This Is Me Trying

Album: Folklore (2020)
Charted: 39

Songfacts®:

  • This song finds Taylor Swift reflecting on growing up in the media glare. Having found fame at an early age (she released her first album at 16), Taylor's failures and setbacks have all been in the public eye. Here she admits to some regrets over past breakups.

    It's hard to be anywhere these days when all I want is you

    A tendency to overreact to incidents, self-sabotage and assuming the worst.

    They told me all of my cages were mental

    And moments where she's lashed out at others.

    And my words shoot to kill when I'm mad

    However, Taylor is aware of her faults and is doing the best she can.

    I just wanted you to know that this is me trying
  • The song is similar in theme to the Lover track "Afterglow" where Swift takes the blame for a fight with her lover and asks him to forgive her for her outburst.
  • While most of the tracks on Folklore are third-person narratives, this is the closest cousin to Swift's 2017 album Reputation. That record is centered around her anger at the way the media publicizes her personal life and disputes.
  • Swift wrote the song with her go-to producer Jack Antonoff. It parallels other Antonoff-produced Swift tracks such as:

    "I Wish You Would," where she regrets the way she broke up with a lover.

    "Call It What You Want," where Swift references her time away from the spotlight following her split from Tom Hiddleston and feud with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian over the rapper's "Famous" lyrics.

    "Cruel Summer," where again she references her public spat with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West as well as her falling out with Calvin Harris following their breakup.
  • The National's Aaron Dessner co-produced Folklore. He told Vulture he sees this song as linking the whole album. Dessner explained he views the Folklore record as an exercise in working through stories," whether personal or old, through someone else's perspective." And this song is "connecting a lot of things."
  • Swift told Entertainment Weekly that in this song she "was channeling the emotions I was feeling in 2016, 2017, where I just felt like I was worth absolutely nothing."
  • And it's hard to be at a party
    When I feel like an open wound
    It's hard to be anywhere these days
    When all I want is you
    You're a flashback in a film reel
    On the one screen in my town


    During this verse Swift was trying to compose lyrics and chords as if the National were writing the song. She didn't succeed; when Swift played the song for Aaron Dessner, he told her, "That's not what we would've done at all. I love that song, but that's totally different than what we would've done with it."

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