Taylor Swift's Songwriting Memos Reveal Secrets About '1989' Tracks
Just when you thought you knew everything about 1989, Taylor Swift's songwriting memos reveal new secrets. On the Target deluxe album, she details her songwriting process through voice memos from her phone that were recorded during the beginning stages of a song. Some are just her singing, showcasing how little or how much songs changed, while others say who the songs are about. While she doesn't outright say "I Wish You Would" is about Harry Styles, she does explain the stories behind her music and even references Nelly in the studio. It's pretty amazing.
Though hardcore Swifties have probably already listened to these memos on repeat, if you didn't get the deluxe version and want to find out what you're missing, I've got you covered. Though I can't send all the fun polaroids of her jumping around from the album, I can share the secrets she spilled in her iPhone voice notes. Oh, and as for the bonus tracks? Bustle has decided "Wonderland" is probably about Styles (surprise, surprise — so is basically the entire album) and "You Are in Love" is Lena Dunham and Jack Antonoff's love story.
Without further ado, here are all the highlights from Swift's songwriting memos:
"I Know Places"
- Swift's self-conscious side comes out in this track she sent to Ryan Tedder (of OneRepublic) before they worked together. She was worried he'd say "I can't stand that. I want to work on something else." At the end of the song, she says, "Or whatever, I don't know."
- This song has a "really dark bridge thing" and is "about everybody's trying to get real in our love." Whose love? That she doesn't reveal.
- Original lyrics: "Come down and they're waiting at the back door/They're around the vultures come around/And you know they'll say what they want about us/They don't know a thing or two about it."
- New official lyrics on 1989: "You stand with your hand on my waist line/It's a scene and we're out here in plain sight/I can hear them whisper as we pass by/It's a bad sign, bad sign/Something happens when everybody finds out/See the vultures circling dark clouds."
"I Wish You Would"
- Jack Antonoff sent her this "amazing track" and Swift says, "I immediately could hear this finished song in my head." She sang over the track in a voice memo to Antonoff from her tour bus.
- This song is about "this guy who is driving down the street in the middle of the night and he passes by his ex-girlfriend's house. He thinks she hates him, but she is still in love with him. Very dramatic." Hmm, but Styles doesn't drive around LA... does he?
- This song has no changed lyrics, at least not in the part she sent Antonoff. Impressive!
- This was recorded during a session with Max Martin and Johan Schuster. She wanted to be able to remember cool melodies and production ideas they came up with while she played a rough acoustic cut of the song for them for the first time.
- When the producers shout out "Hey!" as an idea for the chorus, Swift giggles. "This is like an early '00s Nelly track now!" she says, referencing "Ride Wit Me." (Now I really want her to cover that song.)
- Original lyrics: "Nice to meet you, where you been?/I could show you incredible things/Diamonds, seasides, all these things."
- New official lyrics on 1989: "Nice to meet you, where you been?/I could show you incredible things/Magic, madness, heaven, sin."