Taylor Swift – “Love Story”

Jim Malec | September 16th, 2008

Taylor Swift Songwriter: Taylor Swift

An obvious criticism of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story,” the debut single from her upcoming sophomore effort Fearless, is that the song, muddled by its prominent and clunky Romeo and Juliet references, completely misses the point of one of the English language’s seminal literary works–thereby undermining its own effectiveness. After all, the syrupy, idealized ending to the ‘love story’ Swift constructs is fundamentally delineated from Shakespeare’s tragedy.

The problem with that line of criticism is that it ignores the fact that “Love Story” is clearly not meant as a direct modern parallel to Romeo and Juliet. Rather, Swift utilizes metaphor and symbolism–coupled with our common knowledge of the play–to dramatize the narrator’s own ‘love story.’ That the lyric ultimately resolves into a made-for-Disney cliché doesn’t undermine the fact that, to the narrator, the complications and difficulties surrounding her affair are just as grave as Juliet’s.

Most of us over a certain age are familiar with Romeo and Juliet to some extent, although not all of us have read or seen the play, nor would we be able to enumerate its myriad themes or discuss its broader literary value. What we do know, however (although we may not always phrase it in exactly these terms), is that the play exists as the fundamental basis for the modern love story. From The Graduate to Pretty Woman to You’ve Got Mail, our perception of the love story is shaded by the essential conflict of Romeo and Juliet–two people who aren’t supposed to be together fall in love anyway.

This is the foundation of Swift’s lyric–that any ‘love story’ is rife with complications, peaks and valleys, extreme joy and unbearable heartache. And by comparing the song’s characters to Shakespeare’s, she’s simply alluding to the idea that all love stories are fundamentally the same, regardless of their origin or outcome.

Likewise, when Swift refers to herself as a “scarlet letter,” she’s not literally branding herself an adulterer (the phrase is a reference to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 novel of the same name), but comparing herself to forbidden fruit; like Hawthorne’s Hester Prynne, who wore a scarlet ‘A’ on her chest to signify her sin, the narrator in “Love Story” is “off limits,” desirable but forbidden by her social enclave (in this case, the narrator’s family, or, more specifically, her father).

So to imply, as the aforementioned line of criticism inherently does, that Swift doesn’t understand Romeo and Juliet (or The Scarlett Letter) is to give the songwriter far less credit than she deserves, especially considering that there are few songwriters in country music today who are willing to make symbolism such a prominent part of their writing. The fact that Swift, arguably the genre’s biggest star at the moment, has done so here is a breath of fresh air, even if the song does otherwise follow a disappointingly unoriginal pattern.

Still, it’s tempting to deride “Love Story” as teenybopper pop country–and it is, at best, pop country. There are certainly criticisms that can be levied against it, including the fact that its first verse, boasting images of balconies and ballgowns, leaves a somewhat blurred aesthetic; is that scene really happening, or is it taking place inside the narrator’s head, a dramatized version of real-life events?

“Love Story” also feels cluttered, with too much information dispensed at too rapid a pace, especially considering that its running time clocks in at around four minutes–four minutes which seem like less considering the song’s pulsing beat and slick, pop-based production.

None of these criticisms, however, will have a major impact on the song’s effectiveness, or on its ability to strike a resonant chord with its intended audience, a group for which this ‘story’ is essentially relevant. What’s more, “Love Story” shows an artist willing to take chances by venturing from the format’s standard song structure, and to let her personality shine through–even if the lyric generally follows a well-worn path.

It’s not brilliant–in fact, much of it is quite cliché. But there’s still an emanating sense that Swift is a unique talent, and while those of us predisposed to preferring a less glossy style of country music might not find her music particularly appealing, “Love Story,” like her previous work, hints at an artist who might just surprise us someday.

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Listen: Taylor Swift- “Love Story”

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  1. leeann Ward
    September 16, 2008 at 8:46 am

    As I’ve admitted before, I just can’t completely quit the kid. I do really dislike this song though. I could hardly get through it once. It’s just that nothing about it appeals to me, even in light of your extensive analysis.:)

  2. Razor X
    September 16, 2008 at 8:54 am

    I don’t understand why she is being given a pass on the literary references that clearly don’t work. The review acknowledges that they don’t work but then says, “so what?” because the teenagers who are Swift’s target audience won’t care anyway.

