Taylor Swift has a very impressive discography from her career so far. She has changed lanes from Country music to Pop to Pop-Punk to Grunge to Folk to a little bit of rap. However, it feels as if some fans never moved on from her ‘Red’ days. Even more so, some fans never recovered from the masterpiece that is “All Too Well.”
The original “All Too Well” was released as the fifth track on Taylor Swift’s fourth studio album ‘Red’ on October 22, 2012. It’s crazy to think that this song is almost a decade-old and Swifties still mellow out to these lyrics. The song is still widely regarded as one of Taylor Swift’s best songs, if not the best!
Once Taylor Swift spoke about “All Too Well” and what it means to her; ““All Too Well” was difficult to write emotionally because it took me a really long time to filter through everything I wanted to put in the song without it being a 10-minute song, which you can’t put on an album.”
History of “All Too Well (10-Minute Version)”
This sparked a wildfire of rumors about the existence of a 10-minute version of “All Too Well.” Taylor Swift neither denied nor confirmed these rumors, which only made it worse. Swifties waited eagerly for any hint of the extended version of this masterpiece.
On November 17, 2020, Taylor Swift went live on Rolling Stone’s ‘500 Greatest Albums Podcast‘ to talk about the writing process behind her ‘Red’ album. And of course, the discussion steered towards “All Too Well.”
“It was a day when I was just, like, a broken human, walking into rehearsal just feeling terrible about what was going on in my personal life.” She continued; “It literally was just that song, but it had probably seven extra verses and it included the f-word… And I was like, ‘I actually really like this, but it definitely is like 10 minutes long and I need to pare it down, so I’m going to call Liz Rose.”
So Taylor and her long-term collaborating partner Liz Rose ended up chopping the 7-verse and 10-minute version down to the 5-minute 30-second version elegance which we all know today.
Taylor Swift probably knew that the fandom would not let her eat, breathe, and sleep without being constantly pondered about the release of the 10-minute version. And we would have never known if she intended to release this version, ever!
The catalyst for the release of “All Too Well (10-Minute Version)” comes with Taylor Swift changing her record label from Big Machine Records to Republic Records. This was due to an ongoing legal battle between Miss Swift and Big Machine Records’ owner Scooter Braun. Taylor Swift opts to re-record and re-release all the albums she released under Big Machine Records so that she has the ownership of the masters to herself (which is how every artist should have record deals). Taylor decides to rename these albums as ‘Taylor’s Versions’ because they are hers now.
With the release of ‘Red (Taylor’s Version),’ comes the gift that the whole fandom was waiting for. Taylor announced that she will be releasing “All Too Well (10-minute version) (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault).” Yes, the actual name is that long — might as well be for a 10-minute song.
With the 10-minute version also comes a short film — might as well be for a 10-minute song.
Listen to “All Too Well (10-Minute Version)” by Taylor Swift
Watch “All Too Well (10-Minute Version)” Short Film by Taylor Swift
The below short film is written and directed by Taylor Swift herself. The video stars actors Sadie Sink, Dylan O’Brien, and Taylor Swift.
Who is “All Too Well” Song About?
“All Too Well” is not all fantasy or fiction. According to the many hints dropped within the lyrics of the song (even the original version), the song points towards a real relationship Taylor Swift went through. Of course, it did not go well, and hence why she poured her emotions into a song.
“All Too Well” is a song based around a special scarf. In the original version of the song, Taylor Swift sings;
Left my scarf there at your sister’s house
And you’ve still got it in your drawer, even now
But you keep my old scarf from that very first week
‘Cause it reminds you of innocence and it smells like me
Taylor Swift freshly got out of a relationship with the American actor Jake Gyllenhaal when she was writing “All Too Well.” There is picture evidence of Jake Gyllenhaal wearing a scarf that is identical to what Taylor Swift had been wearing. We are not saying it is most definitely about Jake Gyllenhaal, but the song is most definitely about Jake Gyllenhaal.
Taylor Swift “All Too Well (10-Minute Version)” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
From the original lyrics of the song to the 10-minute version, we will go through the additional verses on the song in this article.
In this brand new addition to the second verse of the song, Taylor Swift reminisces how she was driving downtown roads with her ‘supposed’ lover in the passenger seat. This guy was okay — he was no patriarch. His ego was not hurt by letting Taylor Swift drive her around. But that was probably the only greenlight about him. She waited and waited for him to spurt out those three words, at every red light. But they never came.
Check the pulse and come back swearing it’s the same
After three months in the grave
The relationship between Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal lasted for quick 3 months in the Fall of 2010. Another concrete hint at who the song is about right here.
Taylor Swift tells us how dead and buried their relationship felt like even in these three months. What is supposed to be fireworks at the beginning of any relationship, were not to be found here. It was cold and damp.
Taylor Swift expands on the original hook of the song as well.
And there we are again when nobody had to know
You kept me like a secret but I kept you like an oath
Jake Gyllenhaal may have played their relationship very cool, being the cool character he is. For Taylor, every relationship was something she looked forward to. She tried to find meaning in every relationship she got into. In this specific one, she found none. Three months were wasted looking for something to hold on to.
The fourth verse of “All Too Well (10-Minute Version)” is brand new.
They say all’s well that ends well but I’m in a new hell
Every time you double cross my mind
Since Taylor takes all of her relationships seriously, it is a fresh hell every time she tries to move on from one. It is never easy, even if you go through a long list of ex-lovers.
You said if we had been closer in age maybe it would have been fine
Taylor Swift was born in 1989 and Jake Gyllenhaal was born in 1980. That’s almost a 10-year age gap. Some would say this is too big of an age gap for two lovers to make things work. Some would argue that age is just a number for lovers connected at heart. Either way, the age gap may have played or may have been an excuse for them to part ways.
And he said it’s supposed to be fun turning twenty-one
In this lyric, Taylor Swift recalls her dad telling her that turning 21 was supposed to be fun. But Taylor Swift was going through a lot at 21. She was a world-famous singer/songwriter and a multi-millionaire with a knack for falling for the wrong guys. Fun fact: Taylor Swift was 21-years-old when she dated Jake Gyllenhaal.
Taylor Swift tries to make a joke about the whole situation, but she digresses and reveals the punchline instead;
I’ll get older but your lovers stay my age
Taylor Swift was 20-21 when she dated Jake Gyllenhaal, who was 29-30 when the two dated back in 2010. At the time of releasing the 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” Taylor Swift is 30-years-old and Jake Gyllenhaal is forever cemented in music history at 30-years-old as well. Taylor Swift got older, but Jake stayed the same throughout Taylor’s career!
A melodic and repetitive flow of lyrics to end the song in the perfect blue mood that it wants us in. Taylor Swift jabs at different moments from her relationship to highlight the scars that have not healed. The worst part about all of this is that she remembers everything ‘all too well.’ Does he, too?
What do you think about the “All Too Well (10-Minute Version)” by Taylor Swift? Was it everything you wanted? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out the complete lyrics on Genius.