“Begin Again” by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift is an artist who is not afraid to detail her personal love life in song. With other female singers, we can always speculate that their love songs are true-to-life, but at the end of the day there’s often no way to really tell. But Tay Tay’s has a notable history of relaying her romantic experiences through her music. On top of that, unlike many other female pop stars she actually wrote many of her tracks, such as this one, herself. So we can conclude with more confidence that the lyrics contained therein point to her actual interactions with known individuals.
And as for “Begin Again”, Taylor is addressing a new love, as in someone she is now embarking on her first date with. And it proves to be quite a pleasurable experience for her. But this is not simply the case of the singer diggin’ a new beau. Rather one of the main reasons she enjoyed herself so thoroughly is because unlike her ex-boyfriend, this new guy seems to actually appreciate her. Basically the sentimental premise of this song features Swift recuperating from a toxic relationship.
She was in one of those types of situations in which she found herself alongside a lover who wanted to change her, so to speak. Or stated differently, the things that she liked he simply didn’t. And all lyrics considered, there are two implications which can be derived from their relationship. One is that the way he treated her has apparently damaged her self-esteem. And secondly, it’s pretty obvious that she still has him on her mind.
But at the end of the day, the track doesn’t feature the narrator being mentally stuck in a less-than-ideal past. Rather it is a celebration of a joyous present which reads as if it will likely lead to a fruitful-romantic future. That is to say that even if Taylor spends a good part of the lyrics harping on her toxic ex, she is now able to boast, after a good “eight months”, of her love life ‘beginning again’. So it’s almost like her heart has been rebooted.
A Song about Jake Gyllenhaal?
And going back to Tay Tay’s personal dating history, the prevailing theory concerning this song is that the aforementioned ex would be Hollywood actor Jake Gyllenhaal. Swift and Jake dated for almost a year from mid-2010 to early-2011. Meanwhile the dude who she is biggin’ up in the present would, according to Swifties and others, most likely be Conor Kennedy. This is a dude best known for being a member of America’s prominent Kennedy family. Swift and Kennedy hooked up in late-2012.
And if such is indeed the case, that Taylor went as far as to drop a song celebrating her relationship with Conor, then maybe we can say she misread that one. And why? This is because they were only together for a few months at most.
Facts about “Begin Again”
This is another hit song which displays Taylor Swift’s songwriting talents, as she is the sole author of “Begin Again”. And she also worked on the track production-wise, alongside Dan Huff and Nathan Chapman.
“Begin Again” was nominated for a bunch of awards, including a Grammy in 2014. And it did take home a couple of BMI Awards (Publisher of the Year and Country Awards Top 50 Songs) in 2013.
Moreover the track has been RIAA-certified platinum. Indeed it appeared on 3 different Billboard charts, including breaking the top 10 of the Hot 100. And outside of the US, it also charted in almost a dozen other countries.
This tune officially came out, via Taylor Swift’s former label Big Machine Records, on 1 October 2012. It is the second single from her iconic album, Red. Also it serves as the closing track on the standard edition of the album.
The first time Taylor is known to have teased this song was via a preview on the 24th of September 2012 edition of Good Morning America. And the following day, on 25 September 2012, it was released as a promotional single onto iTunes.
Philip Andelman directed the music video to “Begin Again”. Its filming took place in Paris. And Tay Tay’s romantic interest on the clip, a French actor by the name of Vladimir Perrin, was handpicked by the singer.