How does Taylor Swift always know what I’m thinking about?

HERMOSA BEACH, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 11: Taylor Swift attends FOX's Teen Choice Awards 2019 on August 11, 2019 in Hermosa Beach, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
HERMOSA BEACH, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 11: Taylor Swift attends FOX's Teen Choice Awards 2019 on August 11, 2019 in Hermosa Beach, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images) /

Taylor Swift’s new album LOVER is breaking records and restoring humanity’s faith in all kinds of love. It’s almost like she knows exactly what we all needed to hear right now.

After months of obsessing over Easter eggs and decoding hidden Instagram messages, Taylor Swift fans finally learned a new album release was on the horizon. And even with several song and music video releases leading up to Lover, the wait was almost more than Swifties could handle.

I am one of those Swifties. I could handle it. But just barely.

Within a day of release, the album had already broken 2019’s U.S. record for the biggest sales week. Lover made more money in a single day than it has taken every other album this year to make in seven.

That’s not surprising. Especially if your immediate response to the midnight release was to listen to Lover from beginning to end — twice — and then proceed to tell everyone in your contacts list they needed to give TSwizzle all the dollars. Or was that just me?

Admittedly, I’ve been a fan of Swift’s music since “Our Song.” Though I’m not too far gone to acknowledge Reputation was her least likable release, I might be a little more inclined to dissect every line of every song in the days that follow my initial listen of each track. This album was no exception.

That’s how I came to revisit a question I’ve had about Taylor Swift’s songs for years — one I often forget about, because eventually, you just come to accept that your favorite T-Swift lyrics will change depending on your mood.

How is it that time and again I find myself lying in the dark, a new Taylor Swift album greeting me for the very first time, and feel as though almost every song says what I needed to … but could never put into words?

Taylor doesn’t know about my need to finally forgive that person from my past who wronged me. She has no idea how much that breakup still hurts, and at the same time how freeing it feels to bask nonchalantly in the warmth of the single life.

And yet here I am, somehow still amazed that T-Swift “gets” me. It’s not like this hasn’t happened before. I know I’m not the only one who played “Teardrops On My Guitar” on repeat to make that secret high school crush hurt less.

How does she always know what I’m thinking about? How has every single album over the past decade, without fail, contained at least one song whose lyrics said what I couldn’t figure out how to say?

People have more in common with each other, when it comes to personal experience, than we often acknowledge. The problem is, not everyone has the kind of reach that Taylor Swift does. She broadcasts her thoughts to the world because she can. We broadcast ours to our two friends and our dog because that’s who we have to listen to us.

We forget that people worth millions, with recognizable names and faces, whose songs still play a dozen times per day on the radio, are still people. They are wired the same way we are wired. They get sad, they get happy, they cry. They feel. They find ways to cope, places to put their feelings.

People like Taylor Swift put those feelings into songs the same way you might put yours into venting to a friend or burning every letter your ex ever wrote you (has anyone actually ever done that? Was it worth it?).

That’s why we relate. Taylor’s feelings are our feelings set to music. She is a storyteller taking a common, human experience and turning it into art.

You can’t hear the songs she writes and doubt where they came from. When a songwriter creates, they do it from the heart.

She certainly isn’t the only artist penning her own lyrics these days, but even the most die-hard Swifties won’t argue that it’s her talent for telling stories with rhymes that captures your attention and holds it — her words above the melodies and vocals and unforgettable stage performances. Those are just the icing atop the fresh out of the oven multilayer cake that is a long-awaited Taylor Swift masterpiece.

In these lyrics we don’t just see ourselves. We hear what we didn’t know we needed to hear, and are left speechless, lying alone in the dark, feeling.

It’s no secret that Lover is a collection of songs about love. But don’t assume every track will be about a breakup, a fight, or a happily ever after (though “London Boy” is about as happily ever after as you can get).

Nope — Reputation may have been Taylor Swift’s Musically Passive Aggressive phase, but that was then, and this is now. This is the era of Taylor Is Loving Life And You Should Too.

And so here we are, relating way too hard to every other lyric, embracing not just romantic love (though there’s plenty of that), but the love you feel for friends and family, and for the person you’re becoming now that you’re finally letting go of who you were.

“Cornelia Street” sounds nice. It’s catchy and gets stuck in your head instantly. But listen closely and you’ll hear how deep these lyrics dive. Imagine being so in love that you know you’d have to leave part of yourself behind if it left. You don’t have to. Chances are, you’ve felt that. You know that. Taylor knows that.

“You Need to Calm Down” celebrates acceptance, a kind of love this world needs more of and Taylor knows that, too. What better way to show someone you love them than to let them know you believe they deserve all the rights and respect you have, despite your differences?

And “I Forgot That You Existed?” It’s the celebration of self-love you might not have expected to hear first thing when you hit play. Yet it’s the ultimate declaration of forgiveness. The “hey you weren’t a nice person, but I’m over it” anthem. The “I’m so far beyond you I’ve stopped wondering where you are” mantra.

There is a song here for everyone, a message meant for you only to be found by listening for it, only to be discovered by opening yourself up to and accepting it.

And that is the reason we haven’t seen the last of Taylor Swift. She is a master in the art of making us feel understood. She may not know what you’re thinking right this moment, but she knows how to validate your emotions when it seems no one and nothing else can.

Related Story. Taylor Swift is planning to re-record her entire music catalogue. light

That’s hard to ignore. Which is why, as hard as some might try, you CAN’T ignore Taylor Swift. She is here. She is relevant. She is unstoppable. As if we didn’t already know it.