Ruby's Corner

Decoding Taylor Swift's Red: A Primer

So my mom bought me Taylor Swift’s new album, Red. AHHH!!! And you know I am such a fan! And while looking through the lyric booklet, admiring all the pretty photos, I noticed something about the lyrics. Certain letters were uppercase. You know what that means, right? A code!!! So, I did my research and it turns out, she includes codes in ALL her album lyric books! If you trace all the uppercase letters in the song, and put those letters together, you get a message! So I thought I would analyze some of them and share them with you. Keep in mind, these are my personal thoughts, and you may have some other insight and I’d love to hear about them.

State of Grace:


(Yeah, there were a toooon of upper case letters in this one). Here’s what I think this means: A boy probably broke her heart and then said he wanted her back. And she’s like, I don’t think so! Yes, Taylor, you show that boy! You can walk away! Yes!



This one I am not sure about. Is it an inside joke? Is it a reference to the Screen Actors Guild of America and if so, does that mean Tay-Tay is going to leave her guitar behind and become an actress and OMG, what will I do if that happens??? (I mean, I guess it’s time to start listening to some Riot Grrl-era tunes, right?)



This one. Oh boy. It’s like a song for a stalker. And Taylor is not a stalker. No way! So this is a character, a dark one. And the decoder? It’s telling me that the boy this character is talking about probably was mean to her and this may be her “revenge.” So she basically wont stop till she gets her revenge or something dramatic and cliff-hangery like that. Like the Dark Princess she is (the character, that is, not Taylor).

I Knew You Were Trouble:


This one seems to be playing off the song. The chorus in the song is “I knew you were trouble when you walked in.” She was probably out with her friends and then saw some super cute guy who ended up being a jerk to Tay Tay! Sorry I jump to conclusions quickly, don’t I?

All Too Well:


Awwwwww! This one is so cute. It was probably a thing she shared with the boy, drinking Maple Lattes. So cute. Was he Canadian? Cuz you know, the Maple Leaf is a Canadian national symbol. It’s on their flag! It reminds me of fall. UGH, FALL. Fall means summer is over and omg, it’s going to be cold soon!

22 (my favorite song):


Namedropping her BFFLs! I love this! How cute is this? She put all her BFFLs in her code! Also, the song is so catchy, it’s about just letting loose and having fun with all of your girlfriends! I just have one question…Selena…. Gomez?

I Almost Do:


Did I mention how much I love Taylor Swift? Instead of calling the boy and being angry and maybe saying something so mean, she writes it all down! I love how she put all of her “anger” into a song. Yes I know, people don’t want to be seeing themselves getting dissed in a song, but you know what? Don’t be a jerk. Ever. Whether you get outted in a song or a book or a movie or ever.

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together:


I think this is so true. The song is about how this is the last time she’s letting him get back together with her and all of his excuses. So one day she must have said to herself, I am going to start thinking about what I think of him. And you know what? I don’t like him very much as a person and I don’t have to do what he tells me. I can just be myself, and not care what he thinks. And then wrote a smash hit single about it! Yay!

Begin Again:


HAHAHAA. I love this. She is pretty much stating how she has grown up. She’s a WOMAN now. You go, girl!

Well, those aren’t all the songs. You can get Red here and maybe you can figure out the rest. Or maybe offer your own spin on the decoded codes!

Which code do you think is spot on?

  • Gervie Gerve Ebron

    Aw, this makes me want to buy her new album. :)) All the lovely pictures I see on Tumblr are so djfbaskjfbskfbsf. <3

  • Ciera Mills

    “SAG” actually is in reference to the SAG awards! But it’s because the song is about Jake Gyllenhaal & that’s where they met. (I’ve also heard that “When You Saw Me Dancing” is in reference to him)
    “Maple Lattes” is also in reference to him…it’s the name of a cafe they were often spotted at while dating. (There’s also MANY references to him in the song)
    And yes, she is referring to Selena Gomez in the 22 message. :)
    The message for “Stay, Stay, Stay”-Daydreaming About Real Love.
    According to Taylor Swift, it’s not about anyone…she was just writing about what real love would be like.
    “The Last Time”-LA On Your Break.
    This is also in reference to Jake and kind of explains why there ended up being a “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” song haha.
    “Holy Ground”-When You Came to the Show in SD
    Apparently this is either about Joe Jonas or Taylor Lauhtner? They both attended her show in SD & she has said this song is about a past relationship that she was over and just happy it happened.
    “The Lucky One”-Wouldn’t You Like to Know
    According to sources…this song is about Joni Mitchell? I’m not too sure though.
    “Everything has Changed”-Hyannis Port
    This one is Conor Kennedy. The Kennedys live in Hyannis Port and she recently bought a house across from Ethel Kennedy there.
    “Starlight”-For Ethel
    According to Taylor, this song is based off Ethel and Bobby Kennedy’s love story. She wrote it after seeing an old photo of them when they were young.

    The hidden messages are my favorite part! :)

  • Elena Rodriguez

    Sag is obviously refering to her astrological sign sagittarius!

  • Sarah Surette

    In “Begin Again” she sings “He didn’t like it when I wore high heels, but I do,” so I think she’s excited to be moving on and hopefully realizing she should wear high heels if she wants!

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