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Niche Situations for Listening to Every Song on Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

Taylor has done it again: released an addictive album with no skips. After listening to Fearless (Taylor’s Version) every waking moment, I decided that I should assign each song it’s own unique occasion in which to listen to. Maybe you’ll agree. Maybe you won’t. Who cares? It’s the end of the semester, baby. Please note that I am listening to each song as I meditate, trying to perfect my analysis.

Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

Alright, we are starting off strong here. My recommendation for an optimal listening of “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” is at 2:24 p.m. on a Thursday in early June -- let’s say: June 10th. You and your two hometown friends are sitting in the back of a newer model pickup truck bed that is, of course, covered in a thin layer of dirt from the dusty farm roads that you drive on the edge of town. Your dad is driving the truck, but you’re connected to the speaker via Bluetooth so you’re in charge of the music. As the truck speeds down the country roads, you and your friends scream the lyrics over the wind, not caring if you’re in the right key. Your dad pretends he’s not vibing with the song, but he most definitely is (duh).

Fifteen (Taylor’s Version)

Setting the scene: it’s just after sunset, blue hour, a dim light cast over your backyard. You’re in your bedroom on the second floor of your house. The bedroom window is cracked open. The lamp on your desk with the pink lamp shade makes the room feel warmer. You just had your first kiss and it meant a lot to you, but nothing to him (or her). Your coping mechanism is obviously going to be singing “Fifteen (Taylor’s Version)” to your reluctant cat or dog who you’ve trapped in your bedroom because you just want to cuddle with them. Your cat (or dog) wants to go back down to the kitchen to beg for treats, but you won’t let that happen until you’ve finished pouring your heart out to them by whisper-singing this song. Also, you’re sitting on the bedroom floor. By the end of the song, you realize, “Yeah Taylor, you’re right. I’m gonna do better things than this.” Then you get off the floor and finish your algebra homework.

Love Story (Taylor’s Version)

POV: It's charcuterie and wine night! Emphasis on the wine. You have no idea what time it is (might be 12 a.m. or 2 a.m.), but all you care about is screaming “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” until you strain your vocal cords. You and your friends started off standing on the green couch that your friend found on the curb when she moved into the apartment, and somehow you all ended up laying on the floor by the end of the song. At 3:13, you all turn to each other and propose simultaneously -- obviously. You all choose to ignore the neighbors knocking on the wall, telling you to turn it down. It’s a good song, they can deal with listening to it no matter what hour of the night it is. 

Hey Stephen (Taylor’s Version)

You’ve just gotten off the bus and home from school. You walk into the kitchen and realize your parents are at work, and your sibling is at a friend’s house. You’re home alone. Pure bliss. So, you change into comfy clothes and -- hear me out -- make a peanut butter sandwich. I guess if you want you can add jelly to your vision (I’m not a PB&J person, sorry). You play this song so that it fills the whole house and you dance around waving the peanut butter knife everywhere like a totally sane person. The entire time you think about that mildly attractive boy in your pre-calc class who you’ve never spoken to in your life. The next day at school you internally scold yourself when you see him in class -- he’s not that cute. Not “you look like an angel” cute. Embarrassing. He can never find out that you think about him when you make peanut butter sandwiches. 

White Horse (Taylor’s Version)

It’s a January Sunday and it’s only 6:30 p.m., but because of daylight savings it feels like 10 p.m. It’s raining, but not enough for snow, so you’re just cold and miserable. Your parents wanted to go out to dinner as a family, but you just wanted to stay home to finish your homework and watch three hours of Netflix. You also really have to pee and are getting car sick. Your mom is sitting up front talking on the phone with her friend, and your legs are cramped because your dad is tall and puts the seat back too far. To compensate for your misery, you put on “White Horse (Taylor’s Version)” and stare out the window at the oncoming traffic. The rain on the window makes the headlights blurry. As the song plays, you think about that person you almost had something with, and how they hurt you. Did you ever date? No. Does it matter? Also, no. 

