“The Last Time” by Taylor Swift (ft. Gary Lightbody)

Taylor Swift’s “The Last Time” serves as an exchange between a lady and her estranged yet persistent lover. The premise is that it’s the guy who is actually messing up the relationship by displaying an inconsistent commitment to it. However, he is also the type who, upon realizing his folly, inevitably comes back. And such is the setting of the lyrics, dude ‘finding himself at the door’ of his significant other.

And both he and she are proclaiming – or at least idealizing – that this will be “the last time” this cycle repeats itself. However, they are making this assertion from two different standpoints. For the guy, he is basically swearing that, given the opportunity, he’s not going to screw up again. But for the lady, even though it can be said that in her heart she wants him back, she is using the occasion to make a stance. And basically what she is putting forth is that she is not going to tolerate such behavior anymore. But ultimately the song ends on somewhat of a cliffhanger. That is to say that it is never actually revealed whether or not she took him back.

Meanwhile Taylor Swift is an artist who is widely known for expounding on her personal love life via her songs. And in that regard, the prevailing theory about who “The Last Time” may be about would be Jake Gyllenhaal. The songstress and the Hollywood actor had a notable romance circa 2010. Concurrently he was dating other people, and apparently so was she. In other words, they had an on-again/off-again type of romance, a reality primarily due to Jake’s unwillingness to commit.

Music Video

Terry Richardson directed the music video for this song. It contains footage of the first live performance of the tune featuring both Swift and Lightbody. It was filmed during Swift’s The Red Tour, which commenced in late-2013. And the actual date and city in which it was recorded are respectively 27 August 2013 and Sacramento, California.

Release Date of “The Last Time”

Big Machine Records released this track on 22 October 2012 as a feature on Taylor’s Red album. And later it was reissued, being the seventh and last single from that project, during November of 2013.

Taylor Swift and Gary Lightbody Collaboration

This is the first collaboration between Taylor Swift and Gary Lightbody.  And for the record Lightbody provided background vocals to another song her Red album entitled “Everything Has Changed”. Gary is also one of the co-writers of “The Last Time”, as are Taylor Swift and the track’s producer, Jacknife Lee. And according to Lightbody, they were able to put this song together, final recording and all, in just “nine hours”.

Musical Inspiration

Taylor Swift was musically inspired by the sound of a UK-based band called Snow Patrol.  In fact she was feeling their tunes so much that in addition to enlisting one of their producers, Jacknife Lee for this song she also brought in the group’s lead singer, Gary Lightbody.

Achievements of “The Last Time”

The track went on to chart in a handful of countries, most notably appearing on the UK Singles Chart with a peak position of 25.


Some prominent analysts have also argued that “The Last Time” is not actually a love song. Rather, they put forth that Tay Tay is actually having an exchange with her regular pizza-delivery guy.

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