The countdown to 1989 (Taylor’s Version) has finally reached single digits, with the album dropping on Oct. 27. Not only am I impatiently waiting to hear the five vault tracks, I also can’t wait to give the rest of 1989 another listen. Before I truly understood its lyrics, I’ve been a proud defender of “I Wish You Would” since the ripe age of 11. I hadn’t even had my first kiss at the time, let alone felt the pain of missing an ex, yet this was one of my favorite songs from the 1989 album. For years, it’s been speculated that “I Wish You Would” is about Swift’s ex Harry Styles, but is it really? I happen to think it is and here’s why.
Swift and Styles dated from late 2012 to early 2013. A Central Park date on Dec. 3, 2012 seemed to kick off the pair’s romance. On Dec. 13, 2012, they celebrated Swift’s birthday together in Styles’ homeland of northern England, where he introduced her to his mother. The couple then went skiing together in Park City, Utah and shared a midnight kiss during Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest. They embarked on a Caribbean vacation shortly afterwards, but returned home separately, which confirmed their split.
Swift wrote “I Wish You Would” two months after her public breakup with Styles, once they properly discussed what happened. This marked the first time Swift decided to become friends with an ex. Days after they called it quits, reports came out of Styles looking for real estate in LA. Styles ended up buying a house not far from where Swift lived. In “I Wish You Would,” Swift sings about an ex driving by her house and thinking about stopping by but never does. At the same time, Swift sits in her bedroom hoping her ex would just knock on her door.
In the voice memo for “I Wish You Would,” Swift explained, “It’s kind of about this guy who’s like, he’s driving down the street in the middle of the night, and he passes his ex-girlfriend’s house, and it’s like, he thinks she hates him, but she’s still in love with him, very dramatic.”
iIn a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone, Swift revealed that “I Wish You Would” talks about an ex who bought a house two blocks from hers – which is exactly what happened with Styles.
It’s been widely agreed upon that “Style” is about Styles (it’s literally in the name of the song) and when talking about this track during a radio interview with Ryan Seacrest in 2014, Swift related its lyrics to “another song on the record about a crooked love.” Since she sings, “we’re a crooked love in a straight line down” in “I Wish You Would,” it’s safe to say that this song and “Style” are about the same person.
You can agree with me or not, but the evidence that “I Wish You Would” is about Harry Styles is pretty telling.