We feel like every Swiftie remembers the first time they listened to Taylor Swift’s ‘Last Kiss,’ one of the longest songs on her 2010 Speak Now album that’s six minutes of pure aching and sadness after a breakup. This heartbreaking ballad inspired by her split with Joe Jonas – it’s okay, they’re cool now! – has always been a fan favorite from Speak Now, thanks to its soul-baring lyrics and the fact that Swifties have turned July 9th into an unofficial fandom holiday.
But what makes ‘Last Kiss’ as devastating as it is? It has some of Taylor’s most vulnerable, raw lyrics to date, and the fact that she wrote the song all by herself still gets us emotional. We just wanna hug her and tell her everything is okay! But now that it’s been over a decade and we know she’s in a better place, it won’t hurt as much to revisit some of the lines that crush us the most. They showcase just what a talented songwriter she is!
“You told me you loved me, so why did you go away?”
The simple sentiment of this lyric hits you right in the feels, especially after Taylor opens the song with the sweet imagery of spending time with the person you love. There’s also a tie-in to her 2008 tracks ‘Tell Me Why’ and ‘Forever & Always,’ which fans believe are also about Joe Jonas – on ‘Forever & Always,’ she plainly points out, “you looked me in the eye and told me you loved me. Were you just kidding?”
“I do recall now the smell of the rain, fresh on the pavement, I ran off the plane / That July 9th, the beat of your heart…”
The origin story of the aforementioned July 9th Swiftie holiday gets us teary every time. She remembers every last detail of this whirlwind memory with her ex and it kinda gives us the same vibe as her 2019 song ‘Cornelia Street’ with a little more sadness. There’s such a sense of excitement in this memory that you can practically hear in her voice, being reunited with him after not seeing him for a while. Could someone pass us the tissues?
“I’m not much for dancing, but for you I did…”
This line feels like it’s about taking risks and stepping out of your comfort zone thanks to a lover’s encouragement, but it hits even harder after you hear the bridge of her 2012 track ‘Holy Ground’: “tonight I’m gonna dance for all that we’ve been through, but I don’t wanna dance if I’m not dancing with you.” It starts hurting more again when you remember how much of the Red album touched on changing who you are for someone else, with a key example being ‘Begin Again:’ “he didn’t like it when I wore high heels, but I do.”
“So I’ll watch your life in pictures like I used to watch you sleep / And I feel you forget me like I used to feel you breathe…”
One word to describe this couplet: ouch. We’re gonna expand on that, but first off, ouch. A lot of Taylor’s songs touch on the weird relationship between the past and the present, those moments when you realize you no longer know someone you used to love, and how you come to terms with those tumultuous feelings. But of all those times she’s described it, this might be the most powerful. You can hear the desperation in her voice as she sings these lines and it shatters us.
“I hope the sun shines and it’s a beautiful day / And something reminds you you wish you had stayed…”
To be technical, Taylor employs a little pathetic fallacy here, which is when a writer uses something like the weather to describe someone’s feelings. Of course, she’s not necessarily talking about the literal weather here, but the fact that she wants her ex to be enjoying his time and not basking in the pain of their breakup as much as she is. Come on, dude, ‘All You Had To Do Was Stay’ and things could’ve been a lot more simple.
“Just like our last…”
The last line of the song trails off before Taylor gets to say “our last kiss” like you’d expect her to, which is not only just a cool way to close it, but also reflects how she didn’t see the breakup coming. You think the song will have one more “kiss” like how Taylor thought she wouldn’t have to say goodbye to this person.
But as sad as ‘Last Kiss’ is, we don’t wanna leave you as sad as Taylor was in the song. They might not have had any more kisses, but Taylor and Joe Jonas have moved past the breakup and become pretty close friends again! He seems to be the ex she was talking about in ‘invisible string:’ “cold was the steel of my ax to grind for the boys who broke my heart, now I send their babies presents.”
You might remember the drama and chaos that ensued when Joe nodded to Taylor’s track ‘Teardrops On My Guitar’ on the Jonas Brothers’ song ‘Much Better:’ “now I’m done with superstars and all the tears on her guitar.” At JB’s Vegas residency, he changed the line to “now I’m cool with superstars.” Our 2000s kid hearts!
What are your favorite lyrics from ‘Last Kiss?’ Is it one of your favorite songs from Speak Now? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter – we’d love to hear from you! And for more Taylor Swift content, click here.