Two seconds into Taylor Swift's "Lover," you can tell the dreamy ballad is destined to play at weddings for years to come. But the first lyric, "We could leave the Christmas lights up 'til January" confused some listeners since the song's release. January starts just a few days after Christmas—so what's romantic about Taylor's decoration schedule? Isn't that the norm?
Well, Taylor just said a change to "Lover"'s lyrics is to blame for fans' questions. For the New York Times series "Diary of a Song," the singer joined Times music journalist Joe Coscarelli to explain how she brought "Lover" to life. In the interview, she explained that her Christmas lights weren't supposed to stay lit only until January in the original lyrics.
Taylor said the songwriting process for "Lover" involved meticulously reviewing her lyrics, making sure each one says exactly what she wants it to say. "Were there lines that changed in that process?" Coscarelli asked. “I had toyed with the idea of ‘We could leave the Christmas lights up ‘til April,’” Taylor responded.
So why make the jump to January? Taylor added she wanted "Lover" to be about quiet, normal moments that make a relationship special—so she changed the month to something simpler. "It’s not about that being a crazy thing,” she said. “It’s about how mundane it is. It’s about like 'We could put a rug over there. We could do wallpaper or paint.' When young adults go from living in their family to then combining their lives with someone else, that’s actually, like, the most profound thing."
She added that the rest of "Lover" touches on similarly universal, simple moments and feelings. "I wanted the chorus to be these really simple, existential questions that we ask ourselves when we're in love. 'Can I go where you go' is such a heavy thing to ask somebody. 'Can we always be this close' has so much fear in it," Taylor said.
Hear her describe the making of "Lover" in her own words below:
The 30-year-old also recently released "Christmas Tree Farm," an upbeat ode to the farm where she grew up. Like "Lover," Taylor wrote "Christmas Tree Farm" in just 24 hours. She documented the process in a series of iPhone clips shared on her Instagram earlier this week. "24 hours and a lot of xmas spirit," she captioned the video.
She told the New York Times she'd been waiting for a song like "Lover" to make its way into her repertoire. "I'd been thinking for years that, God, it'd be so great to have a song that people who are in love would want to dance to," she said. "In my head, I had the last two people on a dance floor at 3 A.M., swaying."
Her vision will probably come to life in a few months. Taylor takes "Lover" on tour in 2020.
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Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue