Love is a ruthless game unless you play it good and right.
There's an old poem by Neruda that I've always been captivated by, and one of the lines in it has stuck with me ever since the first time I read it. It says "love is so short, forgetting is so long." It's a line I've related to in my saddest moments, when I needed to know someone else had felt that exact
same way. And when we're trying to move on the moments we always go back to aren't the mundane ones. They are the moments you saw sparks that weren't really there, felt stars aligning without
having any proof, saw your future before it happened, and then saw it slip away without any warning. These are moments of newfound hope, extreme joy, intense passion, wishful
thinking, and in some cases, the unthinkable letdown. And in my mind, every one of these memories looks the same to me. I see all of these moments in bright, burning red.
My experiences in love have taught me difficult lessons, especially my experiences with crazy love. The red relationships. The ones that
went from zero to a hundred miles per hour and then hit a wall and exploded. And it was awful. And ridiculous. And desperate. And thrilling. And when the dust settled, it was something I’d
never take back. Because there is something to be said for being young and needing someone so badly, you jump in head first without looking. And there's something to be learned from
waiting all day for a train that's never coming. And there's something to be proud of about moving on and realizing that real love shines golden like starlight, and doesn't fade or
spontaneously combust. Maybe I’ll write a whole album about that kind of love if I ever find it. But this album is about the other kinds of love that I’ve recently fallen in and out
of. Love that was treacherous, sad, beautiful, and tragic. But most of all, this record is about love that was red.
The album opener “State of Grace”, a big-time, grown-up rock anthem, feels like something of a game-changer for Taylor. According to her, the song serves as both the introduction and
the conclusion of this album.
"State of Grace" was written by Taylor and produced by Nathan Chapman. As the first track on the album, it serves as a warning for what love can be -- both amazing and devastating.
Essentially it can go both ways, depending on how we go about it. During her preview of the song on ABC’s "Good
Morning America", Taylor described the song as such:
“I wrote this song about when you first fall in love with someone. The possibilities, kind of thinking about the different ways that it could go. It’s a really big sound. To me, this sounds like
the feeling of falling in love in an epic way.” -- Taylor Swift
Throughout the song we see Taylor detailing the beginning of a love with all it’s possibilities and there is an utterly romantic sentiment and charm about the uncertainty and expectations
that come along with any new beginning. Musically, the song is a departure from Taylor's then typical country pop, using influences of alternative rock whilst being compared to bands such as U2,
Muse and The Cranberries.
The song has received acclaim from music critics, who have praised its broader sound in comparison with Taylor's previous material.
"State of Grace" was released as the fourth and final promotional single off the album, and was the only promotional single on "RED"
that wasn’t re-issued as an official single.
"Red", the title track of the album, compares the emotions Taylor felt in a relationship to colors. Taylor said that she decided to name this song as her album title, as its
lyrics encompass the entire theme of the project.
The song was written by Taylor and produced by Nathan Chapman and Dan Huff. "Red" finds Taylor playing with the idea of colors in relation to her emotions about a relationship. She
explained its meaning as follows:
"I wrote this song about the fact that some things are just hard to forget," she said, "because the emotions involved with them were so intense and, to me, intense emotion is red." -- Taylor
Both musically and thematically, "Red" was a turning point in the process of making the album. Taylor told Billboard:
"I made the record exactly the same way I made the last three. I knew I hadn't jumped out of my comfort zone, which at the time was writing alone and working with Nathan. ['Red'] the song was a
real turning point for 'RED' the album. When I wrote that song my mind started wandering to all the places we could go. If I were to think outside the box enough, go in with different people, I
could learn from and have what they do rub off on me as well as have what I do rub off on them." -- Taylor Swift
"Red" served as the album's fifth single on June 21, 2013. It was part of the tracks released during the four weeks preceding the release of the album and debuted at number six on the
US Billboard 100 and at number one on the Hot Digital Songs chart. It also debuted at number two on the Hot Country Songs chart, behind Taylor's previous single
"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together".
A music video for the song was released on July 3, 2013. It features footage fromTaylor's "RED Tour". Crowd cheers in the concert can be
heard in the background as well.
