Back to December
Taylor Swift Lyrics


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I'm so glad you made time to see me
How's life? Tell me, how's your family?
I haven't seen them in a while
You've been good, busier than ever
We small talk, work and the weather
Your guard is up and I know why

Because the last time you saw me
Is still burned in the back of your mind
You gave me roses and I left them there to die

So this is me swallowin' my pride
Standin' in front of you sayin' I'm sorry for that night
And I go back to December all the time
It turns out freedom ain't nothin' but missin' you
Wishin' I'd realized what I had when you were mine
I'd go back to December, turn around and make it alright
I go back to December all the time

These days, I haven't been sleepin'
Stayin' up playin' back myself leavin'
When your birthday passed and I didn't call
Then I think about summer, all the beautiful times
I watched you laughin' from the passenger's side
And realized I loved you in the fall

And then the cold came, the dark days
When fear crept into my mind
You gave me all your love and all I gave you was goodbye

So this is me swallowin' my pride
Standin' in front of you sayin' I'm sorry for that night
And I go back to December all the time
It turns out freedom ain't nothin' but missin' you
Wishin' I'd realized what I had when you were mine
I'd go back to December, turn around and change my own mind
I go back to December all the time

I miss your tan skin, your sweet smile
So good to me, so right
And how you held me in your arms that September night
The first time you ever saw me cry
Maybe this is wishful thinkin'
Probably mindless dreamin'
But if we loved again, I swear I'd love you right

I'd go back in time and change it, but I can't
So if the chain is on your door, I understand

But this is me swallowin' my pride
Standin' in front of you sayin' I'm sorry for that night
And I go back to December
It turns out freedom ain't nothin' but missin' you
Wishin' I'd realized what I had when you were mine
I'd go back to December, turn around and make it alright
I'd go back to December, turn around and change my own mind




I go back to December all the time
All the time

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of Taylor Swift's Back to December express regret and a wish to turn back the hands of time. The singer is meeting someone they hurt in the past and trying to apologize for it. The initial exchange is formal and distant, with the subject avoiding eye contact and discussing small talk. It is clear that they have not forgotten the pain caused by the singer, as shown by the roses left to die. Through the course of the song, the singer talks about the specific times they miss and the moments where they realized they had made a mistake. They recount not calling during the subject's birthday and watching them from afar in the fall, ultimately realizing that they should have appreciated what they had. The chorus repeats the line "I go back to December all the time", reflecting the singer's constant yearning to go back and make things right.


The tone of the song is sombre, reflecting the sorrow the singer is feeling. The verses are sung slowly and with emotion, while the chorus is more upbeat and almost pleading. The song is primarily driven by guitar and piano, with a steady rhythm that mirrors the singer's thoughts.


Line by Line Meaning

I'm so glad you made time to see me
Expressing happiness that the person has come to meet her


How's life? Tell me, how's your family?
Asking about the person's life and family


I haven't seen them in a while
Admitting that it has been a while since she has seen the person's family


You've been good, busier than ever
Acknowledging that the person has been keeping busy


We small talk, work and the weather
Engaging in trivial conversation about work and the weather


Your guard is up and I know why
Noticing that the person is being guarded, and understanding the reason why


Because the last time you saw me
Explaining the cause for the person's guarded behavior


Is still burned in the back of your mind
Implying that the person has not forgotten the last encounter


You gave me roses and I left them there to die
Admitting that the person gave her flowers, which she neglectfully left to wither


So this is me swallowin' my pride
Acknowledging the need to swallow her pride


Standin' in front of you sayin' I'm sorry for that night
Apologizing for her actions on that night


And I go back to December all the time
Revisiting the past, specifically the month of December


It turns out freedom ain't nothin' but missin' you
Realizing that her independence has only resulted in her missing the person


Wishin' I'd realized what I had when you were mine
Regretting not appreciating what she had when the person was hers


I'd go back to December, turn around and make it alright
Wishing to go back to December and make things right


These days, I haven't been sleepin'
Admitting to current sleeplessness


Stayin' up playin' back myself leavin'
Replaying the moment she left the person over and over in her mind


When your birthday passed and I didn't call
Regretting not calling the person on their birthday


Then I think about summer, all the beautiful times
Reflecting on happier times, specifically during the summer


I watched you laughin' from the passenger's side
Recalling a moment where she watched the person laugh while sitting in the passenger's seat of a car


And realized I loved you in the fall
Realizing that she loved the person during the autumn season


And then the cold came, the dark days
Describing the winter season as cold and dark


When fear crept into my mind
Acknowledging that fear consumed her thoughts during the winter season


You gave me all your love and all I gave you was goodbye
Recognizing that the person gave her love, and all she gave in return was a goodbye


I miss your tan skin, your sweet smile
Admitting to missing specific physical qualities of the person


So good to me, so right
Expressing appreciation for the person as a whole


And how you held me in your arms that September night
Recalling a moment where the person held her in their arms during a specific night in September


The first time you ever saw me cry
Remembering the first time the person saw her cry


Maybe this is wishful thinkin'
Admitting that what follows may be a hopeful and unrealistic thought


Probably mindless dreamin'
Acknowledging that what follows may be a meaningless dream


But if we loved again, I swear I'd love you right
Expressing a desire to love the person properly if given another chance


I'd go back in time and change it, but I can't
Wishing to change the past but acknowledging that it is impossible


So if the chain is on your door, I understand
Acknowledging that the person may not want to see her again


All the time
Implying a constant longing to change the past and make things right




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Written by: Taylor Alison Swift

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

@zacuzzi

In this version she doesn't feel heartbroken anymore. It feels like looking back at her old self and giving a warm hug as compared to the original

@vijaishreesivaswamy7867

Wow

@thatsdope9571

Yeah I relate to the old version more 😭

@Tob1Kadach1

She's gone through so much heartbreak she's more numb to it now. Don't forget between this album and Red Jake Gyllenhaal tore her heart out.

@matii333

yeees!

@feziwenomaxabiso-hu9zf

Its so true

19 More Replies...

@jadadixon216

She seems healed in this version, like it’s been years later and she’s moved on in life and still feels regret but not completely heartbroken 💜

@chloeramnath2695

Aww omg yesss

@stillstandingattheexit

yesss she's okay with the fact it happened but it was still a lifetine regret

@Mittens--

Yes!!! You can heard the “healed” part in her!

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