The Real Story Behind Taylor Swift's "The Lucky One" Will Break Your Heart

Taylor Swift's "The Lucky One" tells the story of a young woman in Hollywood who realized fame wasn't always what she wanted. Who's it about?

Kelly Corbett - Author

Nov. 12 2021, Published 2:29 p.m. ET

All hail Taylor Swift! Seven months after she re-released her debut album "Fearless," she dropped the re-recording of her fourth studio album "Red," which was originally released in October 2012 when she was 23 years old. Available now, "Red (Taylor's Version)" boasts 30 songs, including a 10-minute extended version of her single "All Too Well."

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As you can imagine, Taylor was at a very different stage in her life and career when first writing "Red." She was dating men in Hollywood. She was climbing the charts. And while she was most definitely a household name, is it possible that this wasn't the life she always dreamed of?

"The Lucky One" appears on "Red (Taylor's Version)," and there are a lot of questions on who it was written about. Was "The Lucky One" meant to portray Taylor's life? Keep reading as we look into its meaning.

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What is "The Lucky One" by Taylor Swift about?

In "The Lucky One," Taylor tells the story of a young starlet who moves to LA to make her dreams come true. However, upon becoming accustomed to the glamorous Hollywood lifestyle, she realizes that it isn't all that it's cracked up to be. While so many people yearn to be famous, this star does not feel like she is "the lucky one."

The first verse of the tune introduces the young starlet who is "chasing fame and fortune." The lyrics state: "And the camera flashes, make it look like a dream / You had it figured out since you were in school / Everybody loves pretty, everybody loves cool / So overnight you look like a sixties queen."

Then, the chorus follows: "And they’ll tell you now, you’re the lucky one / Yeah, they’ll tell you now, you’re the lucky one / But can you tell me now, you’re the lucky one," Taylor asks.

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In the second verse, Taylor unpacks the downsides of this star's life. "Now it’s big black cars, and Riviera views / And your lover in the foyer doesn’t even know you / And your secrets end up splashed on the news front page." The verse continues to note how unhappy she is with her life. Later lines read: "Another name goes up in lights / You wonder if you’ll make it out alive."

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By the third verse, we learn that the star vanished from the public eye. "It was a few years later, I showed up here," Taylor sings, followed by "and they still tell the legend of how you disappeared." Taylor croons that she didn’t originally understand why the star would give up her life of fame. “But I understand it now,” she says at the end of the song, hinting at the fact that she personally can relate.

Taylor Swift.
Source: Getty Images
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Who is "The Lucky One" by Taylor Swift about?

The star Taylor is referring to in "The Lucky One" is rumored to be former pop singer Kim Wilde, according to the Swiftipedia Fandom page. Fans speculated that Kim was the subject after noticing that the main hook melody in "The Lucky One" is sampled from Kim's song "Four Letter Word." Furthermore, Taylor wrote the lyric "Chose the rose garden over Madison Square" in the song. This may possibly reference how Kim abandoned her career to become a landscape gardener.

Regardless of who the song is about, Taylor's message is clear: Constantly being in the limelight isn't always what dreams are made of. Taylor understands why this star left Hollywood for a more reclusive life. Previously, the "Cardigan" crooner has been targeted for the way she looks, the men she was dating, how many men she was dating, and more. She shares some of her story and the criticisms she's received in the Netflix original documentary Miss Americana.

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