Written by Tamar Oren. November 10, 2014.
Taylor Swift’s Fearless was an international breakthrough, and in the United States alone, it topped the Billboard 200 for eleven non-consecutive weeks, while setting various records, including the longest chart- topper by female country artists. Fearless sold 5.2 million copies in 2009, and became the year’s best selling album. The lead single, “Love Story”, captured the nations heart with Swift’s touching lyrics, about a love interest that was not accepted among her family and friends. Taylor Swift has the natural ability to write about her own experiences and emotion, and this song was appealing to the audience because of its combination of her own experiences and William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The lyrics of “Love Story” are written in first person, allowing Swift refer to herself as Juliet from Romeo and Juliet. The song was a critical and commercial success because of Swift’s story plot and writing style.
Taylor Swift’s writing style identifies her as a country singer, her ability to express her emotions personal experiences is one of her many unique attributes. “Love story” is a song that falls under all four elements of virtues of styles. “Love Story” fulfills the first one, which is clarity, because the song is direct, vivid and energetic, when Swift says, “’Cause you were Romeo – I was a scarlet letter, and my daddy said, and “Stay away from Juliet.” But you were everything to me, I was begging you, “Please don’t go.” Using familiar language, these lyrics describes the situation and what she is trying to express to her audience, while using compact phrasings. Swift’s songs have always used correct and appropriate language in her songs, including “Love Story”. Swift does not have a strong country accent; therefore she does not have noticeable stress patterns other then the occasional stretching out certain vowels or constants. Taylor Swift’s delivery of “Love Story” is similar to the rest of the songs in the album Fearless, all mastered by Hank Williams. “Love Story” was recorded with pro tools and tracking vocals, while Swift sang live with the band. The band consisted of acoustic guitars, bass guitars and the drums.
One of Swift’s most recognized attributes is her ability to express her emotions through her songs, this song in particular was recognized because of the storyline Swift used, unlike her other songs. The song style is a very progressive style; it has a clear story line. The story begins with the first line “We were both young when I first saw you”, and continues from there on, telling the romantic story of Romeo and Juliet. Swift related her life experience to the plot of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (1597), one of her favorite narratives, which she summarizes: “The only people who wanted them to be together, were they.” Swift centered the song on the same plot, with the exclusion of the end, which regarded Swift’s actual story. The song’s conclusion differed from that of Romeo and Juliet. Swift chose to write a happy ending, because she believed that is the happy ending they deserved. She perceived it to be the ideal ending that people hoped for, including herself. By selecting two tragic stories such as Romeo and Juliet and The Scarlet Letter, Swift surprised her audience with a happy ending. Swift defied the expectations of her audience with a surprising happy ending, and made this song something different and unexpected, which help the song popularity increase.
“Love Story” consists of a long instrumental introduction and nine verses, two of which are repeated choruses. “Love Story” is a country pop song, with a length of three minuets and fifty four seconds, It has e moderate tempo of 120 beats per minuets, and is set in common time. Swift croons “Love Story” softly throughout the song, with a slight country twang which defines the song to be country. The song is based upon a pop hook, with a simple melody that has a rushy pace, which continuously grows and concludes in a crash and with Swift repeating the first line of the song softly. The song’s plot revolves around a young love that is disapproved of. The first verse introduces the characters, where they meet at a ball, and the story transitions into the following verses, where the couple growing in love and sneaking out at dark. The song’s refrains have Swift waiting for her love interest to appear: “Romeo, take me somewhere we can be alone, I’ll be waiting, all there’s left to do is run.” The song’s final refrain has Swift narrating from Romeo’s perspective, and proposing marriage to Swift.
|0:00||Introduction||Acoustic guitar, vocal utterance,Pop beat||The acoustic guitar that is used in the beginning gives the song a “country sound” and with the combination of a light pop beat, it builds excitement for the song to begin|
|0:17||Verse 1||“We Were Both Young”||Vocals draw attention of audience. Instrumental beat and acoustic guitar continue throughout the verse, but it is lower and softer|
|0:33||Verse 2||“ See the light see the party”||Beat remains constant with the addition of the violin, the beats rhythm slows down and speeds upAccording to Swift’s voice|
|0:48||Verse 3||“That you were Romeo”||Beat picking up, changing the mood of the sceneAddition of the drums changes the beat completely towards the end of the verse, building up tension for the chorus as the story plot continues, the rhythm matches it|
|1:05||Chorus||“Romeo save me”||Voice broke louderSwift’s voice whispers softly in background and the tempo of the original beat is different, the violin is the loudest instrument with the break of the drums and a soft pop track in the background|
|1:24||Verse 4||“So I sneak out”||As story plot thickens, the drums become more evidentSteady beat throughout the verse with a male singer in the background, lots of acoustic guitar. Swift ends the verse with a dramatic “oh oh”|
|1:40||Verse 5||“Cause you were Romeo I was”||Acoustic guitar, drums and violin grow louder with the same pop beat, with a steady rhythm and the verse ends with a drum solo to Swift screaming a dramatic line, leading to the chorus|
|1:57||Chorus||“Romeo save me”||The chorus is repeated with the same pop rhythm, a steady beat. The chorus is focused on the sound of the drums and the violin, which accompany Swift’s voice|
|2:13||Verse 6||“Romeo save me they’re trying to tell me how to feel”||No separation between the verse and the chorus but Swift’s breath, same beat, Swift singing dramatically and significantly taking over the instruments as the song’s plot is coming to its climax|
|2:29||Instrumental Pause||Violin and drums||As soon as the verse ends, all you can hear is the violin playing violently against the drums, Swift humming “oh” softly|
|2:45||Verse 7||“But I got tired of waiting”||As soon as Swift starts singing, tempo changes to a soft, acoustic guitar, soft drums and violin with the same pop beat that grows louder and instruments get softer, at a point where its Swift singing almost with no sound|
|3:02||Chorus||“Romeo Save me”||This chorus begins with Swift singing with nothing but an acoustic guitar that grows stronger and stronger as Swift sings, drums come in and builds up to the last verse|
|3:17||Verse 9||“Marry me Juliet”||Loud break of violin, drums, guitar and the pop beat all together as the plot comes to an end, slowly all the instruments become softer other then the violon, and as Swift hums “oh oh” you hear just the violin the pop beat and faint sound of the drums, as she repeats the first line of the songs again, all instruments stop at once.|
Swift, Taylor. Love Story. Big Machine Records, 2009. CD.
Ray, Michael. “Taylor Swift.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, 14 Aug. 2014. Web. 13 Oct. 2014.
“Interview with Taylor Swift”. Time. Time Warner. April 23,2009. Web. 6 Nov. 2014.