Taylor Swift Wiki
For the song lyrics see Begin Again (lyrics)
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"Begin Again" is a song written and recorded by Taylor Swift. Initially released as a promotional single on September 25, 2012 by Big Machine Records, the song served as the second single from Swift's fourth studio album, Red.[1] Track was generally acclaimed by music critics, many of whom complimented Swift for coming back to her country roots. The lyrical content finds Swift falling in love again, after a failed relationship. The song generally was commercially successful, peaking at number seven and four respectively on the Billboard Hot 100 and Canadian Hot 100. It also charted in the UK, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, and Australia.

The song is rumored to be inspired by Taylor's relationship with Conor Kennedy.

Background and release

Swift said that the song is "about when you've gotten through a really bad relationship and you finally dust yourself off and go on that first date after a horrible breakup, and the vulnerability that goes along with all that".[2] She previewed it on Good Morning America on September 24, 2012,[3] and was released digitally on iTunes the next day, September 25.[4] The song initially served as a promotional single, the first of four tracks to be released during the four weeks preceding the release of her fourth studio album Red.[5] It was later announced that the song would be the second single from Red. An individually numbered CD single was released on October 23, 2012 exclusively to Amazon.com and Swift's official store.[6][7]

Hidden message

Hidden message: I wear heels now.

The story comes full circle for Swift, ending with a song that finds the singer more confident than ever. The last few songs leave one feeling jubilant about the idea of love that is squashed so thoroughly early on the album. This song may have been about finding Conor Kennedy.

Composition and lyrics

"Begin Again" is a country song of three minutes and fifty eight seconds.The song was written by Taylor Swift and the producers was Dan Huff and Nathan Chapman. Musically, "Begin Again" is written in the key of G Major, with a tempo of 76 beats per minute Moderately slow.Swift's vocals span from D3 to B4.[8]

Awards and nominations

"Begin Again" received two awards from seven nominations.

Year Organization Award Result
2013 American Country Awards Female Single of the Year Nominated
Video of the Year Nominated
Female Video of the Year Nominated
BMI Country Awards Publisher of the Year Won
Country Awards Top 50 Songs Won
CMT Music awards Female Video of the Year Nominated
2014 Grammy Awards Best Country Song Nominated


Critical response

The song was generally critically acclaimed by music critics, many of whom praised Swift's songwriting. Writing for Taste of Country, Billy Dukes gave the song a four star rating out of five, describing it as "a cleansing breath that hopefully foreshadows the true tone of her album".[9] Grady Smith of Entertainment Weekly wrote the song is "a well-crafted love story" and noted Swift's talent "at taking a single moment in time and letting it unfold like a pop-up storybook."[10] Jessica Sager of Popcrush gave the song 4 out of 5 stars, saying that "Swift paints a vivid picture of a first date following a rough breakup in ‘Begin Again’ — and she sounds like a young woman...She’s not settling, whether in her love life or her studio sessions. And for that, Taylor Swift, we salute you."[11] Matt Bjorke gave four out of five stars too for Roughstock, complimenting that "The song is a vast improvement for Taylor. A ballad that's neither in-your-face or sounding like its from a twelve year old".[12]

The Boot noted that the story Swift painted was "sweet" and it's a "beautiful ballad".[13] Justin Proper of Under The Gun Review praised Swift for knowing "how to keep her core audience happy, and that is exactly what “Begin Again” accomplishes.", also saying that the song gave him a "sensation of relief".[14] MuchMusic lauded Swift, stating "while she is more than capable of releasing the carefree, jump-around-your-room-with-a-hairbrush break up songs like "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," she also has the pen of a poet and knows how to craft emotionally gut-wrenching songs that speak to her millions of fans."[15] However, Kevin John Coyne of Country Universe gave a mixed review, giving the song a grade "B". He lamented how Swift's songs never leave the topic of boys, saying "as Swift continues to grow older, it’s becoming more troublesome that her sense of self-worth and happiness is always inextricably linked to whatever man is currently the object of her affection."[16]

