happiness

evermore (2020)

Despite its appearance, “happiness”, the seventh track on Taylor’s ninth album, “evermore” (2020), has a deceptive title—as Taylor acknowledged herself during the “willow” premiere. She had finished the song just a week before the album was released.

It’s a classic Taylor track about moving on from a decaying relationship, but acknowledging the bits of joy that existed within a more destructive, hurtful context. It’s ultimately a hopeful song—what was bad was also good at times, and there will be good things still to come.

Taylor also mentioned that this was the last song written for the album—finished just a week before release. Regarding the production, producer and co-writer Aaron Dessner told Rolling Stone in December, 2020:

“The music for ‘happiness’ is something that I had been working on since last year. I had sang a little bit on it, too — I thought it was a Big Red Machine song, but then she loved the instrumental and ended up writing to it.” — Aaron Dessner

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
Honey, when I’m above the trees
I see this for what it is
But now I’m right down in it, all the years I’ve given
Is just shit we’re dividin’ up
Showed you all of my hiding spots
I was dancing when the music stopped
And in the disbelief, I can’t face reinvention
I haven’t met the new me yet

[Chorus]
There’ll be happiness after you
But there was happiness because of you
Both of these things can be true
There is happiness

[Post-Chorus]
Past the blood and bruise
Past the curses and cries
Beyond the terror in the nightfall
Haunted by the look in my eyes
That would’ve loved you for a lifetime
Leave it all behind
And there is happiness

[Verse 2]
Tell me, when did your winning smile
Begin to look like a smirk?
When did all our lessons start to look like weapons
Pointed at my deepest hurt?
I hope she’ll be your beautiful fool
Who takes my spot next to you
No, I didn’t mean that
Sorry, I can’t see facts through all of my fury
You haven’t met the new me yet

[Chorus]
There’ll be happiness after me
But there was happiness because of me
Both of these things, I believe
There is happiness

[Post-Chorus]
In our history, across our great divide
There is a glorious sunrise
Dappled with the flickers of light
From the dress I wore at midnight, leave it all behind
And there is happiness

[Bridge]
I can’t make it go away by making you a villain
I guess it’s the price I paid for seven years in Heaven
And I pulled your body into mine
Every goddamn night, now I get fake niceties
No one teaches you what to do
When a good man hurts you
And you know you hurt him, too

[Verse 3]
Honey, when I’m above the trees
I see it for what it is
But now my eyes leak acid rain on the pillow where you used to lay your head
After giving you the best I had
Tell me what to give after that
All you want from me now is the green light of forgiveness
You haven’t met the new me yet
And I think she’ll give you that

[Chorus]
There’ll be happiness after you
But there was happiness because of you, too
Both of these things can be true
There is happiness

[Post-Chorus]
In our history, across our great divide
There is a glorious sunrise
Dappled with the flickers of light
From the dress I wore at midnight, leave it all behind
Oh, leave it all behind
Leave it all behind
And there is happiness

evermore by Taylor Swift (Republic Records, 2020)
General Information
Albumevermore
ReleasedDecember 11, 2020
RecordedDecember, 2020
StudioScarlet Pimpernel (UK)
Long Pond (Hudson, New York)
GenreAlternative
Adult Contemporary
Length5:15
LabelRepublic Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Aaron Dessner
ProducersAaron Dessner
Taylor Swift
EVERMORE CHRONOLOGY
no body, no crimehappinessdorothea
Official Lyric Video
Official Audio