Ranking ‘Back To December’ Lyrics by Devastation


Taylor Swift

A scene from the “Back To December” music video that shows Swift’s pain and regret expressed throughout the song.

Aila MonLouis and Katya Roudakov

In honor of the speculation that Taylor Swift’s next re-release will be Speak Now, A&E Editors Aila MonLouis and Katya Roudakov ranked Back To December lyrics by devastation.

10. It turns out freedom ain’t nothin’ but missin’ you

She wanted freedom while she was in the relationship, but realizes now that she made a mistake. She feels she made the wrong choice and regrets not cherishing the relationship while she had it. In that way, she’s the cause of her misery, which only makes the words heavier.

9. I’m so glad you made time to see me

As this is the opening lyric, it sets the apologetic tone for the song. She’s thankful for the energy he’s put towards them having a conversation after their break-up, despite her being distant during the relationship. He could have easily ignored her and not given her a chance to make things right. Being allowed to fix past mistakes is something very valuable, and it feels like more often than not, the people we care about don’t take time to hear us out.

8. So if the chain is on your door, I understand

Once again, she knows that she messed up, and doesn’t blame him for wanting to shut her out completely. Using a door as a metaphor suggests that she felt as though he was her home and that she was accustomed to his willingness to be open with her that when she was shut out, it wasn’t expected.

7. The first time you ever saw me cry

Swift reflects on vulnerable moments shared during the relationship, bringing feelings of nostalgia. It’s difficult to be emotional around a loved one, and the first instance is often a turning point. The relatability of this lyric is astounding: everyone knows the importance of being open to your emotion and the sadness of losing a person who you once opened up to.

6. So this is me swallowin’ my pride

Swift knows that she was in the wrong in this relationship, and she owes it to that ex-partner to put herself in a tough situation and apologize. She cares enough about him to not leave the situation on bad terms, forcing her to push her ego away and communicate how much she regrets the pain she’s caused. As a listener, you can sympathize with her, since the shame that comes with “swallowin’ [your] pride” is something we can all relate to.

5. And how you held me in your arms that September night

Being held by someone who you know loves you strongly is a feeling that can’t be beaten. It’s clear she’s reminiscing on all the moments they shared, along with the faults she’s made during their time together and is coming to realize she left someone that was great for her.

4. Standin’ in front of you sayin’ I’m sorry for that night

This song compared to many other songs of Swift’s captures her apologizing to an ex-lover, something we haven’t seen from her. Keeping that in mind, this has a big role in her music because oftentimes she sings about heartbreak inflicted on her. Standing in front of someone and apologizing to them is undoubtedly difficult, especially with the vulnerability it requires.

3. Wishin’ I’d realized what I had when you were mine

After her realization that she took the relationship for granted, all she was left with were the memories. Whether or not you’ve gone through this, you can still imagine the weight of the guilt and remorse.

2. You gave me roses and I left them there to die

Roses often symbolize passion and love, and Swift leaving them to die shows that the love between her and her partner was fading. Receiving flowers can be taken across as a small gesture, yet oftentimes it can mean so much and in this case, his romantic gestures and efforts were trashed.

1. You gave me all your love and all I gave you was goodbye

Continuing with the idea that this is the first time listeners see Swift apologizing in a song, the difficulty of knowing you’ve wronged someone and the guilt that comes with it is a heavy burden to carry. Thinking back on all the pain you could have inflicted onto someone else—that’s an uncomfortable feeling. The lover put himself in a vulnerable position, and she pushed it all aside. Any relationship ending, with someone putting in so much effort while the other doesn’t, is heartbreaking.