John Mayer May Have Inspired These 6 Taylor Swift Songs

Taylor Swift has always pulled from her personal life — and the people she's dated — to write some of her best songs. Her past relationships have inspired tracks that cover a full range of emotions, from regret and guilt to heartbreak and nostalgia. But one ex-boyfriend seems to have been the target of most of her musical rage: John Mayer. Mayer and Swift dated between the end of 2009 and February 2010. They first met when they collaborated on his song "Half of My Heart." Swift was 19; Mayer was 32.

And though fans have assumed Swift and Mayer have not mended fences, at her Minneapolis Eras Tour show on June 24, Swift seemingly told fans not to bully Mayer (or any of her other exes) with the release of "Speak Now (Taylor's Version)," which came out July 7.

"I'm 33 years old. I don't care about anything that happened to me when I was 19," she said in part, per Vulture. "I'm not putting this album out so that you can go and should feel the need to defend me on the internet against someone you think I might have written a song about 14 billion years ago." She added that she's proud of the tracks as songwriting, not because they attack any particular person, and that's why she's releasing them again. She also thanked the crowd for their "kindness" and requested that their "kindness and gentleness extend into our internet activities." After her speech, she performed an acoustic version of "Dear John."

Back in May, another one of Swift's exes — Taylor Lautner — also expressed his concern for Mayer, albeit in a more casual context. The "Twilight" star, who is believed to have inspired Swift's apologetic breakup track "Back to December," told "Today" that he isn't worried about "Speak Now (Taylor's Version)" coming out, but he does have concerns for Mayer. "I think it's a great album. Yeah, I feel safe," he said. "Praying for John." He and his wife, Taylor Dome, went on to share a TikTok showing Lautner literally praying for Mayer to the sound of Swift's "Dear John." And perhaps in his own cheeky acknowledgment of the drama, on July 6 — before the "Speak Now (TV)" release — Mayer posted a carousel of Instagram photos that included one of drones spelling out "Please Be Kind" in the sky.

Though he isn't often portrayed kindly in Swift's music, Mayer has seemingly served as inspiration for some of the artist's best songs, including one on 2022's "Midnights" and three on the original "Speak Now," released in 2010. Ahead, these are six Swift songs fans think are about Mayer.

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Is "Dear John" About John Mayer?

"Dear John" is boldly about Swift's relationship with Mayer. Though Swift (often with a heap of sexism) has a reputation for burning exes in her music, "Dear John" from 2010's "Speak Now" is the only song that actually names an ex-boyfriend in the title. Swift's anger and deep sadness is clear from the lyrics. In the chorus she sings, "Dear John, I see it all now that you're gone / Don't you think I was too young to be messed with? / The girl in the dress, cried the whole way home, I should've known." She also accuses him of treating her like a chess piece in a game in which he "changed the rules every day."

Swift wrote on her website at the time about the song, "The song 'Dear John' is sort of like the last email you would ever send to someone that you used to be in a relationship with. Usually people write this venting last email to someone and they say everything that they want to say to that person, and then they usually don't send it. I guess by putting this song on the album I am pushing send."

Unsurprisingly, Mayer did not appreciate the track. He told Rolling Stone in 2012, "It made me feel terrible. Because I didn't deserve it. I'm pretty good at taking accountability now, and I never did anything to deserve that. It was a really lousy thing for her to do." He said Swift never reached out about the song, explaining, "I never got an e-mail. I never got a phone call. I was really caught off-guard, and it really humiliated me at a time when I'd already been dressed down. I mean, how would you feel if, at the lowest you've ever been, someone kicked you even lower?" When Rolling Stone asked about the line "Don't you think I was too young to be messed with?" he would not comment on it. He also called it, "Cheap songwriting."

But in a way, Swift predicted this response. In the song she sings, "And you'll add my name to your long list of traitors who don't understand." And when Swift was asked about the song — and Mayer's reaction to it — in a 2012 interview with Glamour, she called him "presumptuous" and said she didn't want to know the details of his comments. "I know it wasn't good, so I don't want to know," she explained. "I put a high priority on staying happy, and I know what I can't handle."

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Is "The Story of Us" About John Mayer?

Swift's "The Story of Us," another "Speak Now" song, is about running into an ex at an event and freaking out that you aren't together anymore. "Now I'm standing alone In a crowded room and we're not speaking / and I'm dying to know is it killing you like it's killing me?" she sings. The liner note for the song is "CMT Awards" — because in 2010, Swift and Mayer both attended the awards and were sitting near each other.

Back in 2010, Swift wrote on her website about the song, "Let me just preface by saying that I have happened to run into exes in strange places lately. This is about one of those situations where the strange place that I ran into him was an awards show."

She continued, "I was seated a couple of seats away from him and there was so much that needed to be said, and neither one of us was willing to say it. We were both acting like we were engaged in conversations with people that we don't even know. It was just miserable. I was telling my Mom about it later, and I said I felt like I was standing alone in a crowded room. And then I was like, 'Gotta go. Bye!' And my Mom is used to that at this point so, that's what this song is about."

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Is "Superman" About John Mayer?

"Superman" is a track on the deluxe edition of "Speak Now." In the song, Swift imagines herself as the love interest of Superman, always stuck at home while he jets around the world. At first, that doesn't seem like Mayer, since Superman's reputation is always squeaky clean. But in the second verse, she describes this Superman even more, saying, "He's complicated, he's irrational" and "Something in his deep brown eyes has me singing / He's not all bad like his reputation." All this has led some fans to believe the song is about Mayer.

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Is "Would've, Could've, Should've" About John Mayer?

If Mayer thought "Dear John" was too much, he's certainly not a fan of "Would've, Could've, Should've." In the track, off of 2022's "Midnights," Swift revisits their relationship again with the hindsight of the 13 years she's grown since it occurred, and she's even angrier about it than she was the first time.

What are the clues that let us know it's about Mayer? Swift says that she was 19 when their affair took place, singing, "I would've stayed on my knees / And I damn sure never would've danced with the devil / At 19." She also addresses the idea that she tainted him by association (and through her songs), singing, "If I was some paint, did it splatter / On a promising grown man?"

But what's clearest in the song is the way their time together has stayed with Swift through the years. She writes in the song, "If clarity's in death, then why won't this die? / Years of tearing down our banners, you and I. / Living for the thrill of hitting you where it hurts. / Give me back my girlhood, it was mine first."

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Is "Electric Touch" About John Mayer?

In "Electric Touch," a vault song on "Speak Now (Taylor's Version)," Swift sings about her fear diving into a new relationship. "I've got my money on things goin' badly / Got a history of stories ending sadly," she sings. In the chorus, she says, "Got a feelin' your electric touch could fill this ghost town up with life." The secret rendezvous in the track is reminiscent of the ways in which she wrote about her brief relationship with Mayer bringing excitement to her life.

Plus, in 2002, Alice Peacock released the song "Bliss," which features vocals from Mayer. In it, she sings, "Your touch is electric / I felt it the first time you held me." "Electric Touch" could be referencing that song.

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Is "I Can See You" About John Mayer?

In "I Can See You," another vault track from "Speak Now (Taylor's Version)," Swift narrates a secret attraction to someone she shouldn't be with. She sings at one point, "And we kept everything professional / But something's changed." That could be a reference to the singer working with Mayer on their 2009 duet "Half of My Heart." They tried to just work together, but she wanted to give in to her attraction.

At the end when they do kiss, she sings, "Then we kissed and you know I won't ever tell, yeah / And I could see you being my addiction / You can see me as a secret mission." This alludes to the same themes of secrecy that Swift sings about in her other songs about Mayer.