The Love I Had When I Was Young
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The Love I Had When I Was Young

An inspirational analysis of Taylor Swift's new song --- "cardigan"


Vintage tee, brand new phone

High heels on cobblestones

The first sentence portraits a young figure. Stylish. Youthful. Constantly on their phones.

"High heels on cobblestone" vividly shows us the characteristics of a young person that would do things that seem strange to other people. I can picture a young girl wobbling with heels on a cobblestone pavement while everybody is watching her. That's probably why they assume we know nothing. We might just look like we are doing stupid things sometimes.

When you are young, they assume you know nothing

"When you are young, they assume you know nothing." This sentence has been repeated in the song four times in total. "They assume you know nothing." The "they" here can be interpreted as the general perspective on young people that young kids are immature and inexperienced. However, in my opinion, the "they" can also be understood as the older version of ourselves. Like how we look back at our old memories. It seems like only when we say "Oh when I was young, I knew nothing" can explain the things we did that ended up hurting ourselves. Like how we struggled because we couldn't let go of the feelings we shouldn't have; like how we refused to give up the rotten love that was once so pure and beautiful. It seems like we can only label ourselves as immature so we can feel better from the young loves we had. The old broken hearts.

Sequin smile, black lipstick

Sensual politics

When you are young, they assume you know nothing

"Sequin smile, black lipstick. Sensual politics" This reminds me of the people my age. Look at us. We are in our twenties and we are so young and so shiny. We can process things better than the rest. We can move and run faster. We rarely get hangovers after all-night drinking. Twenty-year-old. We are living the best time during a human life span that we can be innocent, be lovely, be passionate, and be YOUNG. We always dress up beautifully, walk on the street, and enjoying people's gaze.

Sensual politics is sexual politics. It is the love games we play with each other. The pretended running and the playful chase. Like how I wrote in my poem "I don't want to talk, just want to lie next to you"

We act like animals,

Carefully waiting for the prey.

We talk like robots,

Speaking the voice that never comes from ourselves.

This is the love game we play. This is the sexual politics of the young.

But I knew you

Dancin' in your Levi's

Drunk under a streetlight, I

I knew you

Hand under my sweatshirt

Baby, kiss it better, I

First experienced love, alcohol, and sex after left home for college, I found these few lines so familiar. Everyone has their very own understanding of being young. For me, being young is to dream, to dance, and to laugh for life. Like how we ride a roller coaster where there are ups and downs, reckless life brings us extreme happiness but during some other times, it makes you feel so sad and so small. You can laugh so hard that you couldn't breathe for a second, but then your chin trembles. You burst into tears the next second.

I have heard of other explanations of this song that someone said that "cardigan" is about a love triangle story. I honestly don't have a clue. I just put down how I feel about the song or, in other words, show you my perspective of art appreciation.

"cardigan" is my favorite Taylor's song after "Lover". I got very inspired when listening to her singing. It has a calm and mellow vibe and it made me think who I am and who I will become.

And when I felt like I was an old cardigan

Under someone's bed

You put me on and said I was your favorite

"And when I felt like I was an old cardigan under someone's bed, You put me on and said I was your favorite." These two lines bring us back to the theme of the song. Cardigan is a symbol of love and belonging. Imagine you had an exhausting day from school or work, who is the only person you want to see? At that moment, all you can think of is run to his arms. You know he will pet you on top of the head and tell you he is there for you that everything is going to be okay… You believe it because you know: no matter how bad life becomes, he will walk it with you. That's the cardigan we all wanted. We want that person to make us feel needed, so we can be the cardigan, and we also wear the cardigan.

I will talk about the rest of the lyrics in my next blog, but before I end, I want to say:

For those heartbreaks, we experienced the pain it gave us, but please never forget to preserve the good and beautiful memories you had when it was still so pure and simple. Save it like delicate treasure and then move on with it. Move on with beautiful experiences.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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