How Taylor Swift Wrote Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) Part 2

Summary notes created by Deciphr AI
Summary Notes


In this episode of the Swiftly Spoken podcast, hosts Lisa and Cameron delve into the stories behind five tracks from Taylor Swift's "Speak Now" album, emphasizing the emotional depth and personal experiences that inspired the songs. They discuss "Innocent," penned after the infamous 2009 VMA incident, highlighting Taylor's emotional journey and its eventual full-circle moment when performed at the VMAs. The hosts also explore "Enchanted," a whimsical track about a fleeting romantic encounter with Owl City's Adam Young, and "Mean," a response to harsh criticism Taylor faced after a Grammy performance, which evolved into an anthem against bullying. Additionally, they touch on the songs "Ours" and "Superman," believed to be about the same individual, and their placement in the deluxe edition of the album. The episode concludes with anticipation for the upcoming "Speak Now Taylor's Version" and its vault tracks, including features from Fall Out Boy and Hayley Williams, despite the disappointment of not receiving a vault game due to leaks.

Summary Notes

Inspiration and Creation of "Innocent"

  • "Innocent" was inspired by the VMA incident on September 13, 2009.
  • Taylor Swift started writing "Innocent" right after the incident but finished it six months later.
  • The song reflects the difficulty Taylor had in processing the event.
  • "Innocent" was first performed at the VMAs, bringing the inspiration full circle.
  • The secret message in "Innocent" is "life is full of little interruptions."

"So she started writing that song right after the whole thing occurred but she didn't finish the song until around six months later so it was such a difficult thing for her to process."

This quote explains the timeline of "Innocent" being written and the emotional impact the VMA incident had on Taylor Swift, highlighting the complexity of her feelings.

"The Secret Message of this song which points us towards it being inspired by this particular moment is life is full of little interruptions."

The secret message in "Innocent" is deciphered, indicating that the song is about overcoming unexpected challenges, like the VMA incident.

Taylor Swift's Reflection on the VMA Incident

  • Taylor Swift initially thought the audience was booing her during the VMA incident.
  • The incident became a significant and infamous moment in her career.
  • The emotional aftermath of the event was first openly discussed in the documentary "Miss Americana."
  • "Innocent" was perceived as an act of forgiveness towards Kanye West.

"And the fact that she initially thought that that whole moment was like they were booing her and then also then the Fallout from it and the fact that that was the only thing that was obviously talked about from the whole night."

This quote conveys Taylor's initial misunderstanding of the audience's reaction and the ensuing media focus on the incident, emphasizing its impact on her.

"She obviously forgave him in that song I think that's why this song for me is very bittersweet because I see it as Herbie like giving so much grace to a situation which was so in this person's control to not just not have done."

The quote interprets "Innocent" as an act of forgiveness from Taylor to Kanye, discussing the complexity of forgiving someone who had control over their actions.

Evolution of "Innocent" and Speak Now Album

  • "Innocent" may gain new meaning with the release of Taylor's version.
  • Speak Now album songs have evolved over time, gaining new interpretations.
  • Taylor recorded Speak Now at age 32, the same age mentioned in "Innocent."
  • The re-recording process might allow Taylor to recontextualize the song's meaning.

"And I think speak now ironically is the album that does have a lot of this where as it's evolved they've kind of had like certain songs that are better than Revengers we talked about in the last episode in innocent for example and even things that Dear John was obviously references on midnights they've kind of like all all got different meanings now."

This quote discusses the evolving interpretations of songs from the Speak Now album, including "Innocent," and how they've been referenced or influenced by later works.

"So I think in a way that's how she may want to process this song as well and rather other than saying it about someone else and this very particular moment in her career it's more of a general message of it's okay."

The quote suggests that the re-recording of "Innocent" could shift the song's perspective from being about a specific incident to a more general message of growth and forgiveness.

The Story Behind "Enchanted"

  • "Enchanted" was inspired by Taylor's meeting with Adam Young from Owl City.
  • The secret message in "Enchanted" is Adam's name, pointing to him as the inspiration.
  • Taylor wrote "Enchanted" after feeling a strong connection and wondering about Adam's feelings.
  • Adam Young responded to "Enchanted" with a cover and a letter to Taylor on Valentine's Day.

"Basically Taylor said that she wrote Enchanted about a guy who I was trying Enchanted to me obviously he was somebody that I had talked to a couple of times on email."

This quote explains the inspiration behind "Enchanted," revealing that the song was about the excitement and curiosity following a brief encounter with Adam Young.

