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Taylor Swift explains the lyrics of 'Clean'

The singer talks getting over Harry Styles and the unrealistic ideal of "happily ever after"

By Andrea Tim | Published: 8 May 2015

Taylor comes clean
Photo: taylorswift/Instagram

Shaking it off is one of Taylor Swift's most famous traits – she's been through numerous relationships that inspired many of her songs, but it doesn't mean that her breakups were for naught. Each person she has dated – including Joe Jonas, Harry Styles, Taylor Lautner and John Mayer – has helped her evolve into the person she is today, and she says she doesn't regret a bit of it.

"'Clean' I wrote as I was walking out of Liberty in London," she told bestie Tavi Gevinson in an interview for the June issue of ELLE US. "Someone I used to date – it hit me that I'd been in the same city as him for two weeks and I hadn't thought about it. When it did hit me, it was like, Oh, I hope he's doing well. And nothing else."

Yes, she's probably talking about Harry Styles.

She added that the song You Are In Love was inspired by Lena Dunham's relationship with Jack Antonoff – the pair have been together since 2012. The lyric "you're my best friend" is in the song.

"Yeah. I've never had that," Taylor said. "I wrote that song about things that Lena [Dunham] has told me about her and Jack [Antonoff]. That's just basically stuff she's told me. And I think that that kind of relationship – God, it sounds like it would just be so beautiful – would also be hard. It would also be mundane at times."

For the 25-year-old who now has dozens of awards and five platinum-winning albums, being in love is no longer something she has unrealistic expectations about.

"I realised there's this idea of happily ever after which in real life doesn't happen. There's no riding off into the sunset, because the camera always keeps rolling in real life. It's magical if you ask anyone who has ever fallen in love – it's the greatest," she said. "Now I have more of a grasp on the fact that when you're in a state of infatuation and you think everything that person does is perfect, it then – if you're lucky – morphs into a real relationship when you see that that person is not in fact perfect, but you still want to see them every day."

Taylor had always insisted that she can't afford to date, with her career being what it is, so one is left to wonder if her new (as of now, still rumoured) flame Calvin Harris will be able to be that perfect/imperfect person for her. We certainly hope so.

Related: Would you like Taylor Swift to answer your texts for you?


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