  3. Jim Malec
    September 16, 2008 at 8:59 am

    In what way does the review acknowledge that they don’t work? I come out pretty clearly in support of her use of those references in this review, don’t I?

    In fact, if anything, I think this review makes the point that her audience is going to embrace these references more than those of us who get hung up on the play’s broader implications, instead overlooking its central conflict.

  4. Razor X
    September 16, 2008 at 9:14 am

    The opening sentence seems to be an acknowledgement that the references don’t work, but you go on to support their use anyway.

    Yes, the review does make the point that her audience is going to embrace those references. That’s what puzzles me. It’s OK for to use these flawed references because the intended audience is too ill-informed about what “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Scarlet Letter” are really about?

  5. Jim Malec
    September 16, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Except that the second paragraph begins with the sentence, “The problem with that line of criticism is that it ignores the fact that “Love Story” is clearly not meant as a direct modern parallel to Romeo and Juliet.”

  6. Brady Vercher
    September 16, 2008 at 9:16 am

    The problem with the allusions is that they touch on the themes of those literary works in a basic, almost superfical manner. The Romeo and Juliet reference may be worth looking past because it’s been done so many times before, but then it becomes a cliche. Could we compare a prison break to The Count of Monte Cristo or a Gascon to D’Artagnan? It’s the same way that The Scarlett Letter is referenced here and it just doesn’t work. Hester Prynne’s banishment was from her own society due to her own actions.

    In “Love Story,” the characters’ love is forbidden because her dad said no and they’d be “dead” if he found out, which is a little immature. The conflict was cleared up simply by Romeo talking to Juliet’s dad, which calls into question why the dad originally forbid the relationship then consented to allow them to marry. And if she were young enough to be afraid of what her dad thought and had to run off to be with Romeo, should she really be getting married?

    It’s a superficial, cliche fairytale with muddied allusions despite the minimal connection between them. I want to like Swift and agree that she has potential, but I don’t think that’s worth a thumbs up in this instance.

  7. Kelly
    September 16, 2008 at 9:41 am

    Hester Prynne was hot…

  8. Katie
    September 16, 2008 at 9:48 am

    or is it taking place inside the narrator’s head, a dramatized version of real-life events?

    This idea is really what makes the song, to me. One of Taylor’s strengths as a songwriter is how keenly she taps into teenage emotions without making them seem trivial. As Jim points out, it’s easy to break the song down line by line and say, “this allusion is imperfect” but to me the idea is that she’s imagining herself as the star in all these stories. Plenty of young girls read R&J and can identify with the emotions even if the parallel isn’t perfect.

    I especially love the Scarlet Letter reference because every high school sophomore reads it. It’s a little detail that’s sure to resonate with her audience.

  9. Dan Milliken
    September 16, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Definitely a well-written review, I’ll say that. I do admire that Swift was willing to take a risk with her approach here; I just don’t think it quite worked out this time. Touching on what Brady said, I think the literary references come across as a little shallow in the context of Swift’s story, which itself never ventures deeper than “girl meets boy, girl and boy frolic around for a bit, daddy doesn’t like boy, boy talks to daddy and proposes to girl, yay.”

    The song has grown on me a great deal (thanks, in large part, to the excellent video) and I do think it showcases Swift’s potential as a writer, but for me, it’s just one of those songs like “Better As A Memory” where the execution just doesn’t quite live up to the solid idea.

  10. Jim Malec
    September 16, 2008 at 10:54 am

    I knew I was going to be the subject of critical scorn for giving this a Thumbs Up!. OH well, I can deal.

    The problem with the allusions is that they touch on the themes of those literary works in a basic, almost superfical manner.

    What are the themes of Romeo & Juliet that are touched on here? The play has many themes, and I think this song only touches on one of them–one which is central to both stories. That is forbidden love. The reasons why the narrator’s father has forbade her from seeing this particular boy are irrelevant.

    When you criticize this song for not adhering to the “themes” of Romeo and Juliet, you’re applying an arbitrary standard of how allusions to those works should be used.

    It is in no way superficial to imply that a young woman who is forbidden from spending time with a particular lover is “like” Juliet. That’s not superficial, that’s truthful. Now, you could argue that she’s not extensively like Juliet, but you cannot reasonably argue that she is not fundamentally like Juliet.

