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I Bet You Think About Me (From The Vault)

Single | Feat. Chris Stapleton | RED (Taylor's Version) [2021]

“I Bet You Think About Me” is a country ballad performed by Taylor featuring Chris Stapleton that appears on RED (Taylor’s Version) [2021], Taylor’s second re-recorded album. She wrote the song with Lori McKenna and produced it with frequent collaborator Aaron Dessner. It is driven by a harmonica and has lyrics making fun of an ex-boyfriend’s upper-class lifestyle.

Background and Release

In June 2011, Taylor happened to be in the Boston area playing two sold-out shows at Gillette Stadium on her “Speak Now World Tour,” not too far from Lori McKenna’s house. On the day of the second show, she visited McKenna, they ate lunch and then planned to write together. “She had this little nugget of a song which was ‘I Bet You Think About Me,’ she knew that was the hook,” Mckenna told The Nash News in February 2022. Taylor had asked her if she should lean in the folk direction (which they did) and after that, the rest flowed blissfully as McKenna recalled:

«I don’t remember anything other than sitting here watching how incredible she is. She knows what she wants to say and when she says the right thing, she remembers it. She didn’t write anything down. There was no recording of the song.»

Lori McKenna
McKenna was writing the lyrics on her computer but Taylor never looked at her screen. “If the line is right, she knows it’s right, and she remembers what it is.” Later that night, McKenna attended Taylor’s show with her kids and when she was backstage, Taylor played the song they had written together. “I’m like, how is this woman gonna get out there, do a completely choreographed show for 60,000 people, and she’s singing the song that she just wrote two hours ago,” McKenna exclaimed as she revisited the memory.

When RED originally came out in October of 2012, “I Bet You Think About Me” didn’t make the final tracklist; McKenna thought it might’ve been too country-centric for the direction Taylor was moving in. “When they get to the studio, things change. I’ve done it myself. That’s just how music works. But for her to bring back something that was 10 or 11 years old and be true to a song that she had in her heart that long ago is pretty cool. It’s something that a lot of artists don’t get to do.”

In summer 2021, Taylor contacted Lori McKenna and they spoke over the phone. “I talked to her for like a half an hour on the phone. She was like, ‘Remember this part? And we added this part, and then this part,’ it was like we wrote it yesterday.” The new version of the song features husky backing vocals from country hit-maker Chris Stapleton. “I love the way it came out,” McKenna declares. “It’s so true to that original thought she had. She followed through 11 years later.”

Lyrical Theme and Composition

“I Bet You Think About Me” is a fairly humorous – but also very pointed and sarcastic – dismantling of one of Taylor’s ex-boyfriends where she laments the personality of an obvious elitist. There’s a cool indie music line that hearkens back to a verse from “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Taylor wrote the song with country singer-songwriter Lori McKenna in summer 2011. She told a radio station in November 2021:

«The song 'I Bet You Think About Me' is a song I wrote with Lori McKenna who is one of my favorite singer-songwriters ever. I'd always wanted to work with her. I wrote this with her when I was at her house when I was playing Foxborough Stadium on the 'Speak Now Tour.' We wanted this song to be a comedic, tongue-in-cheek, funny, not-caring-what-anyone-thinks-about-you sort of breakup song. Because there are a lot of different types of heartbreak songs on RED, some of them are very sincere, some of them very stoic and heartbreaking, and sad. We wanted this to be more like, 'I don't care about anything!' And we wanted to kind of make people laugh at it, we wanted it to be sort of a drinking song. I think that's what it ended up being.»

Taylor Swift
Country superstar Chris Stapleton is the featured guest artist on the song. He told ET Canada: “They called and I answered. Those are calls you pick up and say, ‘What shall I do? Okay, cool!’ That’s how that goes.”

Music Video

A music video for “I Bet You Think About Me” premiered on YouTube on November 15, 2021. Taylor and one of her closest friends, American actress Blake Lively, wrote the treatment for the video, and the latter directed it in her directorial debut.

The video documents a wedding, with the wedding couple played by actor Miles Teller and his wife Keleigh Sperry Teller. Taylor plays an ex-girlfriend who intrudes the wedding. Co-producer Aaron Dessner has a cameo as a member of the wedding band, while Taylor’s brother, actor Austin Swift, is credited as a producer for the music video. The video contains references to other Taylor music videos and All Too Well (The Short Film) (2021), as well as multiple references to the Lewis Carroll stories of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Taylor had been asked about Easter eggs prior to the release, quoting Carroll in response.