The American pop singer Katy Perry told Billboard that the song "Begin Again" by Taylor Swift is one of her favorites of 2012: "I love the new song from Taylor Swift, Begin Again, it hit me. 'On a Wednesday in the cafe, I watched it begin again' I love this verse. "[17]

Commercial performance

"Begin Again" debuted in Australia at number twenty on the week ending September 30, 2012.[18] The track debuted at number one on Billboard Hot Digital Songs selling 299,000 digital copies in the week ending September 30, 2012. It became Swift's fifth number one on that chart.[19] As a result, "Begin Again" debuted at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 chart dated October 4, 2012.[20]On the week ending of September 30, 2012, A few hours later, “Begin Again” got an early release on iTunes, where it’s already shot to No. 1, thereby becoming the first single to dethrone “Gangnam Style” in a week and also surpassed Rihanna's Diamonds[21]

The Song also attained a moderately success worldwide, "Begin Again" became Swift's sixth top five hit on the Canadian Hot 100, debuting and peaking number 4.In United Kingdom peaking and debuting number 30, giving Swift second 30th peaked on chart after doing it on Mine on the week ending of October 30, 2010.In New Zealand the song reached number 11.In Ireland the song reached number 25.In Spain the song reached number 30.

Music video

The music video for "Begin Again" began filming on September 30, 2012 in Paris.[22][23] It was directed by Philip Andelman, who previously directed Swift in the "Safe & Sound" music video.[24] The official music video premiered on Swift's VEVO account on October 23, 2012, two days after the Red album was released. Swift described the video as a "love letter to Paris." She said about the filming of the video and added, "It's just the city and this story line of somebody moving on and finding yourself again."[25]

The video starts with Swift standing on a bridge while pensively gazing across the water and remembering a lost love. She then takes a walk on a dock wearing a Red dress with white flower appliques and blue peep toes and sits beside a lake. The video draws comparison to that of singer Adele's video "Someone Like You" and Swift's "Back to December" (only much happier).[26] She then rides a bicycle, wearing a blue and white floral skirt with white cat flats with sun glasses on and bikes down a Cobblestone street. She goes shopping and tries on new clothes, which is inter spliced with shots of Swift talking (singing) to a man. At a cafe while sipping cappuccino her attention is brought to a French man to whom she was talking earlier. He starts taking snapshots of her with a new Leica M camera. They then have a bitter-sweet conversation, laughing and giggling at each other. The following clips shows Swift sitting at a park and sampling pastries. They also show Swift walking by the Seine. The clip ends with the two walking side-by-side, as Swift allows herself to "begin again."

Entertainment Weekly thought the video was “another classic bittersweet Swift joint,” writing: “Though her boyfriend doesn't laugh at her jokes and bores her with stories about his family’s Christmas movie-watching traditions, she finds the ultimate salve: Wandering through the streets of Paris, chuckling with handsome dudes in a café (and probably snacking on snails or something) It’s a lovely clip, but a little bit sleepy. Also, there’s something about it that recalls ’Back to December’ — is it the color palette, or just the general moodiness?”.[27]

Track listing

Digital download/Limited Edition CD single[4][28]
  1. "Begin Again" - 3:58

Credits and personnel

Credits and personnel adapted from album liner notes.[29]

  • Taylor Swift – songwriter, lead vocalist, producer
  • Dan Huff - producer, electric guitar, digital editing, acoustic guitar
  • Nathan Chapman - producer, acoustic guitar, high string acoustic guitar
  • Steve Marcantonio - recording
  • Seth Morton - assistant recording
  • Justin Niebank - mixing
  • Drew Bollman - assistant mixing
  • Mike "Frog" Griffith - production coordinator
  • Jason Campbell - production coordinator

