Maybe I Mean Yes

"Maybe I Mean Yes"
Single by Holly Dunn
from the album Milestones: Greatest Hits
B-side"Daddy's Hands"[1]
ReleasedJuly 1991 (1991-07)
LabelWarner Bros. Nashville
  • Dunn
  • Waters
Holly Dunn singles chronology
"Heart Full of Love"
"Maybe I Mean Yes"
"No One Takes the Train Anymore"

"Maybe I Mean Yes" is a song by American country music singer Holly Dunn. It was a new song from her 1991 compilation Milestones: Greatest Hits, from which it was released as a single in 1991. Dunn wrote and produced the song with her brother Chris Waters. The song was withdrawn at Dunn's request, due to controversy over the song's lyrics.


Written by Dunn along with her brother Chris Waters and songwriter Tom Shapiro, the song is about a flirtatious woman. Dunn herself described the song as a "lighthearted look at one couple's attempt at dating, handled in an innocent, nonsexual, flirtatious way."[3]

Critical reception[]

Kimmy Wix of Cash Box wrote that the song "drives her scorching vocals to an all-time-high performance" and that it "also ranks high on the list with commanding lyrics, spicy instrumentation and a barreling tempo that conjures up a musical storm."[2]


The song was the subject of controversy at the time of its release, due to the line "When I say 'no' I mean 'maybe', or maybe I mean 'yes'." Due to negative feedback from listeners who perceived this lyric as condoning date rape, Dunn sent letters to radio stations and television stations, asking for the single to be withdrawn from rotation.[4][5] Dunn also stated that "My co-writers and I stand by our original intent 100%."[3] Dunn also agreed to stop performing the song in concert.[6]

Chart performance[]

The song peaked at No. 48 on the Hot Country Songs chart dated August 10, 1991, after only five weeks on the charts. Despite Dunn's decision to withdraw the song having already been enacted, it increased in airplay for that week, rising from the No. 53 position.[4]

Chart (1991) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[7] 48


  1. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2012). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2012. Record Research, Inc. pp. 107–108. ISBN 978-0-89820-203-8.
  2. ^ a b Wix, Kimmy (July 6, 1991). "Reviews: Singles" (PDF). Cash Box.
  3. ^ a b Morris, Edward (August 10, 1991). "Dunn Says No To Her 'Maybe I Mean Yes' Urges Radio /TV To Stop Playing Controversial Song". Billboard: 31.
  4. ^ a b Meyers, Kate (August 16, 1991). "Holly Dunn's controversial single". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  5. ^ Morris, Edward (August 10, 1991). "Dunn's No Means 'Yes' To Press But Radio Starts To Ease Off Single" (PDF). Billboard: 8, 71.
  6. ^ Philips, Chuck (July 27, 1991). "Just Say No to 'Maybe,' Dunn Asks : Broadcasting: Don't play my new single, country singer requests. Critics says 'Maybe I Mean Yes' invites rape". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  7. ^ "Holly Dunn Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.