Would've Could've Should've
Taylor Swift Lyrics


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If you would've blinked then I would've
Looked away at the first glance
If you tasted poison, you could've
Spit me out at the first chance
If I was some paint, did it splatter
On a promising grown man?
And if I was a child, did it matter
If you got to wash your hands?

Ooh, oh
All I used to do was pray
Would've, could've, should've
If you'd never looked my way

I would've stayed on my knees
And I damn sure never would've danced with the devil
At nineteen
And the God's honest truth is that the pain was heaven
And now that I'm grown, I'm scared of ghosts
Memories feel like weapons
And now that I know, I wish you'd left me wondering

If you never touched me, I would've
Gone along with the righteous
If I never blushed, then they could've
Never whispered about this
And if you never saved me from boredom
I could've gone on as I was
But, Lord, you made me feel important
And then you tried to erase us

Ooh, oh
You're a crisis of my faith
Would've, could've, should've
If I'd only played it safe

I would've stayed on my knees
And I damn sure never would've danced with the devil
At nineteen
And the God's honest truth is that the pain was heaven
And now that I'm grown, I'm scared of ghosts
Memories feel like weapons
And now that I know, I wish you'd left me wondering

God rest my soul, I miss who I used to be
The tomb won't close, stained glass windows in my mind
I regret you all the time
I can't let this go, I fight with you in my sleep
The wound won't close, I keep on waiting for a sign
I regret you all the time

If clarity's in death, then why won't this die?
Years of tearing down our banners, you and I
Living for the thrill of hitting you where it hurts
Give me back my girlhood, it was mine first

And I damn sure never would've danced with the devil
At nineteen
And the God's honest truth is that the pain was heaven
And now that I'm grown, I'm scared of ghosts
Memories feel like weapons
And now that I know, I wish you'd left me wondering

God rest my soul, I miss who I used to be
The tomb won't close, stained glass windows in my mind
I regret you all the time
I can't let this go, I fight with you in my sleep
The wound won't close, I keep on waiting for a sign
I regret you all the time
Oh, God rest my soul, I miss who I used to be
The tomb won't close, stained glass windows in my mind
I regret you all the time
I can't let this go, I fight with you in my sleep




The wound won't close, I keep on waiting for a sign
I regret you all the time

Overall Meaning

In "Would've Could've Should've," Taylor Swift reflects on a past relationship and the feelings of regret that come with it. She questions what might have happened if certain things had gone differently. She wonders if, had she not caught the person's attention, she would have stayed on her knees and never danced with the devil at nineteen. But she also acknowledges that the pain of that relationship was a kind of heaven at the time, even though it now feels like a weapon. She expresses a desire to go back to the time before the relationship, to her girlhood, while still seeming to miss the person she's addressing. The lyrics show a nuanced understanding of how past relationships can be both positive and negative, and how people often feel the tension of wanting to go back while also wishing things had gone differently.


Line by Line Meaning

If you would've blinked then I would've
If you were not interested, I would have never pursued you.


Looked away at the first glance
I would have immediately lost interest.


If you tasted poison, you could've
If you knew our relationship was toxic, you could have left at any time.


Spit me out at the first chance
You could have ended our relationship at the earliest opportunity.


If I was some paint, did it splatter
Did I affect your life negatively, like a paint spill on good clothes?


On a promising grown man?
Someone with potential and a bright future.


And if I was a child, did it matter
Did my innocence and naivety make any difference to you?


If you'd never looked my way
If you had never noticed me or showed interest in me.


All I used to do was pray
All I did was pray that you would notice me and like me back.


Would've, could've, should've
Reflecting on the past and the things that could have been done differently.


I would've stayed on my knees
I would have continued to pray for your attention and affection.


And I damn sure never would've danced with the devil
I would have never taken the risk of entering into a dangerous and harmful relationship.


At nineteen
At a young age when I was naive and vulnerable.


And the God's honest truth is that the pain was heaven
Despite the pain and heartache, I look back fondly on that time of my life.


And now that I'm grown, I'm scared of ghosts
Now that I am older and wiser, I am afraid of the memories that haunt me.


Memories feel like weapons
Reminiscing about the past feels painful and causes emotional harm.


And now that I know, I wish you'd left me wondering
Now that I understand the true nature of our relationship, I wish I had never been involved and could have remained ignorant.


You're a crisis of my faith
Your influence on my life caused me to question my beliefs and values.


If I'd only played it safe
If I had been more cautious and avoided taking risks in our relationship.


God rest my soul, I miss who I used to be
I long for the version of myself before our relationship changed me.


The tomb won't close, stained glass windows in my mind
The memories of our relationship continue to haunt me and affect my mental state.


I regret you all the time
I constantly feel remorse and dissatisfaction about our relationship.


I fight with you in my sleep
Even in my dreams, our relationship still causes conflict and turmoil.


The wound won't close, I keep on waiting for a sign
The pain of our relationship still persists and I wait for any indication that it will heal.


If clarity's in death, then why won't this die?
If the truth and understanding of our relationship comes with time, why does the pain and regret still persist?


Years of tearing down our banners, you and I
Our relationship had a significant impact on both of us and caused us both to change over time.


Living for the thrill of hitting you where it hurts
Our relationship became toxic and we derived pleasure from causing each other harm.


Give me back my girlhood, it was mine first
I wish I could go back in time and reclaim the version of myself before our relationship changed me.




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Written by: Aaron Brooking Dessner, Taylor Alison Swift

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

@LanderDevosefteling

This is some all too well masterclass songwriting. It WRECKED me

@iwouldgiveyouthemoon_

it made me hate john mayer more than i already did

@shaheerah7479

EXACTLY

@sherintv478

❤️❤️

@nthsa04

@@iwouldgiveyouthemoon_ while some ppl asking for a 10 minutes Dear John TV, we get this masterpiece😭

@tspolalove

it's worthy of being another track 5 the way it hurts so much. 😭

7 More Replies...

@ellenbelem3426

"I regret you all the time" is one of the most heartbreaking lyrics ever and the way she sings it, we can feel the despair in her voice.

@AnaCaroline-td8rz

I love it, oh Taylor! 🤩🤩🤩🤩

@suzanne4396

Just having left an 8 year relationshit with an abusive, malignant-covert narcissist, this song hits Hard !! On the ( long) road to healing, regretting ( him) all the time. Trying to get my life back at 38. 😑

@natalietaylorsversion6579

EXACTLY

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