years old. According to Country Weekly magazine, she was inspired to write it after she discovered that her boyfriend at the time had cheated on her. The first line that came to her was the title, and she wrote the chorus in five minutes. Swift has also said that many of the lyrics were based on actual words that she used when confronting her then-boyfriend.[2]

Swift compared this to another one of her songs, Picture to Burn. Says Swift: "'Picture To Burn' has an 'angry and I'm-done-with-him attitude,' while 'Should've Said No' is "more of a moral statement. It's an 'I love you, we were awesome and great together, but you messed this up and I would still be with you' kinda thing. You said yes, and you should've said no." Taylor Swift also performs this song with The Jonas Brothers in their 3-D movie.

The chord progression in the chorus is Em-C-D-G-D/F#-Em-C-D-Em-C-D-G-D/F#-Em-C-A-C-D-Em.

Reception

Country music blog The 9513 gave the song a "thumbs down" review. Reviewer Matt C. criticized the production as being "too loud," and thought that Swift's vocals were overly reliant on pitch correction and "not amenable" to the song's concept.[3]

Chart performance

Chart (2008) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 33
U.S. Billboard Pop 100 61
Canadian Radio & Records Country Singles 5
Canadian Hot 100 67
New Zealand Singles Chart[4] 18

Lyrics

It's strange to think the songs we used to sing
The smiles, the flowers, everything is gone
Yesterday I found out about you
Even now just looking at you: feels wrong

You say that you'd take it all back, given one chance
It was a moment of weakness and you said, "Yes"

You should've said, "No", you should've gone home
You should've thought twice 'fore you let it all go
You should've know that word, 'bout what you did with her
Get back to me (get back to me)
And I should've been there, in the back of your mind
I shouldn't be asking myself, "Why?"
You shouldn't be begging for forgiveness at my feet
You should've said no, baby, and you might still have me

You can see that I've been crying
Baby you know all the right things to say
But do you honestly expect me to believe
We could ever be the same?

You say that the past is the past, you need one chance
It was a moment of weakness and you said, "Yes"

You should've said, "No", you should've gone home
You should've thought twice 'fore you let it all go
You should've know that word, 'bout what you did with her
Get back to me (get back to me)
And I should've been there, in the back of your mind
I shouldn't be asking myself, "Why?"
You shouldn't be begging for forgiveness at my feet
You should've said no, baby, and you might still have me

I can't resist
Before you go tell me this
Was it worth it?
Was she worth this?

No no, no, no

You should've said, "No", you should've gone home
You should've thought twice 'fore you let it all go
You should've know that word, 'bout what you did with her
Get back to me (get back to me)
And I should've been there, in the back of your mind
I shouldn't be asking myself, "Why?"
You shouldn't be begging for forgiveness at my feet
You should've said no, baby, and you might still have me

Live performances

ShouldSaidNoTour

Swift performs "Should've Said No" during the encore of her Fearless Tour.

Swift performed the song at the 2008 Academy of Country Music Awards. The performance began with Swift seated on a chair, wearing a breakaway hooded sweatshirt and jeans, playing and singing the first verse as a solo before being joined by the band on the chorus. The performance gained some notoriety due to its last chorus in which Swift, by this time stripped off the breakaway clothes to reveal a short black dress, stood under an on-stage programmed waterfall, which displayed key words from the song as Swift was drenched beneath it. Footage from this performance has been used as the song's music video.

The performance music video has gone onto reach number one on both CMT's Top 20 Countdown and Great American Country's countdown as well.

When performing this song live during her Fearless 2009 tour, Swift also performs this song under a waterfall much like her Academy of Country Music Award performance.

This song is also preformed as a mix with bad blood on her Reputation Stadium tour.


References

  1. http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/riaa/singles.jsp
  2. Horner, Marianne (2008-10-20). "Story Behind the Song: Don't Cheat on a Songwriter". Country Weekly 15 (21): 14. 
  3. C., Matt (2008-05-14). "Taylor Swift - "Should've Said No"". The 9513. http://www.the9513.com/taylor-swift-shouldve-said-no/. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  4. "Taylor Swift - Should've Said No". charts.org.nz. 2009-09-29. http://charts.org.nz/showitem.asp?interpret=Taylor+Swift&titel=Should%27ve+Said+No&cat=s. Retrieved 2009-09-29.