Home » Albums » Lover » Songs on Lover » Afterglow

Afterglow

Lover (2019)

“Afterglow” is a song on Taylor’s seventh studio album, Lover (2019). She sings about self-sabotaging a relationship, overreacting about a misunderstanding.
Almost ten years prior, Taylor released “Back to December,” the first time she apologized in a song for the way she treated someone. “Afterglow” has similar echoes, as she admits that she’s at fault for a relationship falling apart.

Background and Release

Taylor released Lover on August 23, 2019. In an interview with Vogue, she called her seventh studio album “a new beginning…a love letter to love, in all of its maddening, passionate, exciting, enchanting, horrific, tragic, wonderful glory.” “Afterglow” was written and produced by Taylor, Louis Bell and Frank Dukes. The three also wrote the Lover tracks “I Forgot That You Existed” and “It’s Nice to Have a Friend” together.

Taylor first teased the song title in the music video for “Lover” during the scene where a hand plays the words “After” and “Glow,” on a Scrabble board. The board is titled “King of Hearts,” a nod to her reputation (2017) track “King of My Heart“, which is about her partner Joe Alwyn. Taylor is likely indicating that the two songs are about the same person.

Lyrical Theme

“Afterglow” is a song in which Taylor is acknowledging her own shortcomings in a romantic relationship and is taking the blame that it shows signs of dissolving. Because she is still very much in love, she is apologizing to her partner and begging for his forgiveness.

The lyrics use an afterglow as a metaphor, which is the radiance that occurs when the sun has long set but there is still light in the sky. The title seems to be symbolic of an ideological situation wherein two people make up after a fight and are once again at peace in their love. Therefore, the “afterglow” is tantamount to a happy romantic relationship. And this is the place where Taylor wants her lover to “meet” her at, in contrast to taking her disagreeable words and actions to heart.

Commercial Performance

Upon the release of Lover, during the week ending September 7, 2019, “Afterglow” peaked at  No. 75 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
I blew things out of proportion, now you’re blue
Put you in jail for something you didn’t do
I pinned your hands behind your back, oh
Thought I had reason to attack, but no

[Pre-chorus 1]
Fighting with a true love is boxing with no gloves
Chemistry ’til it blows up, ’til there’s no us
Why’d I have to break what I love so much?
It’s on your face, and I’m to blame, I need to say

[Chorus]
Hey, it’s all me, in my head
I’m the one who burned us down
But it’s not what I meant
Sorry that I hurt you
I don’t wanna do, I don’t wanna do this to you (Ooh)
I don’t wanna lose, I don’t wanna lose this with you (Ooh)
I need to say, hey, it’s all me, just don’t go
Meet me in the afterglow

[Verse 2]
It’s so excruciating to see you low
Just wanna lift you up and not let you go
This ultraviolet morning light below
Tells me this love is worth the fight, oh

[Pre-Chorus 2]
I lived like an island, punished you with silence
Went off like sirens, just crying
Why’d I have to break what I love so much?
It’s on your face, don’t walk away, I need to say

[Chorus]
Hey, it’s all me, in my head
I’m the one who burned us down
But it’s not what I meant
I’m sorry that I hurt you
I don’t wanna do, I don’t wanna do this to you (Ooh)
I don’t wanna lose, I don’t wanna lose this with you (Ooh)
I need to say, hey, it’s all me, just don’t go
Meet me in the afterglow

[Bridge]
Tell me that you’re still mine
Tell me that we’ll be just fine
Even when I lose my mind
I need to say
Tell me that it’s not my fault
Tell me that I’m all you want
Even when I break your heart
I need to say

[Chorus]
Hey, it’s all me, in my head
I’m the one who burned us down
But it’s not what I meant
Sorry that I hurt you
I don’t wanna do, I don’t wanna do this to you (Ooh)
I don’t wanna lose, I don’t wanna lose this with you (Ooh)
I need to say, hey, it’s all me, just don’t go
Meet me in the afterglow

General Information
AlbumLover
ReleasedAugust 23, 2019
Written2018-2019
GenrePop
Length3:43
LabelRepublic Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Louis Bell
Adam King Feeny
ProducersTaylor Swift
Louis Bell
Adam King Feeny
LOVER CHRONOLOGY
You Need to Calm DownAfterglowME!
Song Certification
Official Audio