Earlier today after the release of One Direction’s new song “Perfect” a celebrity gossip columnist from The Sun took to Twitter to speculate what it was all about
And everyone was like
The comment, albeit ill-informed, did make me wonder, who is “Style” actually about?
In 2009 John Mayer wrote a song called “Half of My Heart” which Taylor Swift sang vocals on. Shortly afterwards it was rumoured that they were dating…
Because they were
Then in 2010 Taylor wrote “Dear John” which had lyrics like:
Dear John, I see it all, now it was wrong
Don’t you think nineteen is too young
To be played by your dark twisted games, when I loved you so?
In 2012 John wrote “Paper Doll” which is a rumoured response to “Dear John”. He’s also spoken out on her song saying in a Rolling Stone article that it humiliated him and that it was, “cheap songwriting”.
However, an earlier track on the album Paradise Valley where the song “Paper Doll” is featured is called “Wildfire” and its opening lyrics are:
River’s strong you can’t swim inside it
We could string some lights up the hill beside it
Tonight the moon’s so bright
You could drive with your headlights out
‘Cause a little bit of summer’s what the whole year’s all about
Given the widespread rumours that “Paper Doll” was about Taylor, the lyrics “You’re like 22 girls in one” being seen as a nod to her anthem “22″, and given that there was a back and forth sing off to each other as it were, does it not seem likely that Taylor Swift would have added a song on her 1989 album that was in response to John Mayer’s Paradise Valley which contained a song about her? Comparing the lyrics in “Style” to lyrics written by John Mayer, it would heavily suggest that it is about him, and not about Harry Styles.
(Despite her heavily insinuating imagery to do with Styles in the beginning of her music video)
“Style” starts thusly:
Midnight, you come and pick me up, no headlights
Long drive, could end in burning flames or paradise
The first song on Mayer’s album entitled PARADISE Valley is “Wildfire”, which as mentioned above has the lyrics, “You could drive with your headlights out” in the first verse.
Fade into view, oh,
It’s been a while since I have even heard from you
Assuming that Swift and Mayer had what appears to be a pretty unamicable breakup, I’m sure that he wouldn’t have given her any kind of warning about “Paper Doll” given that he was very vocal about the fact that she did not extend him the same courtesy when it came to “Dear John”.
You got that James Dean daydream look in your eye
You’ve got that long hair slick back, white t-shirt
The lyrics, “And I got that good girl faith” are oddly similar to the lyrics in “Half of My Heart”, the song the two of them sang together, which go:
Your faith is strong
But I can only fall short for so long
Down the road, later on
You will hate that I never gave more to you than half of my heart
But I can’t stop loving you
Despite not having been linked romantically since 2010, the pair’s names continue to share headlines, with John Mayer even speaking out about Taylor’s decision to pull her music from Spotify in a recent interview.
Taylor Swift is also consistently linked to Harry Styles in the media, even though many of One Direction’s fans genuinely believe him to have been in a long term relationship with someone else for the past five years. Perhaps “Style” is a comment on the media’s inability to let go of the past.
The world may never know, so I guess all we can ask Taylor Swift is…