I’m Not Okay (I Promise)

First single and fifth track from Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge
Released: September 13, 2004
Format: CD, 7″ vinyl, digital download, DVD
Length: 3:08
Producer: Howard Benson
Record Label: Reprise Records


I’m Not Okay (I Promise) was the second single from Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge. It is often considered as the bands breakthrough single and is the only song that has been re-released. The track almost didn’t make it onto the album as the band had only one lyric and no music for it when they went into the studio to record Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge.


It came about last. Acoustically, Toro just started playing this stuff, I was singing and all the guys in the band were like, ‘This is a really special song’. It was the most direct song we ever wrote and the first song I ever wrote about high school. Just all that shitty, sleazy shit that happens when you’re there. That sense of being so alone, and not finding a girl, all those shitty feeling you got. At that stage in my life I was always really looking for love. I was always romantic in that regard. I just wanted somebody to love me, and that’s really what the song’s about to me, that desperation.
Gerard Way – Kerrang! Magazine – 2005

When I was writing it, I was remembering how hard it was to be a 16-year-old in high school. I always wanted to be an artist, so I was this loner kid who just got drunk all the time. I only had one real friend. There was a girl I really liked, and she ended up taking really sleazy photographs with her boyfriend, and that really crushed me, I was just swimming in this pit of despair, jealousy and alcoholism.

Featured On

Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge (Track 5)
Warped Tour Bootleg Series (Track 1)
Life On The Murder Scene


Well if you wanted honesty,
That’s all you had to say
I never want to let you down or have you go,
It’s better off this way!
For all the dirty looks,
The photographs your boyfriend took,
Remember when you broke your foot from jumping out the second floor

I’m not okay,
I’m not okay,
I’m not okay,
You wear me out

what will it take to show you that it’s not the life it seems?
(I’m not okay)
I’ve told you time and time again, you sing the words
But don’t know what it means
(I’m not okay)
To be a joke and look
Another line without a hook
I held you close as we both shook for the last time,
Take a good hard look

I’m not okay,
I’m not okay,
I’m not okay,
You wear me out

Forget about the dirty looks,
The photographs your boyfriend took,
You said you’d read me like a book,
But the pages all are torn and frayed

I’m okay…
I’m okay!
I’m okay, now
(I’m okay, now)
But you really need to listen to me,
because I’m telling you the truth
I mean this
I’m okay!
(Trust me)

I’m not okay
I’m not okay
Well, I’m not okay,
I’m not o-fucking-kay
I’m not okay,
I’m not okay