Well, we all know (and those who don’t, please find out!) about Grammy Award winner, singer and songwriter Taylor Alison Swift who will be turning 28 this year in December. The country singer and pop sensation has been one of the best-selling artists of all time, has appeared on Time’s 100 most influential people in the world(2010 & 2015) and is one of Forbes’ top earning and most powerful women of all times.
So have you ever wondered, what is it that this young celebrity writes and sings about that has made her so popular across the globe and famous in all 6 continents? Let me tell you, the story and secrets behind her chart-buster songs are as basic and beautiful as your little incidents on life and love back from high school.
As she says, ‘every single song is like a road map to what the relationship stood for.’
So here are 20 Taylor Swift tracks and the hidden messages behind them 😉
1. Speak Now
“Speak Now”, the title song of the 2010 album takes its inspiration from Swift’s friend’s real-life dilemma about interrupting a childhood sweetheart’s wedding. According to an interview with Yahoo! Music, Taylor said, “One of my friends…the guy she had been in love with since childhood was marrying this other girl and my first inclination was to say, ‘Well, are you gonna speak now?”
Then Taylor started thinking if she would have been in that scenario what exactly would her game plan be and thus ‘Speak Now’ happened.
The first single “Mine” from her album Speak Now is described as “a confession of some sort”. It is about a real-life situation with a would-be boyfriend (rumored to be about Glee star Cory Monteith).
“This is a situation where a guy that I just barely knew put his arm around me by the water, and I saw the entire relationship flash before my eyes, almost like a weird science-fiction movie”, Taylor explained.
3. Back To December
According to Taylor Swift, ‘Back To December’- which was reportedly about her breakup with Twilight heartthrob Taylor Lautner – is her first apology song. Taylor said that up until then she had not really felt like she really needed to apologize to someone…it was just necessary.
4. The Story Of Us
“The Story Of Us” was presumed to be born out of a recent run-in with an ex (Lautner? Joe Jonas?) at an awards show and the “terribly, heartbreakingly awkward” silent war the two parties embarked on that night. The lyrics of the song perfectly point out that feeling we have all encountered so many times in our lives.
“Enchanted” was inspired by a meeting in New York with a mysterious man who captured Swift’s heart and how much she hopes to continue the relationship. She started writing the song in the hotel room when she got back because of the positive, wistful feeling of ‘I hope you understand just how much I loved meeting you.’
6. Love Story
One of my favorite tracks from the album ‘Fearless’ – Love Story was inspired by a love interest of Swift’s who her family and friends were not fond of. It is also based on William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (1597), and is one of her favorite narratives, she self-penned the entire song on her bedroom floor in approximately 20 minutes. She wanted to give ‘Romeo and Juliet’ a happy ending, a feat she believed the characters deserved.
7. You Belong With Me
This song was composed after Taylor overheard a male friend of hers speaking to his girlfriend through a phone call and was almost getting chewed out by her! She was just screaming through the phone at him. Swift remembered thinking to herself, “Why does he let her push him around like that because she obviously doesn’t appreciate him?” But instead of saying that out loud to him, she wrote it down in a song.
8. Forever & Always
“Forever & Always” was a last minute addition to Fearless, where Swift self-penned the track about the fallout of her relationship with Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers. It was written in a state where she noticed Jonas’ slow shift from her and wondered why. Joe later ended the relationship with Taylor Swift for actress Camilla Belle.
9. The Best Day
“The Best Day” was a song Swift dedicated to her mother, Andrea Swift. It was inspired by an incident from her middle school when she called several of her peers on the phone and asked if they wanted to go shopping with her. However every girl had a different excuse for which they couldn’t go and eventually her mother agreed to take her to the local mall.
10. White Horse
The concept of ‘White Horse’ was triggered by a boyfriend of Swift’s who she perceived to be Prince Charming, but in the downfall of the relationship, realized was not. Swift told Billboard magazine: “It’s one of the songs that I am really proud of on the record because it’s so sparse – it’s guitar, piano and cello. It talks about falling in love and the fairy tales that you are going to have with this person, and then there is that moment where you realize that it is not going to happen. That moment is the most earth shattering moment.”
11. Teardrops On My Guitar
Written by Taylor Swift and Liz Rose, this song of unrequited love is based on a true experience during Taylor’s schooldays when she had a crush on a boy she was friends with. However there was no chance of him reciprocating her feelings as he already had a girlfriend whom he was madly in love with and he used to tell Swift all about her. The guy Swift wrote this song about was later revealed to be Drew Hardwick.
