The narration and lyricism of “Champagne Problems” pierce the heart of the listener like a freshly sharpened steak knife. Even a casual Taylor listener knows she likes a turn of phrase, and the way she’s transformed a simple phrase like champagne problems, which is used to describe trivial matters, into a tragic love story gone wrong is remarkable.
The song culminates in a bridge with the same intensity and heartache as “All Too Well”, but this time it imbues even more maturity, more heartache and more bite. The line in “All Too Well” that says, “You call me again just to break me like a promise” has now become “‘She would have made such a pretty bride /’ What a pity she was screwed in the head ,’ they said.” Finding new ways to explore this universal heartache, self-doubt, and insecure inner monologue has always been Taylor’s strong suit. And in “Champagne Problems”, each words, each line and each performance of its low register paints this image beautifully and tragically.
Favorite lyrics: “One for the money, two for the show. I was never ready so I watch you go. Sometimes you just don’t know the answer, until someone gets down on your knees and you asks. ‘She would have made a bride so beautiful /’ It’s too bad she’s screwed in the head, ‘they said. “