What Taylor Swift's 'Willow' Song Lyrics Mean


Taylor Swift released evermore and the music video for its lead single “willow” at midnight, kicking the album off with a song rooted in lust, love, and romance. It also continues the practice she started on evermore‘s sister album folklore, blending fact with fiction to create a story. As she put it herself, “thematically, we still explored mythology, stories, and secrets” on the album.

Lyrics like “Life was a willow, and it bent right to your wind/They count me out time and time again/Life was a willow, and it bent right to your wind/But I come back stronger than a ’90s trend,” may be partly inspired by Swift and her boyfriend of four years, Joe Alwyn’s, relationship and Swift’s reputation as a celebrity. But as Swift explained of the song’s meaning, “willow” is about wanting someone, the start of falling in love. Swift and Alwyn, meanwhile. have been together and in love for years.

Swift wrote about the song’s meaning during a YouTube Q&A during its release. She said, “‘willow’ is about intrigue, desire, and the complexity that goes into wanting someone. I think it sounds like casting a spell to make somebody fall in love with you (an oddly specific visual).”

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The lyrics create a compelling, whimsical image of that to pull you into evermore‘s world. You can read them, via Genius, below and watch the music video, too:

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Verse 1
I’m like the water when your ship rolled in that night
Rough on the surface, but you cut through like a knife
And if it was an open-shut case
I never would have known from the look on your face
Lost in your current like a priceless wine

Chorus


The more that you say, the less I know
Wherever you stray, I follow
I’m begging for you to take my hand
Wreck my plans, that’s my man

Verse 2


Life was a willow and it bent right to your wind
Head on the pillow, I can feel you sneakin’ in
‘Cause if you are a mythical thing
Like you were a trophy or a champion ring
But there was one prize I’d cheat to win

Chorus


The more that you say, the less I know
Wherever you stray, I follow
I’m begging for you to take my hand
Wreck my plans, that’s my man
You know that my train could take you home
Anywhere else is hollow
I’m begging for you to take my hand
Wreck my plans, that’s my man

Bridge
Life was a willow, and it bent right to your wind
They count me out time and time again
Life was a willow, and it bent right to your wind
But I come back stronger than a ’90s trend

Verse 3
Wait for the signal, and I’ll meet you after dark
Show me the places where the others gave you scars
Now this is an open-shut case
I guess I should’a known from the look on your face
Every bait-and-switch was a work of art

Chorus
The more that you say, the less I know
Wherever you stray, I follow
I’m begging for you to take my hand
Wreck my plans, that’s my man
You know that my train could take you home
Anywhere else is hollow
I’m begging for you to take my hand
Wreck my plans, that’s my man
The more that you say, the less I know
Wherever you stray, I follow
I’m begging for you to take my hand
Wreck my plans, that’s my man
You know that my train could take you home
Anywhere else is hollow
I’m begging for you to take my hand
Wreck my plans, that’s my man

Outro

Hey, that’s my man
That’s my man
Yeah, that’s my man
Baby, every bait-and-switch was a work of art
That’s my man
Hey, that’s my man
I’m begging for you to take my hand
Wreck my plans, that’s my man

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