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Who Did Taylor Swift REALLY Write '1989' About?

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Taylor Swift has become famous for many reasons - she's gorgeous, generous, selfless and multi-talented!

I could go on and on and on and on and on and on and on (you see where this is going) about all of these adoring qualities, but let's face it - everyone knows her for her songs. Breakups, love, relationships, friendships - she's covered it all, and 1989 (her newest album) has so much meaning. Since you could say I am certifiably obsessed with Taylor, the first thing I did after buying the album (the DLX version, obvi) was decoding in my head who each song was about - and yes, I fact-checked them all with some fellow swifties.

Can you guess who these 13 songs are about?
1. "Welcome to New York"

Who is it about? Well, obviously Taylor didn't date New York City, but she did move here about a year and a half ago and as she said at her 1989 World Tour, "About a year and a half ago, I made the decision to move, to which, in my opinion, the greatest city on Earth." This song is about the beauty and love that Taylor has for New York City, and the culture and happiness that surrounds it. Listen to this song on her album - it's been waiting for you.
2. "Blank Space"

Many people think this is about a breakup, and in the abstract, it is. But what a lot of people miss, and I wouldn't expect people who aren't hardcore swifties to know this, is track 19 on the DLX - the "Blank Space" voice memo. In this memo, along with several interviews, Taylor said that "Blank Space" started out as this idea for her to portray this version of her that the media writes about. Sure, the camera loves Taylor, but the camera also loves a good story. For years, especially after her breakup with Harry (#riphaylor) and her newly-found romance with Calvin (#TALVIN IS THE CUTEST, OMG) Taylor has been portrayed by the media as this crazy serial dater who goes through guys in a snap.
Taylor wanted to write this song as the person that the media looks at her as, and as "Blank Space" shows, along with the 1B+ viewed famous music video, she hit it on the spot.

3. "Style"

This song is OBVIOUSLY about Harry Styles. Besides the name of the song, there are signs in her music video AND embedded in her lyrics. When she sings in the chorus "you've got that long hair, slicked back, white t-shirt," I mean, that SCREAMS Harry Styles!
One Direction "On the Road Again" Tour Opener - San DiegoThere's also one more sign - again, unless you are a HARDCORE Taylor fan, you probably didn't catch this one. In Taylor's "Style" music video that she released this February, she was holding a paper airplane necklace, which she wore while dating Harry! This also comes up in "Out of the Woods." But, for "Style," all signs point to Harry.
And even without the paper airplane necklace, the video for "Style" would still SLAY.

4. "Out of the Woods"

Harry strikes again. The clues in this song that point to it being about Harry share some similarities with the "Style" song/video. Taylor sings in "OOTW" "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." Two paper airplane necklaces flying together - weren't Harry and Taylor always traveling? They wore those necklaces whenever they were apart. "Out of the Woods" is DEFINITELY about Harry.
Celebrity Sightings - Bauer-Griffin - 20125. "All You Had To Do Was....STAY"

I think everyone saw the photos of Taylor leaving alone on a boat from her vacation with Harry after they got in a HUGE fight. Taylor also said she had a dream with an ex and all she could scream out was "STAY!" in a high-pitched voice, which was an inspiration for the song. All he had to do was..STAY.
6. "Shake It Off"

This song is all about the haters, players, fakers, heartbreakers, liars, and dirty cheats of the world! Taylor's saying to just SHAKE off the hate. It's also viewed by some as the "updated" version of "Mean" - that's what people say, mmhmm.

At the surface, it's a catchy tune with a great music video. But if you really analyze the lyrics besides the chorus, you'll find lots of self-criticism and self-assurance.

"I stay out too late, got nothing in my brain, that's what people say mmhmm, that's what people say, mmhmm," Taylor sings. Who says that? Her haters and the media - a theme that also came up in the oh-so-catchy "Blank Space." It's a great song with a deep meaning, and it's not about a boy. Taylor can literally write about anything, ANYTHING.
The video is almost at 1B views, too!

