Home » Albums » reputation » Songs on reputation » Getaway Car

Getaway Car

Single (Australia & New Zealand) | reputation (2017)

“Getaway Car” is track nine on Taylor’s sixth studio album, reputation (2017). Taylor uses a Bonnie and Clyde-esqe image of two criminals attempting to flee cops in a getaway car to illustrate a doomed relationship.

Background

Taylor released her fifth studio album, 1989, in October 2014. Its synth-pop production transformed her sound and image from country-oriented to mainstream pop. The album was a massive commercial success, selling over five million copies in the U.S. within one year, and spawning three Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 singles. The BBC asserted that the success of 1989 solidified Taylor’s status as a global pop star.

In 2016, when Taylor was at the peak of overexposure, some of her rivals in the industry (including Scooter Braun, Kanye West and Justin Bieber) succeded in launching a worldwide hate campaign against her. As a result, Taylor disappeared from public view for an entire year and thought about quitting music for good. She became increasingly reticent on social media, having previously maintained an active presence with a large following, and avoided interactions with the press. She conceived her sixth studio album, reputation, as an answer to the media commotion surrounding her celebrity.

Lyrical Theme

There’s a lot of imagery that’s consistent throughout reputation, and one of these components is the idea of thieves and heists. “Getaway Car” is a prime example for this theme. The song talks about a relationship that didn’t work and seems to be referencing Taylor’s 2016 summer romance with actor Tom Hiddleston, which occurred after her split with Calvin Harris. The couple received a ton of attention from the press, watching their every move.

Taylor and her co-writer and producer Jack Antonoff came up with the idea for the Bonny and Clyde metaphor really quickly. In the “Making of” episode for the song there is a moment where they write the bridge for “Getaway Car” in roughly 30 seconds. Jack told Rolling Stone in 2021:

«It's the only time in my life that a lightning-in-a-bottle moment, a pure moment of crazy writing, was caught on film. It's rare that you just, like, blurt out a whole song. But there's pieces, like that bridge, where we're just going back and forth and yelling things. It's sort of like, 'Whoa! Oh, my God, what happened? It can happen like that?' That's when it feels like a movie.»

Jack Antonoff

Critical Reception

“Getaway Car” was praised by critics. Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone ranked it as Taylor’s sixth best song at the time. Zack Schonfeld of Newsweek called the song as an “excellent, radiant song” and claimed that the hook is “massive, in both catchiness and energy”.

Commercial Performance

“Getaway Car” quickly became a fan favorite song, many of them hoping for it to become a single from the album. And it did! The song was sent to Australian and New Zealand radio stations on September 7, 2018 as the album’s seventh and final single. Interestingly enough, the day marked the two-year anniversary of People Magazine announcing the Hiddleswift split.

Lyrics

[Intro]
No, nothing good starts in a getaway car

[Verse 1]
It was the best of times, the worst of crimes
I struck a match and blew your mind
But I didn’t mean it
And you didn’t see it
The ties were black, the lies were white
In shades of gray and candlelight
I wanted to leave him
I needed a reason

[Pre-chorus 1]
“X” marks the spot where we fell apart
He poisoned the well, I was lying to myself
I knew it from the first Old Fashioned, we were cursed
We never had a shotgun shot in the dark (Oh!)

[Chorus]
You were driving the getaway car
We were flying, but we’d never get far
Don’t pretend it’s such a mystery
Think about the place where you first met me
Riding in a getaway car
There were sirens in the beat of your heart
Should’ve known I’d be the first to leave
Think about the place where you first met me
In a getaway car (Oh-oh-oh)
No, they never get far (Oh-oh-ah)
No, nothing good starts in a getaway car

[Verse 2]
It was the great escape, the prison break
The light of freedom on my face
But you weren’t thinking
And I was just drinking
While he was running after us, I was screaming, “Go go go!”
But with three of us, honey, it’s a sideshow
And a circus ain’t a love story
And now we’re both sorry (We’re both sorry)

[Pre-chorus 2]
“X” marks the spot where we fell apart
He poisoned the well, every man for himself
I knew it from the first Old Fashioned, we were cursed
It hit you like a shotgun shot to the heart (Oh!)

[Chorus]
You were driving the getaway car
We were flying, but we’d never get far
Don’t pretend it’s such a mystery
Think about the place where you first met me
Riding in a getaway car
There were sirens in the beat of your heart
Should’ve known I’d be the first to leave
Think about the place where you first met me
In a getaway car (Oh-oh-oh)
No, they never get far (Oh-oh-ah)
No, nothing good starts in a getaway car

[Bridge]
We were jet-set Bonnie and Clyde (Oh-oh)
Until I switched to the other side (To the other side)
It’s no surprise, I turned you in (Oh-oh)
‘Cause us traitors never win
I’m in a getaway car
I left you in the motel bar
Put the money in a bag and I stole the keys
That was the last time you ever saw me (Oh!)

[Chorus]
Driving the getaway car
We were flying, but we’d never get far (Don’t pretend)
Don’t pretend it’s such a mystery
Think about the place where you first met me
Riding in a getaway car
There were sirens in the beat of your heart (Should’ve known)
Should’ve known I’d be the first to leave
Think about the place where you first met me
In a getaway car (Oh-oh-oh)
No, they never get far (Oh-oh-ah)
No, nothing good starts in a getaway car

[Outro]
I was riding in a getaway car
I was crying in a getaway car
I was dying in a getaway car
Said ‘goodbye’ in a getaway car
Riding in a getaway car
I was crying in a getaway car
I was dying in a getaway car
Said ‘goodbye’ in a getaway car

General Information
Albumreputation
ReleasedNovember 10, 2017
Recorded2016–2017
StudioRough Customer (Brooklyn)
GenreSynth Pop
Length3:53
LabelBig Machine Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Jack Antonoff
ProducersJack Antonoff
Taylor Swift
REPUTATION CHRONOLOGY
GorgeousGetaway CarKing of My Heart
Single Certification
Handwritten Lyrics
Single Artwork
Making of
Live Performance
Tour Visual
Official Audio