I'm Not Okay (I Promise)

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"I'm Not Okay (I Promise)"
Mcr im not okay.jpg
Single by My Chemical Romance
from the album Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge
ReleasedSeptember 13, 2004 (2004-09-13)
Songwriter(s)My Chemical Romance
Producer(s)Howard Benson
My Chemical Romance singles chronology
"Headfirst for Halos"
"I'm Not Okay (I Promise)"
"Thank You for the Venom"
Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge track listing
13 tracks
  1. "Helena"
  2. "Give 'Em Hell Kid"
  3. "To the End"
  4. "You Know What They Do to Guys Like Us in Prison"
  5. "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)"
  6. "The Ghost of You"
  7. "The Jetset Life is Gonna Kill You"
  8. "Interlude"
  9. "Thank You for the Venom"
  10. "Hang 'Em High"
  11. "It's Not a Fashion Statement, It's a Fucking Deathwish"
  12. "Cemetery Drive"
  13. "I Never Told You What I Do for a Living"
Music video
"I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" on YouTube
Music video
"I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" [Dialogue/MTV Version] on YouTube

"I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" is the lead single and fifth track from My Chemical Romance's second studio album, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" was released to radio on September 28, 2004.[4]

Reception and accolades[edit]

It reached number 86 on the US Billboard Hot 100,[5][6] and, in March 2005, number 19 on the UK Singles Chart. The song also helped expand the band's fan base, and has been certified Gold by the RIAA.[7] It was nominated for the Kerrang! Award for Best Single.[8] The cover art was redone in live action on the inside of the band's DVD Life on the Murder Scene.

Music videos[edit]

The first music video version for the song features a montage of concert footage and the band's ordinary life in New Jersey. It was produced by Rafaela Monfradini and Greg Kaplan, who was also the director. It also features pictures of brothers, bassist Mikey Way and lead singer Gerard Way, when they were little kids and teenagers.

The second version music video depicts life inside a fictional American high school in the form of a mock movie trailer. The band appears as a group of outcast students who are repeatedly harassed by another group who are portrayed as popular kids. The band members then attempt to take on the popular kids and ultimately have a showdown in a hallway, with the band members armed with croquet mallets and the popular kids with lacrosse and hockey gear. It also has some clips expressing some emotions and clips of the band playing in a garage. The music video was directed by Marc Webb, and parts of it were filmed at Alexander Hamilton High School and Loyola High School in Los Angeles during August 2004.[7] Greg Kaplan and Rafaelia Monfradini produced the video.[7] The video started production on August 13, 2004.[9]

This version of the video was also named number one on Fuse's 25 Greatest Videos Countdown, beating out other videos such as "Basket Case" by Green Day and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana.

Cover versions[edit]

Matt Pond PA recorded a cover of the song for Engine Room Recordings' compilation album Guilt by Association Vol. 2, which was released in November 2008.[10]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by My Chemical Romance.

US promotional DVD

1."I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" 

UK promotional CD

1."I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" (radio edit)3:08

UK CD1 and 7" vinyl

1."I'm Not Okay (I Promise)"3:09
2."Bury Me in Black" (demo)2:39


1."I'm Not Okay (I Promise)"3:09
2."Bury Me in Black" (demo)2:37
3."You Know What They Do to Guys Like Us in Prison" (live)2:51
4."I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" (video) 

UK and Australian CD

1."I'm Not Okay (I Promise)"3:09
2."Bury Me in Black" (demo)2:39
3."You Know What They Do to Guys Like Us in Prison" (live)2:51

UK re-release CD1 and iTunes single

1."I'm Not Okay (I Promise)"3:07
2."You Know What They Do to Guys Like Us in Prison" (live from BBC Radio 1 Lock Up session)3:30

UK re-release CD2

1."I'm Not Okay (I Promise)"3:09
2."You Know What They Do to Guys Like Us in Prison" (live from BBC Radio 1 Lock Up session)3:30
3."I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" (live from MTV $2 Bill)3:24

Credits and personnel[edit]

  • Produced by Howard Benson
  • Mixed by Richard Costey and Simon Askew
  • Engineered and recorded by Dan Wise
  • Written by My Chemical Romance


Chart (2004) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[11][12] 65
Europe (European Hot 100 Singles)[13] 67
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[14] 38
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[15] 23
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[16] 19
US Billboard Hot 100[5] 86
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[5] 4
US Billboard Pop 100[5] 64


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[17] Gold 400,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[18] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger

double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalogue
United States September 12, 2004
  • Warner
  • Reprise
  • Eyeball
United Kingdom
  • Reprise
  • Eyeball
CD PRO15076
September 13, 2004
  • W653CD
  • 9362427522
March 7, 2005 7" vinyl
  • W666
  • 5439160527
March 7, 2005 CD
  • W666CD1
  • 5439160522
  • W666CD2
  • 9362427962
Australia March 28, 2005 9362427522
United Kingdom November 7, 2005
  • W692CD1
  • 5439158692
  • W692CD2
  • 9362428672


  1. ^ Ashley Burns. "'Middle School' Is A Mash-Up Of Every Pop Punk Song You Won't Admit You Once Loved". Uproxx. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  2. ^ "Top 100 Emo Songs of All Time". The Boston Phoenix. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  3. ^ Bryant, Tom. "The Top 10 Best My Chemical Romance Songs". TeamRock.
  4. ^ "FMQB Airplay Archive: Modern Rock". Friday Morning Quarterback Album Report, Incorporated. Archived from the original on March 22, 2013. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d "My Chemical Romance - Awards". Allmusic.
  6. ^ "My Chemical Romance - Chart History". Billboard.
  7. ^ a b c d "my-chemical-romance-frenchteam.com". my-chemical-romance-frenchteam.com. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Green Day and System of a Down Tops the Kerrang! Awards 2005 Nominations". Entertainment News Staff. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
  9. ^ May Death Never Stop You | "I'm Not Okay" (I Promise) [Version 2] [Video Version], retrieved 2015-10-08
  10. ^ Matthew Solarski (19 November 2008). "My Brightest Diamond, Frightened Rabbit Do Covers". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
  11. ^ "Australian Single Charts Search for My Chemical Romance". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-09-05.
  12. ^ "ARIA report (Australian Record Industry Association)". Australian Recording Industry Association via Pandora Archive. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
  13. ^ "Top 100 Music Hits, Top 100 Music Charts, Top 100 Songs & The Hot 100". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2012-02-24.
  14. ^ "Charts.nz – My Chemical Romance – I'm Not Okay (I Promise)". Top 40 Singles.
  15. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  16. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  17. ^ "British single certifications – My Chemical Romance – I'm Not Okay (I Promise)". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved June 16, 2018. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type I'm Not Okay (I Promise) in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  18. ^ "American single certifications – My Chemical Romance – I'm Not Okay (I Promise)". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved December 18, 2017. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]