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Clean -cover- (Jada & Kyson Facer)

A powerful song written and produced jointly by Taylor Swift and Imogen Heap about going through a very difficult relationship and overcoming it.

The drought was the very worst, ayh, ayh
When the flowers that we'd grown together
Died of thirst
It was months and months of back and forth, ayh, ayh
You're still all over me like a wine-stained dress
I can't wear anymore
Hung my head as I lost the war
And the sky turned black like a perfect storm

Rain came pouring down
When I was drowning
That's when I could finally breathe
And by morning
Gone was any trace of you
I think I am finally clean

There was nothing I was left to do, ayh, ayh
When the butterflies turned to dust
That covered my whole room
So I punched a hole in the roof, I, I
Let the flood carry away
All my pictures of you
The water filled my lungs, I screamed
So loud, but no one heard a thing

Rain came pouring down
When I was drowning
That's when I could finally breathe
And by morning
Gone was any trace of you
I think I am finally clean

10 months sober, I must admit
Just because you're clean, don't mean you don't miss it
10 months older, I won't give in
Now that I'm clean, I'm never gonna risk it

The drought was the very worst, ayh, ayh

Rain came pouring down
When I was drowning
That's when I could finally breathe
And by morning
Gone was any trace of you
I think I am finally clean

I think I'm finally clean
I think I'm finally clean
I think I'm finally clean
I think I'm finally clean

DROUGHT= /draʊt/ A long period of abnormally low rainfall, especially one that adversely affects growing or living conditions. He was essential to her, like water.

AYH= This doesn't mean anything, it is just an attempt to spell the sound /aɪ/ ("eye" and "I" are already words). This "sound" may be inspired in the Spanish expression "¡Ay!", which is used to express pain and is pronounced like that, /aɪ/.

THIRST= /θɜ:st/ Desire for water. When the relationship came to an end, she felt as though she was in a drought, in the same way flowers wither away if they don’t get watered enough.

BACK AND FORTH= Backward and forward; to and fro. they were in an on-and-off relationship. They’d break up often, get together again and break up again; it was a vicious cycle.

ALL OVER ME= If something is all over a place, it is everywhere in that place.

WINE-STAINED= Marked or discoloured with wine. Furthermore, a wine stain only gets removed with a great deal of effort, and usually it never completely goes away. Similarly, the scars and hurt she feels from the relationship is very difficult to get over. It took her a great deal of time to recover, and even when she did, the memory will never completely go away.

WEAR= To get spoiled, ruined or broken by use.

AS= In this sentence it means the same as "because".

TURN (+ adjective)= To become, to change or alter the nature, character, or appearance of. In this case, the sky turned black.

A PERFECT STORM= STORM /stɔ:m/ A disturbance of normal atmospheric conditions. A storm in the mind is usually symbolizes being confused and afraid, but in this case it has a mixed connotation. It’s “perfect” because, although she goes through gloomy contemplation, it marks the beginning of something new in her life. A PERFECT STORM is very big and terrible storm of incredible intensity.

POURING DOWN= Raining very heavily.

DROWNING= /drnɪŋ/ If you are drowning, you are under water and dying because you can't breathe. She felt like she was drowning in water after having been thirsty for a long time.

THAT'S WHEN I COULD FINALLY BREATHE= Once she realized that the relationship was over, it was a relief to her. The sense of realization was overwhelming but relieving; it was difficult but she is finally able to find some peace. Alternatively, this could mean that when she was going through her toughest times, she learnt the most about herself and became stronger as a person. The rain may also symbolize tears and strong emotion that she had been keeping in, as she kept struggling to accept the end of the relationship. When she was finally able to accept what happened, she let go of everything bottled inside and that made her feel free, as though she could breathe.

GONE WAS ANY TRACE OF YOU= Any vestige/rest of you, any evidence of the former presence or existence of you disappeared. Here we see a hyperbaton, which consists of changing the normal order of a sentence to make it sound more beautiful (in poetry and music, not when speaking). The correct order should be: Any trace of you was gone.