In the song "Treacherous", Taylor uses the word to describe a relationship that might not be the best one for her. As something that is harmful and possibly deceptive.
It was written by Taylor and Dan Wilson, and produced by Wilson. Taylor first started working on "Treacherous"based only on the idea that she wanted to use the word in a song. The lyrics
contain strong sensual undertones, although it at no point references directly anything explicitly sexual. Taylor describes realizing that this relationship is moving extremely fast,
and might be unhealthy. She told Taste of Country:
"I wrote ‘Treacherous’ with Dan Wilson, and we came up with a way to say, you know, ‘This is dangerous and I realize that I might get hurt if I go through with this, if I move forward with you.
But… but I want to.’ You know? It’s like that kind of conflicted feeling of it being a risk every time you fall in love -- especially with certain types of people. [Laughs] That was a song
that I’m really proud of, because it’s got this bridge that sounds like a second chorus. It’s got all these big vocals, and it’s kind of the intensity of that moment when you’re deciding to let
yourself fall in love with someone." -- Taylor Swift
Another time, Taylor further elaborated on the song's meaning:
"That song was about a person that I knew from the minute I saw him, that it would end in fiery, burning wreckage. There's something about that magnetic draw that doesn't really let up. You walk
toward it anyway." -- Taylor Swift
The secret message for “Treacherous” featured in the "RED" album booklet is “Won’t stop ‘til it’s over,” a lyric featured on The Temper Trap’s “Sweet Disposition.”
I Knew You Were Trouble
Taylor expresses her guilt in “I Knew You Were Trouble” due to a relationship destined to fail. With its sound playing between electropop and dubstep, this song marks the significant
period in which she began to move further away from her country roots and into more pop influences. TIME congratulated her on being “the first major artist to fuse country
Taylor said that she brought the melody from piano to Max Martin and Shellback, who worked with her to “infuse a little bit of dubstep” and “make it sound as chaotic as that emotion felt.”
She regarded it as one of the most adventurous songs from "RED". She also told MTV how she had just gone through an experience that inspired “I Knew You Were Trouble":
“[It’s] about knowing the second you see someone like, ‘Oh, this is going to be interesting. It’s going to be dangerous, but look at me going in there anyway. I think that for me, it was the
first time I ever kind of noticed that in myself, like when you are curious about something you know might be bad for you, but you know that you are going to go for it anyway because if you
don’t, you’ll have greater regrets about not seeing where that would go." -- Taylor Swift
"I Knew You Were Trouble" received generally positive reviews from music critics, who commended its mainstream appeal yet noted Swift's experimentation with dubstep as relatively
limited. "I didn’t even know that that’s really what we were doing with the track," she said. "I just knew I wanted it to sound a certain way. And that’s what people have been calling it."
Originally released on October 9, 2012 as the third promotional single from "RED", the song later became an official single on November 27, 2012. It was an international commercial success,
charting as a top ten hit in more than a dozen countries. In the U.S., it debuted at number three on the Billboard Hot 100, mainly due to digital sales of 416,000. Later, it peaked at number two,
becoming one of her many top-two hits including “You Belong with Me” and “Today Was a Fairytale.”
“I Knew You Were Trouble” was a big signal flare. When I did something like that, that I thought people were going to be freaked out over, and it ended up spending seven weeks at No. 1 on the pop
charts, it felt like I had tried on something new that fit really well." -- Taylor Swift
At the inaugural YouTube Music Awards in 2013, the music video for "I Knew You Were Trouble" won the award for "YouTube Phenomenon". It also won "Best Female Video" at the MTV VMA
All Too Well
“All Too Well” finds Taylor reminiscing on the memories of a past relationship from start to finish. It is generally looked at as Taylor's best song to date -- by both critics and fans,
as well as Taylor herself.
It was the first song that Taylor wrote for "RED". The heart-wrenching break-up tune came after a six-month writing block that followed a particularly painful ending of a relationship.
"There's a kind of bad that gets so overpowering you can't even write about it," she told USA Today of that time.
