carDIGan
Taylor Swift Lyrics


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Vintage tee, brand new phone
High heels on cobblestones
When you are young, they assume you know nothing
Sequin smile, black lipstick
Sensual politics
When you are young, they assume you know nothing

But I knew you
Dancin' in your Levi's
Drunk under a streetlight
I, I knew you
Hand under my sweatshirt
Baby, kiss it better, right

And when I felt like I was an old cardigan
Under someone's bed
You put me on and said I was your favorite

A friend to all is a friend to none
Chase two girls, lose the one
When you are young, they assume you know nothing

But I knew you
Playin' hide-and-seek and
Givin' me your weekends
I, I knew you
Your heartbeat on the High Line
Once in twenty lifetimes, I

And when I felt like I was an old cardigan
Under someone's bed
You put me on and said I was your favorite

To kiss in cars and downtown bars
Was all we needed
You drew stars around my scars
But now I'm bleedin'

'Cause I knew you
Steppin' on the last train
Marked me like a bloodstain
I, I knew you
Tried to change the ending
Peter losin' Wendy
I, I knew you
Leavin' like a father
Runnin' like water, I
And when you are young, they assume you know nothing

But I knew you'd linger like a tattoo kiss
I knew you'd haunt all of my what-ifs
The smell of smoke would hang around this long
'Cause I knew everything when I was young
I knew I'd curse you for the longest time
Chasin' shadows in the grocery line
I knew you'd miss me once the thrill expired
And you'd be standin' in my front porch light
And I knew you'd come back to me
You'd come back to me
And you'd come back to me
And you'd come back

And when I felt like I was an old cardigan




Under someone's bed
You put me on and said I was your favorite

Overall Meaning

The song "cardigan" by Taylor Swift is a reflection on youthful love and the heartbreak that comes with it. The first verse sets the scene with the contrast between the vintage tee and brand new phone, and the high heels on cobblestones, depicting the optimistic and adventurous nature of youth. However, these moments are often met with assumptions that the young person knows nothing, as depicted in the second line. The chorus then introduces the character who understood and cherished the singer for who she was, even when she felt like an old cardigan under someone's bed. The idea of feeling like an old cardigan could represent the emotions of being overlooked and undervalued. The character then placed the singer on, declaring her as a favorite and providing her with a sense of worth.


The second verse continues the idea of being young and naive, with the line "a friend to all is a friend to none, chase two girls, lose the one." This line could be seen as a lesson learned, showcasing the realization that sometimes too much focus on pleasing everyone can result in losing the people who truly matter. The singer once again outlines a moment where she knew her character, spending time together, playing hide-and-seek, and weekends together. The bridge speaks to the end of their relationship, with the character leaving the singer, and her acknowledging that she knew that he would come back to her. The final chorus shows the singer's realization that she understood everything when she was young, including the pain of lost love, the hauntings of what-ifs, and the burning desire for someone who left.


Line by Line Meaning

Vintage tee, brand new phone
Despite having a new phone, I still hold onto old things like this vintage tee.


High heels on cobblestones
I'm walking on an uneven surface in high heels, showing that I can handle difficult situations.


When you are young, they assume you know nothing
Many people overlook or underestimate young people's abilities and intelligence.


Sequin smile, black lipstick, Sensual politics
I use my looks and charm to navigate the complexities of politics and relationships.


But I knew you, Dancin' in your Levi's, Drunk under a streetlight, I, I knew you, Hand under my sweatshirt, Baby, kiss it better, right
Despite our faults and imperfections, I still knew and loved you deeply. We shared intimate moments and took care of each other.


And when I felt like I was an old cardigan Under someone's bed, You put me on and said I was your favorite
Despite feeling old and unloved, you rescued and validated me. In your eyes, I was still valuable and cherished.


A friend to all is a friend to none, Chase two girls, lose the one, When you are young, they assume you know nothing
Trying to be friends with everyone and pursuing multiple romantic interests can lead to losing the one you truly wanted. People often underestimate the inexperience and learnings of the youth.


But I knew you, Playin' hide-and-seek and, Givin' me your weekends, I, I knew you, Your heartbeat on the High Line, Once in twenty lifetimes, I
We shared beautiful memories and rare moments of true connection. I know you deeply and from a place that only comes once in a lifetime.


To kiss in cars and downtown bars, Was all we needed, You drew stars around my scars, But now I'm bleedin'
The simple things we did together were enough for us. You helped me heal my wounds and see my beauty, but now I'm hurting again.


'Cause I knew you, Steppin' on the last train, Marked me like a bloodstain, I, I knew you, Tried to change the ending, Peter losin' Wendy, I, I knew you, Leavin' like a father, Runnin' like water, I, And when you are young, they assume you know nothing
You left a deep impact on me, like a permanent scar. I knew that our story wouldn't have a happy ending, like the story of Peter and Wendy. You left me like a father and ran away like water. People often underestimate what the youth can perceive and comprehend.


But I knew you'd linger like a tattoo kiss, I knew you'd haunt all of my what-ifs, The smell of smoke would hang around this long, 'Cause I knew everything when I was young
I knew that you'd leave a lasting mark on me, like a tattoo kiss. I knew that I'd always wonder what could have been between us. The smell of smoke and all the memories would still linger in my mind. When I was young, I knew everything and felt everything deeply.


I knew I'd curse you for the longest time, Chasin' shadows in the grocery line, I knew you'd miss me once the thrill expired, And you'd be standin' in my front porch light, And I knew you'd come back to me, You'd come back to me, And you'd come back to me, And you'd come back
I knew that I would hold onto the pain and resentment of losing you for a long time. I would keep looking for you in random places, despite it being pointless. I knew that once the excitement and thrill ran out of your life, you'd come back to me, standing on my front porch light. You will come back to me, over and over again.




