11 Jan All Too Well
All Too Well
January 11, 2019
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At first, I didn’t like Taylor Swift.
At the time, all of my teen aged students kept gushing about how great she was.
As a rule, if the world says to zig, I tend to zag, but I thought I’d check it out.
I wasn’t impressed.
All Taylor Swift did was write songs about high school loves lost. Sure, the writing was pretty darn good for a teenager (if she even wrote her own songs), but enough already with the high school heartache.
Clearly she was a one-trick pony only to be enjoyed by the emotionally fragile teenage set. Call me when she writes an adult song.
I didn’t have to wait long.
As Swift got older, so did the material. The lyrics kept getting better and more relatable, even to me.
So I looked up her story, and whoa. That’s impressive. And she was now writing all her songs on her own.
She won me over.
I became a fan.
On January 1st, 2019, Taylor Swift released a special on Netflix.
Spoiler alert: it was fantastic.
But the special was from her wildly successful Reputation Tour, which, of course, focuses on addressing all the people who don’t like her.
Which got me thinking.
What’s the upside of hating Taylor Swift?
I understand the arguments.
She’s fake and image-controlling.
Is she, though? The star witnesses for the prosecution are…Kanye and Kim? Really? What other evidence do we have that she’s fake? It’s been over ten years in the spotlight, and that’s the only complaint?
She dates too much.
How much is too much? And why do we care? She’s been dumped and she’s not been dumped. What’s to hate? More importantly, why is it relevant?
She’s too corny.
She can’t dance.
She never claimed to be Ciara.
Her voice isn’t that good.
She knows she’s not Adele. Who is? But I’ll tell you what she can do: She can sing the %$#@ out of her own songs. Isn’t that what matters?
Her Reputation stadium tour didn’t sell out.
It made over $260 million.
Take a look at the Netflix special. Everything is on display.
Her in-between-songs patter is still a bit corny. But it’s clearly genuine and endearing.
Her dancing, while improved, is still a bit awkward. But she knows it and only sticks to what she can do.
Her voice is hindered by a cold. But did it affect one single song for two hours? Nope.
Her presentation/image is clearly orchestrated down to the second. But isn’t that what a good performer does?
Trying to hate Taylor Swift misses the point.
This girl had dreams as a little girl and busted her butt learning to write songs while doing her time playing in bars as a 14-year-old.
How is that not inspiring?
If it’s not inspiring, why is everyone in the audience passionately singing every word?
Why are people CRYING during slow songs?
And, really, nothing matters except the songs themselves.
Every single word counts in a Taylor Swift song (and, not surprisingly, she’s written some of the best pop songs in history).
Most songs out there are 50% fluff (or more). Not with her. You can tell that every syllable is meticulously considered, which makes re-listening to her compelling and rich. Listening to her lyrics never gets old.
Taylor Swift took no shortcuts and continues to try extremely hard. She musically shares her life in order to help others deal with theirs. Every little thing matters to her.
What would happen to us if we did exactly the same? Would our lives be better or worse?
She deserves every good thing that comes to her.
And the people who appreciate her know this.
My book is called The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.