Are Taylor Swift’s ‘Question…?’ Lyrics About Harry Styles?

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Although some of Taylor Swift’s Midnights songs’ subjects are easily identifiable (it helps that Swift literally said, for example, that “Lavender Haze” is about her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn), Swift’s “Question…?” posed more of a mystery—until Swifties studied the song in depth. Some pointed out on Twitter that Swift uses the line “I remember” in the first verse, and musically the song seems to be a throwback to “Out of the Woods,” a 1989 track about her romance with ex-boyfriend Harry Styles, who she dated from late 2012 to early 2013.

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Some pointed out that Swift and Styles shared a New Year’s Eve kiss during Dick Clark’s Rocking Eve in 2013 (“Did you ever have someone kiss you in a crowded room? / And every single one of your friends was making fun of you (You) / But fifteen seconds latеr they were clapping, too?”) and that the two were filmed talking at the 2021 Grammy awards, an opportunity that could have inspired Swift to think of these questions she cites in the song. Styles had just started dating Olivia Wilde at the time of the ceremony (“Does it feel like everything’s just like second-best after that meteor strike? / And what’s that, that I heard, that you’re still with her? / That’s nice, I’m sure that’s what’s suitable / And right, but tonight”).

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This content is imported from twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Styles, for what it’s worth, spoke in March 2020 about being flattered by Swift writing songs about him. “I think about what it means to me to write a song about somebody else and for somebody else to do that, it’s like flattering, even if the song isn’t that flattering, you still spent time on it and ultimately, using Taylor as an example, she’s a great songwriter. So at least they’re good songs,” he said.

taylor swift and harry styles in 2012

Taylor Swift and Harry Styles in 2012

David Krieger/Bauer-Griffin//Getty Images

Read the full “Question…?” lyrics below, with some contextual annotations. You can listen to the song, too.

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(I remember)

Good girl, sad boy, big city, wrong choices
We had one thing going on
I swear that it was something ’cause I don’t remember who I was
Before you painted all my nights a color I’ve searched for since

Here, Swift appears to nod to 1989’s Harry Styles-inspired track “Style” with her “good girl” line (“You got that long hair, slicked back, white T-shirt / And I got that good girl faith and a tight little skirt”). “Before you painted all my nights a color I’ve searched for since” could be a reference to the “Out of the Woods” lyrics, “The rest of the world was black and white / But we were in screaming color.”

But one thing after another fucking situation
Circumstances, miscommunications
And I have to say, by the way
I just made, like, some explanations

In an interview in 2015, Swift addressed the turbulence of her relationship with Styles when discussing the inspiration of “Out of the Woods.”

“The number one feeling I felt in the whole relationship was anxiety,” she said. “Because it felt very fragile, it felt very tentative. And it always felt like, ‘Okay, what’s the next road block? What’s the next thing that’s gonna deter this? How long do we have before this turns into just an awful mess and we break up? Is it a month? Is it three days?’ And so, you know, I think a lot of relationships can be very solid and that’s kind of what you hope for, for it to be solid and healthy but that’s not always what you get. And it doesn’t mean that it’s not special and extraordinary just to have a relationship that’s fragile and somehow meaningful in that fragility.”

Can I ask you a question?
Did you ever have someone kiss you in a crowded room?
And every single one of your friends was making fun of you (You)
But fifteen seconds latеr they were clapping, too?
Thеn, what did you do?

This could be a reference to Swift and Styles’ 2013 public New Year’s Eve kiss in New York City, as fans pointed out on Twitter.

Did you leave her house in the middle of the night? (Oh)
Did you wish you put up more of a fight? (Oh)
When she said it was too much, do you wish you could still touch her?
It’s just a question

Half-moon eyes, bad surprise, did you realize?
Out of time, she was on your mind
With some dickhead guy that you saw that night
But you were on something

It was one drink after another, fucking politics and gender-roles
And you’re not sure and I don’t know
Got swept away in the gray I just made
Like to have a conversation

The “gender roles” line could be a reference to Styles’ own exploration of gender. This is something the British singer has been pretty open about, speaking to L’Officiel about how gender norms are eroding for good reason. “Many borders are falling—in fashion, but also in music, films, and art,” Styles said. “I don’t think people are still looking for this gender differentiation. Even if the masculine and feminine exist, their limits are the subject of a game. We no longer need to be this or that. I think now, people are just trying to be good. In fashion and other fields, these parameters are no longer as strict as before, and it gives rise to great freedom. It’s stimulating.”

Can I ask you a question?
Did you ever have someone kiss you in a crowded room?
And every single one of your friends was making fun of you (You)
But fifteen seconds later they were clapping, too?
Then, what did you do?

Did you leave her house in the middle of the night? (Oh)
Did you wish you put up more of a fight? (Oh)
When she said it was too much, do you wish you could still touch her?
It’s just a question

Does it feel like everything’s just like second-best after that meteor strike?
And what’s that, that I heard, that you’re still with her?
That’s nice, I’m sure that’s what’s suitable
And right, but tonight

Swift could be referencing Styles’ current romance with Olivia Wilde. Swift and Styles were filmed talking at the Grammys in March 2021, just two months after his romance with Wilde went public. Swift had been dating Joe Alwyn for years at that point.

Can I ask you a question? (Can I ask you a question?)
Did you ever have someone kiss you in a crowded room? (In a crowded room)
And every single one of your friends was making fun of you (You, making fun of you)
But fifteen seconds later they were clapping, too?
Then what did you do? (Do)

Did you leave her house in the middle of the night? (Oh)
Did you wish you put up more of a fight? (Oh, more of a fight)
When she said it was too much, do you wish you could still touch her?
It’s just a question





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