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"Tell Me Why" is the eighth track from Taylor Swift's second studio album, Fearless. It was co-written by Liz Rose, who has worked with Taylor on many songs.

Background

It is not certain as to who this song was written about. Fans speculate that this song is about Joe Jonas, Taylor's ex boyfriend who broke up with her during a 27 second phone call. In a 2008 Associated Press story, Taylor described the origin of how this song was made, during a writing session with Liz Rose. [1]

I walked into Liz’s house, and I said, ‘I can’t believe what’s going on right now, I’ve got to tell you about this.’ I told her all about it, She goes, ‘If you could say everything you were thinking to him right now, what would you start with?’ so I told her, 'I would say to him, 'I’m sick and tired of your attitude, I feel like I don’t even know you' … and I just started rambling, and she was writing down everything that I was saying, and so, we turned it into a song.

Performances

Fearless Tour

Taylor performed Tell Me Why as a part of the tour setlist.

During the Fearless era, she performed this song at an exclusive acoustic gig in Manchester, England.

Taylor_Swift_-_Tell_Me_Why

Taylor Swift - Tell Me Why

Taylor Swift performing Tell Me Why at an Exclusive Acoustic Gig in Manchester, England.

Red Tour

Taylor performed "Tell Me Why" as an acoustic surprise song on September 7, 2013 in St. Paul, Minnesota. She sang the song on the revolving B-stage with her acoustic guitar.

Tell_Me_Why_(Red_Tour)

Tell Me Why (Red Tour)

Taylor performing Tell Me Why on September 7, 2013 in St. Paul Minnesota.

Hidden message

Guess I was fooled by your smile

Explanation: Taylor feels foolish due to her mistake of dating the person that this song was about. She was captivated by his smile, but she was wrong about the kind of person he ended up being.

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
I took a chance, I took a shot
And you might think I'm bulletproof, but I'm not
You took a swing, I took it hard
And down here from the ground I see who you are

[Chorus]
I'm sick and tired of your attitude
I'm feeling like I don't know you
You tell me that you love me then you cut me down
And I need you like a heartbeat
But you know you got a mean streak
Makes me run for cover when you're around
And here's to you and your temper
Yes, I remember what you said last night
And I know that you see what you're doing to me
Tell me why

[Verse 2]
You could write a book on how to ruin someone's perfect day
Well I get so confused and frustrated
Forget what I'm trying to say, oh

[Chorus]
I'm sick and tired of your reasons
I got no one to believe in
You tell me that you want me, then push me around
And I need you like a heartbeat
But you know you got a mean streak
Makes me run for cover when you're around
And here's to you and your temper
Yes, I remember what you said last night
And I know that you see what you're doing to me
Tell me why

[Bridge]
Why, do you have to make me feel small
So you can feel whole inside
Why, do you have to put down my dreams
So you're the only thing on my mind

[Chorus]
Well I'm sick and tired of your attitude
I'm feeling like I don't know you
You tell me that you want me then cut me down
I'm sick and tired of your reasons
I've got no one to believe in
You ask me for my love then you push me around
Here's to you and your temper
Yes, I remember what you said last night
And I know that you see what you're doing to me
Tell me why
Why, tell me why

[Outro]
I take a step back, let you go
I told you I'm not bulletproof
Now you know

References

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