Long version of the song includes several insightful new lyrics
The track, widely regarded as one of the best examples of Swift’s songwriting prowess, has long-been assumed to be about her ex-boyfriend, Hollywood actor Jake Gyllenhaal.
However, the 10-minute version leaves virtually no doubt that “All Too Well” was written in the aftermath of Swift and Gyllenhaal’s split in 2011.
The pair were reported to have dated for around three months from October 2010, breaking up shortly after Swift turned 21 in December 2010.
New lyrics include the lines: “And I was never good at telling jokes/ But the punchline goes: “I’ll get older, but your lovers stay my age.”
Gyllenhaal, 40, is currently dating 25-year-old model Jeanne Cadieu.
The following lyric goes: “From when your Brooklyn broke my skin and bones/ I’m a soldier who’s returning half her weight/ And did the twin flame bruise paint you blue?”
By 2011, the Brooklyn-based Gyllenhaal had starred as a soldier in two different films: Source Code, and 2009’s Brothers.
The “twin flame” references the fact that Swift and Gyllenhaal share the Sagittarius (fire) star sign, which she sang about in another song from Red, “State of Grace”, in the lyric: “Just twin fire signs/ Four blue eyes.”
In another new verse, Swift sings: “You, who charmed my dad with self-effacing jokes/ Sipping coffee like you were on a late night show/ But then he watched me watch the front door all night, willing you to come/ And he said, “it’s supposed to be fun… Turning 21”
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In an Instagram post, Swift said Red, musically and lyrically, “resembled a heartbroken person”.
“It was all over the place, a fractured mosaic of feelings that somehow all fit together in the end,” she wrote. “Happy, free, confused, lonely, devastated, euphoric, wild, and tortured by memories past.”
She continued: “Sometimes you need to talk it over (over and over and over) for it to ever really be… over. Like your friend who calls you in the middle of the night going on and on about their ex, I just couldn’t stop writing. This will be the first time you hear all 30 songs that were meant to go on Red. And hey, one of them is even 10 minutes long.”
Swift’s re-recorded version of Red is out now via Republic Records.