    As far as the “theme” of The Scarlet Letter being touched on–this only uses one symbol from that work, not the theme.

    “Could we compare a prison break to The Count of Monte Cristo or a Gascon to D’Artagnan? It’s the same way that The Scarlett Letter is referenced here and it just doesn’t work.

    The scarlet letter that is referenced is the object, not the work. Objects, as symbols, carry meaning and elicit reaction, and I think it’s clear what the symbol means in this case (as noted in my review).

  11. dudley
    September 16, 2008 at 10:58 am

    Sorry, Jim, but I think it takes a willful misunderstanding of the phrase “scarlet letter” to make it work in the context of this song. Taylor is referring to herself as a scarlet letter, which means not that she is forbidden fruit, as you say, but that to be with her would somehow brand the song’s Romeo as a sinner.

    And as Brady points out, this just underscores the broader flaw in the lyrics, which is the complete lack of explication as to what is so objectionable about this match — why the parents forbade it, and then why Daddy suddenly turns around and gives the marriage his blessing. In a better-written song, the literary allusions would fill in the gaps. Here, they simply confuse the issue.

    And the video doesn’t help because there is no indication of any kind of obstacle to the love match in the video. It simply throws in another high school literary allusion (one that implies a wholly different set of obstacles, this time internal). That said, one thing I do like about the video is that it makes clear that this is a high school girl’s fantasy. That’s a moment of honesty in what I otherwise see as a deliberate but superficial facade of sophistication through the classic high school lit allusions.

    As I posted elsewhere, it also bothers me that the protagonist is so passive and that her fate is so utterly dependent on the decisions by the males in her life. Again, I understand it as a high school girl’s fantasy but haven’t we evolved past that just a little?

    I will say that I think there are moments in this song (like when she sings “hello” in the first verse) that I think Taylor Swift actually sounds pretty. Good for her. And I like that she has softened the pronunciation of the “r”s in this song — it’s a nice change from her uptempos (which I’ve found to be unlistenable). On the other hand, there are also moments where her vibrato actually sounds more like vocal jitters and the “huh huh huh” transition makes no interpretive sense.

  12. Jim Malec
    September 16, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Taylor is referring to herself as a scarlet letter, which means not that she is forbidden fruit, as you say, but that to be with her would somehow brand the song’s Romeo as a sinner.

    The narrator is a scarlet letter because she is an object of affection which is out of bounds. If anyone knew about their relationship, it would have to end.

  13. Chris N.
    September 16, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Man, you guys are some lyric-parsing MFs around here.

  14. PaulaW
    September 16, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Thanks Chris, I just learned a new word! (I had to go look up ‘parsing’ to see just what kind of names you were calling everyone)

    :-)

  15. Jason Kid
    September 16, 2008 at 11:48 am

    weird review, the song is really just ok.

  16. Mike Parker
    September 16, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    I wonder if when they were talking in the garden, if they were talking slow so nobody could hear them.

    I agree with Jim that this shows a lot of imagination and hints at something great. The only reason I liked the Romeo & Juliet thing is that it made the happy ending a twist. As much as, at times, I’d have liked Taylor to go ahead and drink the poison, I think she did okay here.

  17. mimi
    September 16, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    I thought this was a country music blog? If it is, then why is this even being reviewed. I don’t hear ANYTHING remotely country in this song or see anything in the video. TS is a highly overrated POP star if you ask me…

  18. Dan Milliken
    September 16, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    “I wonder if when they were talking in the garden, if they were talking slow so nobody could hear them.”

    Love it.

  19. Kelly
    September 16, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Look out for Taylor’s next single:

    “The Great Expectations of Gatsby and Men who eat Grapes from Glass Menageries of Wrath”

    I hear it’s about the h.s. quarterback who hit on her in the school cafeteria and then she turned him down for being so lame….

  20. Razor X
    September 16, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    “I thought this was a country music blog? If it is, then why is this even being reviewed. I don’t hear ANYTHING remotely country in this song or see anything in the video. TS is a highly overrated POP star if you ask me

  21. Chris D.
    September 16, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    “I wonder if when they were talking in the garden, if they were talking slow so nobody could hear them.”

