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Feat. Bon Iver | evermore (2020)

This article is about the song. For the album, see evermore (2020).
“evermore” is the titular closing track on the standard edition of Taylor’s ninth album, evermore (2020). It is a piano ballad, tracking the narrator’s journey from a seemingly unending period of deep depression and hurt to a place of hope.
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Lyrical Theme

Like “happiness,” the song deals strongly with themes of mental health, though this track lays out a more linear path towards healing. Still, most of the lyrics may refer to one of the bleakest years of Taylor’s life; 2016. She has publically discussed her struggles with significant periods of depression in the past. The lyrics on “evermore” hint at a dark time period between July and November in a certain year. It seems likely that she is refering to 2016.

However, the second part of the song is much brighter. Taylor mentioned that she wrote the song and lyrics just before the 2020 presidential election. She was “almost preparing for the worst to happen and trying to see some sort of glimmer at the end of the tunnel.”


“evermore” marks Justin Vernon’s (singer of the band Bon Iver) second feature on a song with Taylor. They worked together on her previous album, folklore for the fourth song on the album, “exile.” This time around, Justin further contributed to the evermore album by playing various instruments and helping with some backing vocals on a few tracks. Additionally, Taylor’s former partner Joe Alwyn wrote and plays the piano melody under the pseudonym William Bowery. Taylor told Zane Lowe in an interview for Apple Music in December 2020:

«When Joe wrote the piano, I based the vocal melody on the piano, and we sent it to Justin, who then added that bridge. And Joe had written the piano part so that the tempo speeds up, and it changes. The music completely changes to a different tempo in the bridge. And Justin really latched onto that, and just 100% embraced it and wrote this beautiful sort of... The clutter of all your anxieties in your head, and they're all speaking at once. And we got the bridge back, and then I wrote this narrative of, 'When I was shipwrecked, I thought of you.' That sort of thing, where there was this beacon of hope, and then in the end, you realize the pain wouldn't be forever.»

Producer Aaron Dessner told Rolling Stone in December, 2020, “William [Joe] plays the piano on ‘evermore,’ actually. We recorded that remotely. That was really important to me and to them, to do that, because he also wrote the piano part of ‘exile.’ But on the record, it’s me playing it because we couldn’t record him easily. But this time, we could. I just think it’s an important and special part of the story.”

Live Performance

Taylor first performed “evermore” during her sixth headlining concert tour, “The Eras Tour” (2023-2024). It was the second surprise song during her show on June 30, 2023, in Cincinnati. It was a truly beautiful and emotional performance on piano.

Commercial Performance

Upon evermore‘s release, all of the album’s tracks debuted on both the US Billboard Hot 100 chart; “evermore” entered and peaked at No. 57.


[Verse 1: Taylor Swift]
Gray November
I’ve been down since July
Motion capture
Put me in a bad light
I replay my footsteps on each stepping stone
Trying to find the one where I went wrong
Writing letters addressed to the fire

[Chorus: Taylor Swift]
And I was catching my breath
Staring out an open window
Catching my death
And I couldn’t be sure
I had a feeling so peculiar
That this pain would be for

[Verse 2: Taylor Swift]
Hey December
Guess I’m feeling unmoored
Can’t remember what I used to fight for
I rewind thе tape but all it does is pause
On thе very moment all was lost
Sending signals to be double crossed

[Chorus: Taylor Swift & Justin Vernon]
And I was catching my breath
Barefoot in the wildest winter
Catching my death
And I couldn’t be sure
I had a feeling so peculiar
That this pain would be for
Evermore (Evermore)

[Bridge 1: Justin Vernon]
Can’t not think of all the cost
And the things that will be lost
Oh, can we just get a pause?
To be certain we’ll be tall again
Whether weather be the frost
Or the violence of the dog days
I’m on waves, out being tossed
Is there a line that I could just go cross?

[Bridge 2: Taylor Swift & Justin Vernon]
And when I was shipwrecked (Can’t think of all the cost)
I thought of you (All the things that will be lost now)
In the cracks of light (Can we just get a pause?)
I dreamed of you (To be certain we’ll be tall again) (If you think of all the costs)
It was real enough (Whether weather be the frost)
To get me through (Or the violence of the dog days) (I’m on waves, out being tossed)
I swear (Is there a line that we can just go cross?)
You were there

[Chorus: Taylor Swift & Justin Vernon]
And I was catching my breath
Floors of a cabin creaking
Under my step
And I couldn’t be sure
I had a feeling so peculiar
This pain wouldn’t be for
This pain wouldn’t be for

General Information
ArtistTaylor Swift
FeatureBon Iver
ReleasedDecember 11, 2020
StudiosLong Pond (Hudson Valley, NY)
April Base (Fall Creek, WI)
Scarlet Pimpernel (UK)
Indie Folk
LabelRepublic Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
William Bowery (Joe Alwyn)
Justin Vernon
ProducersAaron Dessner
Taylor Swift
closureevermoreright where you left me
Song Artwork
Live Performance
Lyric Video
Official Audio