Penn State References You Never Noticed In ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’

Penn State’s colors might be blue and white, but after Taylor Swift’s re-recorded album released last week, almost everyone on campus has been in their “Red” era.

Whether you’re going through the biggest heartbreak of your life or just trying to make it to Thanksgiving break, here are some relatable “Red” lyrics you never knew were about Dear Old State. For posterity’s sake, let’s just call it Penn State (Taylor’s Version).

“I’m walking fast through the traffic lights.” — State Of Grace

Every Penn State pedestrian knows the thrill of crossing College Ave. when the funky little walking man symbol isn’t there. All it takes is one person to decide to cross before the entire corner is moving as one despite oncoming traffic. Sure, it makes driving on campus a guaranteed headache for everyone else, but that won’t stop us from traveling by foot now.

“I bet this time of night, you’re still up / I bet you’re tired from a long hard week.” — I Almost Do

By the time the weekend arrives, you’re probably exhausted from five days of classes and homework, but nothing can shake the urge to stay out late on a Friday night. We’re a party school after all! The post-school sleepiness is nothing a little pregame can’t fix. 

“I bet you think I either moved on or hate you / ‘Cause each time you reach out, there’s no reply.” — I Almost Do

Whether it’s Penn State Bookstore advertisements or someone offering to do your laundry for you, every Penn Stater’s spam folder is filled to the brim with unanswered emails. It’s nothing personal. We just secretly like seeing that red push notification’s number get higher and higher.

“Find myself at your door / Just like all those times before / I’m not sure how I got there / All roads they lead me here” — The Last Time

If you’re drunk and hungry at 2 a.m., it’s inevitable to find yourself at the glorious doorstep of Yallah Taco. The drunken experience is almost as cathartic as a sober listen to any Taylor Swift song.

Like returning to an ex’s place without a second thought, drunk Penn Staters always come crawling back to Yallah. Maybe you’ll even start singing this song to the employee helping you, expecting them to perform the duet with you over your late-night quesadilla.

“And darling it was good / Never looking down / And right there where we stood / was holy ground.” — Holy Ground

Do you know that feeling that takes over Beaver Stadium when the Nittany Lions win a game, or when you intertwine your arms with the people around you in the student section to sing the alma mater and everything just feels perfect? Taylor was talking about that sacred feeling in “Holy Ground.”

“I just wanna know you better / know you better / know you better now.” — Everything Has Changed

Finals are quickly approaching, and you know what that means: cram, cram, and cram some more! All those facts, formulas, and vocab words better be ingrained in your brain by the time December rolls around. You might be willing your mind to know the information better with the help of some Taylor Swift lyrics. Maybe listening to this chorus is a new manifestation tactic?

“And this is when the feeling sinks in / I don’t wanna miss you like this.” — Come Back…Be Here

As nice as it is to go back home for Thanksgiving break and see family, friends, and a table full of Thanksgiving food, it’s hard not to miss Happy Valley! Rainy days and below-freezing temperatures aside, Penn State is a second home and sometimes you just can’t help but miss it. Sure, you’ll have enough final exams and papers to complete when you get back to State College that you might regret missing, but you love it all the same.

“I’ve had (I’ve had) too much to drink tonight.” — Nothing New

This one is self-explanatory, folks.

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About the Author

Megan Dougherty

Megan Dougherty is a senior majoring in English and an associate editor at Onward State. She loves making music, consuming the maximum daily amount of coffee recommended by the FDA, and overanalyzing Taylor Swift lyrics. Feel free to follow her on Instagram @meganedougherty and forward any (free) The Eras Tour tickets to her email, [email protected]

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