Taylor Swift no longer needs her Romeo to “take her” anywhere. This time, she’s saving herself.
While 2021 feels just as unpredictable as 2020, there was one thing we were all certain of – Taylor Swift would save us all with her music. Last year we were all graced with the sister albums Folklore and Evermore which saw T-Swift taking her music in a different direction. Between the news that broke back in 2019 that as of November 2020 her first five albums would be available to re-record (if you want to read all the industry jargon, check out this article) and rumors of a triplet to complete the Folklore era, it was only a matter of time before we got something.
The announcement dropped February 11th. Not only was Fearless (Taylor’s Version) announced with six new songs from the Taylor-vault, but Swift excited us
all by dropping the new version of “Love Story” that night. The cover itself held promise; Taylor wearing Romeo’s shirt with her cheek turned the other way. The excitement was real.
I’m here to tell you that of course the song lived up to the hype. It’s T-Swift, how could it not? The re-release doesn’t differ much from the original 2008 version, but it’s exactly what 2021 needed. The breathier sounding ‘oh-ohs’ and the isolated vocals give it a mature sound that at almost 22, I can appreciate. Sure, there’s always going to be something sentimental and sweet about listening to 19-year-old Taylor Swift sing “Love Story” but twelve years later, it hits differently.
The lyrics are the same, as this is essentially a cover of her own song, but to me, the meaning has changed. When I was nine and belting these lyrics, I had no clue about relationships past those of Disney Princesses. And, because Taylor Swift
said so, I kept waiting for a prince to come sweep me off my feet too. But it hasn’t exactly happened like that for me yet and it took Swift a lot longer than younger me ever imagined. What do you mean Joe Jonas or John Mayor wouldn’t last? Sorry past me, but it was never going to happen. Plus, where would we all be without “Dear John,” the heartbreak anthem?
It’s not a bad thing that it took Swift longer than “Love Story” would have listeners believe to find love or that I’m still waiting (maybe I’m a little tired of waiting like she was in 2008, but I’ll live). In fact, it makes the re-release all that more impactful. I’d be satisfied enough simply knowing that this new recording is her way of regaining ownership over her songs, but this new meaning I’ve discovered has kept it on repeat. She’s still singing about Romeo sweeping her off her feet, but that’s the point. Even after all the hardships she's faced between relationships, the media and the industry, her personal “Love Story” worked out in the end. Maybe she doesn’t need a man, but she found one that treats her like a princess. That’s all any of us could want for ourselves and the love-song queen herself, Taylor Swift.