"So basically the following Valentine's Day Adam Young recorded a cover of enchanted in which he responded admitting that he was also Enchanted to meet Taylor."

Adam Young's cover of "Enchanted" and his Valentine's Day letter to Taylor serve as a public reciprocation of the feelings expressed in Taylor's original song.

Taylor Swift and Adam Young's Interaction

  • The interaction between Taylor Swift and Adam Young was positive and respectful.
  • Adam Young never spoke negatively about Taylor, even after she did not respond to his cover and letter.
  • "Enchanted" is considered a top-tier Taylor Swift song by fans and encapsulates the Speak Now album.

"But she's still got a lovely song written about him and never said a bad word about each other ever."

This quote highlights the amicable nature of the relationship between Taylor Swift and Adam Young, as reflected in their mutual respect and the positive song "Enchanted."

"I think the Enchanted the Enchanted the song is just gorgeous like top tier Taylor songs such a good song about the fact that it is the only speak now song on is uh yeah is like a joke because there needs to be more but it just shows that that song just encapsulates speak now it's almost called that which is yeah really interesting."

The quote praises "Enchanted" for its beauty and significance, suggesting that it perfectly represents the essence of the Speak Now album.

Relevance of "Speak Now" Album Songs

  • Lisa discusses the thematic relevance of songs on Taylor Swift's "Speak Now" album.
  • She believes that while she loves the song "Enchanted," it does not fit the album's theme as well as others.
  • The album's theme is about saying things that should have been said, which is reflected in its diaristic and brutally honest nature.
  • Lisa contrasts "Enchanted" with other songs like "Story of Us" and "Last Kiss," which she believes align more closely with the album's theme.

"I don't think it is relevant to speak now because so many songs on that album are not enchanting like Story of Us. Last Kiss You Know whereas the theme of speak now if these are all the things I should have said and wanted to say it makes so much more sense because it is incredibly dioristic diuristic and incredibly honest and brutally honest sometimes you know a lot of points in it."

Lisa explains that while "Enchanted" is a beloved song, it doesn't quite fit the overarching theme of the "Speak Now" album, which is more focused on the concept of expressing unspoken thoughts and feelings.

"Enchanted" as a Standout Track

  • Cameron agrees that "Enchanted" is one of the best songs on the "Speak Now" album.
  • He appreciates the story behind the song and the positive feelings associated with it.
  • Cameron views "Taylor's version" as the ultimate answer, aligning with his personal interpretation of the song.

"One of the best songs on speak now for sure... I love the story behind it. I'm so glad that even though nothing eventually came out of it they've been still really good feeling all around we've got two amazing versions of the song oh of it."

Cameron expresses his admiration for "Enchanted," highlighting the song's quality and the compelling story that inspired it, despite the eventual outcome of the situation that led to its creation.

Taylor Swift's Songwriting Style

  • Both Lisa and Cameron discuss Taylor Swift's diaristic songwriting style.
  • They note that her songs from the "Speak Now" era are candid and do not hold back in expressing her thoughts and feelings.
  • The conversation touches on how her songs resonate differently with listeners and are not solely about the people they are rumored to be about.

"It is also interesting to see how she was writing really diuristically and really not holding back she really did say speak now and she decided to speak now."

The quote reflects on Taylor Swift's decision to be open and honest in her songwriting, embracing the album's theme of speaking one's mind.

"Ours" and Its Message

  • Lisa gives an overview of the song "Ours" and Taylor Swift's explanation of its meaning.
  • Taylor Swift writes songs as messages, sometimes intended for the subject of the song to hear.
  • "Ours" is about a relationship that was criticized by others, but the song conveys a message of love that transcends external opinions.

"This song that I'm about to play for you is the first kind as it's a song I wrote about someone that I really liked at the time and what was kind of happening in my life is that interestingly there was lots of opinions about who you fall in love with..."

Lisa recounts Taylor Swift's explanation of "Ours," which was written about someone she liked and the external judgments that came with that relationship.

Deluxe Edition Tracks and Secret Messages

  • Cameron discusses the deluxe edition tracks "Ours" and "Superman" from the "Speak Now" album.
  • These songs are speculated to be about the same person due to descriptive features mentioned in the lyrics.
  • The lack of secret messages in the deluxe edition tracks is noted, but the songs themselves provide insights into Taylor Swift's experiences and relationships.

"There is no secret messages to kind of give us any more clues about who they may be about but from what we can gather from the songs themselves we can basically tell that they are about the same person..."

