Worn Me Down

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"Worn Me Down"
Song by Rachael Yamagata
from the album Happenstance
Released 2004
2003 (Rachael Yamagata (EP))
Format CD, Single, Promo
Genre Alternative rock, blues rock, soft rock[1]
Length 3:42
3:43 (Rachael Yamagata (EP))
Label RCA Victor/Sony BMG
Songwriter(s) Rachael Yamagata
Producer(s) John Alagía

"Worn Me Down" is a song by American singer Rachael Yamagata. It was released as a single from her debut CD, Rachael Yamagata (EP) and was the first single of off her first full-length album, Happenstance, which was released on June 8, 2004 in the U.S, and it is considered to be her most famous song to date.[2]


"Worn Me Down" first appeared on Rachael Yamagata's five song debut EP where it was listed as a featured song,[3] and was released on October 7, 2003.[4] In 2004, the song was released as a single from the EP in Germany.[1] It was one of two songs on the EP that were re-recorded for her full-length album Happenstance and by comparison, the re-arranged version of the song had a more produced sound,[5] featured edgier electric guitars and drums,[6] and a dominant orchestration.[5] The melody has been called "straight-forward",[5] and Yamagata's voice as being mature,[7] highly emotional,[6] and raspy.[8] Her vocal style on "Worn Me Down" has been compared to that of Tori Amos, P.J. Harvey and KT Tunstall.[7] Prior to the album's release, several critics believed that "Worn Me Down" would be the first single Yamagata would put out off of the full-length album, but with differing reasons.[5][9]

The lyrics convey feelings of helplessness[7] and obsessiveness;[10] they are from the viewpoint of a woman in a twisted romance,[11] and she has virtually given up on the man she is with, who is in fact infatuated with another woman.[12]


In general, critics gave positive to review to the song,[6][12][13][14][15] claiming that "Worn Me Down" is an excellent platform for showcasing Yamagata's talent and maturity,[7] and it has been called an "everlasting" song.[15] However, some were dissatisfied with "Worn Me Down". PopMatters writer Marc Hogan called it "the disc's crassest moment", accusing Yamagata of placating to the Adult Contemporary audience with a generic song composition.[9]

Additionally, critics were split between the version that appeared on the EP and the one that appeared on Happenstance. Katie Zerwas of PopMatters felt that the album version was overproduced and favored the version on the EP,[5] whereas Gentry Boeckel of Stylus found that the EP version of "Worn Me Down" was "in an inferior form", stating that the one on the album was "100% better than the original.[6]


In 2005, "Worn Me Down" premiered on the Billboard Charts under Adult Pop Songs, reaching No. 33, and stayed in the Top 40 for five weeks.[16] Additionally, it was a Top 5 Hit at AAA radio,[17] and was a favorite single in Billboard Music columnists' Michael Paoletta's "2004 in Review".[18] The video for "Worn Me Down" also made the VH1 Top 40 list in December 2004 at No. 37,[19] and peaked at No. 36 a few weeks later.[20] It remained on the VH1 charts just under two months, before falling off after the week of February 12, 2005.[21]

"Worn Me Down" has been called a hit song,[22][23] and has appeared on several television shows. It remains a favorite among fans.[24] It is a very personal song to Yamagata, so much so that it has caused her to weep while performing it,[25] and has even prompted some concert goers to shout out "On t’aime!" during a particularly intimate performance.[26] It has also been recorded by several a cappella groups.[27][28][29]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2005) Peak
U.S. Adult Pop Songs 33[16]

Song appearances[edit]

Other albums[30]

Television Shows

  • Charmed: The Soundtrack (2003)
  • Come on! All Super-Hits & Big-Breakers (2004)
  • Connect Set (2005)
  • ONXRT: Live from the Archives, Vol. 8 (2005)
  • Festivalbar 2005: Compilation Blu (2006)
  • Girly's Rockin' Girls Collection (2006)
  • CMJ New Music, Vol. 117

Promotional CD[edit]

'Worn Me Down" Single Released in Germany, 2004.
No. Title Length
1. "Worn Me Down" 3:43


  • Vocals, Tambourine - Rachael Yamagata
  • Lead Guitar - Kevin Salem
  • Rhythm Guitar, Electric Piano (Rhodes), Synthesizer (Ms 2000), Shaker - John Alagía
  • Bass - Stewart Myers
  • Cello - Oliver Kraus
  • Drums - Brian Jones
  • Saxophone (Baritone) - Jason Singer
  • Assistant Engineer - Alex Dixon, Oswald Bowe, Ted Young
  • Engineer, Technician (Basic Tracking) - Jeff Juliano
  • Mixed By - Jeff Juliano, John Alagía
  • Music By, Lyrics By - Rachael Yamagata
  • Producer - John Alagia
  • Recorded By (Bass & Drums) - Stewart Myers
    • Credits from Discogs.[1]

