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Swift Analysis: The (Almost) Definitive Guide to the Subjects of All 19 ‘Red’ Songs

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12. "Sad Beautiful Tragic"

Clue: "While you were on a train"

Again, the hookup with Gyllenhaal seems to be the only one from the last two years Swift cared about to regard in tragedian terms. And he did tag along on a train tour with Mumford & Sons.

Best bet: Gyllenhaal

Our confidence level: 85%

13. "The Lucky One"

Clue: "Wouldn't you like to know"

Thanks for that total non-clue, Taylor. This is a (mostly) third-person story about an overwhelmed starlet who finally chucks it all and retires... and Swift's envy over her ability to walk away from the madness. Could this just be a fictional construct conceived to make a statement about stardom, a la Tom Petty's "Into the Great White Open"? Quite possibly, although Swift almost always deals in non-fiction, and the "Wouldn't you like to know" strongly hints that there's an answer she has no plans to tell. The Vulture website speculated that this one is about Joni Mitchell, which makes a slight bit of sense, since Swift would have heavily researched Mitchell's life because of ongoing plans to portray her in a biopic, and Joni has unofficially retired. But we can't buy it, because the song clearly portrays its subject as easily victimized and not really in control of her circumstances, and if you know Joni Mitchell...

Best bet: No idea whatsoever

Confidence level: 0%

14. "Everything Has Changed"

Clue: "Hyannis Port"

"Hyannis Port"? "Green eyes and freckles"? This one is pretty much the opposite of "Wouldn't you like to know."

Best bet: Conor Kennedy

Our confidence level: 100%

15. "Starlight"

Clue: "For Ethel"

Some critics – we'll be kind and not name names – assumed this was about Conor because of a line about sneaking into a yacht club party, as if this were an autobiographical reference to their so-called "wedding crasher" incident. Back to Remedial Lyric Comprehension 101, post haste, for all these writers. Because even without the benefit of the lyric sheet and it's "For Ethel" clue, what about the references to "Bobby," "the summer of '45," "we were seventeen," and "have ten kids" does not scream Period Piece About Bobby & Ethel Kennedy?

Best bet: Bobby and Ethel Kennedy

Our confidence level: 200%

16. "Begin Again"

Clue: "I can wear heels now"

Conor Kennedy is 6'2". Enough said. Or is it? The sweet ballad has Swift saying this first date has given her faith after eight months of feeling hopeless about love. So some fans have used that to speculate that it was really inspired by her supposedly going out late last year with Parachute singer Will Anderson. But Anderson just doesn't look that tall to us, so we're going with the new guy. We don't have personal knowledge that Kennedy shows up early instead of late and pulls out chairs for women, but we'll take her word for it.

Best bet: Conor Kennedy

Our confidence level: 80%

And now, the bonus tracks from the Target deluxe edition. With no printed lyrics, these three songs lack hidden messages, but in least one case, that's no hindrance in making a subject-matter determination.

17. "The Moment I Knew"

The most nakedly confessional song on the album (if you consider this extra disc part of the album). Swift describes being at her birthday party, with the Christmas lights already up, hoping her beau will walk through the door. He doesn't, though he calls to apologize later, and that's when she knows it's over. Devastating, and unmistakable.

Best bet: Gyllenhaal

Our confidence level: 100%

18. "Come Back... Be Here"

The yearning quality makes it of a piece with the album's other most soul-searching songs, even if doesn't have one-tenth the specifics of the song preceding it on the bonus disc.

Best bet: Gyllenhaal

Our confidence level: 70%

19. "Girl at Home"

Swift's confidence that the boyfriend in this song has a girl in every port – or at least one key landing pad – points toward what we know about Styles, and how gossip reports had them breaking up after Swift saw some incriminating tabloid photos.

Best bet: Styles

Our confidence level: 80%

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