Taylor Swift: Begin Again Meaning
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Song Released: 2012
Begin Again Lyrics
He didn't like it when I wore high heels
But I do
Turn the lock and put my headphones on
He always said he didn't get this song
But I do, I do
Walked in expecting you'd be late
But you got here early and...
Taylor Swift’s single “Begin Again” from the Red album captures the emotion of a first date and the beginning of new love. The context of this first date is significant; it comes after the ending of a significant relationship. Swift has had an appropriate amount of time to mourn and grieve the loss of the previous relationship – eight months.
The tone of the song is serious, heartfelt, solemn, and hopeful. Swift uses beautiful and specific images to unpack the emotion that takes place during this new date. She offers vivid imagery which elicits for the hearer the very emotion that she is feeling herself.
The opening of the song names pieces of the previous relationship that had left something to be desired. They weren’t deal breakers but she is able to name them as she has gotten some perspective over the last eight months. She is talking to herself but imagines a conversation with the ex, “You didn’t like it when I wore high heels.” She quickly shifts to the third person, “he always said he didn’t get this song” and moves from the intimacy of talking with the ex to talking about the ex. For the rest of the song, the 2nd person is reserved for the object of her new affection.
Swift thens shows up for her date at a café. She is pleasantly surprised to find that he has already arrived (her ex was always late). Swift then vividly paints her date offering several gestures that are fresh and welcomed, “you pull my chair out and help me in.”
The chorus then paints the playful picture of great chemistry, “you throw your head back laughing like a little kid.” Swift is surprised by how she is being appreciated because this person is seeing something in her that “he never did.” In this moment she realizes that her assessment on love as something that “breaks and burns and ends” must shift as it “begins again.”
She is then appreciated for having numerous James Taylor records. For the first time there isn’t a comparison with her ex but now she is now being compared with her date’s previous relationships. Their feeling that the othr is special is mutual and this further establishes their connection. Nevertheless, this is hard for Swift. She doesn’t explain to her date why she is being shy but it is directly related to the loss and grief that she has been experiencing over the last eight months.
The bridge offers a vivid image of a conversation that takes place at the end of the date when she is finally able to bring closure to her previous relationship, “for the first time what is past is past.”
More than a song about heartache and the
excitement of new love, this is a song at
its core about hope. Specifically, Swift artistically alludes to her renewed hope for lasting love by repeating throughout the song “I do” “I do.” It elicits the “I do” that she might say when standing next to him on their wedding day.
anonymous Oct 29th, 2015 10:01pm report
I actually don't think this is about two different relationships. I think it's about a relationship that didn't work out for whatever reason, so the people went their separate ways. However, they found each other again and ended up giving it another shot. The different uses of 'he did' etc, might imply a past version of the boy.. And because they lost touch over the few months, he might have changed?
anonymous Apr 8th, 2013 4:38pm report
This is about finding love again and "beginning again" Her heart gets broken and she just wants to stop and thinks that love is pointless. But then she meets someone in a cafe and she falls in love again and the cycle probably starts again until she finds that one guy.
anonymous Nov 11th, 2012 11:22am report
This is about being hurt by love and being scarred by what your previous lover has told you or the way you were treated.
It's about standing up for the first time in a while, brushing yourself off and going on that first date, expecting the worst but recieving the best.
It means, don't give up.
anonymous Nov 8th, 2012 11:04pm report
This song is about someone who has been hurt very badly and wants to give up on love, but they finally get up and go on a first date with someone and realize that it isn't all bad and that love can work.
This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
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