“Time, mystical time, cutting me up and then healing me fine.
Time, wondrous time, gave me the blues and then purple pink skies”
I first listened to Taylor Swift as a ten-year-old who loved everything Disney. With tracks of High School Musical and Hannah Montana constantly on repeat on my iPod, I stumbled upon ‘Love Story’. Ten-year-old me loved the beautifully simple fairy tale lyrics and this led me to explore more of her music. I loved listening to the storytelling girl from Tennessee pouring her heart out on paper. And the excitement quickly died down with new and interesting artists coming out every year.
I was once again enamoured by her words when I listened to ‘Red’, her last country album with some truly poignant songs like ‘All too well’. When she veered into pop, I was skeptical. I did listen to 1989 and songs like ‘Style’ and ‘Wildest Dreams’ are great karaoke beats, I wouldn’t have called myself a fan even then. I liked listening to her, but I never actively sought out her music. I also still didn’t grasp the obsession fans had with her and her music.
Miss Americana, a Netflix documentary about her life really opened my eyes and sealed my respect for her. It shows the journey of a young girl thrust into the ‘big bad world’ of fame and stardom. As I saw this teenage girl who just wants to sing get subjected to cancel culture, eating disorders and public shaming I felt what she was feeling. All she wanted was to work hard and share her passion with the world, and yet all the bluster often took precedence over her art.
I also saw how invested she is in her artistry, her incredible work ethic, how she writes every song from start to finish. How she is one of the few artists that has stayed authentic through her journey in the limelight.
The poet in me resonated with her words
The woman in me empathized with the struggles she has been through.
The lover in me felt her emotions with every strum of her guitar.
Recently, Taylor Swift has taken the world by storm yet again with her hauntingly beautiful album ‘Folklore’. This album converted me a Swift skeptic into a full-blown fan. I always admired the fact that she rose to fame at the tender age of sixteen and never stopped being relevant. But it was only after listening to this album that I truly appreciated her brilliance.
This album weaves a beautiful narrative with emotion dripping from every lyric. Her ability to vocalize a story is unmatched, as she uses peaceful imagery and lilting vocals to touch the soul of every listener. I was amazed by the ingenuity of the lyrics where the stories were simple but layered so beautifully. The song ‘Exile’ which describes a toxic relationship that you can’t help but go back to is now on my list of all-time favourites. Her harmony with Bon Iver is both tear-jerking and hopeful.
The song ‘invisible string’, which is the song from which I took the lyrics about time, shows so much maturity in how far she has come. She paints a story of how she has grown from all her relationships and how fate has led her to the happiness she experiences today. The other songs also tell some gorgeous stories, leading to the fitting name for the album, ‘Folklore’. This album is melancholic and emotional, and easily her best. The complexity that exudes from simple words with which she writes inspires me to be a better poet. Because at the end of the day, we write and share stories to be related to, to be understood and loved.
I admire Taylor Swift not only for her incredible poetry but also for who she is, and how she has grown and blossomed with time. The barriers she has broken serve as an inspiration to many women and artists. The trials that she has overcome imbue me with a sense of hope. To be soft and feminine and still have views about the world, to be heard regardless of what you are talking about. To stay true to who are.
P.S – If you haven’t listened to this album, please do – its lovely.
“But I can see us lost in the memory
August slipped away into a moment in time
‘Cause it was never mine“
Do comment your favourite songs, by artists who inspire you. I’d love to listen to them!