What does Dear John mean?

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Taylor Swift: Dear John Meaning


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Song Released: 2010

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Dear John Lyrics

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Long were the nights
When my days once revolved around you
Counting my footsteps,
Prayin’ the floor won’t fall through, again
And my mother accused me of losing my mind
But I swore I was fine

You paint me a blue sky and go back
And turn...


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    Dec 18th, 2010 12:55am report

    Traditionally, a breakup letter is called the "Dear John" letter, I suppose in this case, it is a breakup song. This song is about John Mayer, but I don't think the title really has to do with the fact that this song is about him.This song is generally about a boy that Taylor Swift loved and trusted, but he didn't love her back.

    Long were the nights when
    My days once revolved around you
    Counting the footsteps,
    Praying the floor won't fall through, again.
    And my mother accused me of losing my mind,
    But I swore I was fine.

    The first 2 lines state that to her, it seems like it was forever ago when she loved him (whoever him is) so much, and she finds it very foolish now that she ever did. This states that she was so in love with him he was the only thing she ever worried about.
    (Counting the footsteps....) These 2 lines refer to how she would wait and wait for the moment when he would hurt her again, and pray that it wouldn't happen.
    (And my mother accused me....) This states that her mother thought that she was crazy for dating him and hoped that she knew what she was doing and wouldn't get crushed when he broke her heart.

    You paint me a blue sky,
    Then go back and turn it to grey.
    And I lived in you chess game,
    But you changed the rules every day.
    Wonderin' which version
    Of you I might get on the phone, tonight.
    Well I stopped picking up
    And this song is to let you know why.

    (You paint me a blue sky...) Here she is saying that he would make her happy and then ruin things for her.
    (I lived in you chess game...Wonderin' which version...) Here she is saying that she thinks she has him all figured out, but then he changes and she doesn't understand him anymore and that she is always trying to figure out what to expect when he does change.
    (Well I stopped picking up...) This says that she finally gave up on him and that she realized that he was using her.

    The chorus is just stating that she understands now that he used her and that he should have known better.

    Well maybe it's me
    And my blind optimism to blame.
    Or maybe it's you and your sick need
    To give love then take it away.
    And you'll add my name
    To your long list of traitors
    Who don't understand.
    And I'll look back in regret
    How I ignored when they said,
    "Run as fast as you can".

    (Well maybe it's me...) These few lines say that she only thought of the good things about him and she refused to believe that he was a heart breaker.Here it also tells you that he would pretend to love girls, and then he would break up with them.
    (And you'll add my name...) These lines just say that he could add her onto the list of girls he broke up with that don't understand why.
    (How I'll look back in regret...) Here she tells that her family and friends warned her that he would use her and then break up with her, but she refused to believe them and now regrets ignoring them.

    You are an expert at sorry,
    And keeping lines blurry.
    And never impressed by me
    Acing your tests.
    All the girls that you run dry,
    Have tired lifeless eyes
    'cause you burned them out.
    But I took your matches,
    Before fire could catch me
    So don't look now.
    I'm shining like fireworks
    over your sad empty town.

    (You are an expert...) Here she is telling that he is an expert at breaking up with girls and making sure they don't understand.
    (And never impressed by me...) This is the part that I think gives away the fact that he used her. He got her to do work for him but he was never impressed.
    (All the girls that you...) She is talking about him breaking up with so many girls, and all the tears that they cried and how they will never be fully healed.
    (But I took your matches...) This says that she escaped before he could hurt her to an incredible amount. Now she finds that she has power over him and he is now weak and alone.

    I think the Chorus is pretty self-explanatory, so I am not going to write out the meaning of it.
    I hope that you now understand this song! :-)


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    Nov 14th, 2010 11:53am report

    This song can be interpreted in many ways.
    When Taylor says "counting the footsteps praying the floor won't fall through" she is referring to John's bad side. So she is counting how long it will appear again. This obviously shows the hardship that comes of being in a relationship with him.
    "you'd paint me a blue sky and go back and turn it to rain". This is obviously referring to how he would bring her joy and then he would turn it to pain or misery.
    "I lived in your chess game but you changed the rules everday" is referring to how she thinks she's got him all figured out, but then a new John appears and she doesn't know what to do.
    "maybe it's me and my blind optimism to blame. Maybe it's you and your sick need to give love and take it away."
    here she talks about how she is only seeing the good things in him and how he gives his love but takes it away.
    "I look back and regret how I ignored when they said run as fast as you can."
    here Taylor talks about how John's ex girlfriends warned her that he is a heartbreaker.
    "never impressed by me acing your tests"
    Here she talks about how she does all these things to impress him, but he still remains unimpressed.
    "I took your matches before fire could catch me"
    Here, Taylor talks about she escaped before he could get to her and break her heart.