  • Tom Bukovac - electric guitar
  • Paul Frank - steel guitar
  • Ilya Toshinskiy - mandolin
  • Jimmie Sloas - bass
  • Jonathan Yudkin - violin
  • Charlie Judge - b-3 organ, synths, strings, accordion, piano
  • Aaron Sterling - drums
  • Caitlin Evanson - background vocals
  • Scott Borchetta - executive producer

Charts and certifications

Weekly charts

Illegal chart entered Billboardcountryairplay|9
Chart (2012-13) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[30] 20
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[31] 4
Ireland (IRMA)[32] 25
New Zealand (RIANZ)[33] 11
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[34] 35
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[35] 30
US Billboard Hot 100[36] 7
US Digital Songs (Billboard)[37] 1
US Country Songs (Billboard)[38] 10

Year-end charts

Chart (2012) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[39] 100

Release history

List of radio and release dates with formats and record labels
Country Date Format Label
United States September 25, 2012[4] Digital download Big Machine Records
October 1, 2012 Country radio
October 23, 2012[6][7][25] CD single
Music video

See also

  • List of number-one digital songs of 2012 (U.S.)


  1. "Taylor Swift’s New Single "Begin Again" Impacts Country Radio October 1, Available Now On iTunes". Country Music Rockst. September 25, 2012. http://www.countrymusicrocks.net/2012/09/taylor-swifts-new-single-begin-again-impacts-country-radio-october-1-availble-now-on-itunes.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=taylor-swifts-new-single-begin-again-impacts-country-radio-october-1-availble-now-on-itunes. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  2. "Taylor Swift 'Begin Again' Lyrics Tell Sweet Story of First Date". The Boot. September 25, 2012. http://www.theboot.com/2012/09/25/taylor-swift-begin-again-lyrics/. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  3. "Taylor Swift's 'Begin Again' Previewed On 'Good Morning America' [UPDATE"]. The Huffington Post. Aol, Inc. September 24, 2012. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/24/taylor-swift-begin-again_n_1909027.html. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Begin Again - Single by Taylor Swift". Template:Noitalic. Apple, Inc. http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/begin-again-single/id564931599. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  5. Williott, Carl (September 21, 2012). "Taylor Swift’s ‘Red’ Nabs Countdown Campaign With iTunes & ‘Good Morning America’". Idolator. Buzz Media. http://idolator.com/6927062/taylor-swift-red-countdown-itunes-good-morning-america. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "LIMITED EDITION "Begin Again" Single CD". Amazon.com (US) Amazon, Inc. http://www.amazon.com/LIMITED-Begin-Again-Single-CD/dp/B009YJ93X8/. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "LIMITED EDITION "Begin Again" Single CD". Template:Noitalics. Amazon.com (US) Amazon, Inc. Archived from the original on 2012-12-19. http://www.webcitation.org/6D2DjuwAg. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
  8. http://www.musicnotes.com/sheetmusic/mtdFPE.asp?ppn=MN0109921
  9. Dukes, Billy (September 25, 2012). "Taylor Swift, ‘Begin Again’ – Song Review". Taste of Country. http://tasteofcountry.com/taylor-swift-begin-again/. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  10. Smith, Grady (September 25, 2012). "Taylor Swift's new track 'Begin Again' isn't a break-up song". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. http://music-mix.ew.com/2012/09/25/taylor-swift-begin-again/. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  11. Sager, Jessica (September 25, 2012). "TAYLOR SWIFT, ‘BEGIN AGAIN’ – SONG REVIEW". Popcrush. http://popcrush.com/taylor-swift-begin-again//. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  12. Bjorke, Matt (September 25, 2012). "Single Review: Taylor Swift - Begin Again". Roughstock. http://www.roughstock.com/blog/single-review-taylor-swift-begin-again/. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  13. Boot, The (September 25, 2012). "Taylor Swift 'Begin Again' Lyrics Tell Sweet Story of First Date". The Boot. http://www.theboot.com/2012/09/25/taylor-swift-begin-again-lyrics/. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  14. Proper, Justin (September 25, 2012). "STREAM: TAYLOR SWIFT – BEGIN AGAIN". Under The Gun Review. http://www.underthegunreview.net/2012/09/25/stream-taylor-swift-begin-again/. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  15. Music, Much (September 25, 2012). "TAYLOR SWIFT OPENS UP IN NEW SONG BEGIN AGAIN". MuchMusic Blog. http://blog.muchmusic.com/taylor-swift-opens-up-in-new-song-begin-again/?album=6&gallery=657. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  16. John Coyne, Kevin (September 28, 2012). "Single Review: Taylor Swift, "Begin Again"". Country Universe. http://www.countryuniverse.net/2012/09/28/single-review-taylor-swift-begin-again/. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  17. http://taylorswift.com.br/katy-perry-begin-again-e-uma-das-minhas-musicas-favoritas-do-ano/
