Say Yes (Elliott Smith song)

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"Say Yes"
Song by Elliott Smith
from the album Either/Or
Released 25 February 1997
Length 2:19
Label Kill Rock Stars
Songwriter(s) Smith
Producer(s) Smith, Tom Rothrock, Rob Schnapf

"Say Yes" is the final track of Elliott Smith's 1997 album Either/Or, and one of three tracks from Either/Or that was used in the soundtrack of Good Will Hunting.

Background and content[edit]

"Say Yes" is one of Smith's widely recognized songs.[1] It is considered happy[2] and optimistic[3] in both instrumentation and lyrics in comparison to the dark tone in most of his other songs.[4] In an interview, Smith said that the song was written about "someone particular, and I almost never do that. I was really in love with someone."[5]

Live performances[edit]

Smith performed the song often,[6][7] even during full band shows, in which he would play the song solo on an acoustic guitar.[1]


"Say Yes" has been used in a wide variety of movies, including Hurricane Streets and American Pie Presents: The Book of Love, as well as being covered by Death Cab for Cutie[8] and live by Ben Folds.[9] It was also covered in an episode of One Tree Hill, when Bryan Greenberg sings to his daughter Jenny.

Cover versions[edit]

Year Artist Album
2004 Dave House Kingston's Current
2011 The Xcerts Stairs to Noise

According to an interview, actor/musician Jack Black covered the song in a memoriam concert for Elliott Smith years after his death. He reportedly hesitated on the words several times; it was not until the eighth or ninth time that he got it right.


  1. ^ a b Musgrove, Mike (March 15, 1999). "Elliott Smith: Woe Is Him". The Washington Post. Smith then played solo for 'Say Yes', one of the songs that earned his fame...  (subscription required)
  2. ^ Hogan, Mark (October 28, 2003). "Elliott Smith: A Fond Farewell | PopMatters". PopMatters. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  3. ^ Schmelling, Sarah (October 23, 2003). "Elliott Smith, 1969–2003 –". Salon. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  4. ^ Jamieson, Robert (April 30, 2002). "Elliott Smith: Either/Or | PopMatters". PopMatters. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  5. ^ Dornan, Matt (1999). "Elliott Smith". Comes with a Smile (4). Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  6. ^ Schumacher, Helen (October 30, 2003). "Elliott Smith's Live Act Worth It | Emerald Media". Daily Emerald. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  7. ^ Vandergast, Brendon (May 26, 1998). "Elliott Smith's Indie Style Delights Crowd". Daily Bruin. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  8. ^ Berman, Stuart (October 30, 2003). "Eye Weekly – CMJ '03: Rooms on Fire – 10.30.03". Eye Weekly. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Ben Folds Covers Elliott Smith | Video | A.V. Undercover 2010 | The A.V. Club". The A.V. Club. May 11, 2010. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 

External links[edit]