“Sorry” by Halsey is one of my absolute favourite songs at the moment, and I find it such an interesting song that this is the one I’ve decided to write about. One thing that draws me to this song, especially when I play it as part of one of my playlists, is its pure simplicity.
It seems like these days so many songs have so many instruments and effects it’s almost overpowering, however this song goes the other way. The only instruments are a piano, and her vocals. Even the chords used in the song are simple, but very effective. They make you listen to the lyrics, to listen to what she’s trying to say.
As the title suggests “Sorry” is an apology song. She’s apologising to her past lovers for hurting them. Explaining that she never intended to hurt them, that she never realised exactly how her actions were affecting them. She’s apologising for the breakdown of past relationships, and even though they’re no longer together she still remembers a lot of those small details that you learn when dating someone “I still know your birthday and your mother’s favourite song.”
It’s also very much a reassuring song, almost as though she’s saying, ‘It’s not you, it’s me.’ Like she’s reassuring them that it wasn’t anything they did, it was because of her and her own issues “Sorry that I can’t believe that anybody ever really starts to fall in love with me.” For me this line strikes a chord, and it’s a very vulnerable line. It almost speaks of something going on at a much deeper level. As someone who has suffered both depression and anxiety, that feeling of disbelief that anyone could be in love with you is very familiar when you are in the midst of a particularly bad episode.
There’s also a reassurance in their that those people she has hurt in the past will get through it that. That one day someone else will love them, with almost an unspoken ‘in the way you deserve,’ in there. However, that person that will love them won’t be her, “someone will love you, but someone isn’t me.”
I think another reason that this song is so effective is that it’s a situation that a lot of people are familiar with. Either they’ve been the person giving the apology, after they’ve hurt a lover that they never intended to. Or they’re the person being apologised to, who has been hurt by a lover who maybe didn’t like them as much as they liked the other person.