Taylor Swift’s re-release of Love Story came out last night and I had some pretty overwhelming thoughts.
I know I’m far from the first girl that has felt a special connection to Taylor Swift’s early music. She influenced an entire generation of young Millennial and Gen-Z songwriters to follow in her footsteps. This isn’t a unique story at all, but it is mine.
It’s kind of perfect that Love Story is the first of Taylor’s re-releases, because it was the first song of hers I ever heard. It was also the first song I ever sang in public. I was probably about ten years old and we were throwing a surprise party for my aunt at a restaurant. I had no sense of pitch but a whole lot of guts. I stood up in front of a whole bunch of adults and sang the song to everyone with only my iPod in hand. The next year I wrote my first song. You can hear the influences from the entire Fearless album.
I wasn’t anywhere close to a good musician at eleven years old and I certainly was no songwriter, but Taylor’s music – and Love Story in particular – brought an entirely new wave of passion for music to me.
Today, over a decade later at twenty-two years old I sit in my basement overwhelmed with emotions listening to this song, this one song that found me in both the most innocent moments of my life and the most terrifying. I sit here full nostalgia for times where I was either escaping into a romanticized daydream or crying myself to sleep. Either way, I still had music. I had my dad’s extensive collection of CD’s beside my own more modest set, including Fearless. Music served as my armour and my healing during years of my life where I was both being torn apart inside and slowly finding myself all at once. Somewhere deep down, Fearless nudged me in the direction of my deepest love and planted the seed of passion for what would become the path I pursued later in life with all my heart.
So it may be expected, or basic to say that Taylor’s early albums influenced me deeply as an artist. I’m sure there are thousands, if not millions of other girls that would say the same thing. But that just proves the extent of the influence a single person and a single piece of artwork can have on the entire world.
An artist has the right to own their artwork. I have no doubt that the rest of these re-recorded songs will continue to elicit the same feelings of joy and wonder.