Wednesday, January 9, 2013

"Red" Song Meaning

Today's Taylor Swift song is the meaning of "Red" from her "Red" album.

This song is the title song from the album and does a good job describing what the album is about, a lot of intense emotion.  In her Good Morning America introduction she said, “I wrote this song about the fact that some things in life are just hard to forget… because the emotions that are involved with them can be so intense—and to me, intense emotion is red.”  She does a really good job at capturing the intensity of emotion felt when loving someone and the isolation and longing after losing someone you have loved so much. It is such a fun song.  A good mix of country and pop.  In the song Taylor describes as loving a certain guy as "Red" and losing him is like "Blue".  It has a fun and catchy tune.

Taylor also says, "Red is a song that I wrote halfway through making this album and it changed what this album became. This song is about correlating different emotions to different colors.  It hit me all of the sudden that most of the emotions I felt in this process of making this album were red emotions, all the intense ones, at the happy and angry end of the spectrum and it really changed my outlook on where this record was going because to me this song is very different, very descriptive.  It has an edge to it that to me kind of expanded what I wanted to do."

"Red" booklet picture, courtesy of
Who is this song about?

I had a little doubt who this song was about and was waffling back and forth between two people.  I thought it could be Eddie Redmayne.  She was known to have a crush on him. "Come Back, Be Here" is about him. And his name has "Red" in it, and he was in a play called "Red" and a movie called "Powder Blue". But I didn't know if they actually dated.  He seemed to confirm it the other day when he said it was "absolute nonsense" that he and Taylor had dated.  Unless he is hiding a secret romance, I don't think this song is about him.  Then who is this song about?  It is about...well who have all the songs been about on this album?  Jake Gyllenhaal. She fell for him hard and this song describes what she felt like as she was trying to get over him.

I love the imagery in this song, "Loving him is like driving a new Maserati down a dead end street/Faster than the wind, passionate as sin, ending so suddenly".  Maserati's are racing cars, if you are driving one down a dead end street then it wouldn't be very fun. (Side note, my husband did say it would be fun if the street was very long). Taylor is saying, the romance was so fun and so promising, but all of the sudden it was over and your ride in the Maserati was done because you came to the end of the road.  Like the end of the racing road your relationship road has come to and end.

She then references the colors of autumn saying, "Like the colors in autumn so bright just before they lose it all".  Fall is so pretty, and the colors are amazing.  She dated Jake when she was in New York and they did go upstate to pick apples and probably drove through all the beautiful colors.  I've been in New York this fall/winter and the fall was amazing, the colors were beautiful, but then Hurricane Sandy came and took them away and it has been pretty bleak.  Her relationship was as beautiful as those colors, but like the autumn leaves, the colors faded and it was no more.

She then compares the relationship/breakup to certain colors.  "Loving him was red/Losing him was blue/Missing him was dark grey."  I can really imagine all those colors because I've been through it too.  Love is vibrant and wonderful, you absolutely love the person with all your being, breaking up is certainly blue, you look back and just wonder why, what went wrong, and being alone, missing him is very grey, you sit alone at your house remembering all the fun, red, vibrant things you did with him.  It must have been hard for Taylor, she broke up with him in the winter and the whole world was grey too, just like her.

This song illustrates the pain and regret that can come when you see how good love can be and then lose it. "Regretting him was like wishing you never found out that love could be that strong."  I hope Taylor finds this red intense love again and is able to hold on to it forever.

Click here for the lyrics to the song, "Red".
Click here to see the music video for "Red".


  1. The hidden code for it was "SAG", which some have taken to mean "Screen Actors Guild Awards", but I take it to mean Sagittarius....because it is the "fire sign" which they share, as mentioned in "State of Grace"

  2. I think you are missing the much more obvious meaning of the code SAG: Swift And Gyllenhaal

  3. did u know that she broke up with 'him' in the winter?


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