Taylor Swift’s “Begin Again” Lyrics Breakdown: Moving On with High Heels and Hope

Taylor Swift Begin Again Single

Posted by on 10/02/2012 at 4:22 PM Lyrics

The Popdust Files: Begin Again, lyrics, red, taylor swift

Taylor Swift songs reveal a great deal about her personal life. We know this because she’s kissed and told on past albums, and continues to uphold this grand tradition of grieving through songwriting on her latest LP. “I don’t talk about my personal life in great detail,” she told Glamour in her forthcoming cover story. “I write about it in my songs, and I feel like you can share enough about your life in your music to let people know what you’re going through.” It can sometimes feel scummy to search for romantic inspirations to her songs rather than just appreciate her masterful storytelling, but if Taylor continues to use her music as a therapeutic aide, we have no choice. Sorry, John Mayer.
 
Taylor Swift Begin Again
 
If we are to listen to the entire Red album as a breakup timeline, lead single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is the sigh of relief after escaping something headed for destruction. It’s an exclamation of how finished Taylor is with a fickle partner as heard through the slight digs contained within valley girl patois and phone calls to her friends describing just how exhausting it all was. Despite her repetitive use of “never,” we can’t help but wonder if part of her is sad, hoping it isn’t so final after all. Don’t we all second guess these things time and time again? Even if we’ve trashed someone to our friends, it takes fully deleting his or her number from our phone and disconnecting all forms of social media contact to prevent a late-night “hey.”
 
But rather than hole up in her bedroom penning an angry breakup song or gut-wrenching ballad, “Begin Again” looks to move into the future, with a Taylor taking a hopeful-yet-cautious approach to getting back on the dating horse. From her opening deep breath in the mirror to her deliberate choice of footwear, we trade mourning a recently deceased union for a thoughtful acknowledgement of what led to its demise. Once identified, these specific qualities become magnified in the presence of something much more promising:
 

I’ve been spending the last eight months
Thinking all love ever does
Is break and burn and end
But on a Wednesday in a cafe
I watched it begin again

 
“It,” the prospect of real love, is born through a detailed list of why this meeting, so far confined to a coffee house—in Paris, no less— already exceeds Taylor’s dwarfed expectations of love. Addressing her ex’s opinion of her style choices (“He didn’t like it when I wore high heels”) paints her as the victim of someone unsupportive and mean, but Taylor’s also acknowledging her old partner’s own shortcomings, or possible insecurities.
 
We all know she’s a statuesque beauty with legs for days. While we’d hope that her former flame didn’t approve of her wearing high heels for the sake of her blister-prone feet or general safety—sidewalks are dangerous—this detail suggests he probably wasn’t comfortable dating someone arguably more successful and taller. Should we dig up the various heights of her famous exes? After eight months Taylor is past wallowing, but details like this reveal she hasn’t moved far enough away to pass up on an opportunity to tarnish his image for his potential new dating pool.
 
Anonymous New Guy also gets points for not just being the complete opposite of her ex, but for displaying good manners (“You pull my chair out and help me in / And you don’t know how nice that is”) and sharing her taste in music (“You said you never met one girl who / Had as many James Taylor records as you / But I do”), which is especially comforting after being burned by an indie snob. As things progress and the new couples’ beverages of choice slowly disappear from what we can only assume are darling china patterns whose cups don’t necessarily match the saucers they’re served upon—it’s quirky!—the need to dump all over Mr. Wrong begins to fade as well:
 

And we walked down the block, to my car
And I almost brought him up
But you start to talk about the movies
That your family watches every single Christmas
And I want to talk about that
And for the first time
What’s past is past

 
While venting is a natural part of life, we sort of got the feeling things were over the last time aroun. (The repetitive use of “never ever” will do that to a person.) Reinforcing just how much an old guy sucked seems pretty irrelevant now, especially when there are Christmas stories to share and cheesy jokes to be told. It’s probably no fun dating someone who wants to complain about his or her ex all the time, and luckily Taylor catches the mental note by song’s end, stopping herself from ruining a good thing in the process. Now, we can move towards appreciating the New Guy’s taste in holiday films and fawn all over the fact that he’s close with his mom. The once “shy” girl is now feeling at ease, too, showing off a sense of humor her new—and possibly younger—paramour finds simply adorable.
 

And you throw your head back laughing
Like a little kid

 
Maybe he’s throwing his head back because he is a little kid? Age ain’t nothing but a number, but the hint of childish behavior ignites our gossip senses, tying in the fact that the 22-year-old has been reportedly Mrs. Robinson-ing it with her new beau Conor Kennedy, who’s still in high school. Yet another positive from dating down your age range: the younger ones have less life experience, and thus think your anecdotes about CDs and live television are endlessly hilarious.
 
Breakups can lead us to do some crazy things, but signs of maturity abound in Taylor’s transitional, hopeful country tune. Wounded Taylor is not as innocent as one might think, but the claws retract in the presence of someone who’s many positive attributes make the desire to stomp all over someone else’s flaws seem pointless. It takes a special person to help you place the pieces back together, and an even better one to help make the once heartbroken forget about the bad stuff all together.
 
Take a look at the full lyrics. You can play the song at the bottom of the post!
 
Took a deep breath in the mirror
He didn’t like it when I wore high heels
But I do
Turn the lock and put my headphones on
He always said he didn’t get this song
But I do, I do
 
Walked in expecting you’d be late
But you got here early and you stand and wave
I walk to you
You pull my chair out and help me in
And you don’t know how nice that is
But I do
 
And you throw your head back laughing
Like a little kid
I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny cause
He never did
I’ve been spending the last eight months
Thinking all love ever does
Is break and burn and end
But on a Wednesday in a cafe
I watched it begin again
 
You said you never met one girl who
Had as many James Taylor records as you
But I do
We tell stories and you don’t know why
I’m coming off a little shy
But I do
 
And you throw your head back laughing
Like a little kid
I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny cause
He never did
I’ve been spending the last eight months
Thinking all love ever does
Is break and burn and end
But on a Wednesday in a cafe
I watched it begin again
 
And we walked down the block, to my car
And I almost brought him up
But you start to talk about the movies
That your family watches every single Christmas
And I want to talk about that
And for the first time
What’s past is past
 
And you throw your head back laughing
Like a little kid
I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny cause
He never did
I’ve been spending the last eight months
Thinking all love ever does
Is break and burn and end
 
But on a Wednesday in a cafe
I watched it begin again
 

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