Taylor Swift – champagne problems | Lyrics Meaning & Song Review
“champagne problems” is the second track on Taylor Swift’s second 2020 album ‘evermore.’ The term ‘champagne problems’ usually refer to an almost artificial problem or rather an issue that carries no substantiality when compared with real-world problems such as poverty, hunger, discrimination, etc. Champagne problems are usually faced by people with wealth. However, in this song, Taylor uses the phrase a little differently.
Taylor Swift announced her 9th studio album ‘evermore‘ in quick succession to her previous studio album ‘folklore‘ which was released in July 2020. Both albums follow a similar theme and Taylor called them ‘sister-records.’ “To try and put it more poetically, it feels like we were standing on the edge of the folklorian woods and had a choice: to turn and go back or to travel further into the forest of this music. We chose to wander deeper in,” said Taylor Swift announcing the album. The ‘evermore’ album releases on December 11, 2020.
Songwriting credits of the song include Taylor Swift’s current boyfriend Joe Alwyn.
Listen to “champagne problems” by Taylor Swift
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“champagne problems” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
“champagne problems” narrates events surrounding Taylor Swift rejecting a proposal to the shock and awe of everyone related.
The start of the song has no happy beginning. Taylor Swift narrates how the guy, having his proposal rejected by Taylor, takes a night train back to his home. He takes the night train so nobody can see his emotions of shame, disbelief, anger, and everything in between. But Taylor says he “booked” the night train in advance, hinting that he might have known what was coming. He might have read the signs in advance.
In these lyrics, Taylor describes the rejection of the proposal. The guy had his mom’s wedding ring in his pocket to propose to Taylor. This is a tradition in some cultures where the family ring is passed down. However, things did not go as planned for the guy on the dance floor, in front of many people. His heart was made of glass, and Taylor dropped it on the floor, right there, and shattered it to a million pieces.
In the second verse, Taylor narrates more about the guy. Taylor knows that he told his family about the proposal, which makes sense, as he had his mother’s wedding ring for the proposal. It seems like his family is quite on board with this relationship turning into a marriage. His mom gave him her ring, and his sister popped a bottle of champagne. However, when the guy reaches home on his night train, no one will be celebrating.
Taylor Swift says that he did not have to tell his parents about a proposal just yet. He already knew that signs were turning red in their relationship. But he still went ahead. Hot-headed? Deeply and madly in love?
In the second chorus that follows, Taylor dives further into her rejection. First of all, she has no clear reason for the rejection. It is one of those relationships where it just feels wrong. And Taylor made the right call. However, the guy might have felt the same, but for some reason, he wanted to proceed. And now he is broken. His speech is choked in his throat, and his friend all seated in their seats. Nobody is celebrating with the expensive Dom Pérignon champagne bottle be bought beforehand.
Taylor Swift quite deliberately paints a picture of an upper-class family setting for the families involved in this story. So, it would be justified for the townsfolk to call all these ‘problems’ they have as ‘champagne problems;’ quite literally and metaphorically.
In the bridge of the song, yet another master-craft by Taylor Swift, she talks about how her rejecting the proposal was received among his friends. Their response was that she is not right in the head for rejecting his proposal. Why? Because he comes from a family of stature and wealth. He has the Midas touch. Why would anyone in their right mind reject him? So, she must be mad! Well, Taylor jokes that she lives in a ‘madhouse.’ This context of the song draws strong parallels with the “mad woman” track on the ‘folklore’ album.
But Taylor Swift did the right thing for herself, and most likely for him as well. But why? “Sometimes you just don’t know the answer.”
Taylor promises that he will find the right one for him. And she will mend the broken pieces of him together.
In the final chorus of the song, Taylor continues off from the previous verse and promises that everything he envisioned from his proposal will come true with another woman. She will be the right one for him, and she will say ‘Yes, I do.’
Let us hear what you think about this song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics and further meaning breakdown on Genius.