Taylor Swift Seems to Allude to John and Jake on Midnights Bonus Track

Now that Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated new album Midnights is out, it’s time to carefully pore over every word and reference to spell out the puzzles Ms. Taylor Alison Swift has left behind.

The album is rife with themes of revenge, karma, and eternal love, but there’s one song in particular that fans think is a direct message to Tay’s famous exes: John Mayer and Jake Gyllenhaal.

The Midnights (3 AM Edition) features a handful of bonus tracks, including one called “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve,” which contains lyrics about regret, loss of innocence and a “grown man.” The track definitely seems like it could be directed at the two men. Take for instance this section of the song: “If you tasted poison, you could’ve spit me out at the first chance. And if I was some paint, did it splatter on a promising grown man? And if I was a child, did it matter if you got to wash your hands?”

In the chorus, Taylor takes aim: “And I d*mn sure never would’ve danced with the devil at 19. And the God’s honest truth is that the pain was heaven and now that I’m grown, I’m scared of ghosts,” she sings. “Memories feel like weapons. And now that I know, I wish you’d left me wondering.”

It’s unlikely we’ll ever reach a definitive conclusion as to the subject or subjects of this particular song, but there a few important context clues worth considering. When Taylor dated John, she was 19 to his 32 (infamously depicted in her song “Dear John”), and when she dated Jake, she was 20 and he was 29. (We probably don’t have to mention that that relationship was depicted in both the original “All Too Well” and the 10-minute version from her re-released version of Red.)

 The lyric about being 19 sure sounds like it’s directed at Mayer, but a second lyric could be about Gyllenhaal. “If clarity’s in death, then why won’t this die? Years of tearing down our banners, you and I,” sings Taylor toward the end of the song. “Living for the thrill of hitting you where it hurts. Give me back my girlhood, it was mine first.”


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