From Obama to Letterman to The New York Times ("Hey Sienna, we were technically incorrect when we branded you a slut."), apologizing is the new black. What's the perfect "I'm sorry" soundtrack? Depends how bad you've been. The Apology Channel suggests 10 that should cover most every occasion.


1. "Always on My Mind," by Willie Nelson

In this 1982 song, Willie apologizes for not always remembering to hold and thank his ex-wife Connie Koepke -- essentially he apologizes for being an average husband.
Year: 1982


2. "I'm Sorry," by Brenda Lee

15-year old Brenda Lee unleashes a stirring, heartfelt apology to her boyfriend that has gone on to become a country standard. However, it remains unclear what exactly she was apologizing for. All she admits to in the song are "mistakes." Specify, Brenda! Specify!
Year: 1960


3. "Sorry Is a Sorry Word," by The Temptations

In one of The Temptations' lesser-known songs, the boys from Detroit chide an ex-lover for doing wrong and then lamely saying "sorry." This song makes for a nice retort to any of the other tunes on this list.
Year: 1967


4. "All Apologies," by Nirvana

In this song, dedicated to Kurt Cobain's daughter Francis Bean, it is unclear what exactly the lead singer of Nirvana is apologizing for, particularly when he makes the claim that "everyone is gay."
Year: 1993


5. "I'm Sorry Mama," by Leadbelly

In this 1934 recording, American folk pioneer Leadbelly, the self-proclaimed "king of the 12-string guitar," apologizes to his mother for all he's done wrong. Yet while Leadbelly did do much to be sorry about in his life, he is also, in the words of Bob Dylan, "one of the few ex-cons who recorded a popular children's album."
Year: 1934


6. "Cleaning Out My Closet," Eminem

In this intensely personal rap about his troubled childhood, Eminem touches on both ends of the apology spectrum by saying "I'm sorry, Mama," but also by totally not meaning it. Accusing your mother of having Munchausen Syndrome ... sheesh.
Year: 2002


7. "Apologize," by Chris Brown

Chris Brown's musical apology to on-again, off-again girlfriend Rihanna. Interestingly, the lyrics contain multiple references to infidelity, but none to Brown's infamous penchant for physical violence. Perhaps he should write a few more apology songs.
Year: 2009


8. "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word," by Elton John

Elton John's emotional apology to a wronged lover raises a disturbing question: What if lightning DID strike you and no one came to help you because you'd been bad in the past?
Year: 1976


9. "Apology Song," by The Decemberists

A song about losing a friend's bike ("Madeleine") and then having to report the news to him. It seems like a comedic song -- unless of course, you've ever had a friend lose your bike before. Then it's pretty tough to laugh through all those tears. (Fun fact: This song is based on a true story.)
Year: 2004


10. "Sorry So Sorry," by Howie Day

Howie Day's emotional acoustic apology sounds pretty genuine until he utters the always difficult-to-believe line, "I swear I really didn't know."
Year: 2002