    Nice. xD

    “Look out for Taylor’s next single:

    “The Great Expectations of Gatsby and Men who eat Grapes from Glass Menageries of Wrath”

    I hear it’s about the h.s. quarterback who hit on her in the school cafeteria and then she turned him down for being so lame

  22. Brady Vercher
    September 16, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    What are the themes of Romeo & Juliet that are touched on here? The play has many themes, and I think this song only touches on one of them–one which is central to both stories. That is forbidden love. The reasons why the narrator’s father has forbade her from seeing this particular boy are irrelevant.

    The idea of “forbidden” love here is very weak. It’s based on a father telling Romeo to stay away from Juliet, in what is a pretty muddied timeline itself. Is the reference to them being dead if someone finds out supposed to be taken literally or in a immature, figurative way? And the reasons the father forbade the relationship are relevant if you’re going to say that to the narrator, the complications are just as grave as Juliet’s.

    The allusion to Romeo and Juliet isn’t even groundbreaking, so I don’t quite get the praise for making symbolism prominent.

    As far as the “theme” of The Scarlet Letter being touched on–this only uses one symbol from that work, not the theme.

    Sure, the scarlett letter is a symbol, but it literally represents adultery. You mentioned forbidden fruit, so why not use a symbol like Eve’s apple, afterall, they are in a garden. We could pull up a ton of different allusions to represent forbidden, so the use of the scarlet letter is superficial at best.

    The narrator is a scarlet letter because she is an object of affection which is out of bounds. If anyone knew about their relationship, it would have to end.

    The dad did know about the relationship and forbade it, but they continued it secretly, so what’s to prevent them from continuing in secrecy if it were discovered again? If the relationship was forbidden and it would have to end if anyone found out, then why did the dad relent to allowing them to marry after Romeo simply talked to him? The consequences weren’t quite that dire and the relative ease with which the conflict was resolved confirm that.

    In essence, I feel like the thumbs up boiled down to her use of prominent symbolism, that Swift has potential, and that the song will resonate with its intended audience.

    I don’t think it’s worth a thumbs up because of an unclear timeline, it’s cliche as you acknowledge, and the narrative is rather weak.

    As for the relevance of the allusions, I’ll agree that both of our standards are arbitrary.

  23. leeann Ward
    September 16, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Chris D,
    I can’t admit that this song is better than anything on her last album, because I disagree. I think her vocals are very poor, the production is uninteresting. I actually think the lyrics are the least of my worries about this song, though I can’t get into them. I liked the stuff from her first album better, at any rate. This is my least favorite song that she’s released so far.

    Mike Parker said, “I wonder if when they were talking in the garden, if they were talking slow so nobody could hear them.”

    I believe you’re my new favorite person!!

  24. Chris D.
    September 16, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Really? The only song I may like better than this one was “Our Song” just because it was cute and different. I did like her last album, I just like this song better.

  25. Nicolas
    September 16, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    I love the song, glad it got a Thumbs Up :)

  26. Todd
    September 16, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    “I thought this was a country music blog? If it is, then why is this even being reviewed. I don’t hear ANYTHING remotely country in this song or see anything in the video.”

    I agree 100% percent. In my opinion this song would fit in perfectly with a Top 40 pop stations playlist, but seems totally out of place when heard on a country station. That being said I actually think it’s a pretty fair song other than the arrangement and that odd lyric about “The Scarlet Letter” which makes little or no sense to me.

  27. Razor X
    September 16, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    “That being said I actually think it’s a pretty fair song other than the arrangement and that odd lyric about “The Scarlet Letter” which makes little or no sense to me.”

    So aside from the lyrics and the arrangement, you like the song? lol

    Me too, though I would also add the melody and the singer to the things that need improvment.

  28. leeann Ward
    September 16, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Something for which I must commend Taylor, is the use of the banjo in most of her songs. I love the banjo almost as much or maybe even as much as the steel guitar.

  29. Todd
    September 16, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    “That being said I actually think it’s a pretty fair song other than the arrangement and that odd lyric about “The Scarlet Letter” which makes little or no sense to me.”

    So aside from the lyrics and the arrangement, you like the song? lol”

    Sorry, I should have been more clear. lol
    What I meant was aside from those things I thought the song was written/performed fairly well.

