What Is the Meaning of Taylor Swift's Song, "Champagne Problems"?

Is this song about Joe?

Shannon Raphael - Author

Mar. 15 2024, Updated 4:36 p.m. ET

who is champagne problems about taylor swift
Source: Getty Images

Less than 24 hours after announcing the existence of her ninth studio album, "evermore," Taylor Swift released all 15 tracks (plus two bonus ones). The work came less than five months after "folklore's" debut in July of 2020. It is meant to be a sister album with a similar mood, sound, and style.

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One "evermore" song that has gotten people talking is "champagne problems." It tells the story of a couple who deal with a failed proposal, though their family members have already popped the bubbly in a preemptive celebration.

At the time, Taylor and her then-beau, Joe Alwyn, had been dealing with engagement rumors. Naturally, some listeners assumed that the song tells a story about the demise of their own relationship.

What is the meaning of "champagne problems"?

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Source: Instagram
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What is the "champagne problems" meaning?

Taylor collaborated with William Bowery (which is the pseudonym for her ex-boyfriend, Joe Alwyn) on three songs featured "evermore."

These tracks include the album's titular song, "evermore," plus "coney island," and "champagne problems."

That's because the song is about a relationship in which the two people involved are on completely different paths. Taylor sings from the perspective of the person who turns down a proposal but who recognizes how entwined her life is with her partner. 

It opens with one character (the person who proposed) sitting on a train. In the chorus, Taylor croons about breaking the other character's heart.

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"Your mom's ring in your pocket / My picture in your wallet / Your heart was glass, I dropped it / Champagne problems," Taylor sings in the chorus.

Taylor then sings about how the other character's family was in on the proposal and how they opened up bottles of Dom Pérignon Champagne in anticipation of the engagement.

Instead, Taylor's character turned the proposal down.

"You had a speech, you're speechless / Love slipped beyond your reaches / And I couldn't give a reason / Champagne problems."

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She then sings about not knowing that the relationship needed to be ended until the proposal took place: "Sometimes you just don't know the answer / 'Til someone's on their knees and asks you."

The song concludes with Taylor's character's hope that her ex will find someone who will be "the real thing." She hopes that this person will help "patch up" the tapestry Taylor "shred."

"Champagne problems" is one of several songs on "evermore" that is about broken hearts, sadness, and starting over. 

Who is "champagne problems" about? Is Taylor singing about Joe Alwyn?

Although Joe and Taylor were ultimately not meant to be, Taylor articulated in the "evermore" album notes that the inspiration behind "champagne problems," specifically, is rooted completely in fiction.

She wrote that the song is one of the ones on the album that is meant to demonstrate "escapism" or "imaginary tales."

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"Champagne problems" is "the one where longtime college sweethearts had very different plans for the same night, one to end it, and one who brought a ring," she wrote.

The lyrics do confirm that the couple in the song had been together since college. The bridge mentions a dorm and a shared group of friends. 

"'This dorm was once a madhouse' / I made a joke, 'Well, it's made for me' / How evergreen, our group of friends / don't think we'll say that word again," she notes in the bridge.

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