“All Too Well” [was difficult to write emotionally] because it took me a really long time to filter through everything I wanted to put in the song without it being a 10 minute song, which you
can’t put on an album. I wanted a story that could work in the form of a song and I called my co-writer Liz Rose and said, ‘Come over, we’ve gotta filter this down,’ and it took me a really long
time to get it." -- Taylor Swift
With the help of her trusted co-writer Liz Rose, Taylor was eventually able to consolidate her feelings into an album-friendly track.
"When we wrote the song, I hadn’t heard from her in a while. She hadn’t really been writing. I was in Nashville one day, slowly moving the last bits of junk out of my garage so I could move to
Dallas. […] I was in my driveway and my phone rings, and it’s Taylor saying, ‘Man, I’ve got this thing and I really need you to help me with it. Can you write today? What are you doing today?’ [I
later] drove over to Taylor’s. It was the first song she wrote for that record, I think. She had a story and she wanted to say something specific. She had a lot of information. I just let her go.
She already had a melody and she started singing some words, and I started writing things down, saying, ‘Ok, let’s use this, let’s use that.’ She mentioned a plaid shirt, and I wrote that down in
a corner, and when we got to the end, I said, ‘Let’s put the plaid shirt in there.’ That turned into one of the best lines. […] It was the most emotional, in-depth song we’ve ever written.
She’s such a force. You remember the songs you write with Taylor, because the emotion that goes into them is so palpable. One of my daughters is her age, so I understood that I needed to stand
back a bit and make sure we wrote Taylor songs, not Liz songs. I didn’t mess with her. The writers that did try to mess with her lyrics? She didn’t write with them a second time." -- Liz Rose
The song has received rave reviews from music critics, with many agreeing it was the best song on the album. Slant Magazine particularly lauded the song within its review,
saying “"All Too Well” is arguably the finest song in Taylor’s entire catalogue.
Taylor also played the song on the "RED Tour" and at the 2014 Grammy Awards after requests from fans, even though it was always painful for her to sing the song. That has since changed, she told
fans at a concert in summer 2018:
“You know it’s interesting, looking back on writing a lot of songs about my life, because when I first play it live, I’m obviously thinking about that experience that I had that inspired the
song. Then it kind of, over time, morphs? Because first of all, time helps you get over things, right? You hope! Hopefully! That’s the dream. But basically, I think that as time passes, what’s so
weird, is that like, my memory that when I relive a certain song, or when I play a certain song, changes from being about a person that was in my life, or an experience I had originally, and it
kind of morphs into like, times I’ve played the song and heard you [her fans] singing it back super loud. [When I play "All Too Well" now] I play it and I think of the times I’ve played it in a
stadium or an arena or my living room with you guys screaming the words back to me. And so it changed it, and I wanted to thank you for changing it, because it’s kind of nice to sing a song that
you’re proud of, but not feel pain while you sing it." -- Taylor Swift
"22" finds Taylor celebrating her early twenties by having fun with her friends. It is a bubblegum pop song that has received positive reviews from music critics,
complimenting Taylor's collaboration with Max Martin and Shellback and the new pop sound they created for her.
The song was written when Taylor celebrated her 22nd birthday. The hidden message in the album booklet is “Ashley, Dianna, Claire, Selena”. These are the four names of some of her friends.
The song is however not only about the birthday celebrations but tells the coming-of-age story where Taylor is changing from a teen to an adult. It tells of the confusing times of being in
your 20s where you are “happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time”.
"For me, being 22 has been my favorite year of my life. I like all the possibilities of how you're still learning, but you know enough. You still know nothing, but you know that you know nothing.
You're old enough to start planning your life, but you're young enough to know there are so many unanswered questions. That brings about a carefree feeling that is sort of based on indecision and
fear and a the same time letting lose. Being 22 has taught me so much." -- Taylor Swift
The song peaked at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the sixth single from "RED" to hit the top 20. Since its release, the song has also found a place in pop culture. It's
become a tradition to play the song on your 22nd birthday -- no matter if you're a fan of Taylor Swift or not.