  30. Funk
    September 16, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    I don’t know her but from what I’ve seen of Taylor Swift, if she understands *anything* deep about The Scarlet Letter, I would be shocked. The thing about that is that an artist today carefully crafts what the public knows about her, so we are seeing the very best side of what is there. My conclusion about Taylor Swift is that she probably hasn’t read the book and if she has, she wouldn’t get it. Sorry, but that makes the arguments about the literary context meaningless.

  31. Funk
    September 16, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    It’s true, there is nothing country about this song. I think you guys need to decide if you are blogging about country music artists, or country music.

  32. Razor X
    September 16, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    The song makes even less sense when you watch the video. Aside from the mixed metaphors with “The Scarlet Letter” and “Romeo and Juliet,” the repeated references to Romeo and Juliet don’t make any sense with respect to the 18th-century period fantasy that is apparently going on in the mind of the young girl. Adding to the confusion is the fact that the video opens on a college campus, where presumably the two young people are not under constant supervision, so why the whole forbidden romance scenario? The song and the video are a hot mess, but I’m sure all the 12-year-olds will love them both.

  33. Razor X
    September 16, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Leann said, “Something for which I must commend Taylor, is the use of the banjo in most of her songs. I love the banjo almost as much or maybe even as much as the steel guitar.”

    Isn’t it a sad state of affairs when we have to comment so-called country artists for using country instruments on their recordings? Shouldn’t we be able to take for granted that banjos and fiddles and steel guitars will have prominent parts on country recordings?

    I’d also argue that putting a banjo track on a pop song does not make it country.

  34. leeann Ward
    September 16, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    Actually. I wasn’t commending her for using country instruments. I was simply commending the use of the banjo, because I have a personal taste for the banjo. It is not a requirement for a banjo to be on a song for it to be traditional. Hank Williams never had a banjo.

  35. leeann Ward
    September 16, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    “I think you guys need to decide if you are blogging about country music artists, or country music.”

    That would be rather subjective, really.

  36. Courtney
    September 16, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    I think the song’s fine. I don’t think it’s her best work, maybe. But I agree with Jim, that the comparisions work.

  37. Courtney
    September 16, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    The video really makes the song.

  38. Rick
    September 16, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    I watched the video with the sound off and really enjoyed it, and if I view it again it will be in the same fashion every time……

  39. Jim Malec
    September 17, 2008 at 2:50 am

    The idea of “forbidden” love here is very weak.

    Again, no–it’s not. The depth to which the love in question is forbidden may in fact be questionable, but even if it is only, as you say, “based on a father telling Romeo to stay away from Juliet,” that does, in itself, make the love forbidden.

    This is an important distinction, because it’s fair to argue how well the song does what it sets out to do. I think there’s some question to that.

    And the reasons the father forbade the relationship are relevant if you’re going to say that to the narrator, the complications are just as grave as Juliet’s.

    My point was that every young love thinks it’s epic.

    “In essence, I feel like the thumbs up boiled down to her use of prominent symbolism, that Swift has potential, and that the song will resonate with its intended audience.I don’t think it’s worth a thumbs up because of an unclear timeline, it’s cliche as you acknowledge, and the narrative is rather weak.”

    As you know, this review started as a Thumbs Down for me, and my review should not be construed as defending the song’s many flaws–in fact, I think this review goes further to criticize the substance of the song than any other (more negatively toned) review that I’ve read. I touched, here, on a number of things that are very wrong with the song.

    At the same time, I’m not going to go on a witch hunt, and I feel like that’s where a lot of us are at with Swift at this point. Every review deserves to spring from as neutral a place as possible, and I felt like the criticism of the allusions and symbolism used in this song was at least partially off-base.

    When it comes to the Up/Down question, that’s a difficult standard. Almost any song could be an Up or a Down in the hands of a writer who can justify their position, and the criteria used to determine which way a thumb will go is subjective and sliding.

  40. Jim Malec
    September 17, 2008 at 2:53 am

    RE the “not country” point:

    I said as much in my review. Explicitly. Read it.

    We’re not a niche publication, and, unfortunately, we don’t get to completely define what is or isn’t country. We cover all forms of country music.

