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All Too “Un”Well

By Julia Esposito and Rachel Priest

With over 200 songs in her discography, Taylor Swift is one of the most well known artists of this generation. The majority of fans have decided that “All Too Well” is her best written song from “Red,” her 2012 album. Because of the lyrics that captivated her audience, it instantly became one of the most anticipated songs to re-record on her latest album.

A re-recorded version of this song was not the only treat fans got. In previous interviews, she had mentioned how that song was originally ten minutes long, which had to be cut down to fit the album. Furthermore, “swifties” all over the world were shocked when she announced that there will be a ten minute song. Fans knew “all too well” that they would be getting one of their most beloved songs in its intended form.

When the album was released, fans were “dancing ‘round the kitchen in the refrigerator light.” Even people who have never listened to the original album fell in love with her lyrics that still relate to audiences nine years later. However, it was clear that the standout song was “All Too Well.” All over the world, fans posted their raw reactions on social media with comments from Swift.

“I don’t usually like sad songs, but “All Too Well” really stood out to me. It’s the only song I listened to the next day after the release and still, about a month after hearing it so much, I’m still not tired of it,” said junior Natalie Bak.

The song that Swift once thought would not be successful instantly became the longest song to reach number one on the Billboard Top 100. She’s constantly breaking records, but this particular one was significant. When she used to perform this song, it was hard to get through because of the dark place it brought her. However, her fans started to sing the lyrics with her at concerts which comforted her and made performing it a bonding experience between her and her fans.

“I feel like the song is such a global success because of how heart wrenching the lyrics are. You really feel like you are in Taylor’s shoes with the immense imagery she uses. It is like a story of love and heartbreak wrapped in lyrics; you want to scream and sing in the car,” said junior Gabriella Bonetti.

The story behind “All Too Well” starts with her rumored three month relationship with actor Jake Gyllenhaal. Fans were skeptical about their love from the beginning due to the alarming nine year age gap. When they officially ended, fans grew more of a distaste for the actor when a majority of the album's songs were describing how she felt like a “crumpled up piece of paper” because of him. As a result of this situation being rehashed with the album’s rerelease, "swifties" once again felt “broken like a promise” when they heard the extended lyrics which captured the true essence of the original heartbreak.

Artwork by Sabeena Ramdarie

The red scarf is symbolic of Swift's and Gyllenhaal's abstract relationship.

On the other end of the spectrum, “haters gonna hate.” Some people were off put as to why Swift would subject Gyllenhaal to hate yet again considering they only had a brief relationship for three months ten years ago. Gyllenhaal himself said he felt “mortified” with the new line in her song, “I’ll get older but your lovers stay my age,” which targeted him for currently dating someone 16 years younger than him. Swift’s justification is that the song’s meaning lies in her emotions at that time in her life, opposed to just bashing her past lover.

Whether her fans are singing her songs with their friends in a car or relating it to their own heartbreak, Swift left them, “all too unwell.” John Mayer, good luck.


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