The History of John Mayer and Taylor Swift

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Hannah Fink, Student Writer

In 2009, John reached out to Taylor in a tweet, saying, “Waking up to this song idea that won’t leave my head. 3 days straight now. That means it’s good enough to finish. It’s called “Half of My Heart,” and I want to sing it with Taylor Swift. She would make a killer Stevie Nicks in contrast to my Tom Petty of a song.”

During the beginning of Taylor’s U.S. Fearless tour, John showed up to sing two songs with Taylor. Soon they performed the song “Half of My Heart” (released June 2009) at Z100’s Jingle Ball in December 2009. This is when the dating rumors began.

Neither John nor Taylor ever confirmed their relationship; they were rumored to be an official couple from December 2009 until some time in mid-2010.

In October, Taylor used her phenomenal songwriting skills to write the song “Dear John,” which is said to be about her relationship with John because his name is obviously in the song title and certain lyrics align with their relationship.

Another thing to note is that there is a thing called a “Dear John Letter,” which is something you send to your ex-lover when you’re no longer in love with them.

During a 2012 interview with Rolling Stone, John spoke about Taylor claiming “Dear John” was cheap songwriting and that he didn’t deserve to be called out by Taylor. 

When they dated, John Mayer was 32, and Taylor was 19. (They were 13 years apart.)

In 2013, John decided to do some cheap songwriting of his own and wrote “Paper Doll.” This song is assumed to be about Taylor due to two different lyric parallels. In Paper Doll, he wrote, “Someone’s gonna paint you another sky,” and if we look at Dear John, we can see how it parallels the lyric, “You paint me a blue sky and go back and turn it to rain.” The next lyric parallel refers to Taylor’s song in “Red” called “22” (which came out in 2012). John sings in Paper Doll, “You’re like twenty-two girls in one.”

In 2016 (four years later), John made a tweet on Taylor’s 27th birthday. He tweeted, “Tuesday, December 13, maybe the lamest day of the year, conceptually.” and later deleted the tweet.

Again in 2018, at the Q&A and performance at the iHeartRadio Theatre, he mentioned how he’d been thinking about reputation, and when fans got excited, he explained, “Not the album, but it’s fine. It’s a fine piece of work.”

And here we are again. In 2019. John flips like a switch. While on an Instagram Live with Shawn Mendes, he mocks Taylor’s song titled “Lover.”