Taylor Swift’s tumultuous love life often made her music take a backseat, but that happened only until she learned to bank on it. In a new video posted online, she details the romance that inspired her hit song “Out of the Woods,” which is widely believed to be about Harry Styles.
The two dated for only a few months, but their celebrity status turned the relationship into tabloid fodder from the instant they went public. The song in question was written shortly after the split, so while Taylor never named Harry as her source of inspiration, the Internet has long decided that she could only be singing about him on it.
“The number one feeling I felt in the whole relationship was anxiety”
Because she knows that people will speculate even more if she talks about the inspiration behind some of her songs, Taylor doesn’t do it that often. When she does, though, she makes sure it has been worth the wait, like it happened with this acoustic rendering of “Out of the Woods” that she performed at the Grammy Museum.
Introducing the song, she says that the doomed relationship that inspired it was one where her number one feeling was of anxiety.
“Because it felt very fragile, it felt very tentative,” she says. “And it always felt like, ‘Okay, what's the next road block? What's the next thing that's gonna deter this? How long do we have before this turns into just an awful mess and we break up? Is it a month? Is it three days?’”
Still, she adds, the romance was a beautiful thing precisely because it was so fragile. She doesn’t regret it so she’s not trying to make the song into a diss track; it’s merely a representation of the feelings she felt during her time with that boy.
Take it with a grain of salt
Whenever she’s pressed into revealing who some of her songs are about, Taylor always refuses to do that: she’s not in the habit of making music as a way of getting even, but as an artist, she will draw for inspiration on real life.
At the same time, she encourages more rumors with statements like the one in the video below, which leave no room for doubt that the song was written about a real boy who really broke her heart.
In the end, it’s all business for Taylor. Drama generates headlines and media attention translates into bigger sales. Even when she’s protesting against it, she’s still feeding it, because it serves her interests.
When there’s no drama to be had, artists are known to create it just to get press. In other words, all statements like the one Taylor makes about “Out of the Woods” should be taken with a grain of salt.