I THINK I AM FINALLY CLEAN= She feels clean now that she has reached the calm after the storm.

THERE WAS NOTHING I WAS LEFT TO DO= I had nothing more to do; everything was done.

WHEN THE BUTTERFLIES TURNED TO DUST= When the butterflies you felt in your stomach (a common metaphor for feeling in love) became dust, disappearing. Here, 'dust' has a double meaning; on one hand it means the particles of matter regarded as the result of disintegration (in this case it is a dead feeling) and, on the other hand, it literally means a thin layer of dirt on furniture. 'Dust' is here dirty. Thus, when the initial good times of the relationship was over, the guy and the relationship were both just like dirt in her life, so she needed to get rid of him from her life in order for her to be clean.

MY WHOLE ROOM= All my room. A metaphor for "all my spirit, all my being". Before, she was all feeling in love (butterflies in her stomach), and now that has changed and she feels dirty (covered in dust), and with "dirty" we don't mean any sexual connotations but the opposite of feeling nice, clean and new, like after a shower.

PUNCH= /pʌntʃ/ To make a hole or opening, as by using a punch or similar implement. “Punching a hole through the roof” is an action which symbolizes anger. She had to release all the emotions she had inside of her, that empowered her to break free, and let the guy go. Furthermore, the idea of punching a hole through the roof seems like something a superhero would do. Letting go of the relationship resulted in her empowerment, ultimately saving her from more heartache (she became her own superhero).

FLOOD= /flʌd/ An overflowing of water.

CARRY AWAY= To sweep off, take away (especially through something moving).

ALL MY PICTURES OF YOU= It could be photos, but here it means "memories".

THE WATER FILLED MY LUNGS= My lungs became full of water, so I drowned, died). While she went through this painful transition, she seems to have kept it together.

SCREAM SO LOUD= To yell intensely. No one in the outside world seemed to take notice of her suffering.

SOBER= /'səʊbə/ (Figurative) Not intoxicated or affected by the use of alcohol or drugs. Ten months showing self-control.

DON'T MEAN= This construction is ok in colloquial spoken English but it is very bad grammar: the subject is missing and the verb is not correctly conjugated. It should be: Just because you are clean, that doesn't mean you don't miss it (= his love). Alternatively, we can consider that the subject of the verb "mean" is the subordinate sentence that comes before (just because you're clean), so the subject "that" we just used would not be necessary. In that case, we have here a main clause (I must admit) with a subordinate clause of reason with an implied connector "that" (that just because you're clean), and that subordinate clause is, in turn, the subject of another sentence (doesn't mean...). Confusing? maybe a bit, don't worry about it.

I WON'T GIVE IN= I won't surrender, I won't stop fighting. The verb WILL is commonly used to express volition, so it means something very similar to "want, wish", and so, the negative WON'T means "refuse" and it expresses a decision not to do something. With a lot of effort, she has gotten over the relationship and is now wiser than she was before. Even if the idea of going back to the guy may be tempting, she knows better than to risk going through the pain all over again.

RISK= To expose to danger, a chance of loss or damage.

THE DROUGHT WAS THE VERY WORST= She remembers again... Although the drought was incredibly difficult to go through, she understands it was for the best


The hidden message in Swift's lyric book for this track reads, 'She lost him, but she found herself... and somehow that was everything.'

The song is about coming out of a relationship, or trying to move on from some struggle that you had in your life, and feeling kind of tarnished by it. It’s about comparing getting over a relationship to sobriety and realizing you were drunk before, intoxicated; we find different references between addiction and moving on from a relationship.

'Clean' is universally written, which makes it easy to apply to everyone's life. We've all been there; we have all had struggles... whether they be relationships, financial, losing a loved one, addiction, or depression. Swift said on Jimmy Kimmel Live that "if there was only one song people could remember from 1989* it would be 'Clean' because it's a song she thinks could help people go through things."

* 1989 is the title of Taylor Swift's fifth studio album, released in 2012.

The message of this song is similar to the message of another song also by Taylor Swift: I Knew You Were Trouble.


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