I Almost Do
“I Almost Do,” is a song that describes the internal conflict that goes on when reminiscing about a romance.
The song was written by Taylor and produced by her long time collaborator Nathan Chapman, with additional production her. It is the seventh song on the record. The song is reminiscent of
Taylor's old material on "Speak Now", being heavily influenced by country. The lyrics are about Taylor missing her old lover, and
trying to express the feelings of missing him. Taylor commented on the song, saying:
“I Almost Do'” is a song I wrote about the conflict that you feel when you want to take someone back, and you want to give it another try, but you know you can’t. And you can’t because you know
it’s hurt you so deeply that you know that you couldn’t bear to go through that again. So you’re sitting there and wondering where they are and hope that they think about you and that you’re
almost picking up the phone call, but you just can’t. I think I needed to write this song in order to not call that person actually. I think that writing the song was what I did instead of
picking up the phone." -- Taylor Swift
The hidden message written in the album for “I Almost Do” reads, “Wrote this instead of calling.”
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
The lead single "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" is a bubblegum country pop song; its lyrics depict Taylor's frustrations at an ex-lover who wants to rekindle their
The track was written by Taylor with Max Martin and Shellback. Production was handled by Martin and Shellback. The lyrics depict Taylor's frustrations at an ex-lover who wants
to re-kindle their relationship. The trio conceived the concept for "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" shortly after a friend of Taylor's ex-boyfriend walked into the recording studio
and spoke of rumors he heard that Taylor and her former flame were reuniting. After the friend left, Martin and Shellback asked her to elaborate on the details of the relationship,
which she described as "break up, get back together, break up, get back together, just, ugh, the worst". When Martin suggested that they write about the incident, Taylor began playing the guitar
and singing, "We are never ever...", and the song flowed rapidly afterwards.She described the process of writing this song as one of the most humorous experiences she’s had while recording. She
explained some of the song’s background to USA Today:
"It’s a definitive portrait of how I felt when I finally stopped caring what my ex thought of me. He made me feel like I wasn’t as good or as relevant as these hipster bands he listened to…So I
made a song that I knew would absolutely drive him crazy when he heard it on the radio. Not only would it hopefully be played a lot, so that he’d have to hear it, but it’s the opposite of the
kind of music that he was trying to make me feel inferior to." -- Taylor Swift
She also sarcastically explained the song as a “really romantic song……touching and sensitive…….to my lovely ex boyfriend.”
The song was an instant commercial success, becoming Taylor's first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Rolling Stone named the song the second best song of 2012 while it
took the fourth spot in TIME's end-of-year poll.
A music video for the song was released in August 2012. It was the first music video to be presented in 4K resolution and received positive reviews from critics.
"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" received a GRAMMY Award nomination for "Record of the Year".
Stay Stay Stay
"Stay Stay Stay" is song where Taylor is imagining what a perfect relationship would be. She wishes this perfect man she has imagined would stay, because she longs for true love.
"Stay Stay Stay" was written by Taylor, while the production was handled by her and Nathan Chapman. It heavily uses elements of country pop. The lyrical content finds Taylor asking her
lover to stay with her, and comparing him to her exes, whom she called "indulgent takers". It's a very cute, upbeat and catchy song which is innocent and beautiful simultaneously.
"The song ‘Stay Stay Stay’ is a song that I wrote based on what I’ve seen of real relationships, where it’s not perfect, there are moments where you’re just so sick of that person, you get into a
stupid fight. It’s still worth it to stay in it. There’s something about it that you can’t live without. In the bridge it says, ‘I’d like to hang out with you for my whole life’ and I think
that’s what probably the key to finding the one, you just want to hang out with them forever."
-- Taylor Swift
The Last Time (feat. Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol)
"The Last Time" tells the story of a long-standing but crumbling relationship. It ties into the theme of what happens throughout a relationship similar to one in songs like “I Almost
Do” or “We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together”.
