Taylor Swift "Toyed With the Idea" of Changing This "Lover" Lyric

Remember this lyric? "We could leave the Christmas lights up 'til January?" Well, Taylor Swift initially "toyed with the idea" of using a different lyric.

By Elyse Dupre Dec 24, 2019 9:17 PMTags
Taylor Swift, We Can Survive concertGetty Images for Entercom

Ever wonder how Taylor Swift wrote "Lover?" Well, you're in luck.

The 30-year-old singer broke down her songwriting process during an interview with The New York Times released Tuesday. 

"I've never really been able to fully explain songwriting other than it's like this, like, little glittery cloud floats in front of your face, and you grab it at the right time and then you revert back to what you know about the structure of a song in order to fill in the gaps," she told the newspaper for its "Diary of a Song" segment.

Swift had been wanting to write a song like "Lover" for years; however, it wasn't until a night in Nashville that inspiration struck. 

"I'd been thinking for years, 'God it would just be so great to have, like, a song that people who are in love would want to dance to—like slow dance to,'" she said. "In my head, I had, like, the last two people on the dance floor at 3:00 a.m. swaying."

After stumbling out of bed and making her way over to the piano, Swift started to put the pieces together. It was the line "Can I go where you go? Can we always be this close?" that got stuck in her head.

"I wanted the chorus to be these, like, really simple, existential questions that we ask ourselves when we're in love," she explained. "'Can I go where you go?' is such a heavy thing to ask somebody. 'Can we always be this close?' has so much fear in it but so does love." 

So, how did she come up with the title of the song "Lover?"

"I've always liked that word, but I've never used it in, like, everyday life, you know?" she said. "When people are like, 'That's my lover over there,' or calling each other 'lover,' like, I've never done that. But I've always loved it in the context of poetry or songs."

When the interviewer pointed out that "lover" can be a "polarizing" word, Swift said, "Well, anything I do is polarizing. So, I'm used to that."

After sending the song to Jack Antonoff, Swift met up with the songwriter and producer. They then worked on the tune with sound engineer Laura Sisk.

"We're fully, fully acting on impulse and we're acting on, like, intuition and we're acting on, like, excitement and, like, oat milk lattes," Swift told The New York Times.

The team then added in some special touches—like the "Paul [McCartney] bass." Swift also told the publication she is "obsessively going over every lyric" while in the studio and will make little notes to herself. When asked if any of the lyrics changed during this process, Swift gave an example.

"I had toyed with the idea of being like, 'We could leave the Christmas lights up 'til April," she said. 

As fans know, the lyric ended up being "We could leave the Christmas lights up 'til January." When asked if most people leave their holiday decorations up until then, Swift explained it's "not about that being a crazy thing."

"It's about how mundane it is. It's about like, 'We could put a rug over there. We could do wallpaper, or we could do paint,'" she said, later adding. "When young adults go from living in their family to then combining their life with someone else, that's actually like the most profound thing."

Swift also touched on the bridge of the song and how it played off of wedding vows.

"I love to take a common phrase and twist it," she said. "So, [for] the bridge, I took all of these common phrases we say about weddings. I like to add something that changes the phrase."

To hear her full interview, head over to The New York Times.