"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.[2]


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.[3]

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.


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.[4]

Performance at ACM Awards and Video

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.


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

Chart performance

Chart (2008) Peak
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[5] 18


  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named whitburn
  3. Horner, Marianne (2008-10-20). "Story Behind the Song: Don't Cheat on a Songwriter". Country Weekly 15 (21): 14. 
  4. C., Matt (2008-05-14). "Taylor Swift - "Should've Said No"". The 9513. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  5. "Taylor Swift - Should've Said No". 2009-09-29. Retrieved 2009-09-29. 

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