A Love Story

In 2009 when this small-town country singer came out with the new music of only her second album, Fearless, it became all I listened to. Suddenly my world of music was made up of something new and exciting with a girl’s voice behind it that sang about things that mattered to me, too. Her name was Taylor Swift and her music quickly embodied what I began to think of as my true type of music. And it all began with this album. I was all about her style from the fact that she played acoustic guitar to her sense of fashion to how she styled her long wavy hair. The only other singers of the time that I had a strong obsession with included Aly & AJ and Liz Phair. Let’s face it, no one else had me singing at the top of my lungs until I was red in the face the way that Taylor Swift in Love Story did. Now over a decade later—which is honestly really hard to believe—my strong obsession with having this song play on repeat is still the same. What’s changed for me personally since then is the meaning behind the lyrics.  

man and woman kissing on stairs Photo by Eduardo Pastor from Unsplash If my eight-year-old self were asked back then if I had spent an above-average amount of time watching the same handful of music videos on Youtube, she would have denied it instantly. To me, time wasn’t a concept when it came to Vevo music videos, which fortunately still holds true today. Love Story was in that handful of songs whose music video entranced me into a different world. Watching an ordinary girl stare down a boy at school and evolving him into forbidden romance could not have possibly raised my expectation of boys any more than it did. This boy starts out as someone she has most likely never spoken a word to in her life and a full three and a half minutes later, they have fallen in love and are destined to spend forever together as a real-life Romeo and Juliet. What girl wouldn’t believe this could truly happen if she saw it in a Youtube music video? After that, I didn’t go around staring at random boys waiting for them to realize they were a Romeo, but let’s just say that’s what inspired my idea of what living “happily ever after” was supposed to look like.  

two people resting their heads on each other's shoulders, backs facing the camera Photo by Külli Kittus from Unsplash When Taylor’s Version of Love Story came out a few weeks ago, I found myself again carefully taking in each line of the lyrics. That’s when it dawned on me how much their meaning was now different compared to when I first heard the original all those years ago. Instead of a song about young love and possibility, now in its place was a reminder of harsh reality. You aren’t going to find Romeo by simply glaring at the first boy leaning up against a tree and even if you did, your love story won’t be as easy as they make it seem in the music videos. You have to go out there and make decisions on your own because there is no predetermined fairytale that you’re meant to live out and follow the steps towards.  

Sign that reads “you are worthy of love” Photo by Tim Mossholder from Pexels When I was little, I never second-guessed Love Story’s fairytale aspects of fancy gowns at a magical ball and Juliet standing at the window of a romantic-looking castle. You see it all the time when you’re young; Barbies and Kens or princesses and princes living out the ideal life with little to no obstacles in their way. While it doesn’t seem hardly as realistic anymore, Love Story still remains a timeless classic of what we wish life could be and how easily we wish finding our Romeo could be. Every girl wants someone to come and sweep her off her feet and everyone wants to find someone that makes them feel the way Love Story makes me feel. Until then, I’ll know I’ve lived “happily ever after” if I got my day’s worth of studying done and my head hit the pillow earlier than it did the night before.