Taylor Swift discusses the emotional backstory behind ‘All Too Well’

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As Taylor Swift’s highly-anticipated album Red (Taylor’s Version), the re-recorded version of her 2012 album, dropped at midnight Friday, the 11-time Grammy award winning singer made back-to-back late night appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night With Seth Meyers, where she discussed the 10-minute version of her critically acclaimed song “All Too Well.”

On The Tonight Show, Swift shared how the song basically started off as just an ad-libbed jam session with her band during a “sad time” in her life.

“I showed up for rehearsals and I just was really upset, and sad, and everybody could tell, it was really, like, not fun to be around me that day,” explained Swift, who continued, saying, “So I started playing guitar and just kind of playing the same four chords over and over again. And I just started, kind of, the band sort of joined in, and I started ad-libbing what I was going through, and what I was feeling, and it went on, and the song kept building and building and building in intensity, and the song just went on for about, you know, 10 to 15 minutes of us doing this.”

Swift then explained how she went on with her regularly scheduled rehearsal, but it was her mother who had asked the sound guy if he happened to record the session. As luck would have it, he did, and handed her mother the CD.

Fortunately, that specific emotional chapter in her life is over, and on Late Night With Seth Meyers, Swift shared how much better of an experience it was recording “All Too Well” this time around.

“At the time I was, like, honestly, really sad. Cause I’d actually gone through, you know, the stuff that I had sung about. But this time, I’ve got sunglasses on and a mojito and just, like, it’s chill this time. It’s really nice to be able to put this album out and not be sad not be, like, taking breaks in between interviews to cry. I’m telling you, it’s much better this way,” Swift told Meyers.

Fans have always speculated that the song, which was originally released in 2012, is about her ex-boyfriend, Jake Gyllenhaal. While Swift has not officially confirmed whether or not that is true, when Meyers asked, “I wonder if there are people, who might think that they were the one you were singing about, if it’s easier or far, far worse for them 10 years later,” Swift responded, “I haven’t thought about their experience, to be honest.” Meyers laughed while stating, “I think that’s the biggest burn. I think there’s nothing they’d rather hear less.”

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. and Late Night With Seth Meyers airs weeknights at 12:35 a.m. on NBC.

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