Meaning of “​ivy” by Taylor Swift

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

Taylor Swift’s “ivy” is a hauntingly beautiful song that delves into the complexity of forbidden love. The song tells the story of someone who is already committed (“promised to another”) but finds themselves irresistibly drawn to another person. The metaphor of ivy growing over a house of stone symbolizes how this new love slowly envelops and consumes her. It’s a narrative of conflicted emotions, the struggle between loyalty and desire, and the inevitable pain that such situations bring. Swift beautifully captures the intensity and secrecy of this forbidden affair, and the fear of the consequences that loom over it.

Dive deep into Taylor Swift’s “ivy” – a tale of forbidden love, conflicted emotions, and the irresistible pull of desire. Unravel the metaphors and delve into the story woven through her captivating lyrics.

“ivy” Lyrics Meaning

“ivy” by Taylor Swift is a richly woven tapestry of forbidden love, secret longing, and emotional conflict.

The song begins with “How’s one to know? I’d meet you where the spirit meets the bones,” indicating an unexpected and profound connection with someone. The phrase ‘where the spirit meets the bones’ suggests a deep, soulful encounter, beyond just physical attraction.

“In a faith-forgotten land, In from the snow, Your touch brought forth an incandescent glow,” these lines set the scene of their meeting – a place seemingly desolate and cold, where their connection brings warmth and light. This imagery paints their relationship as a source of brightness in a dark world.

“And the old widow goes to the stone every day, But I don’t, I just sit here and wait, Grieving for the living,” shifts the focus to the idea of mourning not for the dead, but for the living – possibly a reference to grieving for her current life or relationship that feels dead in the wake of this new love.

The chorus, “Oh, goddamn, My pain fits in the palm of your freezing hand,” expresses the intense, painful emotions tied to this affair. The ‘freezing hand’ could symbolize the forbidden and risky nature of their relationship.

“Taking mine, but it’s been promised to another,” Swift acknowledges her commitment to someone else, adding to the song’s theme of forbidden love and the guilt that accompanies it.

The lines “Clover blooms in the fields, Spring breaks loose, the time is near, What would he do if he found us out?” illustrate the clandestine nature of their relationship. The reference to spring symbolizes rebirth and new beginnings, but it’s tainted with fear of discovery.

“So tell me to run, Or dare to sit and watch what we’ll become, And drink my husband’s wine,” further delves into the internal conflict. She’s torn between running away from this affair or seeing where it leads, even as she acknowledges the betrayal of her husband.

Towards the end, “So yeah, it’s a fire, It’s a goddamn blaze in the dark, And you started it,” Swift characterizes the relationship as a fire – passionate but potentially destructive. It’s something uncontrollable and dangerous, yet irresistible.

In summary, “ivy” by Taylor Swift is a powerful narrative of forbidden love, capturing the complexities of desire, guilt, and the fear of consequences. The song is a testament to the emotional turmoil that such relationships bring, conveyed through vivid imagery and poignant lyrics.

Why Was “ivy” Written?

“ivy” was likely written as an exploration of the themes of love, betrayal, and emotional conflict. Taylor Swift, known for her storytelling through music, delves into the realm of forbidden love, weaving a narrative that resonates with the intensity and complexity of such situations.

The song reflects a state of mind that is introspective and contemplative, pondering the nature of love that is both exhilarating and fraught with moral dilemmas. It serves as a medium for Swift to express the depth of emotions and the internal struggles that come with a love that defies societal norms.