"Clean" as written by Taylor Swift and Imogen Heap....
The drought was the very worst, ah ah
When the flowers that we'd grown together died of thirst
It was months, and months of back and forth, ah ah
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 left to do, ah ah
When the butterflies turned to dust, they covered my whole room
So I punched a hole in the roof, ah ah
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
I think I am finally clean, ah
Said, I think I am finally clean, ah

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

The drought was the very worst, ah ah
When the flowers that we'd grown together died of thirst

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
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
Finally clean, think I'm finally clean, ah ah
Think I'm finally clean


Lyrics submitted by iholdher, edited by SarahWahdiah

"Clean" as written by Taylor Swift Imogen Heap

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Downtown Music Publishing

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Clean song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +5
    My InterpretationThis song is the most raw on her new album. She employs a simple melody and uses vivid lyrics. I think this song is basically her moving on from an unhealthy relationship. In the beginning of the song she is so broken by the break up, or the 'drought', also known as the absence of that person. After a bad relationship, you feel dirty, "like a wine stained dress". The stain isn't easy to get off, just like the memories aren't easy to forget.

    And then, ultimately, you go through the storm, or the part where the emotions and pain take over. Suddenly, the storm eventually stops, and you come out of the heartbreak and sadness a new person.

    She compares a drug addiction to an addiction to a person. Eventually, after going cold turkey and embracing the storm, you come out anew from the situation. There's temptations to go back to that person because you miss what you thought you had or who they were at the beginning. You find that it's okay to be alone and therefore you're "free" of that person, and finally clean.
    olemisschickon December 03, 2014   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThe entire album tells a story, starting with Welcome to New York and then ending with this song. The entire time she's been going back and forth with one guy, but then one day she lets him go. The "secret messages" or whatever for this one is SHE LOST HIM BUT FOUND HERSELF AND SOMEHOW THAT WAS EVERYTHING and I think that just adds to the power of the song. It's raw emotion and it's beautiful. It closes the album perfectly, and on a bittersweet note. Utterly flawless
    xoxofitzgeraldon February 16, 2015   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationI know it's about a relationship but you could also could look at it like an internal battle. A form of depression.

    "Rain came down when i was drowning thats when i could finally breathe" Sometimes when you are in so deep you end up building everything up. You could finally breathe once you were drowned with an over flow of you emotions. The drought is you holding all you have in and then ending up breaking in end.

    The song is just a story through a tough time in someone's life. "You" in the song is like talking to the illness of depression. "Ten months older I won't give/ now that I'm clean I'm never gonna risk it" Once you get over such an awful time in your life you never want to go back. You are clean from sadness. "Wine stained dress" is also a metaphor to the fact that you will always be stained by it.

    You may not agree with me but that's why I love taylor and her music. No matter what you are going through or what your story is, there is always a way to relate to her songs in different aspects other than your love life. I will always love her music for that reason. Love the song too :)
    Audrey2113on January 07, 2015   Link
  • +2
    Song FactTaylor said that in this song she compares the relationship gone bad to a stained dress. Just as the dress can be cleaned, she gets over the guy too and becomes "clean" again, but it takes time.

    "Ten months sober, I must admit,
    Just because you're clean doesn't mean you don't miss it. "
    creykon October 25, 2014   Link
  • +2
    General CommentEmploying another water metaphor, “Clean” finds Swift after a breakup drowning in the stuff (tears, presumably), until she is “finally clean” and ready to move on. Written and recorded with Imogen Heap, the sad but ultimately hopeful song is in the vein of similarly-themed Swift album closers like “Begin Again.”
    amirbeon October 26, 2014   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThis song means a lot to me personally. I've had a history of abuse and thought I'd share my interpretation. This is what it means to me.

    The drought was the very worst
    When the flowers that we'd grown together died of thirst
    (It's hard not being with you. You taught me everything.)
    It was months, and months of back and forth
    You're still all over me like I wine-stained dress I can't wear anymore
    Hung my head, as I lost the war, and the sky turn black like a perfect storm
    (For a long time I knew you were wrong, but I stayed anyway, out of hope. Everything I learned from y'all, it's stuck to me and I don't know how to get it off. I give up, I'm gonna do it. I need to cut)

    Rain came pouring down when I was drowning
    That's when I could finally breathe
    And that morning, gone was any trace of you, I think I am finally clean
    (I thought it was helping me cope with what you did to me. Like a brand new slate. Forgive and forget, yeah?)

    [For after I left the abusive relationship]
    There was nothing left to do
    And the butterflies turned to dust they covered my whole room
    (I was scared and now I'm not. My eyes are open)
    So I punched a hole in the roof
    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
    (I can't believe I let that happen. I hate you for it. Screw you. I'm making my own path, you weren't there when I needed help. You rejected to accept I had problems.)

    Rain came pouring down when I was drowning
    That's when I could finally breathe
    And that morning, gone was any trace of you, I think I am finally clean
    I think I am finally clean
    Said, I think I am finally clean
    (I'm getting better. I'll show you, bitch. I don't need y'all, or it.)

    10 months sober, I must admit
    Just because you're clean don't mean you miss it
    (I want to do it. I want to do it. I want to...)
    10 months older I won't give in
    Now that I'm clean I'm never gonna risk it
    (I won't do it. Not again, I'm stronger than that, I know I am.)
    The drought was the very worst
    When the flowers that we'd grown together died of thirst
    (I miss it. But, I don't miss you.)

    Rain came pouring down when I was drowning
    That's when I could finally breathe
    And that morning, gone was any trace of you, I think I am finally clean
    Rain came pouring down when I was drowning
    That's when I could finally breathe
    And that morning, gone was any trace of you, I think I am finally clean
    (I did it. I'm clean of you. And you. And cutting.)
    LyricMufinon December 27, 2014   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionShe said had to give it up and learn to live life being alone by herself, which was a decision she made herself for her own good. It's pretty obvious that's what this is about, at least part of it.

    "Ten months sober, I must admit
    Just because you're clean don't mean you don't miss it
    Ten months older I won't give in
    Now that I'm clean I'm never gonna risk it."
    bigtakeshion November 18, 2014   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think that this is about reflecting over a relationship that had ended in that person's life. And it was a relationship where the person reflecting was really into it. And the person just reflects over when she knew it was ending (the drought was the very worst when the flowers that we'd grown together died of thirst) and once it ended and the heartbreak that she went through and how just because she is over that person does not mean that she doesn't miss the relationship. And eventually the song gets to the present where she is reflecting and she is okay with her life and not heartbroken and she knows that it's going to be okay
    lonely_and_confusedon August 25, 2015   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationOkay... In my opinion, "clean" its not only about a relationship but it's about to get over a bad thing, some moment in your life that once made you feel like a shit but now you're finally ready to move on... You just don't let those moments, Terrible words and bad people affect you anymore! You know... Someday you'll get up and look at the mirror and You are gonna be finally clean
    namelessbiaon December 28, 2015   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI know what this really is bout but for me its about my past depression and suicidal thoughts
    awesomeKCATon September 22, 2017   Link

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