Country music has the most songs about regretting hurting someone, but there are plenty of options across all genres that are worth exploring.
After all, there are few emotions that are quite as relatable as regret.
Let’s dive into the best songs about regret, hurting people, and wishing things could have gone differently.
“My Stupid Mouth” by John Mayer
Song Year: 1999
John Mayer has his fair share of songs about regret, but “My Stupid Mouth” stands out as one of the most obvious.
After putting his foot in his mouth while presumably on a date, Mayer instantly regrets his words. They clearly offended the woman sitting across from him.
He laments the fact that this seems to happen all too often.
“Please Forgive Me” by Bryan Adams
Song Year: 1983
The raspy voice of Bryan Adams combined with the heartfelt plea for forgiveness in “Please Forgive Me” makes this a touching song about regret and repentance.
Adams assures the subject of his song that he loves her dearly and is convinced that his love for her is one of the things that blind him to hurtful actions.
At least he seems sincere in his desire for forgiveness.
“Damn Your Eyes” by Etta James
Song Year: 1988
“Damn Your Eyes” is from the perspective of a person who has been hurt by someone else, making it a unique song for our list.
Etta James regrets the fact that she has let the same person hurt her over and over again, feeling like she’s not in control whenever he’s in the room.
Here are a few other songs about regret and mistakes that you should check out.
“Hard To Say I’m Sorry” by Chicago
Song Year: 1982
Nothing is as humbling as admitting you’re wrong and asking for forgiveness. That’s one of the things that makes it so hard. But it's the only recourse when you’ve hurt someone, especially someone you love.
Chicago knows all about that in their song “Hard To Say I’m Sorry.”
“Hurt” by Johnny Cash
Song Year: 1992
Toward the end of his career, Johnny Cash’s voice took a turn. It became more profound and soulful, becoming the perfect platform for songs like “Hurt.”
Cash sings about the difficulty of life when you’re constantly hurting the people around you. It has an isolating effect that will leave you without friends or family.
“Fire And Rain” by James Taylor
Song Year: 1970
In “Fire And Rain,” James Taylor sings about everything he’s seen over the long years of his life. Different weather patterns seem to be at the forefront of his memory.
The one thing he’s never seen again is the person he hurt deeply, even though he always hoped she’d come back into his life.
“Please Remember Me” by Tim McGraw
Song Year: 1999
Country music bursts with songs about hurting the people that you love. “Please Remember Me” is one of the most touching examples.
In this song, McGraw knows that the hurt he caused is too deep to fix. He apologizes for this and hopes his woman can find someone to treat her better. He only hopes that she won’t forget about him.
“Stupid Boy” by Keith Urban
Song Year: 2006
Another song about regretting hurting someone is Keith Urban’s “Stupid Boy,” a country classic with heartwrenching lyrics about remorse and loss.
Urbans’ character laments the hurt and the pain he’s caused an exceptional woman. He sees too late that she is a precious gift he took for granted, ultimately driving her away.
For more country songs about regret and missing someone, click here!
“Hello” by Adele
Song Year: 2015
People don’t always get a chance to say sorry, primarily when words or actions have caused a deep wound.
In this vocal masterpiece, Adele begs forgiveness from the person she hurt. She can see how her betrayal has hardened him, and feels terrible.
“What Hurts The Most” by Rascal Flatts
Song Year: 2006
Nothing hurts worse than knowing that you hurt someone deeply and never having the chance to make things right. For various reasons, some people just never get a second chance. It’s a terrible thought and a sobering one.
Few songs are quite as heartbreaking as this one from Rascal Flatts.
“Foolish Pride” by Travis Tritt
Song Year: 1994
Sometimes people are so filled with pride that they can’t bring themselves to mend a relationship even when that relationship was so special.
Travis Tritt sings about this in “Foolish Pride,” watching as two lovers wish they could bring themselves to apologize for the hurt that they caused. They’re ultimately unsuccessful, and it costs them their love.
“Against All Odds” by Phil Collins
Song Year: 1984
Phil Collins has an incredibly soulful style, even as a pop star, and “Against All Odds” is proof of that.
Too often, you let the person that you hurt simply walk away. You wish you dared to make things right, but something gets in the way.
But you know that if they could only see the toll it’s taken on you, they would come running back.
“Why” by Jason Aldean
Song Year: 2005
Jason Aldean sings about that unfortunate occurrence when you realize that you’ve hurt someone and can’t understand why.
Sometimes, the behavior repeats over and over again. You hate that you do it, but something prevents you from stopping.
It’s a sad and terrible thing to experience, no matter what side you’re on.
