Taylor wrote this duet with British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran whilst they were sitting on a trampoline. She recalled to MTV News: "We, for real, [were] sitting on my trampoline in my backyard cause we had been writing a song and I was like, 'Hey, I just got a trampoline. You want to see it?' And so, he brought the guitar for some reason."
Taylor added: "We ended up writing an entire song out there. For portions of the song, [we were bouncing around] 'cause it's a trampoline and it's fun, and the combined maturity level of both of us is 8 years old."
Though Sheeran comes from a folk background and Swift a pop-country one, the English singer-songwriter told MTV News their partnership worked as they have a lot in common. "Well, I don't really write so much with other artists," he said. "Like the Taylor session, when we got together and wrote was the second time I've ever gotten with another singer/songwriter and written a song with them. So it wasn't actually too hard of an adjustment. We're very much alike musically and it worked out well, I think."
Ed Sheeran is one of several songwriters that Swift reached out to write with her on Red. She told Billboard magazine that the people she chose to collaborate with were ones who inspired her. "You look at someone like Ed Sheeran," she said. "He comes from such a sincere place as a writer, and his songs move you in every direction emotionally. That's something I was so inspired by I ended up calling him."
Regarding the song's meaning, Taylor told Digital Spy
: "It's about falling in love. It's about meeting someone and all of a sudden your entire perspective on the world changes - you're thinking for two, instead of one."
Asked by The Sun how Sheeran and her originally met up, Swift replied: "We had both reached out to each other's camps at the same time. I showed up at his hotel in Arizona and we just wrote songs all day. Then he came and hung out at my house in LA and we spent all night sitting on the kitchen floor laughing, writing songs and harmonising."
Swift first came across Sheeran when she heard one of his singles while traveling abroad. "I was in Australia when I first saw Ed Sheeran's music video for 'Lego House
' and I was so blown away by his voice that I found a way to get his album, the entire album, even though it was not on sale in the US yet," Swift told MTV News. "And became a huge fan."
According to Sheeran, it was Swift who did most of the work when they penned this tune. "She pretty much came with the song and was like, 'Which bits would you change?'" he told the Wall Street Journal. "I was like, 'Oh, I don't know.'"
This song is rumored to be about political heir Conor Kennedy (grandson of Ethel Kennedy and the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy), who falls in line between actor Jake Gyllenhaal and One Direction singer Harry Styles in Swift's lineup of exes. With lyrics overtly referencing Hyannis Port (where the singer bought a mansion to be closer to Kennedy) and "green eyes and freckles," he seems like the prime suspect.
Sheeran and Swift had a friendly battle over a chord while working on the song. Speaking to Zane Lowe in MTV UK's Relentless Ultra Presents Soundchain
, Sheeran recalled, "She pretty much had the verse, bridge and chorus done but we argued about that one chord (plays it). She didn't like that but I forced it upon her!"
Lowe responded with the comment that it was amazing Sheeran felt comfortable enough to say "you're wrong" to the multi-Grammy award-winning artist. The "Sing
" hitmaker replied: "It was quite a funny situation though 'cause (her place) it's like surrounded by Grammys - she's got like seven or eight and like Billboard awards and Songwriting Guild and stuff like that and i'm like 'this chord, huh?' and she's like just (points to the shelf)."
Ed Sheeran recalled the extreme measures that Taylor Swift took to prevent their duet from leaking. "I remember when I did a song with her for her album, I was in San Francisco and they sent someone with a locked briefcase with an iPad and one song on it and they flew to San Francisco, and played the song I've done with her," he told Just Jared. "And they asked if I like it and I was like 'Yeah' and then they took it back, that's how I hear it."
Sheeran's first big tour came in 2012 as the opening act for Snow Patrol; the following year, he opened for Swift on her Red tour, a much larger venture. Each night on the tour, Swift brought him on stage to perform the song.