Sunday, October 13, 2013

Why I love Taylor Swift

I remember when I first heard "Ours" and I didn't really like it. I thought it was cheesy and I had never liked songs with a country twang. But soon enough I grew to adore it because it's just one of those songs that you can't help to love, even if you have sophisticated music taste or you show disdain towards anything girly or feel-good. I have a great video of my friend and I singing to it and doing very literal hand motions. It reminds me of those nights when we made stupid videos of anything that made us laugh or songs we loved. And there is also a video of us doing a very emotional rendition of "Teardrops On My Guitar" which is a cute song that can remind anyone of a crush that they desperately wanted to notice them. It's riddled with that sappy teenage girl angst, "he's a song in the car I keep singin' don't know why I do". I guarantee everyone had a crush like this when they were fifteen or sixteen, and maybe he or she made you cry, maybe you kept liking them even though you knew it was a lost cause. The songs on her first album are country fluff and innocent pop diddies but I don't care if they might lack emotional depth and true meaning because they are the kinds of songs that you like when you're in High School and you still want to be a carefree kid and yet you're imagining yourself falling in love and boys are starting to become a bigger part of your life.

"Love Story" was my second favorite song for a long time (after "Float On" by Modest Mouse). Like every little girl, I don't care if you didn't play with dolls or you cut your Barbie's hair, you wanted to be a princess. Maybe a badass princess that fought off dragons, but every little girl wants to be that special person in someone's life. The cliche princess falling in love with a prince story is a cliche for a reason. I know I've written and imagined so many princess stories and the melody of this song is just so indescribably catchy and fun to sing, "baby just say yes". It's a versatile song that I've listened to while staring out the window on a road trip or screamed with my friends on a Friday night while we had the windows down and nothing on our minds but the darkened road in front of us. "You'll never have to be alone", those words don't have to be a boy's, to me they are my friends beside me. All of us trying to navigate being a teenage girl in the complicated web of High School and rumors and boys.

"You Belong With Me" makes me smile with the first beginning chords. I remember driving to "teen clubs" with my friends and just screaming it at the top of our lungs. "Been here all along, so why can't you see?! You belong with me!" Every girl has thought this about a boy at one point in their life. Also this song's beat is impossible to resist. If you have a heart, if you remember your youth, if you've ever danced around your room singing into a hairbrush, you know exactly the feeling that this song gives you. It's like bouncing up and down on your bed, spinning in your favorite dress, looking at your friends hair blowing in the wind and singing off-key. These songs are my memories, from a time when I had no idea who I was or what I was doing, when the world was pressing against me from all sides, and they were simple. They were these minutes of simple happiness that made me feel things that maybe I didn't on an ordinarily dull school day.

These songs might be primarily about guys, but songs like "Fifteen" explain more than falling in love. They have that edgy innocence, the feelings of naivete and heartbreak when you realize that people lie and deceive you in order to get what they want. Sure these songs made me want a boyfriend, but what doesn't these days? Taylor never promoted having boyfriends, she was simply telling her stories and even looking into the future hoping for relationships that would make her a better person.

I'm not excluding guys, because I think guys can like her music too, but obviously coming from a girl's point of view I think Taylor is singing for all of us girls. She has such a good way of putting these lyrics that seem like they are from her diary (and she writes her OWN songs so this is sort of true) into these happy, heartfelt songs that make things make sense or even if they don't make sense I feel like my own feelings have meaning. That's why Taylor is so popular, she makes you feel like she's sharing something personal and it makes you feel like you can share your stories too.

"Fearless" will never get old, every time I listen to it I want to be braver and bolder. The album with the same name is probably my favorite of them all. "Best Day" is also on this album and it is the sweetest song about childhood and the bond between mother and daughter. My mom cried listening to it, and I put it in a video of clips of my mom and I for mother's day one year. Needless to say it was hit and I watch it sometimes when I need to reminded how much I'm loved and how lucky I was to have a happy childhood. "I had the best days with you." I started liking this song around the same time I was looking into colleges and it was a nice reminder of my past and how I got to the place I was with the family I had.

"Never Grow Up" on the "Speak Now" album is a similar song, but is just generally about how the world changes you as you get older. I think the message of staying young and not rushing into being an adult is important these days when I feel like the ages for doing adult things become younger and younger. "Enchanted" is one of my favorites from this album, it's about that first meeting between two people and how that connection can be instant. This album is more contemplative and not as peppy but it was still a nice accompaniment through my last remnants of High School. My senior quote was actually from "Innocent", "Today is never too late to be brand new". I think it's such a nice idea, because going through High School we are so scared of making mistakes, but we are going to, it's a given. So much pressure is put on us, we are supposed to figure out our whole lives, and we're seen as almost-adults but were so confused. We do stupid things and we don't take chances or we take paths that lead us away from who we really are, and sometimes we can't help to think "Wasn't it beautiful when you believed in everything and everybody believed in you?" "Lost your balance on a tightrope, but it's never too late to get it back".

Taylor's newest album "Red" shows her maturity, it shows her growth and her versatility. Even though my friends and I are older we still rock out to her songs like teenage girls. We can still unload those feelings of pent up emotion and frustration about all the things in our lives that are still so similar to High School (because face it people in college are not much more mature). All the people who have started to hate her lately because it's a cool fad, and "she's not country!" or "she dates so many people!" (btw this does not make her slut you don't know about her sex life), or "she's so annoying!" Yes, I don't know her personally but I do know that she is independent (writes her own music etc), she gives a good image which is hard to find these days, and everyone who says they hate her music are the ones who are dancing around their rooms with it blasting in their earbuds, or they should be because I think it would lighten them up a little bit. It's not a guilty pleasure because I don't think you need to feel guilty. It's wholesome goodness that I'm not ashamed to love.

I have friends who have gotten through breakups with her music, who have used it to battle their illness, and I know I have personally used it as a mood elevator. It has made me feel better so many times and it's brought me together with friends and brought myself happiness. "22" is that song basically saying "screw everyone and dance with your friends" which is a good motto going through your twenties because sometimes everything is just so tangled up and messed up and pressures on a different kind of way than in your teens. But turning on Taylor Swift always makes me feel like I'm riding in the car with my best friends and we don't care about our destination, but just the wind in our faces and the music blasting. Her music will always make me think of dancing around my childhood bedroom forgetting about my anxiety, or college apps or stupid crushes. It makes me feel like "everything will be alright if we just keep dancing" and it's that cheesy escape that every girl (or guy) needs sometimes. There's a time and place for Bon Iver or other artists with complex emotions, but his songs are all about "Emma" right? 

Whether she's writing a song about a little boy who died of cancer, "Ronan" or a song for "Hunger Games" about war and tragedy, she has other songs besides the ones about guys.

Now I'm going to go listen to "I Knew You Were Trouble" and forget about my two tests and paper for a little while. You should try it, cause Taylor can be a cure for those Sunday Blues.


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