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I Forgot That You Existed

Lover (2019)

“I Forgot That You Existed” is the first track on Taylor’s seventh studio album, Lover (2019). Bright, light and bubbly, it sees her reminiscing about her past feuds and controversies, and then realizing that none of that matters to her anymore. In doing so, the song sounds like Taylor’s final rejoinder to the darkness of the reputation era. It is an album opener with a purpose: to show she’s moved on.

Background and Lyrical Theme

“I Forgot That You Existed” was produced by Frank Dukes, Louis Bell and Taylor and written by the latter two. When asked about when she got to the emotional place that’s described in the song, Taylor said, “It was sometime on the ‘reputation Stadium Tour,’ which was the most transformative emotional experience of my career. That tour put me in the healthiest, most balanced place I’ve ever been. After that tour, bad stuff can happen to me, but it doesn’t level me anymore. The stuff that happened a couple of months ago with Scott [Borchetta] would have leveled me three years ago and silenced me. I would have been too afraid to speak up. Something about that tour made me disengage from some part of public perception I used to hang my entire identity on, which I now know is incredibly unhealthy.” She further explained, saying:

«reputation was pretty much like a coping mechanism. It was like going through all the stages of grief over the loss of one's reputation; kind of like throwing a funeral for something that maybe wasn't even good for you to have in the first place. In doing that, and in picking the first song and writing the first song on this album, I wanted to complete the cycle of grieving, almost, and the cycle of when you go through some drama or some frustrating stuff in your life where a relationship ends, or you're going through this turmoil in your life, there's all these phases you go through. And then, when you're really done with it, you hit indifference. The actual definition of getting over something is a shrug. I wrote the song and I wanted it to be just as simple as the emotion of indifference is.»

Taylor Swift
Interestingly, the lyrics reference “In My Feelings” by Drake. Taylor had quoted this song in her essay about pop music for Elle magazine back in February 2019.

Production

The song’s beginning stages were recorded on the piano and released on the deluxe editions of Lover as a voice memo, placed as the 19th track on the CD. A notable difference between this version and the final cut is that the second line in the chorus used to be, “I thought that I would miss you but I didn’t.” This was later replaced by, “I thought that it would kill me but it didn’t.” On the piano demo of the song, Taylor said:

«I was writing with two writers I hadn’t ever worked with before, so I wanted to come in with an idea that was pretty much all there, melody and lyrics. So I had this idea called 'I Forgot That You Existed,' and I wanted it to be really simple. I thought it might be a really fun way to open the album, like, basically kind of shrugging off a lot of things that you’ve been through that have been causing a lot of struggle and pain. And just, one day you wake up and you realize you’re indifferent to whatever caused you that pain.»

Taylor Swift

Commercial Performance

During the week ending September 7, 2019, “I Forgot That You Existed” peaked at No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
How many days did I spend
Thinking ’bout how you did me wrong, wrong, wrong?
Lived in the shade you were throwing
‘Til all of my sunshine was gone, gone, gone
And I couldn’t get away from ya
In my feelings more than Drake, so yeah
Your name on my lips, tongue-tied
Free rent, living in my mind

[Pre-chorus]
But then something happened
One magical night

[Chorus]
I forgot that you existed
And I thought that it would kill me, but it didn’t
And it was so nice
So peaceful and quiet
I forgot that you existed
It isn’t love, it isn’t hate, it’s just indifference

[Verse 2]
I forgot that you
Got out some popcorn as soon as my rep started going down, down, down
Laughed on the school yard as soon as I tripped up and hit the ground, ground, ground
And I would’ve stuck around for ya
Would’ve fought the whole town, so yeah
Would’ve been right there, front row
Even if nobody came to your show

[Pre-chorus]
But you showed who you are then
One magical night

[Chorus]
I forgot that you existed
And I thought that it would kill me, but it didn’t
And it was so nice
So peaceful and quiet
I forgot that you existed
It isn’t love, it isn’t hate, it’s just indifference

[Bridge]
I forgot that you
Sent me a clear message
Taught me some hard lessons
I just forget what they were
It’s all just a blur

[Chorus]
I forgot that you existed
And I thought that it would kill me, but it didn’t
And it was so nice
So peaceful and quiet
I forgot that you existed (I did, I did, I did)
It isn’t hate, it’s just indifference

[Outro]
It isn’t love, it isn’t hate, it’s just indifference
So, yeah

General Information
AlbumLover
ReleasedAugust 23, 2019
StudioElectric Feel (West Hollywood)
GenreElectro Pop
Length2:50
LabelRepublic Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Louis Bell
Adam King Feeny
ProducersTaylor Swift
Louis Bell
Adam King Feeny
LOVER CHRONOLOGY
I Forgot That You ExistedCruel Summer
Song Certification
Official Audio
Voice Memo