7. "I Wish You Would"

This song seems very abstract. It could be about someone specific, but I honestly doubt that one of her boyfriends was driving around her apartment at 2 a.m. every night. This song seems like a mix of happy and sad, like they broke up but she misses him. I don't think she really missed Harry after the breakup, so it COULD be a song about one of her other old boyfriends - as far as the Harry debate, this one goes in the questionable pile.

Posted by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

The sound for this track was created by Taylor's friend and producer Jack Antonoff, he gave it to her after she heard it during her RED Tour. This song is one of my 1989 personal favorites.

8. "Bad Blood"

Taylor has some bad blood, but with whom? The word on the street is Katy Perry. Taylor allegedly wrote this song about her former friend and award show buddy, who apparently tried to steal some of her dancers from her tour - not cool Katy!
The video is one of my favorites as well! It's star-studded with all of Taylor's famous friends, from Selena Gomez to Gigi Hadid to Hayley Williams!

9. "Wildest Dreams"

There aren't many specific clues in this song, but it's obviously about one specific guy, as she references specific words, actions and voices. She says, "He's so tall, and handsome as hell. He's so bad but he does it so well." Harry's definitely tall and handsome, so I'll put it in the growing Harry Styles pile!
If you really want to think about it, in 1D's song "Best Song Ever," there's a line: "I said can you give it back to me, she said never in your wildest dreams." Even though that's Zayn Malik singing the words, it doesn't mean Harry didn't suggest it.
Tip: Listen to "Wildest Dreams" while watching the "Style" (a song about Harry) music video - the tune matches the images.
10. "How You Get the Girl"

There are a few guesses as to who this song is about. Some people think that Taylor wrote it from a third person's point of view, like someone watching two people break up and then the guy wants her back.
(Taylor preforming HYGTG at her 1989 World Tour)

When I listened to the lyrics more closely, I had a thought that this song could possibly be Taylor's point of view on her best friend Selena Gomez's on-and-off relationship with Justin Bieber - who Taylor has publicly spoken against in context of their relationship. Just a thought, but there's a real theory.
11. "This Love"

I'm going with Harry on this one. This song, along with specific lyrics, are pointing to the time when Harry and Taylor were on their tours - RED and Midnight Memories - and were apart. She also references "Wildest Dreams," another song possibly about Harry as well. She sings, "This love is alive back from the dead, these hands had to let it go free and this love came back to me." She and Harry had to end their relationship, but it kept coming back to her. She's obviously moved on since then with Calvin (#TALVIN forever). Then again, if you love something, set it free.

A photo posted by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

12. "I Know Places"

This song is about Harry, and I'll tell you why. When Taylor and Harry were first dating (and throughout their entire relationship) the media were their usual selves x 1989 times. "Loose lips sink ships all the damn time, not this time," Taylor sings. I mean, Taylor and Harry eventually broke up because of a fight, but hopefully it wasn't the media that did them in.
Taylor also sings in the song "they are the hunters, we are foxes - and we run." On Taylor and Harry's famous Central Park Zoo date, what was on Taylor's sweater? A FOX. This song goes in the Harry Styles pile, FOR SURE.
13. "Clean"

Taylor co-wrote this song with her friend Imogen Heap. Could it possibly be about finally being "clean" of Harry? There's also a lot of lyrics that have to do with water - they did break up at the Virgin Islands, and she did leave on a boat. I'm gonna go with Harry on this one.

She and Harry had a long and nasty breakup, and I have a feeling this song is about her getting clean of him forever. Taylor sings in the song "10 months sober, I must admit, just because you're clean don't mean you don't miss it. 10 months older, I won't give in. Now that I'm clean, I'm never gonna risk it." - She and Harry broke up in early 2013, so that means she wrote this song in late 2013/early 2014 - when she was doing all the writing for 1989.
I think this is one of my favorite albums she's ever written, and there is obviously a theme here. Hopefully her next album will be about her relationship with Calvin - and how they stay together forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever. :)
2015 Billboard Music Awards - Roaming ShowIf you want to find some other cool Taylor songs to listen to, click here.
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