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I Almost Do

RED (2012) | RED (Taylor's Version) [2021]

“I Almost Do” is a song that describes the internal conflict that goes on when reminiscing about a failed romance. It was released on Taylor’s fourth studio album, RED (2012). The re-recording of the song, “I Almost Do (Taylor’s Version)”, was released on November 12, 2021 on the album RED (Taylor’s Version).

Background and Lyrical Theme

The song was written by Taylor and produced by her long time collaborator Nathan Chapman, with additional production by her. The lyrics find her reaching for the phone to reconnect with a former boyfriend before deciding she dare not “risk another goodbye.” Taylor commented on the song, saying:

«'I Almost Do' is a song I wrote about the conflict that you feel when you want to take someone back, and you want to give it another try, but you know you can’t. And you can’t because you know it’s hurt you so deeply that you know that you couldn’t bear to go through that again. So you’re sitting there, and wondering where they are, and hope that they think about you, and that you’re almost picking up the phone call, but you just can’t. I think I needed to write this song in order to not call that person, actually. I think that writing the song was what I did instead of picking up the phone.»

Taylor Swift
Fittingly, the hidden message for “I Almost Do” reads, “Wrote this instead of calling.”

Live Performances

Taylor didn’t include “I Almost Do” on the regular setlist for “The RED Tour” (2013-2014). However, she performed the track as the acoustic surprise song twice: the first time being on the tour’s opening night in Omaha (Nebraska) on March 13, 2013, and the second being her show in Tampa (Florida) on April 20, 2013.

Critical Reception

“I Almost Do” received positive reviews from music critics, who complimented Taylor’s talent in country music. Rolling Stone wrote, “For almost any other artist, ‘I Almost Do’ would have been a career peak. A RED slow jam that could have worked even better sped up into a punked-out rocker — though it’s plenty affecting as is.” Billboard wrote, “Unlike the slices of radio fodder that sandwich “I Almost Do” on the album, the mid-tempo ballad is a slow grower, with shards of ace songwriting presenting themselves over time.”

Commercial Performance

Due to strong digital download sales upon the release of RED, “I Almost Do” debuted and peaked at No. 65 and 50 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Canadian Hot 100, respectively. It also charted on the US Hot Country Songs, peaking at No. 13. “I Almost Do (Taylor’s Version)” debuted at No. 59 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the week ending November 26, 2021.

Taylor's Version

On August 6, 2021, Taylor announced that a re-recorded version of “I Almost Do”, titled “I Almost Do (Taylor’s Version)”, would be included as the sixth track on her second re-recorded album RED (Taylor’s Version), which was released on November 12, 2021, through Republic Records.

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
I bet this time of night you’re still up
I bet you’re tired from a long hard week
I bet you’re sitting in your chair by the window
Looking out at the city
And I bet sometimes you wonder about me

[Chorus]
And I just want to tell you
It takes everything in me not to call you
And I wish I could run to you
And I hope you know that every time I don’t
I almost do
I almost do

[Verse 2]
I bet you think I either moved on or hate you
Cause’ each time you reach out, there’s no reply
I bet it never, ever occurred to you
That I can’t say hello to you and risk another goodbye

[Chorus]
And I just want to tell you
It takes everything in me not to call you
And I wish I could run to you
And I hope you know that every time I don’t
I almost do
I almost do

[Bridge]
We made quite a mess, babe
It’s probably better off this way
And I confess, babe
In my dreams you’re touching my face
And asking me if I’d want to try again with you
And I almost do

[Chorus]
And I just want to tell you
It takes everything in me not to call you
And I wish I could run to you
And I hope you know that every time I don’t
I almost do
I almost do

[Outro]
I bet this time of night you’re still up
I bet you’re tired from a long hard week
I bet you’re sitting in your chair by the window
Looking out at the city
And I hope sometimes you wonder about me

General Information
AlbumsRED
RED (Taylor’s Version)
ReleasedOctober 22, 2012
Re-ReleasedNovember 12, 2021
StudioPain in The Art (Nashville)
GenreSinger-Songwriter
Length4:04
LabelsBig Machine Records
Republic Records
SongwriterTaylor Swift
ProducersNathan Chapman (original)
Christopher Rowe
Taylor Swift
RED CHRONOLOGY
22I Almost DoWe Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
Hidden Message
Wrote this instead of calling
Song Artwork
Live Performance
Lyric Video
Taylor's Version
Original Audio