Say Yes (Elliott Smith song)

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"Say Yes"
Song by Elliott Smith
from the album Either/Or
Released25 February 1997
LabelKill Rock Stars
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. Archived from the original on May 16, 2011. 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]