It’s finally here: “Red (Taylor’s Version)” made its long-awaited debut on Friday, giving Taylor Swift fans old classics to revisit and new heartbreaking tracks to devour. Among those songs is one that is both an oldie and a newbie, “All Too Well,” because the beloved ballad has been extended from its original 5-minute, 29-second runtime to a 10-minute version.
And if you were one of the Swifties who immediately jumped to “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)” with excitement when the re-recorded version of “Red” dropped at midnight, you can thank Swift’s mom, Andrea, for making the epically long track happen.
“The way that this song was written was, I was going through a bit of a sad time and I was 22 and I was in band rehearsals,” Swift told Jimmy Fallon on Thursday’s “The Tonight Show,” just ahead of the release of “Red (Taylor’s Version).” “I think I was 21 when I wrote this, and I was in band rehearsals for a tour that I was about to go on called the ‘Speak Now Tour.’ I showed up for rehearsals and I just was really upset and sad and everybody could tell it was really not fun to be around me that day. So I started playing guitar and just kind of playing the same four chords over and over again. I just started kind of — the band sort of joined in, and I started ad-libbing what I was going and what I was feeling. And it went on and the song kept building and building and building in intensity. The song just went on for about 10 to 15 minutes of us doing this. And then we got done with that and we moved on to the regularly scheduled rehearsal.”
Swift continued: “At the end of the day, my mom came up to my sound guy and was like, ‘Is there any chance that you recorded that?’ And he was like, ‘Yup!’ and handed her a CD. The 10-minute version of ‘All Too Well’ is what was originally written for the song, before I had to cut it down to a normal-length song. Because 10 minutes is absurd, that’s an absurd length of time for a song to be. Who thinks that they can put out a 10-minute song? I mean, obviously, me.”
Fallon told her that, yes, of course everyone wants a 10-minute version of the breakup track, which fans know was written about Swift’s split from Jake Gyllenhaal (and his alleged kidnapping of her scarf).
“That’s what you’ll get. And that’s the thing I’m most excited about, because it’s the original lyrics,” she said.
Swift also revealed to Fallon that fans will get to see her perform the 10-minute version of “All Too Well” tomorrow, when she appears as musical guest on “Saturday Night Live” alongside host Jonathan Majors.
Watch this portion of Swift’s interview with Fallon via the clip above, and the two others below.