November 2021. Taylor Swift releases Red (Taylor’s Version). In-person events are back. What better to listen to than these amazing songs? Here are my top tracks from the album! Enjoy!
This song is an absolute banger. It was the top streamed song on Spotify for a few weeks and it is amazing. The lyrics really make you think about Taylor and Jake Gyllenhaal’s relationship, and how toxic it was. The short film with Sadie Sink and Dylan O'Brien emphasized the uncomfortable age difference between them.
Favorite Lyric: “And I was never good at telling jokes, but the punch line goes I'll get older, but your lovers stay my age” and “You kept me like a secret, but I kept you like an oath.”
This song is once again an absolute banger. It encompasses the feeling of getting older. When you are young, you are on top of the world and think you know everything. But as you age you realize that you in fact know nothing. This shows us the innocence of youth. False confidence gives young people a different worldview.
Favorite Lyric: “I know someday I'm gonna meet her, it's a fever dream, the kind of radiance you only, have at seventeen.”
This song is the ultimate shout-out to my ex. Taylor is saying you broke my heart, but now that I’m over it you still think about me and our relationship. She is telling Jake Gyllenhaal you still think about me when you do these things. I am still trapped in your head even if you are out of mine.
Favorite Lyric: “With your organic shoes and your million-dollar couch I bet you think about me when you say ‘Oh my God, she's insane, she wrote a song about me’ I bet you think about me.”
Fun fact: If you look at a Jake Gyllenhaal on Letterman interview from 2013, he does talk about his minimalist shoes
This song is a classic. While it is a melancholy heartbreak song, it is upbeat and a bop. It is just fun to listen to. The color metaphors ruminate with me, as I also often associate emotions with colors. A unique thing in my opinion is that Taylor Swift associates the color red with love and romance, not anger and fire. To me, this was a new take on red. That red has multiple sides with love and anger, romance and heartbreak.
Favorite Lyric: “Losing him was blue like I'd never known Missing him was dark gray, all alone (Woah) Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met But loving him was red.”
This song is about Taylor reminiscing about the good parts of her relationship with Gyllenhaal. She was excited, happy, and energetic. Taylor was on a romance high. She was “never looking down”. She was innocent and had love goggles. Taylor didn't have to worry about anything else this time. It was “holy” in her mind.
Favorite Lyric: “Cause darling, it was good Never looking down and right there where we stood was holy ground.”
This song is an amazing bop. Taylor actually wrote it about Ethel and Bobby Kenedy after seeing a picture of them. It is a made-up song about hopeful teens just having fun.
Favorite Lyric: “And I said, ‘oh my, what a marvelous tune’ it was the best night, never would forget how he moved the whole place was dressed to the nines and we were dancing, dancing like we're made of starlight, starlight.”
This song is Taylor asking herself why he broke her heart. He breaks her heart, and she is done. But then he comes back with a mediocre apology and suddenly everything is good again. This is the last time she is asking him to prioritize her. But every time Taylor asks, her heart is broken again.
Favorite Lyric: “This is the last time you tell me I've got it wrong this is the last time I say, ‘It's been you all along.’ This is the last time I let you in my door. This is the last time, I won't hurt you anymore.”
This song is Taylor Meeting Jake. She meets him and suddenly everything has changed. She felt at home and ok. She felt she had a partner. Taylor feels Jake is what was missing in her life.
Favorite Lyric: “Come back and tell me why I'm feeling like I've missed you all this time and meet me there tonight and let me know that it's not all in my mind.”
This is about Taylor being influenced by the public’s views. People would say “Oh you're so lucky to get your heart broken by all these famous men.” But Taylor didn't feel lucky, she felt hurt. People would say she was lucky for many unfavorable aspects of living a famous life. Taylor also mentioned all the young girls coming to take her place. This shows the toxicity of Hollywood for young women. They can be easily abused by powerful people and then get told they were “lucky” to be abused.
Favorite Lyric: “And they tell you that you're lucky, but you're so confused 'Cause you don't feel pretty, you just feel used and all the young things line up to take your place.”
This is Taylor Swift being finally healed after her relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal. When they were dating he missed her 21st birthday party. So, they broke up between Taylors 21st and 22nd birthdays. She is finally learning how to be herself and have fun again. Taylor is back to being a 22-year-old living her life, instead of having her heartbroken by a boy over 10 years older than her.
Favorite Lyric: “Tonight's the night when we forget about the heartbreaks.”
Better Man (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)
Taylor misses Jake Gyllenhaal. She knows she is better on her own. Taylor knows that he was bad for her and her mental health. But, she still wishes he was a better man.
Favorite Lyric: “I know I’m probably better off all alone than needing a man who could change his mind at any given minute.”
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Taylor’s Version)
This is one of the most Iconic Taylor Songs. This is Taylor realizing that Jake was terrible for her. He was manipulative and rude. Taylor has finally grown enough to not need him anymore. She is directly telling him not to talk to her again. Taylor is telling Jake that she is over him and his attitude.
Favorite Lyric: “I used to think that we were forever, ever and I used to say, ‘never say never.’ Ugh, so he calls me up and he's like, ‘I still love you and I'm like, ‘I just, I mean, this is exhausting, you know? Like, we are never getting back together, like, ever.’”
Alyssa Kaufmann is a BBG from Denver, Colorado and she likes to play the guitar!
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
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