Taylor Swift’s ‘Is It Over Now?’ Lyrics Seem to Be a Brutal Message to Harry Styles

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Taylor Swift isn’t done shedding light on her brief romance with Harry Styles. Swift elaborates a bit more on the aftermath and turbulence of her time with Styles on her “From the Vault” songs on 1989 (Taylor’s Version). And she is at her most blunt, and most savage, on the track “Is It Over Now?”.

Swift takes aim at how Styles moved on from her so publicly and alludes to her viral blue dress she wore while leaving their New Year’s trip early. She even goes on to describe the on-off nature of their romance.

Here, a breakdown of the lyrics with all the possible Styles allusions identified. Listen to the song below too:

Intro
(Is it? Is it? Is it? Is it? Is it?)

Verse 1


Once the flight had flown (Uh-huh)
With the wilt of the rose (Uh-huh)
I slept all alone (Uh-huh)
You still wouldn’t go

Users on Genius noted that the “flight” line might be a reference to the paper airplane necklace Swift wore while dating Styles, which he appeared to give her.

It’s worth revisiting Swift’s history with Styles here. A source—who Swift authorized to speak about the relationship to Vanity Fair in March 2013—discussed how Styles “wore her down,” and allegedly “chased” Swift for a year. (They dated publicly from December 2012 to early 2013.)

“He was all, like, ‘You’re amazing—I want to be with you. I want to do this,’” the source said. Swift and Styles’ relationship “fell apart after he texted Swift to alert her of a picture on the Internet of him kissing a friend goodbye,” Vanity Fair wrote. The source said, “[they were] making out like with their hands all up in each other’s hair.” Swift ended things with Styles, but he kept pursuing her for “the better part of a year.” Eventually, she took him back. “But the whole time she says she feels like he’s looking at every girl,” the source said. When they were in London together, he “disappears one night and after that it was like he just didn’t want to keep going.”

While discussing the inspiration for her 1989 song “Out of the Woods,” Swift spoke about feeling anxiety while dating Styles. She said in March 2015:

The number one feeling I felt in the whole relationship was anxiety. 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.

Pre-Chorus
Let’s fast forward to three hundred takeout coffees later
I see your profile and your smile on unsuspecting waiters
You dream of my mouth before it called you a lying traitor
You search in every maiden’s bed for somethin’ greater, baby

Swift could be touching here on her distrust and anxiety surrounding Styles and his wandering eye. She would also sing about his interest in other women in her song “Style” with its lyric: “I say, ‘I heard, oh / That you’ve been out and about with some other girl’ / Some other girl / He says, ‘What you heard is true, but I / Can’t stop thinking ’bout you and I’ / I said, ‘I’ve been there too a few times.’”

Chorus
Was it over when she laid down on your couch?
Was it over when he unbuttoned my blouse?
“Come here,” I whispered in your ear
In your dream as you passеd out, baby
Was it over then?
And is it over now?

Post-Chorus


(Is it? Is it? Is it?)

Verse 2

Whеn you lost control (Uh-huh)
Red blood, white snow (Uh-huh)

Swift sang about this snowmobile accident in “Out of the Woods”: “Remember when you hit the brakes too soon? / Twenty stitches in a hospital room / When you started crying, baby, I did too / But when the sun came up, I was looking at you.”

Blue dress on a boat (Uh-huh)
Your new girl is my clone

The blue dress on a boat refers to the paparazzi photos taken of Swift leaving her and Styles’ British Virgin Islands vacation early alone. That sighting sparked breakup rumors, following Swift and Styles kissing on camera during New Year’s Eve in New York City just days prior. As for the “new girl” being “my clone,” Styles was next linked to Rod Stewart’s daughter Kimberly, who has blonde hair and blue eyes like Swift. People reported on their relationship in April 2013, with a source telling the outlet that the couple appeared to be “enjoying each other’s company,” while out. Kimberly was 33, while Styles was just 19. Swift was 23.

Bridge:

And did you think I didn’t see you?
There were flashin’ lights
At least I had the decency
To keep my nights out of sight
Only rumors ‘bout my hips and thighs
And my whispered sighs
Oh Lord, I think about jumpin’
Off of very tall somethings
Just to see you come runnin’
And say the one thing I’ve been wanting, but no

Pre-Chorus

Let’s fast forward to three hundred awkward blind dates later (Oh)
If she’s got blue eyes, I will surmise that you’ll probably date her
You dream of my mouth before it called you a lying traitor (Oh)
You search in every model’s bed for somethin’ greater, baby

Swift alludes here to her and Styles’ on-off relationship, something the Vanity Fair source mentioned when they discussed how Styles privately kept pursuing Swift. As for the model verse, Styles dated quite a few models before and after Swift. In months between their 2013 breakup and Swift releasing 1989 in October 2014, Styles was linked to Kendall Jenner. He later was linked to Nadine Leopold and Georgia Fowler in 2015.

Swift kept her relationships private after Styles. She wrote in the prologue for 1989 (Taylor’s Version) about how she purposely went out with her female squad to avoid creating dating rumors. “It became clear to me that for me, there was no such thing as casual dating, or even having a male friend who you platonically hang out with,” she shared. “If I was seen with him, it was assumed I was sleeping with him, and so I swore off hanging out with guys. Dating, flirting, or anything that could be weaponized against me by a culture that claimed to believe in liberating women but consistently treated me with the harsh moral codes of the Victorian era. Being a consummate optimist, I assumed I could fix this if I simply changed my behavior. I swore off dating and decided to focus only on myself, my music, my growth, and my female friendships.”

Styles was clearly much more public with his romances.

Chorus
Was it over when she laid down on your couch?
Was it over when he unbuttoned my blouse?
“Come here,” I whispered in your ear
In your dream as you passed out, baby
Was it over then?
And is it over now?

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Senior News and Strategy Editor

Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.

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