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All You Had to Do Was Stay is the fifth track of Taylor's fifth album 1989. It was released on October 27, 2014.

Meaning and Background

“When you take a song like ‘All You Had to Do Was Stay,’ my version of it is [hair flip] ‘All you had to do was stay. Sorry about it. I don’t miss you, but now you’re back.’ (...) [In] the song ‘All You Had to Do Was Stay,’ there’s a really high-pitched ‘Stay!’. I had a dream, my ex showed up at my door, knocked on the door, and I opened it up and I was about ready to launch into the perfect thing to say. Instead, all that would come out of my mouth was that high-pitch chorus of people singing ‘Stay!' and then you go to say something else, and it's just like 'Stay! Stay! Stay!' And I woke up, I was like 'Oh, that was mortifying. But that's kind of a cool vocal part.”

- Taylor about All You Had to Do Was Stay[1]

Trivia

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
People like you always want back
The love they gave away
And people like me wanna believe you
When you say you've changed
The more I think about it now
The less I know
All I know is that you drove us
Off the road

[Chorus]
Stay, hey
All you had to do was stay
Had me in the palm of your hand
Then why'd you have to go and lock me out when I let you in
Stay, hey
Now you say you want it back
Now that it's just too late
Well, it could've been easy
All you had to do was stay
All you had to do was stay
All you had to do was stay
All you had to do was stay
All you had to do was stay

[Verse 2]
Here you are now, calling me up
But I don't know what to say
I've been picking up the pieces
Of the mess you made
People like you always want back
The love they pushed aside
But people like me are gone forever
When you say goodbye

[Chorus]
Stay, hey
All you had to do was stay
Had me in the palm of your hand
Then why'd you have to go and lock me out when I let you in
Stay, hey
Now you say you want it back
Now that it's just too late
Well, it could've been easy
All you had to do was stay
All you had to do was stay
All you had to do was stay
All you had to do was stay
All you had to do was stay

[Bridge]
Let me remind
You this was what you wanted (oh, oh, oh-oh-oh)
You ended it
You were all I wanted (oh, oh, oh-oh-oh)
But not like this
Not like this
Not like this
Oh, all you had to do was

[Chorus]
Stay, hey
All you had to do was stay
Had me in the palm of your hand
Then why'd you have to go and lock me out when I let you in
Stay, hey
Now you say you want it back
Now that it's just too late
Well, it could've been easy
All you had to do was stay
Had me in the palm of your hand
Then why'd you have to go and lock me out when I let you in
Stay, hey
Now you say you want it back
Now that it's just too late
(All you had to do was stay)
Well, it could've been easy
All you had to do was stay
All you had to do was stay (oh)
All you had to do was stay
All you had to do was stay (oh)
All you had to do was stay


Videos

References

  1. See Ryan Adams, Taylor Swift Discuss '1989,' Songwriting - Rolling Stone - https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/see-ryan-adams-taylor-swift-discuss-1989-songwriting-187058/
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