“Always On My Mind” by Willie Nelson
Song Year: 1982
Willie Nelson reminds listeners that it’s possible to hurt people you love and still love them deeply and truly.
Often, the people you hurt worst are the people closest to you.
That doesn’t mean you don’t love or care for them.
“Here Comes Goodbye” by Rascal Flatts
Song Year: 2009
“Here Comes Goodbye” is a tear-jerking song about a man who can see the end of his relationship coming from miles away.
Everything happens in slow motion as the woman he loves decides she doesn’t want to get hurt by him anymore.
He’s filled with regret even before the first chorus.
“I Can’t Believe I’m Losing You” by Frank Sinatra
Song Year: 1964
It’s funny how some people are shocked when evil actions have negative consequences. Frank Sinatra sings of this phenomenon in “I Can’t Believe I’m Losing You.”
Even though he’s hurt his woman probably more than once, he still has a hard time wrapping his mind around the fact that she’s decided to leave him for good.
“If You See Her, Say Hello” by Bob Dylan
Song Year: 1975
Bob Dylan wants his woman to know that he’s doing alright, that he wishes the best for her, and that he’s sorry for the horrible things he did to her.
Hoping that his friend might bump into his ex, who’s off traveling the world, Dylan delivers this lengthy message about his regret.
“I Can Change” by Lake Street Dive
Song Year: 2018
“I Can Change” communicates a sentiment many people can likely relate to an overwhelming need to do things differently.
Whether you’ve hurt many people because of your attitude and behavior, or you’re just hurting yourself, you need to realize that there is a way forward: and it starts with you.
“He’s Got You” by Brooks and Dunn
Song Year: 1997
There’s nothing worse than bumping into that person you hurt, especially a lover, and seeing them happy and satisfied with someone completely new.
Whether you’re watching them dance, talk, or laugh together, it’s a horrible experience, especially when you know you drove them away.
“You Get Used to Somebody” by Tim McGraw
Song Year: 2001
“You Get Used to Somebody” is another fantastic Tim McGraw song about the consequences of letting someone special leave you without saying you’re sorry.
He walks his listener through all the details of his life, noting how sad and lonely he is now that he has let his lady go. He never thought it would be so hard, but it’s too late to fix it.
“No Excuses” by NEEDTOBREATHE
Song Year: 2016
“No Excuses” seems to come from the perspective of a man who knows that his woman is hurting him.
He’s giving her an ultimatum. He reminds her of their long history together and begs her to end the cheating. He’s willing to give her a second chance, but she has to want it.
“Walking Back to Georgia” by Jim Croce
Song Year: 1972
Jim Croce takes extreme measures to prove his love and remorse to the woman he loves: he goes “Walking Back to Georgia.”
Along the way, he can only hope that there’s a chance at reconciliation. He doesn’t know how she’ll respond to his plea for forgiveness, but he will try.
“More Than A Memory” by Garth Brooks
Song Year: 2007
Garth Brooks has a unique way of communicating with his listeners. He’s a talented musician who can go from an upbeat bar tune to a sad breakup song at the drop of a hat.
In “More Than A Memory,” he sings about a man plagued by the thought of a woman he hurt. He’s doing everything to get her out of his mind, but he fails at every turn.
“Goodbye In Her Eyes” by Zac Brown Band
Song Year: 2012
When you’ve crossed a line, sometimes you watch in slow motion as the consequences play out before your eyes.
You know that you can do nothing about it; you have to let it happen. Even though you would give anything to turn back time and do things right, you simply can’t.
“Come What May” by J.D. Souther
Song Year: 2015
“Come What May” is from the perspective of a man constantly hurt by the woman he loves, but he continues to welcome her back.
Even though she travels the world, pursuing some wanderlust, he’s always waiting for her at home. You can hear the pain in his voice as he wishes she would be happy to stay with him.
“Right By Your Side” by James Morrison
Song Year: 2011
Miscommunication is all too common in loving relationships. People say things they don’t mean; they’re misheard, and it seems to exist on a cycle.
You can tell that both parties are hurt in this song. The man thinks he’s doing everything right, and the woman wants to know that he cares. It stings.
“Past the Point of Rescue” by Hal Ketchum
Song Year: 1991
Hal Ketchum sincerely hopes that he hasn’t gone too far with the latest hurt he caused his woman. He knows he’s crossed the line more than once, but he’s always had good intentions.
He begs her to consider taking him back, apologizing profusely for any hurt he might have caused.
“Back To December” by Taylor Swift
Song Year: 2010
Usually, Taylor Swift likes to sing about all the boys that have broken her heart over the years. Things take a turn with “Back To December.”
It seems that she’s genuinely sorry for some hurt she caused and laments in this song that she can’t go back and make things right.
“Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” by Elton John
Song Year: 2002
There are plenty of difficult things to say. Admitting true feelings always reveals a vulnerable part of human nature. Sometimes it’s beautiful. Sometimes it’s heartbreaking.
One of the most challenging things is saying sorry, especially when you know you have done a terrible wrong to someone you love.
“Cry! Cry! Cry!” by Johnny Cash
Song Year: 1955
Johnny Cash sings this more upbeat song from the perspective of a man who has been hurt one too many times by his lady.
She knows she will wish she had treated her man better. One day, probably soon, she’ll feel the sting of the hurt that she’s caused.
“When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars
Song Year: 2012
It’s easy to think of all the things you should have done after the fact when it’s too late to do them in the first place.
When you’ve already lost someone because you’ve caused them so much pain, you’ll probably spend months thinking about everything you could have done to keep them.
“Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” by Darius Rucker
Song Year: 2008
The lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish launched a successful solo career in country music, with hits like this one defining him.
“Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” is about a man who knows too well how badly he messed up. He sees evidence of it everywhere, constantly looking for ways to escape his regret.
“She Wouldn’t Be Gone” by Blake Shelton
Song Year: 2008
Anyone who’s ever caused a deep hurt knows how quickly a mind can turn to problem-solving mode. People immediately start thinking about all the things they could have done differently.
But you can’t turn back time. You can’t go back and do things you should have done; you can only face the present and own up to your mistakes.
“A Bad Goodbye” by Clint Black with Wynonna
Song Year: 1993
You quickly get the impression from “A Bad Goodbye” that both people regret hurting the other. Even though they love each other, some deep wound has separated them.
There’s nothing left for them but to part ways. They might wish they could do things differently, but too many painful words have been spoken between them for that to happen.
“Love’s The Last To Know” by Bob Seger
Song Year: 1982
Bob Seger’s heartbreaking song about losing love is one of the most tear-jerking tunes you’ll ever hear.
Seger’s gravelly voice lends perfectly to the deep emotion of “Love’s The Last To Know.” You won’t get through this one without a box of tissues nearby.
“So You Don’t Have To Love Me Anymore” by Alan Jackson
Song Year: 2012
Alan Jackson takes the high road in this song, despite having wounded his love profoundly and irrevocably.
He knows that their separation is his fault. So he lets her hate him. He allows her to hold on to all the bad memories, putting all the blame on him.
All to help her fall out of love with him.
“Separate Lives” by Phil Collins featuring Marilyn Martin
Song Year: 1985
It’s hard to tell who hurt who in “Separate Lives.” The one clear thing is that both parties seem to have deep regrets about how they treated one another.
This heart wrenching song features the powerful vocals of Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin at their finest.
“Paint Me A Birmingham” by Tracey Lawrence
Song Year: 2004
When Tracey Lawrence stumbles across a street artist, he finds the perfect opportunity to vent his problems.
We learn at the song's end that he’s a man with deep regrets, looking for a way to return to the love of his life, which he wounded deeply.
“No Son Of Mine” by Genesis
Song Year: 1999
“No Son Of Mine” tells the story of a boy who flees his home, probably for good reasons. But all his life, the regret of abandoning his parents haunts him.
Finally, he resolves that it’s time to make things right. He returns to his father and attempts to apologize.
His father’s response is less than welcoming.
“Where Can I Go Without You?” by Dean Martin
Song Year: 1966
Dean Martin is great at singing heartfelt songs about regret. “Where Can I Go Without You?” is an excellent example of one such piece.
He tries everything he can to escape the regret of the pain that he’s caused. But no matter where he goes, he can’t help but remember the lady he hurt.
“Annie I Owe You A Dance” by Tim McGraw
Song Year: 2013
Sometimes, you get to see the redemptive side of a song that’s all about regretting hurting someone. That’s why “Annie I Owe You A Dance” is the perfect closer for this list.
McGraw’s character stumbles unexpectedly across the woman he hurt years ago when they were younger.
Things have changed, they’ve both grown up and moved on, but he still feels the weight of what he did.
Instead of running away, he faces it head-on and successfully makes amends with the woman.
Top Songs About Regretting Hurting Someone, Final Thoughts
If you’re looking for some songs about regretting hurting someone, hopefully, you’ve found more than one that meets your needs.
These songs are filled with heartache and remorse, but a few have touching redemptive qualities.
These songs are a helpful reminder that regret is easier to deal with when you take responsibility for your actions and try to make amends.
Did we leave any out? Let us know in the comments below!