  18. Copsey, Robert (October 1, 2012). "Psy 'Gangnam Style' tops Aussie singles chart". Digital Spy. Nat Mags. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/news/a409276/psy-gangnam-style-tops-aussie-singles-chart.html. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  19. "Mumford & Sons, Green Day, No Doubt Debut at Nos. 1-3 on Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard. 2012-10-03. http://www.billboard.com/news/mumford-sons-green-day-no-doubt-debut-at-1007966352.story?utm_source=most_recent#/news/mumford-sons-green-day-no-doubt-debut-at-1007966352.story?utm_source=most_recent. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
  20. "PSY Can't Beat Maroon 5 In Close Race For Hot 100's Top Spot". Billboard. 2012-10-03. http://www.billboard.com/news/psy-can-t-beat-maroon-5-in-close-race-for-1007966592.story?utm_source=most_recent#/news/psy-can-t-beat-maroon-5-in-close-race-for-1007966592.story?utm_source=most_recent. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
  21. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/news/a409276/psy-gangnam-style-tops-aussie-singles-chart.html
  22. "Photos: "Begin Again" Music Video Set". October 1, 2012. http://tay-swift.com/photos-begin-again-music-video-set/. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  23. "Taylor Swift (taylorswift13) on Twitter". October 1, 2012. https://twitter.com/taylorswift13/status/252623315682881536. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  24. "Taylor Swift : Begin Again". CMT. Viacom. http://www.cmt.com/videos/taylor-swift/846410/begin-again.jhtml. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  25. 25.0 25.1 "Template:Citation"
  26. "Swift debuts her second video of Red". Billboard. 2012-11-25. http://www.billboard.com/news/taylor-swift-decides-to-begin-again-in-paris-1007988602.story. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  27. "Entertainment weekly thought the video as lovely". 2012-11-05. http://idolator.com/7218672/taylor-swift-begin-again-video-review-revue.
  28. (2012) Album notes for Begin Again by Taylor Swift [[[CD single]]]. Big Machine Records (4393000739).
  29. Borchetta, Scott (2012). "Liner notes", p. 18. Album notes for Red by Taylor Swift. Nashville: Big Machine Records.
  30. "Australian-charts.com - Taylor Swift - Begin Again". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  31. "Template:BillboardID?f=793&g=Singles Taylor Swift Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Taylor Swift. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2012-10-01.
  32. "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart. GfK. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  33. "Charts.org.nz - Taylor Swift - Begin Again". Top 40 Singles. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  34. "Spanishcharts.com - Taylor Swift - Begin Again" Canciones Top 50. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  35. "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. The Official Charts Company.
  36. "Template:BillboardID?f=379&g=Singles Taylor Swift Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Taylor Swift. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
  37. "Template:BillboardID?f=395&g=Singles Taylor Swift Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Digital Songs for Taylor Swift. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2012-10-01.
  38. "Template:BillboardID?f=357&g=Singles Taylor Swift Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Country Songs for Taylor Swift. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2012-10-01.
  39. "Best of 2012: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2012. http://www.billboard.com/charts-year-end#/charts-year-end/hot-country-songs?year=2012. Retrieved December 14, 2012.

External links

  • Taylor Swift official site: single, album (with lyrics)