The Meaning Behind Taylor Swift’s Romantic Ballad “Enchanted”

When Taylor Swift released her third studio album, Speak Now, in 2010, she found crossover success with singles like “The Story of Us” and “Mine.” A decade later, a soaring romantic ballad called “Enchanted” evolved from an often overlooked album cut to a viral hit.

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Swift’s record-breaking move to re-record her entire discography has helped many of her songs get their overdue moment in the spotlight. “Enchanted” is no exception, and the new attention has made many listeners curious about the inspiration behind her ode to unrequited love.

The Lyrics

Often cited as one of Swift’s most straightforward love songs, “Enchanted” finds Swift desperately searching for answers. She poetically describes a bleak moment that bursts with color once a mysterious stranger approaches her. 

The playful conversation starts
Counter all your quick remarks
Like passing notes in secrecy

The spark between them ignites in the song’s soaring chorus. The nervous excitement that accompanies the introduction of a possible love interest bursts from every line.

This night is sparkling, don’t you let it go
I’m wonderstruck, blushing all the way home
I’ll spend forever wondering if you knew
I was enchanted to meet you

The song ends with Swift still pleading for the truth. Could this moment mark the start of something much bigger?

Please don’t be in love with someone else
Please don’t have somebody waiting on you

The Inspiration

During promotion for the release of Speak Now, Swift revealed that she penned “Enchanted” after meeting a mystery man in New York City. Their brief encounter immediately captivated and inspired her, leaving her wondering if they’d ever cross paths again. 

“I started writing that in the hotel room when I got back,” Swift told Yahoo! Music in a 2010 interview. “Because it just was this positive, wistful feeling of: I hope you understand just how much I loved meeting you. I hope that you know that meeting you was not something that I took lightly or just in passing.”

They did connect again, according to Swift, and exchanged a few emails. She also admitted that she purposefully included the term “wonderstruck” because the unnamed sender included it in a message he sent to her.

The Response

Four months after Speak Now was released, Adam Young—the man behind the electro-pop project Owl City—made a move. He shared a message on his band’s official website, along with his own cover of “Enchanted.” 

Young’s rendition included altered lyrics, which directly responded to Swift’s hopeful lyrics. I just wish you knew / Taylor, I was so in love with you.

The romantic gesture made headlines but didn’t garner a public response from Swift. Although many fans are convinced that Young is the inspiration behind “Enchanted,” Swift has never publicly confirmed or denied the rumors.

The Renaissance

In 2021, fans anticipating the arrival of “Enchanted (Taylor’s Version)” led the love ballad to go viral on TikTok. The track was included on Swift’s re-recorded version of Speak Now, which finally dropped last July 7. She also included it in the permanent set list of her ongoing Eras Tour, which she performs in a colorful ball gown as a nod to the song’s fairytale-like theming. 

During a performance on the night prior to the release of Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), Swift cautioned the crowd. Songs like “Enchanted” and “Dear John,” rumored to be about her relationship with John Mayer, were again the subject of speculation. While on stage, Swift asked her fans to let the past stay in the past.

“I’m 33 years old. I don’t care about anything that happened to me when I was 19,” she told fans. “I’m not putting this album out so you can go on the internet and defend me against someone you think I wrote a song about 14 million years ago.”

It’s clear that Swift fans won’t get any straight answers about the inspiration behind “Enchanted” any time soon. In some ways, that mystery more easily allows listeners to put themselves in the narrator’s shoes, transferring the song’s meaning into their own hands.

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

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