Thursday, December 13, 2018

Taylor Swift: A Poet

Taylor Swift’s song “Red” is the title track of her album Red. She was considered a country artist until 2014 when she released 1989, her first pop album. However, Red has many pop-like songs and is believed to be when Swift first started dabbling with pop music. Whether writing country music, pop music, or something in between, Swift has always blessed her fans with great lyrics.

Typical of Taylor, “Red” is about a boy and their highs and lows. Each time she is in a relationship, everyone expects a love song and a breakup song. It is clear her intended audience is said ex, but it stretches to anyone going through a recent breakup. My personal belief is that there is a Taylor Swift song for every situation. This is just one example of a song experience everyone can relate to.

In this song, Taylor expresses her emotions through the symbolism of colors. When describing the end of her relationship she uses the colors of blue, meaning sadness, and grey, typically meaning loneliness or depression. Red, the most important color of the song, is almost always thought of in relation to love or joy. Taylor utilizes these stereotypes to her advantage by making her lyrics more meaningful while still understandable.

Losing him was blue like I'd never knownMissing him was dark grey all aloneForgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never metBut loving him was redLoving him was red

Taylor also uses a string of similes to describe what she felt during and after their relationship. These smilies make the emotions in the song feel real to the listener because they create deeper imagery, forcing them to think of emotions in a new way. Rather her than just telling them “loving him was exciting” or “I’ll never forget him”, Swift perfectly demonstrates the show-don't-tell part of telling a story.

Loving him is like driving a new Maserati down a dead-end street
Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met
Touching him was like realizing all you ever wanted was right there in front of you

The song uses consists of quatrains with an AABB rhyme scheme:
Loving him is like driving a new Maserati down a dead-end street (A)
Faster than the wind, passionate as sin, ending so suddenly (A)
Loving him is like trying to change your mind once you're already flying through the free fall (B)
Like the colors in autumn, so bright just before they lose it all (B)

In addition to be a catchy song, Taylor Swift's lyrics do not disappoint. Swift’s use of figurative language in her lyrics allow the listener to feel the emotions she felt in these various situations. Without the use of metaphors, similes, and symbolism, her song would be flat and uninteresting because it wouldn’t resonate with the listener as strongly.

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