Taylor Swift’s “Cardigan” Lyrics Meaning

The lyrics of “Cardigan” deal with a very important romantic union in the narrator’s life. And despite the fact that the romance didn’t survive into the present, it is still one that is etched on the memory of the narrator. And why? Because the relationship was beyond special and important to her.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Taylor Swift's Cardigan at Lyrics.org.

And in the chorus, Taylor shows the exact nature of the importance of this union to her when she talks about how “useless” she felt until he made her feel so treasured. And she does so by metaphorically comparing herself to an “old cardigan” (i.e. a piece of garment no one needed) until the addressee came into her life and made her feel precious again. He not only proudly put her on (i.e wore the old cardigan) but also made it (i.e her) his favorite.

Swift Talks about “Cardigan”

According to Taylor Swift herself, the lyrics are about a lost romantic relationship and the reason why it is hard to forget about young love. Here are Swift’s exact words in describing this song’s meaning:

Taylor Swift explains "Cardigan"

Music Video

The official video to Taylor’s “Cardigan” was filmed in the midst of the lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Owing to this, great care was taken by Swift and her team during the shooting of the video. For example, a medical expert was present throughout the whole filming process of the clip. And on top of that both Taylor and the crew were forced to religiously observe safe distancing protocols and wear masks. Taylor even revealed that she was even forced to do her own styling, hair and even makeup.

And all that effort paid off big time! Barely 4 hours after the clip came out, it garnered almost 3 million views on YouTube. Only a few music videos can boast of this feat!


On the 24th of July, 2020, Republic Records commercially released “Cardigan” on various music download and streaming platforms online.

It came out on the same as its album (“Folklore”). And actually it is the album’s lead single.

Did Taylor Swift write “Cardigan”?

Yes. She collaborated with Aaron Dessner to pen this single. Dessner is best known for his membership of the band The National.

This indie folk song also features production from American musician and producer Jack Antonoff.

Did “Cardigan” chart?

Yes. It performed remarkably well in the United States, debuting at position 1 on none other than the Hot 100. In doing so, “Cardigan” gave Taylor her sixth American number 1 hit.

United States of America#1

Additionally, the song also charted within the top 10 of the official singles charts of countries such as Britain, Canada and Singapore.

New Zealand#2
United Kingdom#6

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