Taylor Swifts’ “Maroon” Lyrics Meaning

Two of the main things Taylor Swift is known for as an artist is incorporating her love life into song and using symbols like colors to represent different types of emotions. So what we have here is a piece that many feel, once again, harps back to Tay Tay’s romantic history.

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

One of the reasons Swift’s love life has been so well preserved, at least in theory, is because of the minute type of details her lyrics tend to feature. Indeed in analyzing the lyrics of songs such as this one, a listener has no choice but to conclude that Taylor is either referencing direct personal experiences or has to be like the most-imaginative songwriter in industry history.

But with all of the gushing aside, there really isn’t any consensus, as with some of her prior works, as to which of the songstress’s exes this track may be about. Also, there’s no clear evidence that this narrative is based on her real life. 

When you cast aside such speculations, what we’re dealing with here can be classified as a song of heartbreak, though again, one coming to us via the Taylor Swift gang.

So if a listener so desires, he or she can dive into the deeper interpretations of this song. But doing so is not absolutely necessary in the name of understanding it. And that’s mainly due to the fact that the bridge drives home the notion that the addressee is the vocalist’s ex, and the latter feels cheated, if you will, that the two of them are no longer together. After all, as revealed in the second verse, Taylor did ‘give up rubies’ in the process.

Meaning of “Maroon”

At the end of the day, we have to thank a number of music analysts we interviewed because if not for their in-depth examination as to what the color maroon represents, Swift may have still thrown us for a loop.  That is to say that by the looks of thing, “maroon” actually has two different meanings in this song.

Going back to the aforenoted analysts’ explanation, what they have revealed is that more generally, in the eyes of Taylor, the color red represents, most simply put, passion, whether it be of the good or bad variety.

And what we are suggesting is that Taylor references both extremes, i.e. love and hate, in the chorus, though using the general symbol.

The first time she mentions “maroon” in the chorus, it is obviously (when you also take the first verse into consideration) a reference to being in love. 

But the second time she utilizes it, it rather serves as a symbol of being caught up in the passion of hate, if you will. And that’s because the second half of the chorus, leading into the second verse, rather focuses on the discontent that grew in her relationship with the addressee. 

With that theory in tow, it may even be that there are references to her being the victim of domestic violence, since there is a mention of ‘the mark on her collarbone’ during the part of the chorus that speaks to the uneasiness and alienation that “grew between” the couple.

Lyrics of Taylor Swift's "Maroon"

Release of “Maroon”

Taylor Swift did not reveal the tracklist of “Midnights”, the album this song is derived from, all at once, instead opting to make the name of each individual track known gradually. Also, she did not do so chronologically but rather “by spinning a bingo cage” full of ‘lottery balls’. 

Therefore, even though Maroon was released on 21 October 2022 with the album at large, fans have been privy to its title since the end of September.

This is the second song/track on the playlist of “Midnights”.

Upon issuance, this song was played well over 14,000,000 times on Spotify in a single day. This made “Maroon” rank amongst both the biggest debuts and single-day stream numbers in the platform’s history.


Taylor Swift wrote and produced “Maroon” with the musician who held her down throughout the creation “Midnights”, that being Jack Antonoff.


Noteworthy Observation

With “Maroon”, fans have praised how Swift has been able to describe her emotions with colors, making the track the album’s “dark horse”. Fans compared it to “Red”, where the love she felt was described as youthful and passionate. However, “Maroon” sees Swift describing love now with more maturity.

Owing to this, fans see “Maroon” like the older sibling to “Red”.

Swifties have also called “Maroon” to be timeless and nostalgic, as if they’ve heard it for years before and would hear for years to come. It has also caused an interesting reaction to some – a sense of yearning for something/someone they’ve never known, making their chest clench.  

2 Responses

  1. Guy says:

    Sounds to me more like an admission that Taylor cheated on him. “The mark you saw on my collar bone” is most likely a hickey. Which then explains the subsequent “rust that grew between telephones.”

    • Anonymous says:

      I fell it would say the rust YOU saw on my collarbone, if she was admitting to cheating. Her focus would be him finding out. Usually everyone else knows before the partner being cheated on. With domestic violence, the abuser already knows. The victim tries to hide it from everyone else. But everyone else starts to notice. Or hickeys are also said to be something people do to show possession, so it could be her own boyfriend leaving hickeys. As either possession or young love. All we can do is speculate.

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