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The Meaning Behind Taylor Swift’s 1989 Tracklist – It’s Swiftie Season!

The Meaning Behind Taylor Swifts 1989 Tracklist - Its Swiftie Season!

As Swiftie Summer draws to a close, we are now approaching the release of 1989 (Taylor’s Version) — an album that has (and will) change our lives forever. When it first came out in 2014, it embraced the newness of pop music through its upbeat tunes and coverage of issues in society. 

Taylor, during this time, went through many challenges both with herself and with others. She was young and starting to become famous in the industry leading her to be seen as competition to others. This put a mental strain on Taylor’s mental health, and the only way she was able to get over this was to write about her struggles in songs. Through this, she relieved the remaining stress of her past relationships, allowing her to let go and move on to her new era of life. 

As we know, Taylor is iconic for many albums, but with this specific one, we have various songs that portray how it feels to be a young adult facing the world along with complicated relationships. It perfectly encapsulates the minds of young people and how it feels to grow up and be independent. 

With these ideas in mind, I decided to break down each song with its believed meaning and how it has impacted Taylor’s life. 

Starting with ‘Welcome To New York (Taylor’s Version)’, this song talks about Taylor’s move to New York in 2014 and how it was a unique experience for her. She was now surrounded by so much more diversity, allowing her to be herself and not worry about what other people had to say. To this day, she has kept her NYC apartment and has even rented it out to close friends. 

Next with ‘Blank Space (Taylor’s Version)’, we saw a different turn for Swift. She was willing to express her bad side of herself by singing about her being a jealous girlfriend and wanting to be with her next boyfriend. This was ultimately her take on the media always commenting on her relationships and viewing her as the villain. You have to bite them back with their own sayings, don’t you? 

On to another aspect of relationships, ‘Style (Taylor’s Version)’ and ‘I Know Places (Taylor’s Version)’ address the messier, more secret side of her relationships. It is believed by many (including myself) that these songs are about Harry Styles, whom Taylor has dated previously. Taylor has always felt that the media has watched her, of which they did, and this was her way of escaping from it all. 

If we didn’t have enough about Harry Styles, then ‘Out Of The Woods (Taylor’s Version)’ would be another song that Taylor produced relating to him. This expresses the timespan of their relationship with specific examples of their ski accident and the emotions she felt throughout this experience. 

With ‘All You Had To Do Was Stay (Taylor’s Version)’, the song depicts the two decisions people have in a relationship – leaving or staying. Taylor, throughout this song, displays the hurt she felt from her significant other leaving her as well as all the things they could have done if they truly wanted to be with her. 

Now looking at pop hits we all know, ‘Shake It Off (Taylor’s Version)’ and ‘Bad Blood (Taylor’s Version)’, Taylor sings about ignoring the haters and continuing on being herself. We also see how she has her fans behind her back, and no matter what, she will always be on top. Specifically with Bad Blood, there were some issues between Taylor and Katy Perry, causing her to write this song.

As I look at ‘I Wish You Would (Taylor’s Version)’ and ‘How You Get The Girl (Taylor’s Version)’, I notice many similarities. They both represent a person’s intuition about wanting their potential significant other to do something for them and to actually want them. These songs embody the feminine side of relationships and how important it is for both parties to show their interest in each other.  

‘Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)’, ‘This Love (Taylor’s Version)’, ‘Wonderland (Taylor’s Version)’, ‘You Are In Love (Taylor’s Version)’, and ‘New Romantics (Taylor’s Version)’, are all songs that talk about the beautifulness of new love. They may come and go, just as Wildest Dreams talks about, but in the end, Taylor will always remember the experience of that love. She doesn’t care what other people think about her experiences and just continues enjoying herself. These songs also display the adventures taken during the course of these relationships and how through it all, Taylor has grown and learned so much to become the person she is. 

The last current album song, ‘Clean (Taylor’s Version)’ highlights the struggles of a relationship where you are getting nothing from it. Taylor describes her experience of being free from this relationship as refreshing and enlightening for her as she can finally grow and be herself without the other person involved. 

While those meanings are what I know so far from listening to the song and hearing others’ opinions, I would like to attempt the symbolism behind her new vault songs that are yet to be released. 

I feel that ‘”SL*T!” (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)’ is going to be a song that shines a light on the body harassment Taylor was subjected to during that time as well as how the media’s depiction of her relationships was all wrong. She’s definitely going to call them out in this song, but also owns herself doing it! 

Again with my connection to other songs on the album, I think ‘Say Don’t Go (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)’ will be addressed to one of her significant others and how she wants them to tell her how they feel and not leave her like everyone else did. 

This song, ‘Now That We Don’t Talk (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)’, feels like it’ll be a reflective piece on a previous relationship, possibly from another album. Taylor will talk about the growth she has experienced since the end of their relationship, but maybe also a little bit of regret. 

‘Suburban Legends (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)’ feels very Welcome From New York-ish. I see this being upbeat and her talking about other celebrities that have gotten her to where she is as well as how she will continue on from this point forward.

Similar to OOTD, ‘Is It Over Now? (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)’, brings on a sense of wanting something to be done. This could be a relationship, a jab at the media, or even a song of her internal monologue. 

Overall, I think these songs send powerful messages to young people around the world about relationships, independence, transformations, and so much more. Taylor is a great example of someone who has been through it all and will continue to create compelling music to inspire everyone. 

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