Cameron explains that while there are no explicit secret messages in the deluxe tracks, listeners can infer that "Ours" and "Superman" are about the same individual based on the lyrics' descriptive elements.

"Mean" and Its Inspiration

  • The final song discussed is "Mean," which was inspired by criticism Taylor Swift received for a Grammy performance.
  • Lisa and Cameron reflect on the harshness of the criticism and the personal nature of the attack.
  • The song "Mean" is seen as a response to this undue criticism, with Taylor Swift standing up against the negative portrayal of her character.

"The final song that we're going to be speaking about in this episode was written around 2010 and it was inspired by a very particular moment again so we started this episode off with Innocent which was inspired by um a very specific moment at an award show and we are ending this episode with another song that was inspired by a very specific moment at an award show..."

The quote introduces "Mean" as a song inspired by a specific event, similar to "Innocent," and highlights the importance of context in understanding the inspiration behind Taylor Swift's music.

Public Scrutiny and Criticism

  • Public figures, especially artists, are subject to a wide range of opinions from audiences and critics.
  • There is a distinction between constructive, professional criticism and mean-spirited attacks.
  • Personal attacks cross a line and can deeply affect the targeted individual.
  • Taylor Swift wrote the song "Mean" as a response to harsh criticism from a particular critic.
  • The song evolved into an anthem against bullying in general, resonating with a broad audience beyond the specific incident.

"When you do what you do you put yourself out there for a lot of people to say whatever they want about it. There's constructive criticism, there's professional criticism, and then there's just being mean." "This song is about how I handle it and sort of my mindset about the whole situation."

These quotes reflect on the nature of public exposure and criticism, distinguishing between constructive feedback and personal attacks. They also provide insight into the inspiration behind Taylor Swift's song "Mean," which addresses how she copes with criticism.

Bullying and Universal Relatability

  • Bullying is a pervasive issue that affects people at all stages of life, from school to the professional world.
  • Taylor Swift's song "Mean" became an anti-bullying anthem, highlighting the commonality of the experience.
  • The song's message resonates with listeners who have faced bullying or criticism, regardless of the context.
  • Swift's ability to capture universal emotions allows listeners to connect deeply with the song.

"It's not okay wherever you are in life, whether you are in middle school... high school... College... and then you go out into the real world and people still pick on you." "It became like an anti-bullying thing about the fact that people pick on each other and it's not okay."

These quotes discuss the prevalence of bullying and the song's broader impact as an anti-bullying message. They emphasize the universal experience of being picked on and the importance of addressing this issue.

Triumph and Recognition

  • Taylor Swift's song "Mean" won two Grammys, signifying a moment of triumph and vindication.
  • The song's success and recognition at the Grammy Awards represent a "full circle" moment for Swift.
  • The transformation of "Mean" from a personal response to a critic to a celebrated work illustrates the power of music to transcend its original context.
  • The song's journey underscores the potential for growth and evolution in the meaning and impact of a song over time.

"All I can say is with this song I want to thank you for everything that you did to make it into something that was bigger than just a critic who hated me because we won two Grammys for this song and it's all because of you." "Someday I'll be singing this at the Grammys."

These quotes express gratitude to the fans for their role in the song's success and highlight the significance of performing and winning at the Grammy Awards. They showcase the song's transformation from a personal coping mechanism to a widely recognized and awarded piece.

Nostalgia and Connection

  • Fans often form personal connections with songs, relating them to their own experiences.
  • Taylor Swift's music, particularly the album "Speak Now," holds nostalgic value for many fans.
  • The personal and emotional connection listeners have with Swift's music contributes to its enduring impact.
  • The revisiting of Swift's songs through "Taylor's versions" allows for a re-examination and reconnection with the music and its meanings.

"I think it's because she kind of captures a universal feeling and a universal emotions that even though the reason why she has kind of felt that emotion or that feeling... you felt that, you know how that feels so you can relate."

This quote discusses the relatability of Swift's music and the ability of her songs to evoke universal emotions, allowing listeners to find personal significance in her work.

Speak Now Vault Tracks and Features

  • The "Speak Now" album holds a special place in the hearts of fans, and anticipation for its re-release is high.
  • The leak of the "Speak Now" Vault track names was a disappointment for fans who enjoy the interactive experience of discovering new music.
  • Collaborations with artists like Fallout Boy and Hayley Williams from Paramore are highlights of the re-release.
  • The Vault tracks and their features offer a glimpse into the evolution of Swift's music and the new life her songs take on years later.

