this is me trying

folklore (2020)

In “this is me trying”, Taylor tells the story of someone who’s struggling in life. Fear, alcohol, and a sense of failure and isolation complicate the start of the healing process, but the person takes the first step by having the humility to admit things are difficult and uncertain. The song is the ninth track on Taylor’s eighth studio album, “folklore” (2020).

In the documentary/concert film “folklore: the long pond studio sessions“, Taylor went in depth about the inspiration behind the song in a conversation with producer Jack Antonoff:

“I’ve been thinking about people who are either suffering through mental illness, addiction or who have an everyday struggle. No one pats them on the back every day but every day they are actively fighting something. There are so many days that nobody gives them credit for that and so, how often must somebody who’s in that sort of internal struggle wanna say to everyone in the room: ‘You have no idea how close I am to going back to a dark place.’ I had this idea that the first verse would be about someone who is in a life crisis and has just been trying and failing in their relationship, has been messing things up with people they love, has been letting everyone down and has driven to this overlook, this cliff, and is just in the car, going, ‘I could do whatever I want in this moment and it could affect everything forever.’ But this person backs up and drives home. And then the second verse is about someone who felt like they had a lot of potential in their life. I feel like there are a lot of mechanisms for us in our school days, in high school or college, to excel and to be patted on the back for something. And then a lot of people get out of school and there are less abilities for them to get gold stars. Then you have to make all these decisions and you have to pave your own way. There’s no set class course you can take. I think a lot of people feel really swept up in that. And so I was thinking about this person who is really lost in life and then starts drinking…and every second is trying not to.” — Taylor Swift

“folklore” producer Aaron Dessner told Vulture:

“’this is me trying,’ to me, relates to the entire album. Maybe I’m reading into it too much from my own perspective, but [I think of] the whole album as an exercise and working through these stories, whether personal or old through someone else’s perspective. It’s connecting a lot of things. But I love the feeling in it and the production that Jack did. It has this lazy swagger.” — Aaron Dessner

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
I’ve been having a hard time adjusting
I had the shiniest wheels, now they’re rusting
I didn’t know if you’d care if I came back
I have a lot of regrets about that
Pulled the car off the road to the lookout
Could’ve followed my fears all the way down
And maybe I don’t quite know what to say
But I’m here in your doorway

[Chorus]
I just wanted you to know that this is me trying
I just wanted you to know that this is me trying

[Verse 2]
They told me all of my cages were mental
So I got wasted like all my potential
And my words shoot to kill when I’m mad
I have a lot of regrets about that
I was so ahead of the curve, the curve became a sphere
Fell behind all my classmates and I ended up here
Pouring out my heart to a stranger
But I didn’t pour the whiskey

[Chorus]
I just wanted you to know that this is me trying
I just wanted you to know that this is me trying

[Post-Chorus]
At least I’m trying

[Bridge]
And it’s hard to be at a party when I feel like an open wound
It’s hard to be anywhere these days when all I want is you
You’re a flashback in a film reel on the one screen in my town

[Chorus]
And I just wanted you to know that this is me trying
(And maybe I don’t quite know what to say)
I just wanted you to know that this is me trying

[Outro]
At least I’m trying

General Information
Albumfolklore
ReleasedJuly 24, 2020
Recorded2020
StudioKitty Committee Studio
(Los Angeles)
GenreIndie Folk
Length3:15
LabelRepublic Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Jack Antonoff
ProducerJack Antonoff
Taylor Swift
Official Lyric Video
Official Audio
Official Live Audio