My Treatise on Love Story by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift - Love Story

I recently posted the following to Facebook:

Nels kind of likes that Taylor Swift Romeo & Juliet song. He knows it’s really not that good, but combines so many “Nels Likes This” elements, he can’t help it.

which drew this response from one of my so-called friends:

what are you, a 13 year old girl? this is hilarious! are you a Jo-Bros fan too? (That’s Access Hollywood code for Jonas Brothers)

So here it is:
Why I Like Love Story Even Though I Know It’s Not a Great Song (in no particular order)

  • Hint of country: I don’t like straight up country, but if you can hint at being country with some twangy guitar or something, I’m bout it, bout it
  • Clearly written by the artist: I like musicians who write their own songs, and this one was clearly (at least partially) written by a 19 year old female. Sometimes I do like it when songs are meticulously crafted, but I think I prefer when they have authenticity. Of course, it’s best when they have both
  • 4 different versions of the chorus: Essentially, the chorus structure is repeated 5 times with 4 different versions used. One of these is included as a breakdown (see below). I once wrote two entire songs that were basically the same with slightly different lyrics that played 2 sides of a love story. That’s how much I love use of the same structure with different lyrics hung from the scaffolding. If you’re into that sort of thing, you might like this movie
  • Breakdown: Pretty much every song should have a breakdown. Of course, not every breakdown can end in a marriage proposal, but that would be kind of awesome
  • Last line repeats the first line: Drawing it all back together. This is emphasized (some might say you’re hit over the head with it) in the video
  • Extended Metaphor: The Romeo and Juliet metaphor is pretty much maintained throughout the song with decent continuity
  • Extended Story: While the story is told in (somewhat boring) chronological order, it progresses well throughout the course of the song, and makes you happy that you get to find out they end up together
  • Mixed Metaphors: “I was a scarlet letter” is an obvious reach, but it’s still fairly brilliant because the target audience probably doesn’t know how loosely it actually works, but they have the proper knowledge to make the inferred association. Also, it makes me laugh because it’s just kind of silly, and because you know Taylor was like “OMG, I can rhyme Scarlett Letter with Juliet! Awesome!”
  • Name: Love Story: For some reason, I like that she was brave enough to call it something besides “Romeo and Juliet”

Love Story Lyrics

Lyrics | Taylor Swift lyricsLove Story lyrics

We were both young when I first saw you
I close my eyes
And the flashback starts
I’m standing there
On a balcony in summer air

See the lights
See the party, the ball gowns
I see you make your way through the crowd
And say hello, little did I know

That you were Romeo, you were throwing pebbles
And my daddy said stay away from Juliet
And I was crying on the staircase
Begging you please don’t go, and I said

Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone
I’ll be waiting all there’s left to do is run
You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess
It’s a love story baby just say yes

So I sneak out to the garden to see you
We keep quiet ’cause we’re dead if they knew
So close your eyes
Escape this town for a little while

‘Cause you were Romeo, I was a scarlet letter
And my daddy said stay away from Juliet
But you were everything to me
I was begging you please don’t go and I said

Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone
I’ll be waiting all there’s left to do is run
You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess
It’s a love story baby just say yes

Romeo save me, they try to tell me how to feel
This love is difficult, but it’s real
Don’t be afraid, we’ll make it out of this mess
It’s a love story baby just say yes
Oh oh

I got tired of waiting
Wondering if you were ever coming around
My faith in you is fading
When I met you on the outskirts of town, and I said

Romeo save me I’ve been feeling so alone
I keep waiting for you but you never come
Is this in my head? I don’t know what to think
He knelt to the ground and pulled out a ring

And said, marry me Juliet
You’ll never have to be alone
I love you and that’s all I really know
I talked to your dad, go pick out a white dress
It’s a love story baby just say yes

Oh, oh, oh, oh
‘Cause we were both young when I first saw you

FWIW: Here was my (short) response to my Facebook commenter:

No, I’m a 13 year old boy. That’s why I likez da womenz and hate the Jo-Bros because stupid Nick got to go (aka make) out with Miley Cyrus.

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