"The Last Time" is an alternative rock song, with influences of folk rock. Lyrically, the song describes the relationship as one with vicious cycles of both heartbreak and
forgiveness. Orchestral swells accentuate the chorus and drama. Taylor told NPR:
"The idea was based on this experience I had with someone who was kind of this unreliable guy. You never know when he’s going to leave, you never know when he’s going to come back, but he always
does come back. My visual for this song is, there’s a guy on his knees sitting on the ground outside of a door. And on the other side of the door is his girlfriend, who he keeps on
leaving -- and he keeps coming back to her, but then he leaves again. He’s saying, ‘This is the last time I’m going to do this to you.’ And she’s saying, ‘This is the last time I’m asking
you this: Don’t do this again.’ And she’s wondering whether to let him in, and he just wants her to give him another chance, but she doesn’t know if he’s going to break her heart again. It’s a
really fragile emotion you’re dealing with when you want to love someone, but you don’t know if it’s smart to." -- Taylor Swift
One of two collaborations on the album, the song features singer Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol. The artists co-wrote the song with its producer, Jacknife Lee. In
2018, Gary Lightbody said:
"It was so fast. She works really fast. She’s extraordinary. We actually did that song, wrote it and recorded it in a day. And that was the version of it on the record, which is very rare.
Normally you write and record something with somebody and then down the line they’ll record it, if you’re lucky. With her, the whole thing was done in nine hours. I hope we can do it again
sometime!" -- Gary Lightbody
"The Last Time" officially impacted UK contemporary hit radio on November 4, 2013.
Joseph Atilano of The Philippine Inquirer described "The Last Time" as the most mature track on the album and positively noted that it "represents a darker tone" on "RED". He
further commented that the song "proves she is ready for the adult-pop realm" and lends her artistic credibility.
"Holy Ground" is a song about moving on from a failed past relationship and maturing from it. The title is a reference to a “safe” place, kind of like a truce.
The song was written by Taylor. It is the first and only one of her songs that Jeff Bhasker has produced. When she started writing the song, she knew she wanted Bhasker to produce the
track. Taylor contacted him and he agreed to work with her. As a result, “Holy Ground” sounds different from any of Taylor’s previous work. She explained the song’s meaning in an interview.
"The song ‘Holy Ground’ was a song that I wrote about the feeling I got after years had gone by and I finally appreciated a past relationship for what it was, rather than being bitter about what
it didn’t end up being. And I was sitting there thinking about it after I’d just seen him and I just, I was just like, “You know what, that was good.” It was, it was good, having that in my life,
and I wrote the song and I immediately heard Jeff Bhasker’s production. I hadn’t ever worked with Jeff, but he has done some amazing work. I, I love what he’s done on Fun’s record, and I love his
diversity. He’s just so talented, and so I called him and I said “I wrote this song. I really want you to work on it with me.” And I played it for him and he was like, “Let’s go! This is great!”
And, and he did such an amazing job on it." -- Taylor Swift
The song was generally well-received, with some critics highlighting it as a stand-out track. It was also a fan favorite from the album, many of them hoping that "Holy Ground" would eventually be
made a single -- which it wasn't.
Sad Beautiful Tragic
"Sad Beautiful Tragic" was written on a ukulele on Taylor's tour bus after a show of the "Speak Now World Tour", reflecting on a relationship that was “sad, beautiful and tragic.”
The song was written by Taylor and produced by Nathan Chapman. Taylor explained the meaning of the song to Billboard:
"‘Sad Beautiful Tragic’ is really close to my heart. I remember it was after a show and I was on the bus thinking about this relationship that ended months and months before. The feeling wasn’t
sadness and anger or those things anymore. It was wistful loss. And so I just got my guitar and I hit on the fact that I was thinking in terms of rhyming; I rhymed magic with tragic, changed a
few things and ended it with what a sad beautiful tragic love affair. I wanted to tell the story in terms of a cloudy recollection of what went wrong. It’s kind of the murky gray, looking back on
something you can’t change or get back." -- Taylor Swift
Taylor has said that she only recorded the song once because the first take captured the emotion she felt while writing the song perfectly. She also didn't want to add too much production to the
track in order to keep the listener's focus on the lyrics.
