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The Real Meaning Behind Taylor Swift’s ‘Red’

The Real Meaning Behind Taylor Swift's 'Red'

The song “Red” is undoubtedly about the tropes of heartbreak. Taylor Swift matches colors to the different feelings throughout the song, including blue to showcase missing someone, dark grey to symbolize feeling alone, and burning red to represent the intense emotions felt in an unhealthy relationship.

But one important meaning of the song that isn’t as obvious as the others is the line, “Forgetting him was like tryna know somebody you’ve never met.” The lyric might be missed as it is in the middle of the chorus, but taking apart the meaning of the lyric shows Swift’s love for symbolization. In this lyric and the song, Swift is showing that moving on from this relationship is impossible. It’s impossible to know someone you’ve never met — meaning it will be impossible for Swift to forget her ex and past relationship.

That is not the only symbolization Swift uses for the same feeling. She sends the same message with the lyrics, “Loving him is like trying to change your mind once you’re already flying through the free fall / Like the colors in autumn / so bright, just before they lose it all.” While the song contains pop melodies, when picking apart the lyrics, the song is not just pop — it is a song that showcases the hurt of a breakup masked in melodies. 

The Real Meaning Behind Taylor Swift's 'Red'
Anurag Reddy
I'm a 29-year-old travel enthusiast, travel and nature photographer, Computer Science graduate, and Mass Communication student. I have seen different shades of life through traveling and lived different lives through reading. With every word I write, I travel within, and I understand myself better. Writing helps me discover myself, and that paved roads for me to choose writing as a profession.
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