Written by Hannah Parmer. 11 November 2014.
“Ours,” a song from Taylor Swift’s third album, Speak Now, was released as the sixth and final single of the album on November 8, 2011. Swift, who produced the song with the help from Nathan Chapman, also wrote the song. “Ours” debuted at number 13 on Billboards Top 100 chart and rose to number 1 on Billboard’s Top Country chart (“Taylor Swift-Chart History”). At the time of the album’s release, Swift was slowly turning to country pop. This song, however, is one of the more country songs on the album because of the string guitar and love story, it evokes the “country” theme.
After listening to “Ours” multiple times, I gathered thoughts about what I believe the message behind the song portrays. Swift uses an introduction verse to set the tone for the rest of the song. She explains how she is more connected to her lover than the world around her, acting as if he is with her, although he is not. In verse two, Swift introduces the idea that her relationship is being judged by singing, “Seems like there’s always someone who disapproves.” This verse leads up to the chorus, giving the audience an idea of why the song is called, “Ours.” It is about a relationship that people are often judging. For some reason, others seem to think that this relationship is wrong. By Swift singing, “this love is ours,” “right now you’re mine,” and “my choice is you,” it shows that nothing else in the world matters to her, besides their relationship.
Swift uses a qualitative progression to relay her message to the audience. From the book Rhetorical Analysis, it explains that the qualitative structure “…depends on associative or emotional connections, so that the introduction of one quality, mood, or set of associations evokes another” (107). Throughout the song, Swift progresses with the idea of those who may not approve of her relationship. Starting with verse one, she states, “Stranger silence makes me want to take the stairs.” Skipping down to verse three, Swift sings, “Ghost from your past gonna jump out at me.” This line seems as if there are also ex-girlfriends, along with strangers from verse one, who don’t approve of or don’t understand their relationship.
Progressing to the last verse, the lyrics read, “And any side remarks from my father about your tattoo will be ignored.” This shows that even what her father says cannot break the love between the two. As the song progresses from strangers, to ex-girlfriends, ending with her father, it emphasizes the song title “Ours.” In the end, love is all you need. Despite others who disagree with your relationship, if you are happily in love, nothing else matters.
With the instrumentals in the background being very catchy but soft sounding, it creates a light-hearted feel, tying into the meaning of the song. The guitar and music box sound are the main two instruments used throughout the song creating a happy, joyful tone, which goes right along with the lyrical meaning of the song. For example, when the lyrics become happier such as “If you were here, we’d laugh about their vacant stares,” you hear the music box sound reappear, giving you a happy feel. It seems as if when she thinks of him she gets giddy, just as the instruments sound.
In Amy Sciarretto’s review of the song, she states, “Her voice is like a warm, chenille blanket on a chilly day or a tight hug from a friend you haven’t seen in a long time.” It is a sweet song with a happy innocent feel. After listening to the song, it leaves you giddy and stress-free in a way. The song starts as a ballad, but picks up the pace a little throughout the song. Overall, it is a slower tempo song that shows the lyrical strengths of Swift (Sciarretto). It is a clear song with easy to follow lyrics leading you to really understand the message behind it.
Although some may believe it’s just another Taylor Swift song about love, it is one of the few distinct and different songs from the album. Swift usually has a lot to say in every song, which is never a bad thing, however, in “Ours” she keeps the lyrics short and sweet with repeating the chorus four times in a three minute, fifty-eight second song. This repetition not only creates a catchy song, but also puts emphasis on the lyrics “Don’t you worry your pretty little mind, people throw rocks at things that shine.” She uses repetition to soothe her lover by reminding him not to worry and everything is going to be okay as long as they have each other. Whenever you are at a high point in your life, there is always going to be someone trying to bring you down again. In the last chorus, Swift also repeats “I love…” twice. This is showing all the little things she loves about her partner. Lastly, she repeats “But this love is ours,” multiple times throughout the song. Overall, Swift is reminding her lover not to worry about what others say, because no matter what, her heart belongs to him and his to her.
Throughout the song, she, as well as her partner, portrays the idea that what they have is special, not to give up, and it doesn’t matter what others think. For example, in chorus one, Swift sings, “Don’t you worry your pretty little mind, people throw rocks at things that shine.” In this line, she is reminding her partner everything is going to be okay. As we find later in the song in Chorus two, Swift sings, “And you’ll say don’t you worry your pretty little mind…” Here we find that Swift is now saying her partner is the one comforting her as well. As the both of them come together to comfort another, it relays the idea of their love being “Ours.”
Courtesy of her label Big Machine records for the quote, Taylor states “It’s about being in love with someone, and people don’t necessarily think it is a good idea, and everybody’s giving you a hard time about it but you don’t really care” (Dukes). With all of the critics and paparazzi, Taylor is often under the spotlight when it comes to relationships. “They’ll judge it like they know about me and you,” Swift sings as she is ignoring what other people think and going after what and whom she loves.
|0:00||Introduction||Guitar, Music Box sound||-Catchy tune with the guitar and music box sound
-Catchy beat continues throughout the song
|0:12||Verse 1||“Elevator buttons and morning air…”||-Starts the song off soft and sweet
-Not talking to her lover directly, yet
-Acting like he is with her, but he isn’t
|0:36||Verse 2||“Seems like there’s always someone who disapproves…”||-Same tune as verse 1
-Adds in louder, lower sounding beat
-Sets the story about others judging the relationship
-Ends with silence leading up to the chorus
|1:00||Chorus||“So don’t you worry your pretty little mind…”||-Voice speeds up
-More of an upbeat sound
-Drums come in
-Changes end notes such as “harrrd”
-A male backup singer is added
|1:19||Instrumental||Music box, guitar, drums, shaker||-Same basic beat as beginning intro but adds in drums and bass guitar to make it more upbeat|
|1:30||Verse 3||“You never know what people have up their sleeves…”||-Instrumental lead in
-Same tune as earlier verses
-Speeds up towards end
-Pronounces “mine” in a unique but confident way
|1:53||Chorus||“And you’ll say don’t you worry your pretty little mind…”||-Faster beat
-Same tune as chorus 1
-Says “and you’ll say” instead of “So”
|2:12||Instrumental||Guitar, music box, drums, shakers, chimes||-Same beat as earlier instrumental
-More sounds added
|2:25||Bridge||“And it’s not theirs to speculate if it’s wrong…”||-Beat slows down
-Holds out voice at the end of lyrics
-Different beat than rest of song
|2:48||Verse 4||“Cause I love the gap between your teeth…”||-Slower beat but similar melody as other verses
-Guitar and high-pitched keyboard or chimes
-Says what she loves about him by repeating “I love..”
|3:11||Chorus||“So don’t you worry your pretty little mind…”||-Pause leading up to the chorus
-One last shortened version of the chorus, repeats beginning parts
|3:30||Outro||“But they can’t take what’s ours…”||-Ends with repetition
-Emphasizes the meaning “this love is ours and nobody else’s”
-Guitar only at the end
Dukes, Billy. “Taylor Swift, ‘Ours’ – Lyrics Uncovered.” Taste of Country. 29 Nov.
2011. Web. 4 Nov. 2014.
Longaker, Mark Garrett, and Jeffrey Walker. “Structure.” Rhetorical Analysis: A Brief Guide for Writers. 107-110. Print.
“Taylor Swift.” Billboard Chart History (The Hot 100). Web. 4 Nov. 2014.
Sciarretto, Amy. “Taylor Swift, ‘Ours’ – Song Review.” PopCrush. 28 Nov. 2011. Web. 4 Nov. 2014.