tolerate it

evermore (2020)

“tolerate it” is track five of Taylor’s ninth album, “evermore” (2020). This track number is known to always be reserved for the most vulnerable song on each album. “tolerate it” is about the continuous struggle of wanting love from someone who isn’t paying attention to anything you do for them.

Taylor explained in an interview with Zane Lowe for the 2020 Apple Music Awards that she got the inspiration for “tolerate it” after she had read the novel “Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier during quarantine:

“When you watch a film or you read a book and there’s a character that you identify with, most of the time you identify with them because they’re targeting something in you that feels that you’ve been there. That’s why we relate to characters. When I was reading ‘Rebecca’ by Daphne du Maurier and I was thinking, ‘Her husband just tolerates her. She’s doing all these things, trying so hard to impress him and he’s just tolerating her the whole time’. There was a part of me that could relate to that because at some point in my life I felt that way. So I ended up writing this song ‘tolerate it’ that’s all about trying to love someone who’s ambivalent.” — Taylor Swift

Co-writer and producer Aaron Dessner told Rollig Stone in December, 2020:

“I remember when I wrote the piano track to ‘tolerate it,’ right before I sent it to her, I thought, This song is intense. It’s in 10/8, which is an odd time signature. And I did think for a second, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t send it to her, she won’t be into it.’ But I sent it to her, and it conjured a scene in her mind, and she wrote this crushingly beautiful song to it and sent it back. I think I cried when I first heard it. But it just felt like the most natural thing, you know? There weren’t limitations to the process. And in these places where we were pushing into more experimental sounds or odd time signatures, that just felt like part of the work.” — Aaron Dessner

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
I sit and watch you reading with your head low
I wake and watch you breathing with your eyes closed
I sit and watch you
I notice everything you do or don’t do
You’re so much older and wiser, and I

[Chorus 1]
I wait by the door like I’m just a kid
Use my best colors for your portrait
Lay the table with the fancy shit
And watch you tolerate it
If it’s all in my head tell me now
Tell me I’ve got it wrong somehow
I know my love should be celebrated
But you tolerate it

[Verse 2]
I greet you with a battle hero’s welcome
I take your indiscretions all in good fun
I sit and listеn, I polish plates until they gleam and glistеn
You’re so much older and wiser and I

[Chorus 1]
I wait by the door like I’m just a kid
Use my best colors for your portrait
Lay the table with the fancy shit
And watch you tolerate it
If it’s all in my head tell me now
Tell me I’ve got it wrong somehow
I know my love should be celebrated
But you tolerate it

[Bridge]
While you were out building other worlds, where was I?
Where’s that man who’d throw blankets over my barbed wire?
I made you my temple, my mural, my sky
Now I’m begging for footnotes in the story of your life
Drawing hearts in the byline
Always taking up too much space or time
You assume I’m fine, but what would you do if I

[Chorus 2]
Break free and leave us in ruins
Took this dagger in me and removed it
Gain the weight of you then lose it
Believe me, I could do it
If it’s all in my head tell me now
Tell me I’ve got it wrong somehow
I know my love should be celebrated
But you tolerate it

[Outro]
I sit and watch you

General Information
Albumevermore
ReleasedDecember 11, 2020
Recorded2020
GenreAlternative
Adult Contemporary
Length4:05
LabelRepublic Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Aaron Dessner
ProducersAaron Dessner
Taylor Swift
EVERMORE CHRONOLOGY
’tis the damn seasontolerate itno body, no crime
Official Lyric Video
Official Audio