Other Versions[edit]

  • Album Version 3:43
  • Alternative Version 4:34
  • Marcus Dravs Remix 4:58
  • KCRW Sessions 3:45


  1. ^ a b c "Rachael Yamagata - Worn Me Down." Discogs. Retrieved 2010-08-06
  2. ^ Raible, Allan (2008-12-31). "The 50 Best Albums of 2008: Nos. 50 to 26." ABC News: Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-08-08
  3. ^ (2003-10-27). "Rachael Yamagata Debut EP." CMJ New Music Report. Retrieved 2010-08-07
  4. ^ "Rachael Yamagata - EP." Discogs. Retrieved 2010-08-06
  5. ^ a b c d e Zerwas, Katie (2004-07-13). "How the World Will Learn to Spell 'Yamagata' in Lights." PopMatters. Retrieved 2010-08-06
  6. ^ a b c d Boeckel, Gentry (2004-06-11). "Rachael Yamagata." Stylus. Retrieved 2010-08-06
  7. ^ a b c d Adair, David (2005-05-23). "Rachel Yamagata: Happenstance." contactmusic. Retrieved 2010-08-06
  8. ^ La Gorce, Tammy "Product Notes." Tower Records. Retrieved 2010-08-07
  9. ^ a b Hogan, Marc (2004-01-26). "Rachael Yamagata EP." PopMatters. Retrieved 2010-08-06
  10. ^ Brookes, Stephen (2008-09-28). "Rachael Yamagata at the Birchmere." The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-08-08
  11. ^ Wilson, Mackenzie "Editorial Reviews." All Music Guide. Retrieved 2010-08-07
  12. ^ a b Sweeting, Adam (2005-05-13). "Rachael Yamagata, Happenstance." Guardian. Retrieved 2010-08-06
  13. ^ "Full Biography." MTV.com. Retrieved 2010-08-07
  14. ^ Morford, Judah (2005-08-02). "Ray LaMontagne, Rachael Yamagata." Paste Magazine. Retrieved 2010-08-07
  15. ^ a b Fragassi, Selena (2008-10-04). "Rachael Yamagata plays both sides of the heart in Chicago return." Venus Zine. Retrieved 2010-08-07
  16. ^ a b "Worn Me Down on the Visualizer." Adult Pop Songs. Retrieved 2010-08-06
  17. ^ Perkins, Danny (2008-08-12). "Rachael Yamagata Announces New Album, Tour." The Milk Carton. Retrieved 2010-08-06
  18. ^ Paoletta, Michael (2004-12-25). "2004 in Review." Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 2010-08-06
  19. ^ (2004-12-25). "Video Monitor." Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 2010-08-06
  20. ^ (2005-01-08). "Video Monitor." Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 2010-08-06.
  21. ^ (2005-02-12) "Video Monitor." Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 2010-08-06
  22. ^ Chong, Madeleine (2009-04-27). "Rachael Yamagata on Living, Loving and Learning." MTV Asia: News. Retrieved 2010-08-08
  23. ^ Garcia, Cathy Rose A. (2009-03-31). "Singer Rachael Yamagata to Take Stage for First Time in Seoul." The Korean Times. Retrieved 2010-08-06
  24. ^ Handler, Shane (2005-05-02). "Ryan Adams & The Cardinals/Rachael Yamagata." Glide Magazine. Retrieved 2010-08-06
  25. ^ Danton, Eric (2008-09-19). "Rachael Yamagata tears your heart out on 'Elephants'." SoundCheck. Retrieved 2010-08-07
  26. ^ Vargas, Estaban (2008-12-08). "Rachael Yamagata: Teeth sinking into Montreal." Montreal Music Scene. Retrieved 2010-08-07
  27. ^ "Penny Loafers" Collegiate Acapella. Retrieved 2010-08-07
  28. ^ "After Dark: Eclipse." RARB Review. Retrieved 2010-08-07
  29. ^ "Baggage Claim." Amalgamates. Retrieved 2010-08-07
  30. ^ "Worn Me Down appears on:" AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-08-06
  31. ^ "Staking Claim." TV.com Retrieved 2010-08-07
  32. ^ "Episode 10: "Lies & Goodbyes." Laguna Beach Online. Retrieved 2010-08-07