Dear John (Taylor Swift song)

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"Dear John"
Song by Taylor Swift
from the album Speak Now
GenreCountry Pop
LabelBig Machine
Songwriter(s)Taylor Swift

"Dear John" is a song written and recorded by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift for her 2010 album Speak Now. Swift wrote the song on her own, as with every other song on Speak Now, and it is allegedly about fellow singer John Mayer. The song charted at number 54 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and at number 66 on the Canadian Hot 100.


Dear John sees Swift reflecting on a turbulent relationship with an emotionally manipulative, older man. She allegedly wrote "Dear John" about singer John Mayer, whom she dated from December 2009 to February 2010. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Mayer said, "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?" Mayer also insulted Swift as a songwriter, saying it was "cheap songwriting".[1] When Swift was asked about the rumors, she didn't confirm them but also didn't deny that the song was about Mayer. "How presumptuous! I never disclose who my songs are about," she said.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

The New York Times called "Dear John" "by far the most scorching track on Speak Now."[3]

In 2017, Billboard ranked "Dear John" at number 18 on its list of the 100 greatest deep cuts of the 21st century, and added that "it's surgical, but full of the betrayal that anyone past a first crush can understand. It's a perfect song to scream along to with friends, or cry along with in solitude".[4]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Tidal.[5]

  • Taylor Swift – vocals, songwriter, producer, acoustic guitar
  • Nathan Chapman – producer, acoustic guitar, digital piano, banjo, bass guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, organ, synthesizer
  • Bryan Sutton – acoustic guitar
  • Amos Heller – bass guitar
  • Tim Marks – bass guitar
  • Tommy Sims – bass guitar
  • John Gardner – drums
  • Nick Buda – drums
  • Shannon Forrest – drums
  • Grant Mickelson – electric guitar
  • Mike Meadows – electric guitar
  • Paul Sidoti – electric guitar
  • Rob Hajacos – fiddle
  • Tim Lauer – Hammond B3
  • Al Wilson – percussion
  • Eric Darken – percussion
  • Smith Curry – steel guitar

Live performances[edit]

Swift played the song throughout the Speak Now World Tour.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[6] 68
US Billboard Hot 100[7] 54


  1. ^ "John Mayer: Taylor Swift's 'Dear John' Song 'Humiliated Me'". June 6, 2012. Archived from the original on June 23, 2012. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  2. ^ "Taylor Swift: John Mayer is 'presumptuous' to think 'Dear John' is about him". October 1, 2012. Archived from the original on February 25, 2014. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  3. ^ "Taylor Swift Is Angry, Darn It". October 20, 2010. Archived from the original on January 29, 2015. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  4. ^ "The 100 Best Deep Cuts by 21st Century Pop Stars: Critics' Picks". Billboard. November 21, 2017. Archived from the original on November 23, 2017. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  5. ^ "Credits / Speak Now (US Version)". Tidal. Archived from the original on December 16, 2019. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
  6. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  7. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved February 12, 2012.