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Forever Winter (From The Vault)

RED (Taylor's Version) [2021]

“Forever Winter (Taylor’s Version) [From The Vault]” is a song recorded by Taylor for her album RED (Taylor’s Version) [2021], which is a re-recording of her 2012 album RED. She sings of her constant worry over the actions of someone close to her, speaking of the disrupted mental health the person endures day by day.
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Background and Release

Following the dispute regarding her masters, Taylor announced RED (Taylor’s Version), a re-recording of her 2012 album RED, on June 18, 2021. Alongside the deluxe edition of the album, she revealed she would release nine songs, all dubbed “From The Vault” that did not make the 2012 album, one of them being “Forever Winter (Taylor’s Version) [From The Vault]”. The song was co-written by Mark Foster, frontman of the band Foster The People. When Taylor announced the tracklist in August 2021, he wrote on Instagram:

«I can’t wait for you all to hear it. I'm so proud to be a part of this record. Not only because Taylor is one of our generations most prolific and talented artists, but also because this album is trailblazing a new way for artists to own their masters.»

After being photographed with Taylor in 2012, Mark Foster told Fuse TV: “We wrote a song that day. It’s a really cool song. We kind of just went into it casually and something really cool came out of it. We’ll see what happens with it. She’s been writing a lot for her next record.”

On February 26, 2023, the full demo from 2012 got leaked on a Discord server.

Lyrical Theme

It is unclear for whom Taylor wrote the song. Fans speculate that she could’ve penned it for one of her best friends from her teenage years who died at 21 from a drug overdose about two weeks after her third album, Speak Now, was released in October 2010. Taylor spoke about him when she accepted the “Songwriter of the Year” award at the BMI Country Awards the same week she attended his funeral in November 2010. She told Amazon Music in 2021:

«The song 'Forever Winter' is about being in a moment in your life where you love someone, or someone is such a good friend of yours, or you feel really close to someone, and you realize all at once that they've been struggling for a very long time. And you feel so guilty that you didn't see it sooner, and you wish you would've checked in on them more. That person means so much to you, but you didn't necessarily pick up on the signs that maybe they weren't okay. So, that's 'Forever Winter'.»

At the BMI Country Awards 2010 in Nashville, she said, “It’s been a really emotional week. Yesterday, I sang at the funeral of one of my best friends. And he was 21 and I used to play my songs for him first. So, I would like to thank Jeff Lang.”


General Information
ArtistTaylor Swift
AlbumRED (Taylor’s Version)
ReleasedNovember 12, 2021
WrittenMay 17, 2012
StudiosKitty Committee (Belfast)
Electric Lady (New York City)
Rough Customer (Brooklyn)
Conway (Los Angeles)
GenreCountry Pop
LabelRepublic Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Mark Foster
ProducersJack Antonoff
Taylor Swift
I Bet You Think About MeForever WinterRun
Song Artwork
The Day Taylor Wrote the Song
Taylor talking about Jeff
Lyric Video
Official Audio
Original Demo (2012)