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All Too Well is the fifth song from Taylor Swift's album Red. It was released on October 22, 2012.

Meaning and Background

"This is the first song that I wrote for this record. It kept coming back to me because it told a story so well in such a full way. It starts with meeting someone and all the details about that innocent beginning and it follows the story all the way to the bitter end.  It's a really emotional song because it does show you why loss is so painful, because it was once good and you can remember it."

Taylor about All Too Well[1]

"It was a day when I was just, like, a broken human, walking into rehearsal just feeling terrible about what was going on in my personal life. I just ended up playing four chords over and over again, and the band started kicking in. People just started playing along with me. I think they could tell I was really going through it. I just started singing and riffing and ad-libbing this song that basically was 'All Too Well."

- Taylor about All Too Well[2]

It is said to be about Taylor's ex-boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal.

Trivia

  • There's an unreleased explicit ten-minute version of the song. It including the word "fuck" and has about seven more verses.[3]
  • The Red lyrics Taylor is most proud of comes from this song: "And you call me up again just to break me like a promise / so casually cruel in the name of being honest."[4]
  • Taylor called performing All Too Well one of the most joyful experiences she goes through because of the crowd singing along.[5]

Lyrics

[Intro]
I walked through the door with you
The air was cold
But something about it felt like home somehow
And I left my scarf there at your sister's house
And you've still got it
In your drawer, even now

[Verse 1]
Oh, your sweet disposition
And my wide-eyed gaze
We're singing in the car getting lost upstate
Autumn leaves falling down like pieces into place
And I can picture it after all these days

[Pre-Chorus]
And I know it's long gone
And magic's not here no more
And I might be okay
But I'm not fine at all

[Chorus]
'Cause there we are again on that little town street
You almost ran the red 'cause you were looking over at me
Wind in my hair, I was there, I remember it all too well

[Verse 2]
Photo album on the counter
Your cheeks were turning red
You used to be a little kid with glasses in a twin sized bed
And your mother's telling stories about you on a tee ball team
You taught me about your past, thinking your future was me

[Pre-Chorus]
And I know it's long gone
And there was nothing else I could do
And I forget about you long enough
To forget why I needed to

[Chorus]
'Cause there we are again in the middle of the night
We're dancing round the kitchen in the refrigerator light
Down the stairs, I was there, I remember it all too well, yeah

[Bridge]
Well maybe we got lost in translation
Maybe I asked for too much
But maybe this thing was a masterpiece
'Til you tore it all up
Running scared, I was there, I remember it all too well
And you call me up again just to break me like a promise
So casually cruel in the name of being honest
I'm a crumpled up piece of paper lying here
'Cause I remember it all, all, all
Too well

[Verse 3]
Time won't fly, it's like I'm paralyzed by it
I'd like to be my old self again
But I'm still trying to find it
After plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own
Now you mail back my things and I walk home alone
But you keep my old scarf
From that very first week
'Cause it reminds you of innocence
And it smells like me
You can't get rid of it
'Cause you remember it all too well, yeah

[Chorus]
'Cause there we are again when I loved you so
Back before you lost the one real thing you've ever known
It was rare, I was there, I remember it all too well

[Outro]
Wind in my hair, you were there, you remember it all
Down the stairs, you were there, you remember it all
It was rare, I was there, I remember it all too well


Videos

References

  1. Red: Stories behind the songs
  2. Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums Podcast: Taylor Swift Talks 'Red' - Rolling Stone - https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/500-greatest-albums-podcast-taylor-swift-red-1090540/
  3. Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums Podcast: Taylor Swift Talks 'Red' - Rolling Stone - https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/500-greatest-albums-podcast-taylor-swift-red-1090540/
  4. "I Love Living a Life That I Can Write About": Talking with Taylor Swift, Artist of the Year - Popdust - https://www.popdust.com/i-love-living-a-life-that-i-can-write-about-talking-with-taylor-swift--1889582428.htm
  5. Taylor Swift: folklore, evermore and Songwriting | Apple Music Awards 2020 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQacWbsLbS4