My Personal Take on Red Taylor’s Version

My Personal Take on Red Taylors Version

Lindsay B., Layout Editor

     Taylor Swift, one of the most influential singers of our generation, recently released Red: Taylor’s Version, a re-recording of her Red album. Growing up, Red was one of my favorite Taylor Swift albums and many high schoolers today remember her progression as an artist. While many of her songs do not discuss her love life, Taylor Swift’s Red album is notorious for anecdotes from her past relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal. Of course, when I first listened to the songs at eight years old, I fell in love with them. So now, nine years later, I can appreciate the album again.

     Rumored to be about the infamous Jake Gyllenhaal, “Red” according to Taylor Swift, symbolizes the color of intense emotion. She further explains how the song symbolizes the toxicity of her past relationships. If we consider the lyric, “Loving him is like driving a new Maserati down a dead-end street,” we can conclude how her relationship (assuming it was with Jake Gyllenhaal) was pointless as there is no use for a sports car only to drive slowly down an empty street. It is possible many of these lyrics reference Gyllenhaal since they refer to a relationship that died out quickly. This is similar to their relationship which did not last more than three months. We can see this in lyrics like “Like the colors in autumn, so bright/Just before they lose it all”  or “Faster than the wind, passionate as sin/Ending so suddenly.”

     More obviously centered around Jake Gyllenhaal, the new ten-minute version of “All Too Well” revealed even more about their seemingly toxic relationship. This was personally my favorite song from “Red: Taylor’s Version” since I got five extra minutes of a song I grew up listening to. The rest of the lyrics in the article I will mention will be from “All Too Well.” 

     “And I was thinking on the drive down, any time now/He’s gonna say it’s love, you never called it what it was’ Til we were dead and gone and buried/Check the pulse and come back swearing it’s the same/After three months in the grave/And then you wondered where it went to as I reached for you/But all I felt was shame and you held my lifeless frame.”

     These lyrics reveal how Gyllenhaal may have refused to admit the seriousness of their relationship. It also displays the arguments they had over this problem, portraying the toxicity of their relationship. Using this interpretation, it seems like Gyllenhaal tried to reconcile their relationship three months after it ended. This relates to another song in the album, “We Are Never Getting Back Together.” 

     “But maybe this thing was a masterpiece/ ‘Til you tore it all up /Running scared, I was there/I remember it all too well/And you call me up again/Just to break me like a promise.”

     These lyrics allude to why their relationship ended. From this, we see that after their breakup, Gyllenhaal messes with Taylor, ending a relationship that she thought could have gone further. 

     “But then he watched me watch the front door all night, willing you to come/And he said, “It’s supposed to be fun turning twenty-one”

     This lyric actually alludes to a real event occurring in Jake and Taylor’s relationship. Gyllenhaal evidently skipped Taylor’s 21st birthday after having it already planned. 

     “And I was never good at telling /jokes but the punch line goes/I’ll get older but your lovers stay my age”

     The last quote I will talk about is probably my favorite. When Jake and Taylor first began dating, Taylor was 20 while Jake was 29. Although a little weird, Taylor did date John Mayer at 19 while she was 32.  Now, Jake is currently dating a 25-year-old at 40. This lyric explains that one role in their breakup may have been their age difference and solidifies that the song is likely about Gyllenhaal. 

      Although most of this article was about Taylor Swift’s relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal, I think it is important to recognize just how amazing of a lyricist Swift is. Her music changed the music industry for the better. And even if you do not listen to Taylor Swift regularly, I am sure any person you ask would be able to name at least three Taylor Swift songs.