Forever Winter

Album: Red (Taylor's Version) (2021)
Charted: 79
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Songfacts®:

  • Here, Taylor Swift sings about a close male friend or family member who's going through a dark time. She is extremely concerned and keeps checking up on him.

    The guy has severe mental health issues

    I call, just checking up on him
    He's up, 3 a.m., pacing
    He says, "It's not just a phase I'm in"
    My voice comes out begging


    And is using drugs and alcohol as a form of escape

    I call, just checking up on him
    He's up, 5 a.m., wasted
    Long gone, not even listening
    My voice comes out screaming
  • Swift assures the deeply depressed person she will always be there for him, but worries he might leave.

    I'll be summer sun for you forever
    Forever winter if you go


    She expresses a similar idea in her 2019 song "Me!":

    Livin' in winter, I am your summer
  • Who is the song about? There are two candidates:

    Swift's late high school friend Jeff Lang, whom she played her songs to before anyone else. Lang struggled with mental health and addiction issues, and died aged 21 of a drug overdose. When Swift accepted the country songwriter of the year honor at the 2010 BMI Awards, she dedicated the award to Lang, whose funeral she'd attended just 24 hours earlier.

    Taylor's younger brother, Austin Swift. The two are close and she is possibly being a protective older sister to her struggling sibling.
  • Swift co-wrote the guitar-driven, mid-tempo ballad with Mark Foster, the lead singer of Foster The People. "It's a really cool song," Foster told Diffuser. "We kind of just went into it casually, like let's just jam and just have fun, and something really cool came out of it."
  • Swift recorded the song for her Red album. It didn't make the cut, but nine years later it landed on Red (Taylor's Version) following the dispute regarding ownership of the masters to her first six studio albums. Swift re-recorded all the songs from her first decade, including her Red tracks. She also redid nine songs, including "Forever Winter," that did not make the 2012 record.

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