Taylor previewed the track on the October 1, 2012 episode of ABC's Good Morning America. The song finds Swift playing with the idea of colors in relation to her emotions about a relationship. Before playing the track, Swift explained its meaning: "I wrote this song about the fact that some things are just hard to forget," she said, "because the emotions involved with them were so intense and, to me, intense emotion is red." Swift explained that she decided to name the this song as her album title, as its lyrics encompass the entire theme of the project. "Thinking about what that means to me and all the different emotions that are written about on this album – they're all pretty much about the tumultuous, crazy, insane, intense, semi-toxic relationships that I've experienced in the last two years," she noted. "All those emotions – spanning from intense love, intense frustration, jealousy, confusion – in my mind, all those emotions are red. There's nothing in between; there is nothing beige about any of those feelings." She explained to Billboard magazine. "I think the reason I said that was because I made the record exactly the same way I made the last three. I knew I hadn't jumped out of my comfort zone, which at the time was writing alone and working with Nathan. [Red] the song was a real turning point for Red the album. When I wrote that song my mind started wandering to all the places we could go. If I were to think outside the box enough, go in with different people, I could learn from and have what they do rub off on me as well as have what I do rub off on them."