"The Speak Now Vault will forever be a fan made thing... and at least it's not you know it hasn't hopefully been leaked too much." "Electric Touch is featuring Fallout Boy and uh Castle's crumbling is featuring Hayley Williams from Paramore."

These quotes reveal the names of the "Speak Now" Vault tracks and their featured artists. They also express the mixed feelings about the premature release of information and the excitement for the collaborations.

Taylor Swift's "Speak Now" Album Easter Eggs

  • Taylor Swift's "Speak Now" album contains Easter eggs that fans find revealing upon reflection.
  • There is excitement around the track "When Emma Falls in Love," speculated to be about Emma Stone and her relationship with a certain "Spider-Man" (Andrew Garfield).

"But I'm really excited the one that stands out to me is when Emma falls in love right um because there's been a lot of kind of chatter that it might be about Emma Stone obviously a close friend of Taylor which I would love because obviously that would be about a very certain relationship with a certain Spider-Man."

The quote expresses enthusiasm for the potential personal connection between the song "When Emma Falls in Love" and Emma Stone's real-life romance.

Speak Now's Musical Style

  • "Speak Now" is seen by fans as Taylor Swift's most rock-leaning album, despite having only a few tracks that embody a rock sound.
  • The album represents a transitional period in Swift's career, moving from country (debut album) to country pop (Fearless) and then to pop rock (Speak Now).

"A lot of people in the fandom see Speak Now as her most Rock leaning album so which I find interesting because it's only really one song for me that I find is Rocky. But the revenge is better than revenge."

This quote discusses the perception of "Speak Now" within the fan community and the limited number of tracks that have a rock influence.

The Vault Tracks

  • The vault tracks from Taylor Swift's albums often reveal different aspects of her musical progression.
  • For "Red," the vault tracks highlighted more pop elements, while still including some country.
  • The vault tracks for "Speak Now" are anticipated to bring different elements to the forefront.

"It'll be interesting to see what elements are picked up from speak now and are kind of taking more of a center stage in the vault."

The quote reflects on the curiosity surrounding which musical elements from "Speak Now" will be emphasized in the vault tracks.

Unreleased Tracks

  • Fans discuss unreleased tracks "Battle/Let's Go" and "Drama Queen," which are not included in the vault.
  • Some fans are disappointed, while others prefer to hear completely new material.
  • It's suggested that the leak of "Drama Queen" might have been intentional, knowing it wouldn't be officially released.

"I don't really mind I don't I think the story of us does the job better. anyway. and I'd rather get something that we never knew anything about."

The quote conveys a preference for discovering new songs over unreleased tracks that fans may already be familiar with.

Speculations and Rumors

  • There are rumors about the themes and styles of the new vault tracks, but their accuracy is uncertain.
  • Fans speculate on the meanings behind titles like "Castles Crumbling" and "Timeless," and the possible styles of songs like "Electric Touch."

"There are a few rumors I now we don't know if these can be trusted or not we can mention them quickly for example castles crumbling there's a lot of rumors about it being kind of in the same vein of nothing new speaking about more of her worries about her career."

The quote discusses the speculative nature of fan theories regarding the content of unreleased tracks.

Collaborations and Features

  • There is anticipation about how collaborations with other artists will be executed on the vault tracks.
  • Past features on Taylor Swift's albums have been met with mixed reactions regarding the extent of the featured artist's contribution.
  • The inclusion of artists like Fallout Boy and Hayley Williams raises questions about whether they will be given significant parts in the songs.

"I don't know with Taylor it's such a mixed bag sometimes. But it also it's very interesting that speak now never had a feature before like with red at least we could kind of see the types of features and they they are very much echoed in the vault features as well."

The quote reflects on the unpredictability of how Taylor Swift incorporates featured artists into her songs and notes the novelty of "Speak Now" having collaborations for the first time.

Final Thoughts on Speak Now Vault

  • The hosts express satisfaction with the vault tracks and are optimistic about the upcoming release.
  • They acknowledge that their reactions to the vault tracks will be shared with their audience once available.

"I'm really happy with the Vault I think I think the titles sound really interesting."

The quote summarizes the positive sentiment towards the vault tracks and the intrigue surrounding their titles and potential themes.

What others are sharing

Go To Library

Want to Deciphr in private?
- It's completely free

Deciphr Now
Footer background
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon

© 2024 Deciphr

Terms and ConditionsPrivacy Policy