    The different outcomes of interpretations depends on how the reader sees the analogy.

    All the best


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    Nov 8th, 11:06pm report

    This song is about John Mayer, and how he used her in their relationship. The lyrics show her constant anxiety about what he would next, or how he would treat her. It also shows her regret for not listening to the people who warned her against him, and for refusing to believe he would hurt her.


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    May 20th, 2017 5:19pm report

    From memory DEar John letters originated from War time from girls back home meeting another starting line "I hate to write tonight but" was used a lot l939-45Gorgeous


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    May 31st, 2015 5:18pm report

    Taylor fell for "John" even though people warned her that he would probably destroy her and break her heart. He would make her feel happy and then go and use her again. She was terrified of his changing mood, and prayed that he wouldn't change again. The "chess game" is when John controlled her and everything she did. And he "changed the rules" all the time, making her feel worse and less free. He took her happiness away, just like he did with many girls previously. Taylor escaped before he could completely ruin her. She now sees that he was using her the entire time, and though she loved him, he did not love her.

    "Loved you from the very first day." (The secret message)


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    Aug 30th, 2013 8:57am report

    For all of you saying it was Taylor's fault, you really need to shut up. Yes she knew he was older but that has nothing to do with the fact he had hurt her. When your in this situation and people tell you it was your fault, is the worst feeling. He still used her, older or not.


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    Feb 17th, 2013 2:19am report

    It is about Taylor having a relationship with John Mayer, who she loved and trusted but John never gave any love back. I also thing the line "The girls that you run dry" means he's had loads of girlfriends (which means loads of break-ups.


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    Dec 24th, 2012 12:28pm report

    This song is about John Mayer. The message is "Loved you from the very first day" this comes from her song Superman, which is also about him. She talks about how she loved him until he started to hurt her and turned on her. Everyone thought she was crazy and told her he'd break her heart but she still fell in love with him and now she's regretting how she never listened to them. At the end of the song she said "the girl in the dress wrote you a song, you should have known." Taylor's saying he had fair warning that he'd be in a song, so it's his fault to hurt her.


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    Dec 6th, 2012 12:20pm report

    is it just me or isn't it her own fault? she knew HE was older: shame on you taylor. YOU should've known. don't blame him for messing with you (even though that is messed up) but you should've known...

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    Oct 30th, 2012 10:27pm report

    I think that Dear John is about a bad, controlling boyfriend that Taylor Swift had. I mean, it sounds like he's pretty mean form the lyrics. Also, its obvious that he didn't love her the way she loved him, almost as if it were just a fling to him but to her it was real. I think he probably stood her up somehow, or maybe did something horrible to her on a date because of the lyrics 'and the girl in the dress cried the whole way home...' Dumped her over dinner maybe?


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    Oct 11th, 2012 10:56pm report

    this song is about a girl who loves a boy who somehow betrays her . but she is so cought up in the mess of it all that it takes her time to realize that. at first she blames herself but now she blames him.Maybe she suspected that he was useing her and was proven right . This guy sounds like a total jerk


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    Aug 12th, 2012 8:28am report

    Does anyone else think the lead guitar kinda sounds like something Mayer would do?


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    Mar 6th, 2012 3:07pm report

    I thought it was about someone getting raped. I mean, "don't you think 19's too young to be played by your dark twisted games when I l


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    Feb 8th, 2012 2:45pm report

    Basically, this "John" fellow, has really hurt her.

    Way to go John, you're terrible.


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    Nov 18th, 2011 11:37pm report

    It was about her falling for someone but he wasnt all she thought we would be. Her family and friends warned her but she didnt listen.
    And she ended up getting her heart broken.


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    Sep 14th, 2011 9:15pm report

    Not sure if anybody's said this but when she's talking about living in his chess game, she is saying that he is controlling and he made her do things that might not be in her best interests. When he changes the rules, he acts differently and expects her to react and change to fit his new set of rules.


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    Jun 23rd, 2011 6:21pm report

    How she fell in love with John Mayer and he broke her heart and she regretted going out with him....

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