You Belong With Me (Taylor’s Version)

Okay, it’s late May and it’s finally the warm part of spring. You decide to start working on your tan, so you’re hanging out in the backyard. AirPods in, sunglasses on. You brought out a book that you said you’d read, but you’re too preoccupied with checking your Instagram feed. When you refresh the page, you see that your crush just posted a six-month anniversary post with their significant other. Ugh. Why are they still together? They’re not even good for each other, you complain to yourself. You text your best friend right away: "look at what he posted." Two minutes pass until the response comes in: "Ew." Cue “You Belong With Me (Taylor’s Version)” and trying your hardest not to think about that post. In doing so, it’s all you end up thinking about. 

Breathe (feat. Colbie Caillat) (Taylor’s Version)

Everyone knows that cliché scene in the movies when the main character has to leave someone important behind at an airport to start their new life, right? Well, this song matches that perfectly. You hug your special person and say a tearful goodbye, looking over your shoulder as you make your way to the TSA and your gate. You feel your heart grow heavier as you turn away from them, knowing it’ll be a while before you see them again. Just like the song, you feel heartbroken, but also some hope as you board the plane -- there is so much waiting for you out in the world. You need to take this opportunity to find yourself and to grow into the best version of yourself. Let’s leave your comfort zone.

Tell Me Why (Taylor’s Version)

Picture yourself after a fight with someone and you just want to get all of your angry energy out. Channel your energy into this song while you give it your all at spin class or on a stationary bike. You’re mad, and frustrated, and upset. Luckily, “Tell Me Why (Taylor’s Version)” combined with a HIIT workout (or a simulation of biking the roads of France) is a sure-fire way to rid yourself of all your pent-up aggression.

You’re Not Sorry (Taylor’s Version)

Waiting by the phone for hours after someone says they’ll call is probably the worst feeling ever. And that’s exactly the situation in which “You’re Not Sorry (Taylor’s Version)” should be played in. It’s a Friday night and you’re angry. You’re hurt. He said he’d call and he never did, and you are done. I feel you girly, I feel you. Put this song on and throw his clothes off a balcony. While crying. Make sure you’re crying. But, like, the picturesque cry so you can still sing along and not have snot running down your face. Don’t shed more than 3-5 tears for stupid boys. Actually, scratch that. No tears for stupid boys. We’re better than that.

The Way I Loved You (Taylor’s Version)

We’re changing it up a bit. This time we’re not cursing our exes. Envision a large gymnasium crowded with hundreds of other burnt-out high school seniors. You’re in a short dress that you spent too much time picking out and spent too much money on. You know that prom is lame, but also you’re feeling nostalgic because you’re only a few weeks away from graduating and leaving for college. You’re in love with your prom date and you want to stay in the moment of yelling the lyrics to “The Way I Loved You (Taylor’s Version) at each other while you dance clumsily around your friends. Definitely a freeze-frame moment in a coming-of-age made-for-TV movie. 

Forever & Always (Taylor’s Version)

Ready for my most niche take so far? It’s 9 p.m., you’re driving 20 miles over the speed limit down the highway (I do not condone speeding; please drive safely), and you are just blasting this song in your car. There’s no other way you should be listening to it anyways. This is a drive with a destination, though. You drive and drive and drive until you find the spot you were looking for: the pond. You get out of the car. The song is blaring in your AirPods (don’t question the logic of this, thanks) and you just start hurling rocks into the pond. Some of them skip, by chance, and some of them plop into the water, sinking down to the bottom, never to be seen again. Throw as many rocks as you want. Throw all the rocks, it’s what Taylor would want. 

 The Best Day (Taylor’s Version)

If you don’t picture having a picnic in a field or cottage core vibes with this one, I don’t know what you’re doing. Blue skies and puffy clouds and a picnic basket must be present when listening to “The Best Day (Taylor’s Version).” If it were me, I’d be wearing a pastel yellow dress and a ribbon in my hair, but that’s a personal preference. You do you. 

