“happiness” is the seventh track on Taylor Swift’s second 2020 album ‘evermore.’ Despite what the title says, the song is not a happy song, but a song about anticipating happiness after the dust settles. Let’s explore.
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.
During the live stream leading up to the album release, Taylor Swift commented that the song title was “very deceptive.”
Listen to “happiness” by Taylor Swift
Buy ‘evermore’ Album on Apple Music and Amazon
“happiness” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
In the first verse of the song, Taylor Swift sings about the growing distaste in her about this relationship. When she looks at this relationship as a whole, she can see the endless cracks that leak out their love and respect for each other. Taylor brings in a forest as a metaphor for this vision–quite aptly referencing her ‘folklorian woods.’ The vision from within a forest is quite narrow or restricted. However, looking above the tree canopy, you get a better view of the surrounding.
In the relationship, Taylor feels like they have accomplished nothing over the years. Dividing things up in a relationship is a red flag. Taylor is contemplating a reinvention of herself, moving on.
Taylor Swift believes that there will be happiness after moving on from this relationship. But she does not shy away to admit that there was happiness because of this relationship once. But times have changed and the dynamics have altered for the worse. It might be time to move on.
Taylor Swift lets us know of the pain that she endured in this relationship: “blood and bruise,” and “pain and cries.” She almost lost herself walking through this torture. However, she hasn’t lost all hope. She still has hope for herself moving on from this relationship.
In the second verse, Taylor questions her significant other when and why did things start falling apart for them. It is doubtful that either of them has any answers for this.
Momentarily Taylor Swift lashes out at him. She wishes his next partner would be a “beautiful fool.” While Taylor wishes her to be beautiful, she suggests that to put up with this kind of relationship she has to be a ‘fool’ or someone drowned in blissful ignorance. As soon as she mutters these words, she apologizes for them.
Taylor Swift says there is a metaphorical ‘great divide‘ between them. This signifies an ever-growing space between the two former lovers. However, across this divide, lies true happiness for Taylor, and possibly her partner. They just need to make the first few strides for their own freedom.
Taylor has no intentions of making him feel like the villain in this story. She also admits that she played a part in this great divide between them. Whatever said and done, they are at a crossroads in their relationship now. Two roads that don’t meet with each other. Seven years of this relationship feels like it went down the drain now. She must feel exhausted and drained after all these years of giving.
Leaking acid from her eyes looking at where he used to sleep likey refers to the idea that Taylor despises seeing him and acknowledging his presence. She claims that she gave everything she had for this relationship and she is tired.
Taylor thinks he wants to apologize for dragging this relationship to the grave. But is she willing to forgive? The old Taylor might have.
Let us hear what you think about this song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics and further meaning breakdown on Genius.