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How You Get The Girl

1989 (2014)

“How You Get The Girl” works as an advice to a guy who wants to get a girl back. Taylor suggests better tactics than the ones her former lovers seemed to have used on her. It was released on her fifth album, 1989 (2014).

Background and Release

1989 was inspired by 1980s synth-pop. The album’s electronic production using synthesizers, programmed drums, and processed backing vocals marked a departure from the country styles of Taylor’s previous releases. For the majority of 1989, she worked with Swedish producer Max Martin. Martin and his frequent collaborator Shellback produced seven out of thirteen songs on the album’s standard edition, including “How You Get The Girl”. The album was released in October 2014 to commercial success, selling over one million copies within a week.

Taylor teased a little snippet of the song before the release of 1989 in a Diet Coke ad. The commercial co-stars her cat Olivia Benson and finds her surrounded by lots of kittens. She boasted about feline’s new career: “Behold, the Diet Coke ad that depicts my perfect world. Featuring a new song and Olivia, who is now a cat actress.”

Lyrical Theme

“How You Get The Girl” is an upbeat, catchy pop song written by Taylor, Max Martin & Shellback in early 2013. Addressed to a guy who wants to win back his girlfriend, the song finds Taylor giving advice how to win her back. In 2014, she told radio.com:

«The song ‘How You Get The Girl’ is a song that I wrote about how you get the girl back if you ruined the relationship somehow and she won’t talk to you anymore. Like, if you broke up with her and left her on her own for six months and then you realize you miss her. All the steps you have to do to edge your way back into her life, because she’s probably pretty mad at you. So it’s kind of a tutorial. If you follow the directions in the song, chances are things will work out. Or you may get a restraining order.»

Taylor Swift
She later explained to US Weekly: “It’s written for a guy who has broken up with his girlfriend, then wants her back after six months. But it’s not going to be as simple as sending a text like, ‘Sup? Miss you.’ That won’t work. You need to do all the things I say.”

Live Performances

“How You Get The Girl” was part of Taylor’s setlist for “The 1989 World Tour” (2015). It is therefore featured in the concert movie The 1989 World Tour Live (2015). She also performed the song acoustically during a private performance at the Clive Davis Theater on September 30, 2015, where she celebrated her record-breaking attendance at the Grammy Museum exhibit.

Lyrics

[Intro]
Oh oh oh
Oh oh oh
Oh-oh, oh-oh
Oh-oh, oh-oh

[Verse 1]
Stand there like a ghost shaking from the rain (Rain)
She’ll open up the door and say, “Are you insane?” (‘Ane)
Say, “It’s been a long six months”
And you were too afraid to tell her what you want

[Pre-chorus 1]
And that’s how it works
That’s how you get the girl

[Chorus]
And then you say,
“I want you for worse or for better
I would wait forever and ever
Broke your heart, I’ll put it back together
I would wait forever and ever”
And that’s how it works
That’s how you get the girl (Girl)
Oh, and that’s how it works
That’s how you get the girl (Girl)

[Verse 2]
Remind her how it used to be (Yeah, yeah)
With pictures in frames of kisses on cheeks (Cheeks)
Tell her how you must have lost your mind (Oh)
When you left her all alone, and never told her why (Why)

[Pre-chorus 2]
And that’s how it works
That’s how you lost the girl

[Chorus]
And now you say,
“I want you for worse or for better
I would wait forever and ever (Ever and ever)
Broke your heart, I’ll put it back together (Together)
I would wait forever and ever” (Ever and ever)
And that’s how it works
That’s how you get the girl (Girl)
Oh, and that’s how it works
That’s how you get the girl (Yeah, yeah)

[Bridge]
And you know (Oh-oh oh oh, oh-oh oh oh)
That I don’t want you to go
Remind me how it used to be
Pictures in frames of kisses on cheeks
And say you want me
Yeah

[Chorus Variation x4]
And that’s how it works
That’s how you get the girl (Girl)
Oh-oh oh oh

[Outro]
That’s how it works
That’s how you got the girl

General Information
ArtistTaylor Swift
Album1989
ReleasedOctober 27, 2014
RecordedJanuary 15, 2013
StudioConway (Los Angeles)
MXM (Stockholm)
GenreBubblegum Pop
Length4:08
LabelBig Machine Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Max Martin
Shellback
ProducersMax Martin
Shellback
1989 CHRONOLOGY
Wildest DreamsHow You Get The GirlThis Love
Single Certification
Hidden Message
Then one day he came back
Song Artwork
Instagram Teaser
Studio Picture
Diet Coke Commercial
Live Performance
Acoustic Performance
Official Audio