"All Too Well"
Muse: Jake Gyllenhaal
Lyrics: "Time won't fly, it's like I'm paralyzed by it/I'd like to be my old self again, but I'm still trying to find it/After plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own/Now you mail back my things, and I walk home alone"
What Happened: "All Too Well" is a masterpiece of the break-up ballad form as Swift details the intimacy of a relationship that falls apart and the pain of having to piece one's self back together again afterwards. For the track, she reunited with Liz Rose, a songwriter Swift penned many of her earliest hits with. The track talks about a trip to upstate New York in the autumn, a location and time of year she and Gyllenhaal were heavily photographed experiencing together. She even gives a shout out to his sister and actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, who apparently still has the scarf Jake gave Swift for her birthday that December.
"'All Too Well' was the hardest to write because it took me a long time to filter through everything I wanted to say," Swift said about the painstaking process of writing the story of their short-lived but seemingly passionate love affair. "It started out being a 10-minute song, which you can't put on an album. I had to filter it down to a story that could work in the form of a song."