Meaning of “22 (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift actually wrote this song when she was 22, which would have been circa 2011. In describing the track, she noted that age 22 “was kind of the perfect age”. And why? Because it sat at the intersection of youth, where one still harbored an appetite for learning, and maturity, which endowed one with the understanding that the possibilities were limitless. 

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Taylor Swift's 22 at

And it is such a dichotomy, so to speak, that the pre-chorus is based on, i.e. the vocalist noting that as someone in her early 20s, life is both “miserable and magical” at the same time.

Ultimately, the lyrics set about explaining the above concept within a romantic framework. That is to say that the vocalist feeling “confused and lonely” probably has something to do with Taylor lacking that special someone – not her besties, who are present, but rather a spouse, if you will. 

But she is “happy and free” nonetheless. And we will take that to mean that at 22, even if a person doesn’t have a steady partner, that isn’t the kind of age in which said lack would really cause any type of true depression.

And accordingly we do see that Swift is able to effectively party with her homegirls and even, by the looks of things, hook up with some dude who isn’t an ideal romantic interest outside of his physical attractiveness. So it’s as if the singer is old enough to worry, if you will. But concurrently, she’s also at an age where, generally speaking, people can still have fun pretty effortlessly.

“I don’t know about you
But I’m feeling twenty-two
Everything will be alright if
You keep me next to you
You don’t know about me
But I’ll bet you want to
Everything will be alright if
We just keep dancing like we’re
Twenty-two, twenty-two”

When was “22” released?

“22” was first released on 22nd October, 2012.

It was then re-released on 12th November, 2021 as part of Taylor’s second re-recorded album, “Red (Taylor’s Version)”.

2012 Accolades

In 2012, “22” claimed Top-20 slots in the following countries:

United Kingdom#9
United States#20

Its success didn’t stop there. It went on to claim these certifications in the following regions:

Australia2x Platinum
New ZealandGold
United KingdomPlatinum
United States3x Platinum

Chart Success in 2021

The re-recorded release also did well on the charts.

New Zealand#36
United States#52

Writing Credits

Swift co-wrote this track with:

  • Max Martin
  • Shellback

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