What We Know About RED & What We Can Guess – EDITORIAL

The upcoming album release of Red is burning up quickly on our calendars and Taylor is about to release tons of Red teasers!! Every Monday leading up to October 22nd, she’ll be revealing a 30-second clip of a new song, and then at midnight EST on Tuesday morning, that song will become available on iTunes. The hype for Red is about to blow up, but on the eve before the mania, let’s sit back and consider what we already know of “Red” and theorize what each known song could be about based on their titles and where they would fall in the track placement.

It’s no secret that Taylor’s favorite thing to write about is love. Crushes, relationships, breakups… nothing is out of bounds to this lyricist.

“I wrote a song called ‘Red,’” said Swift quoted in Rolling Stone Magazine. “Thinking about what that means to me and all the different emotions that are written about on this album, they’re all pretty much about the kind of tumultuous, crazy, insane, intense, semi-toxic relationships that I’ve experienced in the last two years . . . There’s nothing beige about any of those feelings, so I called the record Red.”

Taylor also was quoted as saying that this album will take the listener through all the ups and downs of a relationship. Potentially, the lyrics could tell a story through the order of the songs on the album. So far, (as of Sept. 25th), we know seven song titles: “Red,” “State of Grace,” “Everything Has Changed,” “Holy Ground,” “I Knew You Were Trouble,” “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” and “Begin Again.” Although we’ve only heard two of the seven song titles in that list, we can hypothesize based on the titles as to what the song could be about, in keeping with the theory that the entire album tells the story of a relationship.

Stage 1: the Infatuation: “RED”
Truly, as Taylor equates the color “red” with any strong emotion pertaining to love, this song could go anywhere on the relationship timeline. The color “red” could symbolize the first blush of meeting someone new or the fiery way love can turn to hatred so powerfully. Still though, the song could convey all the crazy emotions connected with love, but such an overarching theme seems too ambitious to fit into one song, even for Taylor. Therefore, as Red is the name of the album, it will probably be placed near the beginning of the album, just as “Fearless” was track one on Fearless and “Speak Now” was track four on Speak Now. Because of “Red’s” probable location as one of the first songs on the album, the song will most likely be about how it feels in the flirting stages of a relationship, or rather, pre-relationship.

Stage 2: Falling in Love: “State of Grace,” “Everything Has Changed,” and “Holy Ground”
The titles “State of Grace,” “Holy Ground,” and “Everything Has Changed” seem to connote the happy, comfortable feeling of being in a new relationship. “State of Grace” could describe the utter bliss of loving your significant other and knowing that you are loved in return. “Everything Has Changed,” a sweet duet between Ed Sheeran and Taylor, may be about the way falling love can affect a person’s view of the world; after falling in love, the world seems to be a brighter, happier place, and literally, “everything has changed” for the better. “State of Grace” and “Everything Has Changed” seem to fit snuggly into the “falling in love” mold of a relationship timeline, but “Holy Ground” may not fit so easily. “Holy Ground” might convey the sacred space a couple seems to inhabit when they’re together… or Taylor could be using the phrase “Holy Ground” ironically. Perhaps “Holy Ground” refers to a sacred space that was violated or corrupted by a relationship, such as the breaking of one’s heart.

Stage 3: The Fall Out: “I Knew You Were Trouble”
In Taylor’s MTV interview with Sway Calloway, Taylor discussed the inspiration for the song “I Knew You Were Trouble.” In short, Taylor said the song’s about that ominous feeling you get when you know talking to this guy will be bad for you, but you dive headfirst anyway. It’s only when you’re knee deep in the relationship that you acknowledge your mistake.

Stage 4: The Not So Happy Ending (Breaking Up & Moving On): “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” & “Begin Again”
Yay! We’ve already heard “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “Begin Again” and know that they’re about breaking up and moving on, respectively. It’s possible that Taylor will use these songs to close the album, a triumphant statement announcing that she does not need her ex in her life anymore and she’s ready to “begin again” and fall in love with someone new. These two songs would end the album with a hopeful tone, in that despite love’s ability to be toxic, corrupting, and painful, love also has the capability to care, inspire, and forgive.

What do you think about these song titles and where they could point to on the relationship timeline? Share your opinions in the comments!