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

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comments from YouTube:

@momentsofloveromantic

"Cardigan" is one of 3 songs believed to be part of what Taylor calls the "teenage love triangle" trilogy. According to me, cardigan is the first, written from the pov of betty (the girlfriend who is cheated on), "august" is the second written from the pov of the girl who James (the boyfriend) cheated on, "betty" is the conclusion written from the pov of James (the boyfriend)
FIRST VERSE
The first verse sets the mood of teenagehood with vintage T-shirts and excitement over new cell phones. "Sensual politics" could refer to the fact that when you're 18 you get to vote so you're new to the politcal world, or it could be a reference to the complicated social politics of high school. “When you are young, they assume you know nothing” is one of the most repeated lines in the song and is used to highlight how much Betty knows about love and pain (she has unfortunately become very experienced with both.)
CHORUS
Betty knows him, truly and deeply. She has an intimate understanding of him through the moments they shared in their relationship. The past tense of knew, however, means that things have changed. “Baby, kiss it better,” could be what he did for her once, at the beginning of their relationship, and what she hopes he will do now to ease the pain he has caused her.
REFRAIN
Betty often felt forgotten and like she was second best to those around her. James helped her to feel loved and seen. This feeling is likened to when a long lost item of clothing is found and is treasured once again.
SECOND VERSE
Because this song is connected to “august” and “betty,” we know that she is talking about James’s infidelity with another girl. By trying to have more, he has lost what mattered. Again, Betty shows her insight and her awareness of the situation, defying the cliche of a young person not having an understanding of life.
SECOND CHORUS
There is an innocence in the kinds of moments that Betty recalls in the second chorus. While the first chorus focuses more on a physical aspect of the relationship, the emphasis here is simple and emotional.
BRIDGE
The bridge combines the physical and emotional aspects of their relationship. She highlights that “all [they] needed” to be happy was each other’s company. James was able to give her not only healing, but help in appreciating and being at peace with her scars. Now, she is in more pain from the heartbreak he has caused her.
THRID CHORUS
In the third chorus, Betty focuses not on the comfort and joy of their time together, but on the tragic end of their romance. Even as he abandoned her for another girl and she watched him “steppin’ on the last train,” she still knew him. “Tried to change the ending” means that, at least in retrospect, their relationship seemed to always be heading towards heartbreak. “Peter losing Wendy” refers to the story of Peter Pan, who takes a girl named Wendy to Neverland: a place where no one ever grows up. Peter asks Wendy to stay with him, but as much as she values their adventures, she wants to go home and grow up. In the context of this song, the reference means that Betty is aware that James is the one lacking in maturity, and he is losing her because he won’t grow up.
THIRD VERSE
Far from a child who “know[s] nothing,” Betty is very knowledgeable of the acute betrayal and heartbreak that James has caused her. She muses with bitterness that she did predict the ways the relationship would haunt her after it ended. She knew that it would stay with her and that the memory of their time together would creep up on her when she was doing something as mundane as running errands, she knew that she would be furious for a long time with him, and she knew that one day he would beg her to take him back. She knew all of it.
And though it’s left to the imagination, by the sound of it, it sounds like she also knew that the day he came back, she wouldn’t want him anymore.

Every lyric is so well written this could legit be a movie. There is no doubt that Taylor is a lyrical genius and sorry that it's a little long just wanted to share my thoughts



@Awita-Sea

You drew stars around my scars
But now I'm bleedin'

'Cause I knew you
Steppin' on the last train
Marked me like a bloodstain, I
I knew you
Tried to change the ending
Peter losing Wendy, I
I knew you
Leavin' like a father
Running like water, I
And when you are young, they assume you know nothing
2:14



@vielleto

1st scene- simple life, usual country girl vibes (it explains her first step on the music industry and the debut to early fearless era)

2nd scene- richness of the nature, peaceful yet perplexing moment (it explains her feeling about fame between the fearless and red era)

3rd scene- waves are raging, thunders crashing, and chaotic environment (it explains the hate train she's been through during late 1989 to rep era)

4th scene- she came back to the simple but scarred by every moment she's been. ( It explains that she will be starting a fresh concept in contrast of the drama shes been through ) (folklore era)

...



All comments from YouTube:

@randomworld7052

Taylor swift: wrote 17 songs during quarantine
Me: +17 lbs

@asia7279

I relate😂

@davidguevi22

Where will she release “the lakes”?

@matthewbenjamin7868

I'm the same 🤣🤣

@camillerlight2206

Looool

@FirstNameLastName-il1qz

+17 hrs of sleep

29 More Replies...

@maths4368

This song is by far one of the best of Taylor's entire career. This intro is as if she had awakened the soul with softness and lightness, and when the song begins it is as if it were a trip to childhood.

@marvincorre4783

What I love about the album folklore is that it shows Taylor’s mature side of her music. The album is accompanied with great lyrics, incredible songwriting, beautiful vocals, marvelous storytelling and an album cover that is aesthetically pleasing.

folklore is a masterpiece and a must listen album.

@donnaeasty1816

She has always had tracks on every album that are as stunning as those two albums but they are never made singles. ''This Love'', ''Clean'', ''You are in love'' are from her 1989 album. Underneath all those flashy pop songs are diamonds you just have to look.

@VadimMast

Absolutely 💯 I use to listen to Taylor in HS, then stopped. But with this album and Evermore (especially Evermore) I became a fan. I can relate to so many songs from Evermore now. For me it is meaningful that Taylor was like symbol of grilhood and now womanhood at lest when it comes to music.

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