The Lucky One
"The Lucky One" is a song about a star who had it all -- and who was also exposed to all the tabloids, lights, and cameras. After her secrets were being leaked all over the world she was
done and moved away to a life of solitude. Nobody knew where she had gone.
Taylor wrote this song in Australia, and although she doesn’t say who the song is about (she set a rule against this herself), the song is rumored to be about Joni Mitchell and Kim
Wilde. The lyrics, “They say you bought a bunch of land somewhere, chose the rose garden over Madison Square” could possibly be referencing how Wilde left her career to become a landscape
gardener. The main melody is also sampled from Wilde’s “Four Letter Word”. The song ends with Taylor understanding why the star chose that path, and how Taylor feels that she’s becoming the
“The Lucky One”.
"It kind of talks about some of my fears through telling the story of other people that I was inspired by. More than their stories being told, I’m pretty much singing about what I’m scared
of in that song, ending up kind of caught up in this whole thing and lonely and feeling misunderstood and feeling like when people think you’re lucky that you’re really not. It kind of
expresses my greatest fear of having this not end up being fun anymore, having it end up being a scary place. Some people get there, some people end up there. It’s a story song and it’s something
I’m really proud of because it kind of goes to a place that I’m terrified of." -- Taylor Swift
She further elaborated:
"Being famous can be fun at first, but people have ended up in a scary place over time. Everybody’s got their way of dealing with it. And for me, sometimes it’s surrounding myself with my friends
and venting, sometimes it’s staying up at the piano until four o'clock in the morning, sometimes it’s watching TV and forgetting about all of it, sometimes it’s calling my mother up and crying.
Sometimes you have a really bad day. Your life is constantly analyzed. There’s a lot of trade-offs. There’s the microscope that’s always on you. The camera flashes, the fear that something you
say will be taken the wrong way and you’ll let your fans down. There’s the fear that you’ll be walking down the street and your skirt will blow up and you’ll be in the news for three months.
You’re scared of a lot of things for a lot of the time, but the trade-off of being able to get on a big stage and sing your songs -- it’s worth it." -- Taylor Swift
Everything Has Changed (feat. Ed Sheeran)
“Everything Has Changed” is a song about realizing your life has flipped upside down after falling for someone new. It was co-written by Taylor and her close friend Ed Sheeran.
The song was written by Taylor and Ed on a trampoline in Taylor's backyard of her LA cottage. The song is about meeting someone and "all of a sudden your entire perspective on the world
changes -- you’re thinking for two, instead of one." The song, was produced by Butch Walker. After writing the duet, Taylor recalled to MTV News:
"We, for real, were sitting on my trampoline in my backyard cause we had been writing a song and I was like, ‘Hey, I just got a trampoline. You want to see it?’ And so, he brought the guitar for
some reason. We ended up writing an entire song out there. For portions of the song, we were bouncing around, ‘cause it’s a trampoline and it’s fun, and the combined maturity level of both of us
is 8 years." -- Taylor Swift
Ed Sheeran is one of several songwriters that Taylor reached out to write with her on "RED". She told Billboard that the people she chose to collaborate with were ones who
"You look at someone like Ed Sheeran. He comes from such a sincere place as a writer, and his songs move you in every direction emotionally. That’s something I was so inspired by I ended up
calling him." -- Taylor Swift
Ed said their partnership worked since they have a lot in common.
"Well, I don’t really write so much with other artists. Like the Taylor session, when we got together and wrote was the second time I’ve ever gotten with another singer/songwriter and written a
song with them. So it wasn’t actually too hard of an adjustment. We’re very much alike musically and it worked out well, I think." -- Ed Sheeran
"Everything Has Changed" peaked at number 32 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and entered the top ten charts of countries including Belgium, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
The music video for the song follows a day in the life of two young children in the same elementary school class. They are both misfits and become good friends, but their platonic feelings turn
to something more. At the end of the video, it is revealed that the girl is Taylor’s daughter and the boy is Ed’s son.
The duo also performed the track every night on Taylor's "RED Tour".
"Starlight" finds Taylor singing about the romantic adventures of Ethel and Bobby Kennedy after coming across a photo of the pair dancing when they were teenagers.