12. Dear John
The song is about rock musician John Mayer, with whom Taylor recorded a duet, ‘Half Of My Heart’ in 2009. Rumors circulated that the pair were dating for a short period after they worked on the track. The lines such as “It was wrong / Don’t you think nineteen’s too young / To be played / By your dark, twisted games / When I loved you so,” hint that it may well be about Mayer, who is 12 years Taylor’s senior. Mayer has a long list of scorned former girlfriends including Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Aniston, and his famous heartbreaking reputation is also possibly addressed here when Taylor sings about the guy who is known for “all the girls that you run dry.”
13. Blank Space
Taylor Swift over here, sends up her image as a heart-breaker who writes all of her songs about former boyfriends. She warns us that she’s “got a long list of ex-lovers, they’ll tell you I’m insane” plus she has, “a blank space baby, and I’ll write your name.” At the Secret Sessions listening parties that Swift held to preview 1989, she said her intention with this track was to run wild with the way the media portrays how she conducts her romantic life.
This song about a relationship with a guy who has “slicked-back hair” appears to be Taylor looking back at her time with Harry Styles from boy band One Direction.The clue is not only in the title but also Harry used to rock a slicked-back hair “style”. Maybe that is the reason why the lead from the music video looks so much like him.
15. All Too Well
This song was an ode to Jake Gyllenhaal famously romanced the then 21-year-old country cutie and it was their 2010 Thanksgiving holiday together that inspired the song, according to reports, with telling lyrics about spending time together with his sister Maggie Gyllenhaal at her home in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“I left my scarf there at your sister’s house, and you still got it in your drawer even now,” she wrote for the lyrics.
16. I Knew You Were Trouble
Swift has apparently immortalized her romance with Harry Styles in one of her infamous break-up anthems. This song is all about the cheating ways of Styles. She knew he was young and popular with the ladies and wasn’t ready for a serious relationship, but somehow hoped she could make it work. Taylor sings: ‘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… When your saddest fear comes creeping in, That you never loved me or her or anyone or anything.’
17. Begin Again
This one is once again about Jake Gyllenhaal. The theory is that Taylor is singing about moving on after getting dumped by Jake and relishing the sweetness she found with Will Anderson. One clue is that she and Will Anderson dated eight months after Jake and she mentioned “eight months” in the song; Will is also a James Taylor fan and she makes a reference to all her “James Taylor records.”
‘Fifteen’ by Taylor Swift started everything with the line ‘Abigail gave everything she had to a boy who changed his mind’ and written everything else from that point, almost backwards. It talks about how her best friend, Abigail, got her heart broken when they were in ninth grade. She explained: “We kind of came to the conclusion in ninth grade that we were never going to be popular, so we should just stick together and have fun and not take ourselves too seriously. That’s why I had so much fun in high school, because I didn’t focus too much on the fact that I wasn’t really in the clique.”
This song is about comparing getting over a relationship to sobriety; it has a lot of different references between addiction and moving on from a relationship. Swift explained,”You get used to not calling someone at night to tell them how your day was. You replace these old habits with new habits, like texting your friends in a group chat all day and planning fun dinner parties and going out on adventures with your girlfriends, and then all of a sudden one day you’re in London and you realize you’ve been in the same place as your ex for two weeks and you’re fine. And you hope he’s fine. The first thought that came to my mind was, I’m finally clean.”
This twangy track finds Taylor taking aim at her critics. Taylor told Entertainment News: “When you do what I do, which is you put yourself out there for a lot of people to say whatever they want, there’s a million different opinions.”
“I get that, no matter what, you’re going to be criticized for something,” she added. “But I also get that there are different kinds of ways to criticize someone. There’s constructive criticism, there’s professional criticism – and then there’s just being mean. And there’s a line that you cross when you just start to attack everything about a person.”
So now you know the secrets behind all the ideas Taylor bases her songs on, and how she artistically conceptualizes them in her mesmerizing lyrics and beautiful music videos. Creativity can happen anywhere at any time about anyone – sometimes the wrong people, and sometimes the right ones. What do you think?
If you are a Swiftie, give this article another read and share it with all the die-hard fans you know of. 🙂