Taylor Swift may no longer care about country music (though tonight’s Sing Me A Story entry is so modern it’s barely country) but there are still people who really enjoy the songs of her earlier career. Now most of her stuff is more sexual, attacking critics, and defending her LGBT friends but her older songs…well, one of my reviewing colleagues at the time didn’t think Swift was authentic so it’s not like she’s never had critics.
“Teardrops On My Guitar”, from her debut album and her second single after “Tim McGraw”, which maybe should end up here someday, is about unrequited love. And you don’t need to be a teenage girl to know what that feels like. I’ve gone through it twice, and made the mistake of asking out the wrong one. (This was years apart, one in high school and one at work.) However, she made the mistake of actually naming the dude in her song…which would come back to say hello.
Co-written by Liz Rose, the song is about Swift’s real high school friend, who was in a relationship and didn’t know about Swift’s feelings. According to her fan wiki the boy would actually pay her a visit after hearing the song, but I guess she was over him by then and rejected him. Or maybe she figured he only did it because of the song. I wasn’t there at the time. Then again, a couple of other websites mention he was arrested for child abuse, though not if he was convicted. I can see her rejecting this song for those reasons at least. Maybe she should have used a fake name? Was there a Bob at her school?
The song isn’t a hard narrative, but few songs are even if those are the ones I like to really look at in this series. The song itself is quite good. You do get a feel for her inability to tell this boy how she feels about him because he already has someone special. I don’t know if she was over him by the time she made this song or not. Time can change feelings. I’m no longer interested romantically in the two unrequited love interests I had (and I will not be revealing them because I’m smarter than Swift was), remain friends with one and really want nothing to do with the other. This goes back to today’s quickpost, that relatability is subjective in the long run. I’m sure there are teenagers of both (all?) genders who have gone through this, and while the song doesn’t have her coming out stronger that wasn’t the point of the song. It’s an immediately thought about her broken heart, and that’s fine.
Swift would do a straight up pop cover and the song would appear on her Japanese release “Fearless” but I don’t know how she feels about the song today. It’s not the kind of stuff she does anymore. Still, it’s a nice bit of storytelling so she should be proud of it…just not the aftermath. Like I said, next time fake a name.