Taylor Swift Releases "Out of the Woods"—Is Her New Song About Ex Harry Styles?

Lyrics about dating "last December", "paper airplane" and more seem to point to One Direction boy-bander

By Rebecca Macatee Oct 14, 2014 1:36 PMTags

Tonight at midnight. #outofthewoods #1989

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Taylor Swift's new song "Out of the Woods" debuted at midnight, and unsurprisingly, its lyrics prove that one of her ex-boyfriends isn't "in the clear" just yet.

She's reassured fans that 1989 isn't a "heartbreak record," but this single, co-written by Lena Dunham's boyfriend Jack Antonoff, is most definitely about a lost love. And while the 24-year-old country pop star doesn't make a habit of ID'ing her song's subjects, many have already noted that the lyrics of "Out of the Woods" point to none other than Harry Styles.

Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images; Mike Marsland/WireImage

The chorus of the infectiously catchy tune could apply to any number of Taylor's ex-beaus. In it, she asks (repeatedly) "Are we out of the woods yet?/ Are we out of the woods yet?/ Are we out of the woods yet?/ Are we out of the woods yet?" She also asks, again and again, "Are we in the clear yet?/ Are we in the clear yet?/ Are we in the clear yet?/ In the clear yet, good."

Other lyrics, though, pretty clearly indicate Mr. Styles, 20, is the song's subject. Like, for example, "Looking at it now/ Last December, we were built to fall apart/ Then fall back together." You surely remember that "Haylor" first appeared in the headlines in November 2012, but it was December 2012 when Taylor and the One Direction cutie were holding hands in Central Park, hitting tattoo parlors together and even doing the whole meet-the-parents thing.

Other obvious lyrics point to Harry: "Your necklace hanging round my neck/ The night we couldn't quite forget/ When we decided/ To move the furniture so we could dance/ Two paper airplanes flying, flying." Back in 2012, Harry and Taylor were each seen wearing the same distinctive silver paper airplane necklace. Yep.


#outofthewoods #itunes #midnight

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There's a lyric about a snowmobile accident ("Remember when you hit the brakes too soon/ Twenty stitches in a hospital room") which Taylor addressed in her recent Rolling Stone interview. This mishap sent the singer and her male friend to the hospital, she confirmed, but it never made the news. (She explained that sometimes, "Looking someone in the eye and saying, 'Please don't tell anyone about this,'" works "even better than an NDA.")

Now, there are no public images of Taylor snowmobiling for us to analyze, so this one's a little less literal. She and Harry did date in winter months, though, and they even enjoyed a snowy getaway to Park City, Utah's Canyons Resort in December 2012. Everyone assumed the pair took advantage of the ski slopes, but there were other winter wonderland activities available to them as well—including, per the Canyons Resort's website, snowmobiling!

Whoever the fella described in "Out of the Woods" is, though, Taylor seems to be over him. As she sings in one lyric, "Remember when we couldn't take the heat/ I walked out, I said 'I'm setting you free.'"