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Who Is ‘All Too Well’ About? Everything to Know About Taylor Swift’s Famous Breakup Song

Who Is ‘All Too Well’ About? Everything to Know About Taylor Swift’s Famous Breakup Song
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Who Is ‘All Too Well’ About? Everything to Know About Taylor Swift’s Famous Breakup Song

Who Is ‘All Too Well’ About? Everything to Know About Taylor Swift’s Famous Breakup Song

Who Is ‘All Too Well’ About? Everything to Know About Taylor Swift’s Famous Breakup Song

Swifties love nothing more than decoding who  Taylor Swift song is about, and ‘All Too Well’ has become a widespread fan favorite — especially since there are so many clues as to who the subject is!

In 2012, Taylor Swift released “All Too Well” on her album Red, changing fans forever. When the five-plus minute song dropped, listeners were instantly transported to one of Taylor’s prior romances. Like most Taylor tunes, “All Too Well” was based on a true experience from her life, but the lyrics took it to a new level.
“All Too Well” [was challenging to compose emotionally] because it took me a long time to filter through everything I wanted to put in the song without making it a 10-minute song, which you can’t put on an album,” Taylor said in 2012. I wanted a song-worthy story, so I contacted my co-writer LizRose and said, ‘Come over, we need filter this down.’ It took a long time to get it.”

The History of ‘All Too Well’

It was an instant hit when Taylor released “All Too Well” on her 2012 album Red. “It was a day when I was just, like, a broken human, walking into rehearsal, just feeling terrible about what was going on in my personal life,” Taylor told Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums podcast in 2020. “I started repeating four chords and the band started playing. I guess people started messing with me because they could sense I was struggling. I started singing and riffing and ab-libbing “All Too Well.” It was that tune with seven extra lyrics and the f-word.”

It was previously stated that “All Too Well” was longer than the 5 minutes and 29 seconds fans heard on Red. Swifties waited years for Taylor to release the entire, ten-minute version, which she did in 2021. To obtain song rights, Taylor began re-recording her first six albums in late 2020. Taylor rerecorded all the songs and included unreleased material from prior albums. Her November 2021 album Red (Taylor’s Version) includes the complete 10-minute version of “All Too Well.”

Taylor gave this to her fans, who helped the song grow over time. Taylor performed “All Too Well” at the 2014 Grammys despite never having a hit. “It’s fun when things surprise you like that,” she said. Although Taylor penned “All Too Well” when she was upset, she now finds satisfaction in it because of her fans’ response.

Taylor published a short film and a 10-minute audio version of “All Too Well” in November 2021. Taylor appears at the conclusion as a surprise guest star alongside Dylan O’Brien and Sadie Sink. She also performed the complete 10-minute rendition on Saturday Night Live in an unprecedented manner.

Who Does Taylor Swift Write ‘All Too Well’ About?

We know Taylor penned “All Too Well” on her brief engagement with Jake Gyllenhaal. Taylor has never said this, but numerous hints point to Jake. The first clue came in Taylor’s Red album liner notes. Taylor used to capitalize letters in her record liner lyrics. Capitalized letters always spelled out a hidden message to reveal the song’s subject. For “All Too Well,” the liner note was “Maple Lattes.” Taylor and Jake were pictured carrying coffee cups around New York City when they were dating, and a coffee shop employee told People that they had specialized maple lattes on Thanksgiving Day 2010.

Taylor Swift Jake Gyllenhaal

In 2010 and 2011, Taylor Swift dated Jake Gyllenhaal. (Shutterstock)

Naturally, Taylor released the song on her debut album after her breakup with Jake. Many Red songs seem to be about the attractive actor. However, “All Too Well” depicts the complete story of their love, and the 10-minute version adds more.

The first lyric of “All Too Well” addresses Taylor and Jake’s 2010 Thanksgiving. After maple lattes, they celebrated with his sister Maggie Gyllenhaal in Brooklyn. Taylor sings, “I left my scarf there, at your sister’s house and you still got it, in your drawer, even now,” referring to her black scarf that day. For Swifties, the “scarf” is symbolic.

In the second stanza, Taylor says, “You used to be a little kid with glasses in a twin-sized bed,” and Jake did have glasses as a kid—we have images! Taylor also references Jake in the 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” singing, “You said if we had been closer in age maybe it would have been fine, and that made me want to die.” Exes are nine years apart. Later in the song, she said, “I was never good at telling jokes, but the punchline goes, I get older but your lovers stay my age.” Jake is dating 26-year-old Jeanne Cadieu.

Taylor spent a lot of time with Jake in Brooklyn, which is mentioned in the 10-minute version of “All Too Well”. Taylor turned 21 while dating Jake, thus she sings about missing her 21st birthday celebration. The Red song “The Moment I Knew,” also addresses this sadness.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Taylor Swift’s Relationship

Taylor and Jake dated for three months in October 2010–January 2011. He was 29 and she was 20 when they met. They were first seen together at SNL in October 2010. Despite keeping their romance private, they were caught walking around New York City together on Thanksgiving 2010. Taylor was with Jake’s sister Maggie on holiday. Us Weekly reported in January 2011 that Jake told her it wasn’t working out before breaking up. Taylor feels angry and hurt. She feels burned by him.”

Taylor Swift sang ‘All Too Well’ on SNL. (Shutterstock)

However, the “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” lyrics show that Taylor and Jake attempted a secret reconciliation months after parting up. “You never called it what it was, ’til we were dead and gone and buried, check the pulse and come back swearin’ it’s the same, after three months in the grave,” Taylor sings. Later, she sings about Jake not wanting people to know they were trying again. “There we are again when nobody had to know, you kept me like a secret, but I kept you like an oath,” she says.

Red also performed “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” which may be about Jake. The lyrics describe an ex who wants to get back together over and again, but the narrator is done. This supports the idea that Taylor and Jake reunited before she broke up.

How Did Jake Gyllenhaal Explain “All Too Well”?

Jake first mentioned “All Too Well” in February 2022. “It has nothing to do with me,” he told Esquire. She wants to connect with her admirers. This is her expression. I don’t mind when artists draw from personal experience.” Jake mentioned Taylor fans’ years-long animosity despite his level-headed reaction. I think it’s crucial when supporters get unruly that we have a responsibility to have them be courteous and not tolerate cyberbullying in one’s name, he added. However, he stated that Taylor’s admirers had not endangered his life.

Jake Gyllenhaal red carpet. (Shutterstock)

Maggie was questioned if she had Taylor’s scarf at home during a 2017 Watch What Happens Live interview. “I never understood why everybody asked me about this scarf,” Maggie said. What’s this? Maggie remained coy after Andy Cohen explained. “I am in the dark about the scarf,” she remarked. “Definitely possible. No idea. I was asked this before.” A closer look at the lyrics shows that Jake, not Maggie, should have the scarf in his drawer!

Taylor described Jake’s overall reaction to Red in a 2013 interview. Many believe her comment was about him because much of the album is about him, even if she didn’t say so. “He said, ‘I just listened to the album and that was really bittersweet for me. Taylor compared it to browsing a photo book. That was nice. Nicer than the yelling lunatic emails from this guy.”

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