If you’re familiar with superstar Taylor Swift and her music, then you know she’s been slowly re-recording her albums after the master rights were purchased by her previous manager, Scooter Braun. And she’s just re-released her 2012 album, Red.
On this new version that balances between country and pop, Swift has added a handful of songs that were cut from the original work. One of those songs is called “All Too Well.”
With more than 34 million views on YouTube in less than four days, this song was released both on its own and as a short film, featuring the talents of actors Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien. The song, and its accompanying video, focuses on a young woman who is dating an older man. It highlights their fights, her disillusionment, their eventual breakup and the painful reality of memory.
Taylor does an incredible job of recalling memories and feelings to which many people can relate, especially those who are no longer in a relationship that may have been impactful in their youth: “And your mother’s telling stories ’bout you on the tee-ball team/You told me ’bout your past thinking your future was me.”
And while those memories aren’t necessarily bad, this song and its video does contain some issues you’ll want to know about.
The song uses the f-word once in the lyrics, but is heard nearly 20 times in less than 15 minutes in the video. The s-word is also heard a few times in the video.
The young woman in this story is made to feel belittled and unloved by a boyfriend that chooses when he wants to be affectionate, and that’s typically when no one else is around. At one point the two lie in bed together, once he’s topless and another time we see her bare shoulders as they make out in bed. The couple argue and drink wine together elsewhere.
Swift fans were delighted that the song was released with a video as a short film. It invites viewers in to remember a difficult and painful relational road that many have probably walked down–a road that Taylor has obviously journeyed herself.
Ultimately, this is a bittersweet song that many can relate to, but hinted sensuality and the profanity in the track and video push this into a category that’s not suitable for children.
Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).