Taylor Swift’s “Forever Winter” Lyrics Meaning

The title of this song is a metaphor, and “Forever Winter” stands as a rare Taylor Swift outing in that it isn’t about romance. Instead, it has reasonably been ascertained that this piece is likely dedicated to the late Jeff Lang.

According to Swift, Lang was the person who she ‘played her songs for first’. He left the mortal plane, at the age of 21. This was tje day prior to Taylor emerging victorious at the BMI Country Awards of 2010. Taylor took home a number of accolades from that ceremony, including the very-prestigious Songwriter of the Year.

And while receiving that particular honor, she did give a shoutout to her deceased friend Jeff. Indeed, it is hypothesized that his untimely passing still inspires her music to this day. So it does stand to strong reasoning that he may be the addressee of this particular piece.

The Lyrics

That said, by and large Taylor is singing to this person in the present tense, thus implying that he’s still alive. It’s only in the pre-chorus where it’s sort of inferred that he’s no longer around. Or put otherwise, if this song were about Lang, then logically what the lyrics primarily represent is how Swift felt during his latter days. 

So as for the title, it is symbolic of how Swift knew she would feel on the inside if he were to pass away. She would feel as if she is stuck in an never-ending winter, with said season, in context, being symbolic of depression.

To make a long story short, the vocalist perceives that the addressee, her friend, is suffering from mental issues and dedicates time to him accordingly. Said issues read along the lines of this individual himself suffering from a serious depression, and he also understands that the situation is dire. 

But the vocalist still underestimated how grave his case actually was. However, in the process she did obviously entertain the prospect of him dying. That prospect brings us back to how the titular phrase is utilized.


Just for the sake of clarification, Lang ultimately fell victim to a drug overdose, which is an area these lyrics don’t seem to dive into. So if they were inspired by Jeff, we can speculate that Taylor did not want to make the wording overly personal. 

Furthermore, it is possible that she probably began writing this song while he was still alive. And the thesis sentiment is not solely based on her associated grief. Rather it’s along the lines of the frustration the vocalist is going through having to contend with a loved one who’s as dangerously-complicated as this addressee is.

Taylor Swift's "Forever Winter" Lyrics

When was “Forever Winter” released?

“Forever Winter” is officially classified as a “Taylor’s Version” which came to us “From the Vault”. 

What that means concerning the history of this particular song is that even though it was released through Republic Records on 12 November 2021, it actually dates back to Swift’s Big Machine days. More specifically, it dates back to the recording of her album “Red” about a decade prior. 

As such, this track can be found on “Red (Taylor’s Version)”, i.e. the re-recording of said project which came out in 2021. In other words, “Forever Winter” did not make the original cut but was pulled “from the vault” to be featured on the re-recording of “Red”. This was an unconventional effort that was prompted by Taylor developing a serious beef with the aforementioned Big Machine Records.

This song was not issued as a single. However, upon release, it garnered a moderate showing on a few charts, including the Billboard Hot 100.

Officially only the following songs were released as singles from the project in question:

  • “Message in a Bottle”
  • “I Bet You Think About Me”


Taylor Swift produced this track with Jack Antonoff, one of her regular collaborators circa the early 2020s. She co-wrote it with Mark Foster. Foster is best known as the frontman of a successful musical trio known as Foster the People.

Forever Winter

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