Tuesday, May 19, 2015

"Clean" Song Meaning

Today's Taylor Swift song is "Clean" from her 1989 album.

This song is interesting for me. To me I wish it would have been a bonus song and she would have ended the album with "New Romantics" instead and this would have been the last song of the entire album. New Romantics would have made a great juxtaposition to welcome to the New York. It's basically saying the same thing as clean. She's ready to move on, but it is just such a strong song. 

That said I think clean is a great song and it can apply to so many toxic relationships not just romantic ones. There's been times in my life when I've just had to say goodbye to a friend for me, because it was a bad friendship. And in the end I was clean of that person and ready to move on.


Who and what is this song about?

It's about Taylor and her being finally clean after her relationship with Harry Styles. It took her a long time to get over Harry, "months and months of back of forth." The song is full of metaphors, "a wine-stained dress [she] can't wear anymore" symbolizing how the stain he had left on her heart, "sky turned black like a perfect storm", a common metaphor describing feelings and emotions being black, and "Rain came pouring down", usually rain is a good thing for Taylor, but this time is was "drowning" her.  She let the "butterflies [turn] to dust", she let the emotions inside of her for him fade away, "I let the flood carry away/All my pictures of you," She let got of the pictures and good times she had swirling in her mind of him. She was "10 months sober", it was 10 months since they broke up, she says she will not get back with him, she's "never gonna risk it". She finally let the "flowers that we'd grown/Together [die] of thirst." The relationship is over she is not going to nurture that relationship anymore.  She's "finally clean" and over Harry.

Click here for lyrics to the song "Clean".

Taylor wrote "Clean" after her Red Tour in London finished, where Harry lives and she realized that she didn't need him anymore. She didn't need his texts and didn't need to see him. It is also fitting that at this time when she realized she was clean she also got a new haircut to symbolize her cleanliness. She tells Elle magazine on May 7, 2015.

" 'Shake It Off' and 'Clean' were the last two things we wrote for the record, so it shows you where I ended up mentally. 'Clean' I wrote as I was walking out of Liberty in London. Someone I used to date—it hit me that I'd been in the same city as him for two weeks and I hadn't thought about it. When it did hit me, it was like, Oh, I hope he's doing well. And nothing else. And you know how it is when you're going through heartbreak. A heartbroken person is unlike any other person. Their time moves at a completely different pace than ours. It's this mental, physical, emotional ache and feeling so conflicted. Nothing distracts you from it. Then time passes, and the more you live your life and create new habits, you get used to not having a text message every morning saying, "Hello, beautiful. Good morning." You get used to not calling someone at night to tell them how your day was. You replace these old habits with new habits, like texting your friends in a group chat all day and planning fun dinner parties and going out on adventures with your girlfriends, and then all of a sudden one day you're in London and you realize you've been in the same place as your ex for two weeks and you're fine. And you hope he's fine. The first thought that came to my mind was, I'm finally clean. I'd been in this media hailstorm of people having a very misconstrued perception of who I was. There were really insensitive jokes being made at awards shows by hosts; there were snarky headlines in the press—'Taylor Goes Through a Breakup: Well, That Was Swift!'—focusing on all the wrong things."

Taylor Swift February 12, 2014 sporting her new haircut, she's finally Clean.
Magazines are not the only Taylor is talking advice relating to "Clean", she also told a Swiftie on instagram on July 31, 2014, (This is pre 1989 album being released by the way.) 'Hey Caitlin, You are absolutely beautiful. Your pictures are so intriguing and I love your style. You seem so incredibly unique, In the words of one of my favorite Paramore songs, I hate to see your heart break. Honestly I wish it had never happened to you and I wish you could speed up time and all of a sudden see this pain in retrospect. We get used to things, don’t we? Waking up to a text every morning, falling asleep to a phone call, hearing someone’s name and lighting up. These are all habits we have to break when we lose someone and it’s NOT FAIR because it’s TERRIBLE and you are AWESOME. Time will break all of the old habits and create new ones for you, and in the process, you will try to handle this immense pain with dignity (because you’re that kind of girl). You actually will have to move on and you actually will be fine and that’s when he may actually miss how incredible and special you are. But whether or not that happens, I just want you to take one day at a time. You and I both know there’s got to be some greater storyline for you than 'girl gets heart broken, was sad forever'." Little did everyone know this advice was actually about her song clean.

I think it's so great she moved on and found her happiness. She's in a good place. I was worried too that she'd also sworn off dating, but she hasn't and now glad she's finally clean of those toxic people that made fun of her love life is not listening to them anymore and is loving life on her terms not theirs. I think it's great to move on from a past relationship, but also be clean enough to start a new one.

Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris on a date May 14, 2015

3 comments:

  1. I love your explanation of the song. When I first heard the song it was very confusing and I've have heard a thousand times and I figured out some parts but I grew frustrated and decided to look it up, you really made me understand the song and I'm really going to enjoy it more.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love your explanation of the song. When I first heard the song it was very confusing and I've have heard a thousand times and I figured out some parts but I grew frustrated and decided to look it up, you really made me understand the song and I'm really going to enjoy it more.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love your explanation of this song because every time i hear it there are still some missing parts for me so thank you so much for that very detailed explanation

    ReplyDelete

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