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I Know Places

1989 (2014)

“I Know Places” is track twelve on Taylor’s fifth studio album, 1989 (2014). It is about the difficulty of a high-profile couple finding any privacy from paparazzi and gossip magazines.

Background

Inspired by 1980s synth-pop with synthesizers, drum pads, and overlapped vocals, Taylor decided to move away from the signature country styles of her previous releases and incorporate straightforward pop production for 1989. The recording process began in mid-2013 concurrently with the start of Taylor’s “The RED Tour” in support of her fourth studio album, RED (2012). Taylor actively sought to collaborate with new producers, including Ryan Tedder. Tedder was contacted by Taylor via a Voice Memo, and produced two tracks for 1989: “Welcome to New York” and “I Know Places“.

Lyrical Theme

In the voice memo released on the deluxe edition of the 1989 album, Taylor said she began writing “I Know Places” on piano. She later finished the song with producer Ryan Tedder. It uses the metaphor of a fox hunt, where the animals’ only chance of escaping the dogs, horses and guns lies in their cunning and ability to hide. At a private Grammy Pro session in October 2015, Taylor further explained her inspiration behind the song:

«I had this idea of like, you know, when you’re in love – along the lines of 'Out of the Woods’ – it’s very precious, it’s fragile. As soon as the world gets ahold of it, whether it’s your friends or people around town hear about it … it’s kind of like the first thing people want to do when they hear that people are in love is just kind of try to ruin it […] I kind of was in a place where I was like, ‘No one is gonna sign up for this. There are just too many cameras pointed at me. There are too many ridiculous elaborations on my life. It’s just not ever gonna work.‘ But I decided to write a love song, just kind of like, ‘What would I say if I met someone really awesome and they were like, hey, I’m worried about all this attention you get?’ So I wrote this song called ‘I Know Places’ about, ‘Hey, I know places we can hide. We could outrun them.’ I’m so happy that it sounds like the urgency that it sings.»

Taylor Swift
She then went on to explain that when she met Ryan a few weeks later in a studio he was already working on the track. Taylor’s goal was to make the song sound like it could be in a spy movie, with a soaring chorus. Ryan also provides background vocals on the song, which he recorded on his tourbus when he was in Switzerland.

Live Performances

“I Know Places” was part of Taylor’s setlist for “The 1989 World Tour” (2015), where she performed the song with an extended bridge. It is featured in the concert movie The 1989 World Tour Live (2015). A few years later, she sang the song acoustically on her “reputation Stadium Tour” (2018).

Lyrics

[Intro]
(I, I, I, I I, I, I, I I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I)

[Verse 1]
You stand with your hand on my waistline
It’s a scene and we’re out here in plain sight
I can hear them whisper as we pass by
It’s a bad sign, bad sign
Something happens when everybody finds out
See the vultures circling dark clouds
Love’s a fragile little flame, it could burn out
It could burn out

[Pre-chorus 1]
‘Cause they got the cages, they got the boxes
And guns
They are the hunters, we are the foxes
And we run

[Chorus]
Baby, I know places we won’t be found
And they’ll be chasing their tails tryin’ to track us down
‘Cause I, I know places we can hide
I know places, I know places

[Verse 2]
Lights flash and we’ll run for the fences
Let them say what they want, we won’t hear it
Loose lips sink ships all the damn time
Not this time

[Pre-chorus 2]
Just grab my hand and don’t ever drop it, my love
They are the hunters, we are the foxes
And we run

[Chorus]
Baby, I know places we won’t be found
And they’ll be chasing their tails tryin’ to track us down
‘Cause I, I know places we can hide
I know places

[Bridge]
They are the hunters, we are the foxes
And we run
Just grab my hand and don’t ever drop it
My love

[Chorus]
Baby, I know places we won’t be found
And they’ll be chasing their tails tryin’ to track us down
‘Cause I, I know places we can hide
I know places

[Outro]
They take their shots, but we’re bulletproof (I know places)
And you know for me, it’s always you (I know places)
In the dead of night, your eyes so green (I know places)
And I know for you, it’s always me (I know places)

(I, I, I, I I, I, I, I I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I)

General Information
ArtistTaylor Swift
Album1989
ReleasedOctober 27, 2014
RecordedJanuary 22, 2014
StudioConway (Los Angeles)
GenreElectro Pop
Length3:16
LabelBig Machine Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Ryan Tedder
ProducersRyan Tedder
Noel Zancanella
Taylor Swift
1989 CHRONOLOGY
This LoveI Know PlacesClean
Single Certification
Hidden Message
And everyone was watching
Song Artwork
Instagram Teaser
Polaroid
Live Performance
Official Audio
Official Voice Memo