“right where you left me” is the sixteenth track on Taylor Swift’s second 2020 album ‘evermore,’ and the first bonus track on the deluxe edition. In the song, Taylor Swift sings about how she is stuck in the past, at a definitive time in her life, unable to move on.
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.
Taylor Swift specifically mentions the age of 23 where the protagonist of the song froze in time after a brutal breakup. By this age, Taylor Swift herself had gone through a few breakups, the most recent being with a 19-year-old Harry Styles. They are said to have celebrated Taylor’s 23rd birthday together after starting to date in November 2012. However, on “right where you left me,” there are no clear signs as to who the song is about.
Listen to “right where you left me” by Taylor Swift
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“right where you left me” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
Taylor Swift sets the stage for the song. She notices everything changing around her–everything moving forward and on. But herself? She is stuck. She is lost in her own world. Why? Because she lost something near and dear to her. Taylor lost a part of her that she thought would carry her into a beautiful future. But ever since she lost this part of her, she is frozen in the past.
Taylor Swift recalls a time when she was sitting at a corner in a restaurant. She is cross-legged, signaling that she is nervous. The dim light around her is perfect to cover up the emotions rushing through her face. This is where he left her, and she never did leave this spot, ever again.
A nice little play on words Taylor does here is with the phrases “hair pin drop” and “pinned-up hair.”
In the song, Taylor Swift tries to tell us the feeling of being shocked and dumbfounded immediately after a seemingly strong relationship. Most of us recover at some point and move on. The more you envision your future with this other party, the harder it is to move on. And Taylor had her entire future carved on stone with this guy, and when he left, it was too difficult to erase those carvings.
On top of the mention of the age 23, Taylor also mentions that at this age, she was stuck in a fantasy. For Taylor, this fantasy could have been a success as a multi-platinum selling artist touring the world, having millions of fans, and having the prince charming by her side to support her through everything. She did realize most of her fantasy save for the prince charming part at that age.
Was she in a delusion to expect everything? Maybe. However, the public and the paparazzi are also responsible in part for her relationships failing.
She’s still twenty-three inside her fantasy
And you’re sitting in front of me
The above lyrics from the song may speak to Taylor’s current status. Taylor Swift, at the age of 31, has everything now. She has a very successful career shooting in a trajectory to become one of the greatest ever, if not already. She seems to have a very healthy relationship going on with her long-term boyfriend Joe Alwyn. And all her fans are still there right with her. So, in mind, she could be re-living what she fantasized for herself at the age of 23. And this time, her fantasy is perfect because the prince charming part has also become a reality.
In the bridge of the song, we get to know why their relationship did not last. Sitting there in the dimly lit restaurant in a corner, he told her that he met someone else. Taylor became an option–she became a second choice!
And those memories still haunt her!
Let us hear what you think about this song in the comments below. Check out the lyrics and further meaning breakdown on Genius.