The song was co-produced by regular collaborator Nathan Chapman and Dann Huff and written by Taylor.
"Starlight is a song I wrote actually after seeing a picture of um, Ethel and Bobby Kennedy when they were seventeen. I saw this picture about a year a half ago, and I didn’t know anything about
like, what they were doing or what was going on in the picture, but I just thought ‘They look like they’re having the best night.’ And so I wrote this song about what the night might’ve been
like. And um, I ended up meeting Ethel and going and playing it for her and she just loved it. It was such a fun moment when she was just in love with the song and so happy about it and it’s just
this adorable picture that to me, it just like brought forth all these potentials for how that night could’ve been. –Taylor Swift
Ethel and Bobby are the grandparents of Conor Kennedy, whom Taylor was dating while writing for "RED".
"Begin Again" is the album closer of the standard edition of "RED". It is a country ballad, with the lyrical content finding Taylor falling in love again after a failed
The song was written by Taylor and produced by Dan Huff and Nathan Chapman.
"It’s actually a song about when you’ve gotten through a really bad relationship and you finally dust yourself off and go on that first date after a horrible break up. And the vulnerability that
goes along with all of that. Even after a relationship explodes into a million pieces and burns down and you’re standing in a pile of the ash of what it once was, thinking, ‘Why did I have to
meet this person? Why did this have to happen?’ But then, when you make eye contact with someone across the room and it clicks and, bam, you’re there. In love again." -- Taylor Swift
The song was widely acclaimed by music critics, many of whom praised Taylor's songwriting and complimented for coming back to her country roots for the close of the album.
The song's accompanying music video was shot in Paris, France, and was directed by Philip Andelman, who also directed the music video Taylor's "Safe & Sound".
"Begin Again" generally was commercially successful, and it became her second top ten hit from "RED" on both US and Canadian charts following the hit single "We Are Never Ever
Getting Back Together", debuting and peaking at number seven and four respectively.
"Begin Again" was nominated for the Grammy Award for "Best Country Song" at the 56th Grammy Awards.
The Moment I Knew
“The Moment I Knew” is a song that tells the true story of how Taylor’s then-boyfriend, Jake Gyllenhaal, didn’t show up to her 21st birthday party. It
only appears Deluxe Edition of "RED".
The song was written by Taylor and produced by Nathan Chapman. Former Agency member Elizabeth Huett performs background vocals on the
track. In an interview with Yahoo Music, Taylor told a little about the song:
"‘The Moment I Knew’ was a song about my 21st birthday party, which was the worst experience ever." -- Taylor Swift
On “Come Back…Be Here”, Taylor sings about a lover lost to distance and time over a simple production reminiscent of her "Speak Now" days. The song appears on the Deluxe Edition of
The song was written by Taylor and Dan Wilson, who also co-wrote "Treacherous" with her. Taylor explained at a release party for "RED":
"It’s a song I wrote about this guy that I met. You know, you meet someone and then they just kinda happen to go away and it’s, like, long distance all of a sudden. And you’re, like, ‘b-b-but,
but, come back, be here!’ So it’s a song that I wrote about having distance separate you, which is something I face constantly." -- Taylor Swift
The song is a fan favorite, as it is Taylor's only "long distance relationship" song. After being asked to perfom the song for years and years, Taylor finally sang "Come Back...Be Here" live in
Toronto on August 5, 2018, on her "reputation Stadium Tour".
Girl At Home
In “Girl At Home” describes a man who attempted to hit on her even though he already had a girlfriend at the time. She refuses, since she had “once been just like her.”
The song was written by Taylor and produced by Nathan Chapman. Taylor talked to Yahoo about the song.
"And there’s a song called ‘Girl at Home,’ which was about a guy who had a girlfriend, and I just felt like it was disgusting that he was flirting with other girls." -- Taylor Swift
A few years after its release, Taylor isn't particularly proud of the song anymore (similar cases would be "Picture to Burn" and
"Better Than Revenge"). She is reluctant to perform "Girl At Home" live.