Swift opens the iconic Pop track with an idealized version of how things were in her relationship; “Once upon time, a few mistakes ago, I was in your sights, you got me alone, you found me.” “I Knew You Were Trouble” is indicative of the pitfalls and misinterpretations rife during bad boy love scenarios. Here, Swift analyzes not so much what went wrong, but how she missed all of the signs because she was infatuated with the man who walked into her life. Now in hindsight, she tenderly rages about it; “I guess you didn't care, and I guess I liked that, and when I fell hard, you took a step back, without me, without me, without me.” The chase is a strange thing, where, for some, the more a guy doesn’t want you, the more attention you might give him – and you don’t exactly know why, because he probably doesn’t even deserve it if he acts so disinterested. This is a malaise that effect the pretty successful types, such as Swift, who could probably have any decent guy she showed interest in, yet found herself chasing the unattainable. Characteristic of the unattainable is that they really don’t care that much when they are fawned after by multiple women – Swift must have been one of them, and got burned because of her not putting two and two together. Because this track is about empowerment, the boy is vilified, and Swift comes out on top in the end, yet, she should be more humble throughout and stick to the feelings associated with the first verses, since after all, the guy was just being himself all along and she couldn’t handle it. She presumes to know this whole guys life with the lines “When your saddest fear comes creeping in, that you never loved me or her or anyone or anything, Yeah.” She would have been wiser to have just said that she wasn’t loved by him, not all the extra stuff. Funny how history gets rewritten by the victorious. Yet, there is humility related to her blaming herself for not seeing things clearly, delivered in an exciting manner during the explosive hook; “'Cause I knew you were trouble when you walked in, so shame on me now flew me to places I'd never been, so you put me down oh, I knew you were trouble when you walked in so shame on me now, flew me to places I'd never been, now I'm lying on the cold hard ground, oh, oh, trouble, trouble, trouble, oh, oh, trouble, trouble, trouble.” The chorus background glitches and jerks with the same intensity of Swift’s wrestling emotions, as she revisits the past and deals with the lessons learned. From the horse’s mouth, Taylor dished about the backstory of the jam on Good Morning America; "It's a song that is one of my favorites on the album, because it sounds just as chaotic as the feeling was when I wrote it," she said. "It's a song about being frustrated with yourself because here you are heartbroken and you knew when you first saw this person, you saw all these red flags and you went for it anyway. So, shame on me.”
Taylor Swift, Max Martin, Shellback
"I Knew You Were Trouble." is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift for her fourth studio album, Red (2012). It was released on October 9, 2012, in the United States by Big Machine Records as the third promotional single from the album. Later, "I Knew You Were Trouble" was released as the third single from Red on November 27, 2012, in the United States. It was written by Swift, Max Martin and Shellback, with the production handled by the latter two.