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Taylor Swift IS the Music Industry

A deep dive into Taylor Swift’s lyrics

Taylor Swift is a worldwide phenomenon for her charisma, ambition, and talent. She started her career at 14 years old and has since then made a global name for herself. There is no doubt that Taylor Swift is musically talented, but she is also insanely lyrically talented.

One of Swift’s most popular songs is “All Too Well [10 Minute Version] (Taylor’s Version)” which tells the story of her relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal, whom she dated for three months. When their relationship was going through turmoil, she wrote the lyrics, “And I know it’s long gone and there was nothing else I could do.”

I feel the reason this song resonated with so many people was because it is a common experience that people in failing relationships understand the feeling of hopelessness that they can’t save their relationship; even people who haven’t been in a relationship can feel her vulnerability through their screen, which is what makes her music so universal.

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One of my favorite lyrics from this song is, “Just between us, did the love affair maim you too?” This lyric is perfect because she is asking only him this question, but this song is being played to millions and millions of people. She ends this song with fading out repeated lyrics, symbolizing that she wants these memories to linger and haunt him. The imagery she is able to create in the minds of her listeners is what makes her the music industry.

In 2020, she released her eighth studio album, “Folklore.” The first track on the album is “The 1.” This song is about what could have been if everything worked out with a past partner. One of her lyrics that stuck with me was, “In my defense, I have none, for never leaving well enough alone.” It is a heart wrenching lyric because I have felt regretful in situations and dwelled on what I could have done differently and if that would have changed anything.

The second to last track on the album is “peace,” one of my personal favorites. Swift describes this song as her inability to control what happens with her privacy and the fear that she could never give her partner peace. She wrote, “I’d give you my sunshine, give you my best, but the rain is always gonna come if you’re standing with me.” The amazing thing about her music is that you can relate her lyrics to any aspect of your life. There are many times when I have felt that even if I gave everything I had, it still wouldn’t be enough, but just like Swift, I hope I can find peace in that.

Her ninth studio album, “evermore,” is considered to be folklore’s sister album. Track 7 is titled, “happiness,” which is about a relationship ending and looking back at all the good times there were, despite all the bad moments. Swift said, “Haunted by the look in my eyes that would’ve loved you for a lifetime, leave it all behind and there is happiness.” She tries to get the idea across to her listeners that even if they have a situation that caused heartbreak, to look at all the times when they felt complete. In the bridge, she says, “I can’t make it go away by making you a villain.” She acknowledges her pain, but knows that she is half responsible for her relationship going downhill and ending. It makes her listeners recall a situation and realize they weren’t perfect either.

Swift ends this album with the title track, “evermore.” This song is about someone going through depression and constantly fighting to get out of it. It is a duet with Bon Iver, who represents her depression and how it consumes her. Swift repeatedly says throughout the first half of the song, “This pain would be for evermore.” I can relate to this song because I have felt the same way she has: not having hope that things could get better and that she will be stuck in this cycle forever.

During the bridge, there is a back and forth between Swift, where she is finding hope for the first time, and Iver, where he is trying to bring her back into a deep depression. She creates a scenario where she is fighting with her thoughts and trying to claw her way out of this hole.

Swift describes depression and other emotions so realistically that it is impossible not to relate. This generation in particular is struggling with mental health the most and she serves as a voice for those who are too afraid to speak up or for anyone who isn’t being listened to. 

Near the end of the song said, “In the cracks of light, I dreamed of you. It was real enough to get me through. But I swear, you were there.” This lyric symbolizes how her partner was there for her in her darkest moments and served as her lifeline back to happiness. Family and friends have helped me get through depression before and she has given me the confidence to speak up for help when I need it. She gives her listeners hope when she ends the song with, “This pain wouldn’t be for evermore.” She is saying that it is possible for you to get better and to continue to push through because there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Taylor Swift is truly in a league of her own and is a force of nature. These are only just some of the many lyrics she has written and to fully grasp her talent and vulnerability, listening to her entire discography is the way to go.

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