Change (Taylor’s Version)

You’re in the park at dusk. Your friend challenges you to a race, you accept. Somehow it turns into half racing and half tag and you’re trying to outrun each other. You both end up tripping on your shoelaces and you laugh while sitting out of breath on the slightly damp grass. When you decide to leave, you race each other back to the car. On the way home, you hang your head out the window and let your hair get all tangled up in the wind. It’s exciting to be alive.

Jump Then Fall (Taylor’s Version)

Another POV: you’re in a bar talking to a guy you just met. Don’t worry, he’s not a creepy one, he’s a good one. The bar has mahogany furniture and dark wood. He’s probably drinking whiskey. It’s mid-autumn, and there are lots of colorful leaves on the pavement outside. You meet up with him the next day and go on a walk, admiring the foliage. You wear a brown leather jacket (Christian Girl Autumn energy?), and he holds your hand. It’s that “honeymoon phase” when you start seeing someone new and everything’s going right. Hopefully, that feeling lasts a long time. 

Untouchable (Taylor’s Version)

First week of December, you’re laying in bed staring at your ceiling. You can’t fall asleep. You’ve tried everything. You toss and turn. You lie on your stomach, you count to one hundred, you read a chapter of a book. Nothing works. Your mind is buzzing. You think about situations you regret and try to force yourself to think about positive memories. The mistakes you made keep creeping back in. This song kind of feels like tossing and turning, the sheets getting twisted around your legs because you can’t stop moving. Your muscles are sore. Eventually, you’re so tired, you fall into a deep sleep and when you wake up, you don’t remember how you got yourself to relax. This song is good for when you feel restless.

Forever & Always (Piano Version) (Taylor’s Version)

So now it’s July and there’s a summer storm. There’s light thunder in the distance, the sky is dark, you light a candle. You decide to journal and have a wide variety of pens to choose from. The weather is the perpetuating factor of your melancholy, and so you decide to write a goodbye letter to someone you didn’t get closure with. You tell them everything you want to say, not leaving out even the worst parts. Sometimes you mess up and scratch the spelling errors messily. It doesn’t matter, they won’t ever see it anyways. When you’re done writing, you feel a sense of relief and finality. You close the journal and slip it under your mattress where it’ll be safe from everyone but yourself. 

 Come In With The Rain (Taylor’s Version)

It’s Saturday at noon and you’re sitting on the porch of your grandparent’s farmhouse. The dog is asleep on the steps in the sunshine, you’re waiting for someone to arrive. Maybe a friend, a partner, someone you care about. You sit on the porch bench, swinging your legs back and forth, taking in the view of the front yard. There’s a long dirt driveway and birds are picking at the bugs in the grass. There are muddy boots waiting by the door and a doormat with the words “Welcome Home” faded from so many visitors' shoes. Your bike leans up against the porch steps. You hope that person you’re waiting for won’t take much longer to arrive. 

Superstar (Taylor’s Version)

This song is perfect for driving to the coffee shop after school. You’ve had a long day of classes, you’re feeling drained, you just want some alone time in the car. You have your windows rolled down halfway and this song on low, humming along. In the back of your mind, you’re thinking about that unobtainable person who you’ll always have a soft spot for, but you know that realistically it’s not meant to be. They’re out of your league and that’s okay. Learning how to cope with things we can’t have is a part of life. 

The Other Side Of The Door (Taylor’s Version)

The majority of Taylor’s songs have small town energy, but this one struck me as particularly “small town”. For this song, you’re transported to the parking lot of a shopping center. The stores are still open, but the parking lot is mostly empty. The person you love gets out of the car and asks you to dance under the fluorescent lights. The car stereo amplifies “The Other Side Of The Door (Taylor’s Version)” as you both spin around until you’re dizzy. You remember there’s a skateboard in the trunk of the car, and you pull it out to make use of the empty lot. You fall a bunch of times, but the person you love is right there next to you, waiting to catch you before you hit the ground.