Critical Reception

Chris Willman writing for Variety gave “I Bet You Think About Me” a five-out-of-five rating. He praised the track for its rowdier country production compared to what “Swift was pulling off at the time” and the sharp lyrics. Jessica Nicholson from Billboard complimented Stapleton’s “burnished, bluesy vocal” which together with Taylor’s delivery brought forth a “well-crafted” song. In USA Today, Melissa Ruggieri wrote that although Stapleton’s “whiskey-hued vocals are the beautiful sandpaper to Swift’s sleek voice – the tune should be remembered for some of Swift’s snarkiest lyrics.”

Commercial Performance

“I Bet You Think About Me” was serviced to American country radio formats on November 15, 2021, by Republic Records and MCA Nashville as a single from RED (Taylor’s Version). After the album was released, the song debuted at No. 22 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart dated November 27, 2021. According to MusicRow, it was the most added song on country radio during its first week of release. The single peaked at No. 23 on the Country Airplay chart and No, 3 on the Hot Country Songs chart. In Canada, “I Bet You Think About Me” reached No. 17 on the Canadian Hot 100 and No. 34 on the Canada Country chart. The song also peaked at No. 22 on the Billboard Global 200, No. 43 on the ARIA Singles Chart in Australia, and No. 75 on the UK Streaming Chart in the United Kingdom.

Accolades

The music video for “I Bet You Think About Me ” was nominated for “Video of the Year” at the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards, marking Blake Lively’s first nomination for a music industry award. It was further nominated for “Video of the Year” at the 2022 CMT Music Awards.

Lyrics

[Verse 1: Taylor Swift]
3 AM and I’m still awake, I’ll bet you’re just fine
Fast asleep in your city that’s better than mine
And the girl in your bed has a fine pedigree
And I’ll bet your friends tell you she’s better than me, huh

[Verse 2: Taylor Swift]
Well, I tried to fit in with your upper-crust circles
Yeah, they let me sit in back when we were in love
Oh, they sit around talkin’ about the meaning of life
And the book that just saved ’em that I hadn’t heard of

[Chorus: Taylor Swift & Chris Stapleton, Taylor Swift]
But now that we’re done and it’s over
I bet you couldn’t believe
When you realized I’m harder to forget than I was to leave
And I bet you think about me

[Verse 3: Taylor Swift]
You grew up in a silver-spoon gated community
Glamorous, shiny, bright Beverly Hills
I was raised on a farm, no, it wasn’t a mansion
Just livin’ room dancin’ and kitchen table bills

[Verse 4: Taylor Swift & Chris Stapleton]
But you know what they say, you can’t help who you fall for
And you and I fell like an early spring snow
But reality crept in, you said we’re too different
You laughed at my dreams, rolled your eyes at my jokes

[Chorus: Taylor Swift & Chris Stapleton, Taylor Swift]
Mr. Superior Thinkin’
Do you have all the space that you need?
I don’t have to be your shrink to know that you’ll never be happy
And I bet you think about me

[Post-Chorus: Taylor Swift, Taylor Swift & Chris Stapleton]
I bet you think about me
Yes, I bet you think about me

[Bridge: Taylor Swift & Chris Stapleton, Taylor Swift]
Oh, block it all out
The voices so loud, sayin’
“Why did you let her go?”
Does it make you feel sad
That the love that you’re lookin’ for
Is the love that you had?

[Verse 5: Taylor Swift]
Now you’re out in the world, searchin’ for your soul
Scared not to be hip, scared to get old
Chasing make-believe status, last time you felt free
Was when none of that shit mattered ’cause you were with me

[Chorus: Taylor Swift & Chris Stapleton, Taylor Swift]
But now that we’re done and it’s over
I bet it’s hard to believe
That it turned out I’m harder to forget than I was to leave
And, yeah, I bet you think about me

[Post-Chorus: Taylor Swift, Taylor Swift & Chris Stapleton]
I bet you think about me
Yes, I bet you think about me

[Outro: Taylor Swift, Taylor Swift & Chris Stapleton]
I bet you think about me when you’re out
At your cool indie music concerts every week
I bet you think about me in your house
With your organic shoes and your million-dollar couch
I bet you think about me when you say
“Oh my god, she’s insane, she wrote a song about me”
I bet you think about me

General Information
AlbumRED (Taylor’s Version)
FeatureChris Stapleton
ReleasedNovember 12, 2021
Recorded2021
WrittenJune 2011
StudioHoffman Street (Kingston)
Long Pond (Hudson Valley)
Kitty Committee (Belfast)
Sputnik Sound (Nashville)
EBC (London)
GenreCountry
Length4:45
LabelRepublic Records
MCA Nashville
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Lori McKenna
ProducersAaron Dessner
Taylor Swift
RED CHRONOLOGY
Message In A BottleI Bet You Think About MeForever Winter
Single Certification
Single Artwork
Music Video
Lyric Video
Official Audio