Olivia Harvey
Updated Dec 29, 2019 @ 8:32 pm
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In Taylor Swift’s dreamy love ballad “Lover,” she opens with the lyric “We could leave the Christmas lights up ’til January.” It’s kind of quirky and sounds personal—like an inside joke. But TBH, it doesn’t make much sense. January isn’t that far off from Christmas, so why wouldn’t you leave the Christmas lights up ’til January? Taylor, explain!

Swift talked to New York Times music journalist Joe Coscarelli for the Times’ series “Diary of a Song,” and she said that she played around with different months before settling on January.

ANGELA WEISS, Getty Images

“In the studio, I’m obsessively going over every lyric and making sure that’s what I want the final lyric to be,” Swift told Coscarelli, who then asked, “Were there lines that changed in that process?” then specifically asked about the “Christmas lights” lyric.

Because Swift wanted “Lover” to be about the everyday little things in a relationship, she wanted her lyrics to be about normal things that most couples discuss.

Unless you don’t celebrate Christmas, or unless you refrain from putting lights up during the holidays, you’re going to connect to this line in “Lover.” Like Swift herself, it’s utterly relatable, and that ability to connect to her listeners through song is why she’s so well-loved.

And it’s lines like “We could leave the Christmas lights up ’til January” that makes “Lover” a memorable song that will surely be played during couples’ first dances at weddings for eons to come.