Today Was A Fairytale (Taylor’s Version)

You’re sitting on a screened in porch in the middle of August. It’s hot, but not humid. The sun is shining bright into the room. Plants line the perimeter of your surroundings. You lean against him on the couch, talking about every topic that crosses your mind. Sometimes the conversation is about trivial things like the best kind of shoes and sometimes the conversation reaches philosophical levels about the universe and the stars. Every hour feels like minutes when you’re together. You get butterflies in your stomach when he puts his arm around you, and you smile to yourself. You realize you’re happy for the first time in awhile. 

You’re All Over Me (feat. Maren Morris) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)

Foggy mornings and dewy grass. There’s an old wooden shed in the backyard with a leak in the ceiling. Inside the shed, there’s a rusted bucket half full of rain water. The stray cat hides in the corner, darting out through the broken planks when you walk through the door. You’re home from college for the first time since leaving for school and everything seems too familiar, but also out of place. You’re stuck in between the place you were made and the place where you belong. When you drive through town, everything feels sickeningly familiar. Nothing ever changes. You drive past the church, and the library, and the traffic lights that you know are on a 30 second timer so you can calculate when they’ll turn red. You used to be sentimental and not want things to change, but after leaving your comfort place for a while, you realize change is healthy.

Mr. Perfectly Fine (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)

Ah, my favorite song of the entire album. “Mr. Perfectly Fine (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)” is the perfect amount of bitterness and moving on. It’s a combination of writing hateful goodbye letters and egging his house. If you need to leave twenty voicemails on his phone to feel better, you do that. Well, maybe. Can someone file a restraining order for too many voicemails? I’ll have to look into that. In the meantime, pouring all your resentment for someone into this song seems like the perfect coping mechanism for being broken up with. 

We Were Happy (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)

For this scene, you’re walking along the shore of the beach alone. Where you once would walk hand in hand, you now pace up and down the beach wondering where everything went wrong. What could I have done better? What part of me wasn’t enough? When you get home, you listen to the crickets chirping once the sun goes down. They seem louder than before now that the house is empty. This song plays from the radio in the room over, making every good memory you had with the person you lost come washing over you. It’s okay to miss people and not want them back.

That’s When (feat. Keith Urban) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)

The ideal situation for listening to “That’s When (feat. Keith Urban) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)” would be when the person you miss the most is living halfway across the country. You can’t seem to sync up your schedules, you’re always missing each other's calls. You go to work when they’re waking up, and you fall asleep before they get home to call you. Everything seems out of whack and you can’t catch up to each other. You don’t stop trying though, because one of these days you’ll find your way back to each other.

Don’t You (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)

Alright, you just were at a friend’s house and it was going well until something you said rubbed them the wrong way. There wasn’t a full on fight, but you left their house feeling embarrassed and annoyed. You’re driving home with the windows open through the streets of the city, mulling over your word choices and wishing you had said something different. It’s April, so there’s still a chill in the air as the wind whips into the car, numbing your hands on the steering wheel. You try to reason with yourself and forgive yourself for making an insensitive comment. You reflect on the positive times you’ve had with your friend, and know that this isn’t going to destroy the friendship. You love each other too much. By the time you get home, you’ve made peace with yourself.

Bye Bye Baby (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)

It’s Friday! You’ve just gotten off of work and you’re heading into Manhattan for your monthly hair appointment. The salon is located on the seventieth floor, so high up you’re almost in the clouds. When you arrive, you’re delighted to see that you’re the only customer. The linoleum floor reflects the natural light coming in from the floor-to-ceiling windows, and you relax into the chair as the hairdresser rinses your hair. “Bye Bye Baby (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)” plays softly and you feel the tension in your shoulders start to loosen after your stressful work day. Deep breath in, deep breath out. 

There you have it. Each niche situation that encompasses every song on Fearless (Taylor’s Version). I hope you thoroughly enjoyed this analysis, because it’s probably the most fun I’ve had writing a piece so far. Thanks for reading and happy listening!

Julia is from Westchester, NY and is a senior majoring in Exercise Science & Kinesiology. When she's not writing or studying anatomy, she loves hanging out with her dog, Molly, and watching New Girl on repeat.
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