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Out of the Woods is the fourth track and sixth single of Taylor's fifth album 1989. It was released on October 14, 2014.

Meaning and Background

“This song is about the fragility and kind of breakable nature of some relationships. This was a relationship where I was kind of living day-to-day wondering where it was going, if it was going anywhere, if it was going to end the next day. It was a relationship where you kind of never feel like you’re standing on solid ground. And that kind of a feeling brings on excitement, but also extreme anxiety, and kind of a frantic feeling of wondering — endless questions. And this song sounds exactly like that frantic feeling of anxiety and questioning, but it stresses that even if a relationship is breakable and fragile and full of anxiety, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t worthwhile, exciting, beautiful, and all the things that we look for.”

- Taylor about Out of the Woods[1]

To Rolling Stone , Taylor said the line "hitting the brakes too soon, 20 stitches in a hospital room" was inspired by a snowmobile ride with an ex who lost control and wrecked it so badly that she saw her life flash before her eyes. They both had to go to the ER.[2] She also said the following about the line:

That line is in there because it's not only the actual, literal narration of what happened in a particular relationship I was in, it's also a metaphor. "Hit the brakes too soon could mean the literal sense of, we got in an accident and we had to deal with the aftermath. But also, the relationship ended sooner than it should've because there was a lot of fear involved. And that song touches on a huge sense of anxiety that was, kind of, coursing through that particular relationship, because we really felt the heat of every single person in the media thinking they could draw up the narrative of what we were going through and debate and speculate. I don't think it's ever going to be easy for me to find love and block out all those screaming voices.

- Taylor about the line "hitting the brakes too soon, 20 stitches in a hospital room."[3]

The song is said to be about Harry Styles.

Trivia

  • This is one of Taylor's favorite songs, and she thinks it best represents the album 1989.[4]

Music Video

The music video was released on December 31, 2015. It was directed by Joseph Kahn and filmed in New Zealand.

Storyline
The video opens with the text "She lost him.". Taylor is standing on the beach, when trees start growing out of the sand and it turns into woods. She walks through it and is followed by wolves. They start running after her, so she flees through the woods. She trips and a wolf tears her dress. She falls onto the ground and is now lying in the snow. She walks through snowy mountains and is again followed by wolves. She tears off her necklace and throws it off a mountain. She stands on the edge of a cliff and lets herself fall into the water. As she's underwater, all the water disappears and is now lying on a barren landscape. She touches a tree and is in a frozen forest. There's an avalanche that covers her. The forest is now wet and muddy as she crawls through it. She reaches out to the sky as a root grows around her. She's now standing in a normal, sunny forest. At last, she's in a burning forest. As the video reaches the end, the forest disappears and she's on a beach. Taylor sees herself still standing on that beach; she puts her hand on her shoulder and the video fades to black as the other Taylor turns around. The text "She lost him, but she found herself and somehow that was everything" appears.

Trivia

  • Taylor didn't have a stunt double, but did all the scenes herself.

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
Looking at it now
It all seems so simple
We were lying on your couch
I remember
You took a Polaroid of us
Then discovered (then discovered)
The rest of the world was black and white
But we were in screaming color
And I remember thinking

[Chorus]
Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods?
Are we in the clear yet? Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet? In the clear yet? Good
Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods?
Are we in the clear yet? Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet? In the clear yet? Good
(Are we out of the woods?)

[Verse 2]
Looking at it now
Last December (last December)
We were built to fall apart
Then fall back together (back together)
Your necklace hanging from my neck
The night we couldn't quite forget
When we decided (we decided)
To move the furniture so we could dance
Baby, like we stood a chance
Two paper airplanes flying, flying, flying
And I remember thinking

[Chorus]
Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods?
Are we in the clear yet? Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet? In the clear yet? Good
Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods?
Are we in the clear yet? Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet? In the clear yet? Good
(Are we out of the woods?)

[Bridge]
Remember when you hit the brakes too soon?
Twenty stitches in the hospital room
When you started crying, baby, I did too
But when the sun came up, I was looking at you
Remember when we couldn't take the heat
I walked out and said, "I'm setting you free"
But the monsters turned out to be just trees
And when the sun came up, you were looking at me
You were looking at me, ooh
You were looking at me
(Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet?)
(Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods?)
I remember
(Are we in the clear yet? Are we in the clear yet?)
(Are we in the clear yet? In the clear yet? Good)
Oh, I remember

[Chorus]
Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet? (Yeah)
Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods?
Are we in the clear yet? Are we in the clear yet? (Are we?)
Are we in the clear yet? In the clear yet? Good
Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods?
Are we in the clear yet? (Yeah)
Are we in the clear yet? (Yeah)
Are we in the clear yet? In the clear yet? Good
Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods?
Are we in the clear yet? Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet? In the clear yet? Good
Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet?
Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods?
Are we in the clear yet? Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet? In the clear yet? Good


Awards & Nominations

Year Organization Award Result
2016 Antville Music Video Awards Best Visual Effects Won

Gallery

References

  1. Taylor Swift Unveils New Song 'Out of the Woods' off '1989' Album: Listen | Ryan Seacrest | iHeartRadio
  2. Reinvention of Taylor Swift: Cover Story - Rolling Stone - https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/the-reinvention-of-taylor-swift-116925/
  3. 'Anything That Connects': A Conversation With Taylor Swift : NPR - https://www.npr.org/2014/10/31/359827368/anything-that-connects-a-conversation-with-taylor-swift?t=1609258880700/
  4. Taylor Swift Unveils New Song 'Out of the Woods' off '1989' Album: Listen | Ryan Seacrest | iHeartRadio
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