Back To December

Album: Speak Now (2010)
Charted: 6

Songfacts®:

  • This is a track from Taylor Swift's third studio album, Speak Now. Taylor apologizes in this song about the way she messed up a relationship with a former boyfriend, who now finds it hard to trust her.
  • Taylor admitted to E! News the song is dedicated to an actual person to whom she had done wrong: "It addresses a first for me in that I've never apologized in song. The person I wrote this song about deserves this. This is about a person who was incredible to me, just perfect to me in a relationship, and I was really careless with him."
  • Many of Taylor's fans believe that the song is referring to American actor Taylor Lautner, whom she dated briefly at the end of 2009. However, even though the singer is happy to pour out personal details in song, she is remaining silent on just who is the recipient of her apologies. "It's such an interesting little quirk," Taylor told USA Today. "It's like, 'Obviously, you're writing songs about your life and you're almost admitting to these things.' But when it actually comes time to talk about them in an interview, I get pretty shy and coy about it."
  • The song's music video was directed by Yoann Lemoine, who was also the man behind the lens for Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream." The chilly clip finds Swift contemplating the best way to apologize to a former lover, played by male model, Guntars Asmanis, for breaking his heart. Footages of the school and baseball stadium were filmed in MacArthur Park, New York, while scenes with Swift were shot in an old country mansion outside of Nashville.

    Lemoine told MTV News that he wanted the video to be simple yet metaphorical: "I wanted to work on the coldness of feelings in a very visual way, playing with the snow, the distance and sadness. [Taylor] really liked it. The winter theme was very interesting to me — the snow, the ice. I even wanted the guy to go swim in frozen lakes at some point. It was not possible, but I wanted to translate how you feel sometime when your heart is broken. The snow in the apartment is supposed to show how connected she is to him. He is outside, in the cold, but somehow she is connected to him."

    As for Asmanis, both Swift and he agreed that he was the perfect fit for the part. "I wanted a boy that was fragile and beautiful. I didn't want to go for a hunk or a perfect cheesy boy that would have killed the sincerity of the video," Lemoine said. "I just imagined a face that would enhance the fragility of the video. We did cast a couple of boys and both Taylor and I loved Guntars."
  • Taylor Lautner confirmed that the song was inspired by Taylor Swift's relationship with him during a 2016 Facebook Live interview promoting the 2016-17 season of Scream Queens. During the clip, co-star Lea Michele grilled him on his past relationship. "You dated Taylor Swift, I remember that," she said. "Didn't she write a song about you? I think it's something about a sweater and a hat, right?"

    "That's what she does. She writes songs," replied Lautner. After Michele struggled to remember the track's title, Lautner confirmed, "It's called 'Back to December."

Comments: 4

  • Soe from Malaysia, Malaysiavery good songs.
  • Camille from Toronto, OhWow, the assault continues. Looking at the page of "Top Songfacts of 2011" I've clicked on links for the following songs but they've all brought me to this page!!!!
    For The First Time by The Script
    Turning Tables by Adele
    One and Only by Adele
    One and Only by Adele
    Set Fire To The Rain by Adele
    Someone Like You by Adele
    Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People
  • Beck from Boca Raton, FlTaylor can sing. She does not need auto-tune or any other studio magic. I'm tired of all the hate against her. For those who don't think she can sing kindly f**k off and let Taylor's REAL fans enjoy this country cutie and her amazing voice.
    Btw, loia (olympia, WA) there is something called a radio dial.
  • Loia from Olympia, WaHello?!?! She CAN'T SING!!! Did you not hear her with Stevie Nicks on that duet?!? IT was AWWWFUL!!!!!!!!! YUCK!! Write, taylor and stop singing!!! Without the studio magic, you my dear...ARE A JOKE!!!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Booker T. Jones

Booker T. JonesSongwriter Interviews

The Stax legend on how he cooked up "Green Onions," the first time he and Otis Redding saw hippies, and if he'll ever play a digital organ.

Does Jimmy Page Worship The Devil? A Look at Satanism in Rock

Does Jimmy Page Worship The Devil? A Look at Satanism in RockSong Writing

We ring the Hell's Bells to see what songs and rockers are sincere in their Satanism, and how much of it is an act.

Lou Gramm - "Waiting For A Girl Like You"

Lou Gramm - "Waiting For A Girl Like You"They're Playing My Song

Gramm co-wrote this gorgeous ballad and delivered an inspired vocal, but the song was the beginning of the end of his time with Foreigner.

Spooner Oldham

Spooner OldhamSongwriter Interviews

His keyboard work helped define the Muscle Shoals sound and make him an integral part of many Neil Young recordings. Spooner is also an accomplished songwriter, whose hits include "I'm Your Puppet" and "Cry Like A Baby."

Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root

Michael Glabicki of Rusted RootSongwriter Interviews

Michael tells the story of "Send Me On My Way," and explains why some of the words in the song don't have a literal meaning.

Michael Schenker

Michael SchenkerSongwriter Interviews

The Scorpions and UFO guitarist is also a very prolific songwriter - he explains how he writes with his various groups, and why he was so keen to get out of Germany and into England.