Should've Said No

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"Should've Said No"
Single by Taylor Swift
from the album Taylor Swift
Released May 18, 2008
Recorded 2006; Darkhorse Recording
(Franklin, Tennessee)[1]
Length 4:04
Label Big Machine
Writer(s) Taylor Swift
Producer(s) Nathan Chapman
Taylor Swift singles chronology
"Picture to Burn"
"Should've Said No"

"Should've Said No" is a song written and recorded by American country-pop singer Taylor Swift. It is the fifth and final single released from her self-titled debut studio album. It also became 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 platinum by the RIAA.

The song was performed by Swift and Jonas Brothers on the Burnin' Up Tour. It is included in the 3D movie of the tour, as well as in the soundtrack to the film. An alternate version of the song was released on her EP Beautiful Eyes. As of November 2014, "Should've Said No" has sold 1.4 million copies in the United States.[2]


A 23-second sample from "Should've Said No".

Problems playing this file? See media help.

The song addresses a former lover of Swift who has cheated on her, telling him that he "should've said no" to the woman 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"). 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. In several interviews, Swift disclosed that this boyfriend's name was "Sam", which she did not put in the song, but said in every interview. 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 ex-boyfriend.[3]

Critical response[edit]

Roger Holland of PopMatters said that "Should've Said No" is "a truly splendid pop-rock song wrapped up in an almost entirely spurious country arrangement."[4] Chris Neal of Country Weekly believed "Should've Said No" and her previous single "Picture to Burn", were the most immediately striking songs on Taylor Swift.[5] Alison Bonaguro of the Chicago Tribune named the song along with "Teardrops on My Guitar" and "Invisible" as "revenge songs," and commented that Swift's themes stayed the same throughout the concert.[6] Country music blog Engine 145 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.[7]



Region Certification Sales/shipments
United States (RIAA)[13] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales/streaming figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Taylor Swift (CD). Taylor Swift. Big Machine Records. 2006. BMR120702. 
  2. ^ Trust, Gary (November 11, 2014). "Ask Billboard: All-Taylor Swift Edition". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  3. ^ Horner, Marianne (2008-10-20). "Story Behind the Song: Don't Cheat on a Songwriter". Country Weekly 15 (21): 14. 
  4. ^ Holland, Roger (November 9, 2006). "Taylor Swift: Taylor Swift". PopMatters. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  5. ^ Neal, Chris (4 December 2006). "Taylor Swift review". Country Weekly. American Media, Inc. Retrieved March 31, 2010. 
  6. ^ Bonaguro, Alison (February 4, 2008). "Taylor Swift a prodigy who's coming of age". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company. Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  7. ^ C., Matt (2008-05-14). "Taylor Swift - "Should've Said No"". Engine 145. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  8. ^ "Taylor Swift Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Taylor Swift. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  9. ^ " – Taylor Swift – Should've Said No". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  10. ^ "Taylor Swift Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Taylor Swift. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  11. ^ "Hot Country Songs Week of August 23, 2008". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 9, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Best of 2008: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2008. Retrieved December 13, 2008. 
  13. ^ "American single certifications – Taylor Swift – Should've Said No". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 6, 2011.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]