“Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” is the nineteenth track on Taylor Swift’s 2022 album ‘Midnights.’ It is also the sixth bonus track on the ‘3am Edition’ of the album. The song has Taylor Swift reeling back to past mistakes when she was a teenager.
‘Midnights‘ is the tenth studio album by Taylor Swift following her ‘evermore‘ and ‘folklore‘ album releases in 2020. Announcing the album, Taylor Swift said “This is a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams.” The album was released on October 21, 2022. A surprise ‘3am Edition’ was released just three hours later from the main album containing seven bonus tracks.
The “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” song is expected to be about the relationship between Taylor Swift and Johan Mayer in 2009. Taylor was nineteen at the time and John Mayer was thirty-two years old. Whilst this age gap was heavily criticized, Taylor stuck to her guns and saw it through. However, looking back at it now, a thirty-something-old woman, Taylor feels as if this relationship was quite uncalled for. She feels as if part of her was stolen during this relationship and inspired the song “Dear John” in 2010.
Listen to “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” by Taylor Swift
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Taylor Swift “Should’ve, Would’ve, Could’ve” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
In the first verse of the song, Taylor Swift thinks about all the little things that could have prevented what she now calls a ‘mistake.’ If he had just glanced away when their eyes first connected or if he had realized that this relationship was never going to work in the first place or if he realized that she was just nineteen years old and didn’t know better or even if Taylor hadn’t blushed when he talked to her, things would have gone differently.
The title of the song is a classic phrase to emphasize all the things that could have gone or done differently. He could have done this, she could have not done that, if she would have listened to her friends, and she probably should have listened to her parents and the list goes on and on. Hindsight is always 20/20.
Several things could have prevented this mistake, but they did not. Taylor was starstruck at her age back then and was just bursting on the music scene.
Several lyrics in the song could be implying that Taylor Swift might have lost her virginity to singer John Mayer; “And the God’s honest truth is that the pain was heaven” and “Give me back my girlhood, it was mine first.” Although Taylor has never publicly talked about her sex life, the fanbase is divided between either John Mayer or Jake Gyllenhaal to be the one who took her virginity.
The first sexual experience is quite special, albeit extremely painful for most. A girl can characterize this as ‘losing’ a part of herself, both literally and metaphorically.
Now Taylor regrets everything about this relationship from over a decade ago. She regrets having met him, having fallen in love with him, having given herself to him, and probably still thinking about him at certain midnights.
She can only pray to God to give her soul some rest over these regrets.
Let us hear what you think about this song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics on Genius.