  41. Razor X
    September 17, 2008 at 8:01 am

    Jim, I know you guys hate it when we get all caught up on the Thumps Up/Thumbs Down thing, but I have to ask: if this started up as a Thumbs Down, what exactly changed your mind? When I started reading the review, I was sure it was going to be a Thumbs Down, because it is anything but a glowing review and you do point out the song’s many flaws.

    I can understand the need to start from a neutral place, but with all due respect, I can’t help but think that in your desire to be fair to Swift, you overcompensated a little with the Thumbs Up rating.

  42. T J
    September 17, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    ha ha Looks like Taylor’s genius is showing through again. This is a teenagers song about teenagers – give TS time and she will catch up and surpass all of your expectations. Remember, this is just the sophomore effort, most artists don’t do well on their second cd release. Again this is only the first song/video from ‘Fearless’. I don’t think her potential is even close to being reached yet.
    Her label is Big Machine Records – it is a country label – no argument from me as to the genre of her music. Call it pop if you want – I am sure the label doesn’t care. I sure don’t.

  43. Razor X
    September 17, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Why are we constantly being told to make allowances for Taylor because she has “potential” to do great things in the future? Why can’t we judge her on what she’s doing NOW??

    And, BTW, it would take very, very little for her to surpass my expectations.

  44. Troy
    September 17, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    In Romeo and Juliet does it ever tell you why the families didn’t like each other in the first place. I don’t think it did it jumps right into and never 100 percent explains why they didn’t like each other. It starts off with the Montagues and Capulets fighting.

    As far a the scarlet letter it was written in colonial times and the writer wrote about his feeling about harsh obstacles that he faced being a Puritan. It also talks about her guilt in the book and maybe she was feel guilt because even though she love him her dad did want them to be together. And also a feeling of sin when ever they meant knowing her dad would not approve.

  45. T J
    September 17, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    RAZOR X – It looks like you are already judging her on what she is doing now.. Didn’t I just say she is a teenager, marketing to a teenage crowd? And doing so just fine. Taylor will improve as she ages and this is what is exciting for me. There are millions that are already liking what she is putting out now. Then there are skeptics like yourself that cannot see any reason for her successes. I say don’t listen if you don’t like what she puts out for sale.

  46. Kiley
    September 17, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Im a teenager. And I honestly DONT care if Taylor is using “literary references” in the correct form, its a SONG, (you know words put to music), it isnt a novel. Its written by a teenager, for a teenager. And I think the intent of the song was to show a correlation between loving someone you cant have, and then getting them- and how Romeo and Juliet is a classic “Love Story”

    Love it, Tay.
    Millions of Thumbs up.

  47. Stormy
    September 17, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Kiley: Have you read Romeo and Juliet?

  48. Troy
    September 17, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    i ask some of the people the same thing with some of the people. Like some of the people need a reason why the father doesn’t like him but it Romeo and Juliet it never explains why the families hated each other it starts off with the two families in a brawl in the streets.

    And for the scarlet letter it was about her guilt and feeling like she was sinner not doing what society expected from her which would be like friends not accepting who she liked or was going out with.

    i have read both the play and the book

  49. Razor X
    September 17, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    TJ said, “It looks like you are already judging her on what she is doing now.. Didn’t I just say she is a teenager, marketing to a teenage crowd? And doing so just fine. Taylor will improve as she ages and this is what is exciting for me.”

    Tanya Tucker, Brenda Lee, Lila McCann, Jessica Andrews, and LeAnn Rimes were all teenagers and younger than Taylor when they got their starts. Nobody cut them any slack because they were just teenagers; they were expected to compete just as the adults were. And all of them could sing rings around Taylor.

    “I say don’t listen if you don’t like what she puts out for sale.”

    I don’t listen to her. But she’s taking up valuable space on radio playlists that could and should go to more deserving artists, who, BTW, actually perform COUNTRY music.

  50. T J
    September 18, 2008 at 9:35 am

    X said, “Nobody cut them any slack because they were just teenagers; they were expected to compete just as the adults were. And all of them could sing rings around Taylor.”

    And just who is cutting Taylor slack? Individual radio stations are not told what to play. They play what is ‘hot’ and most requested. My radio station plays a lot of Taylor Swift and I love it. I do not request anything either and they are really keeping me happy.

    More X, “I don’t listen to her. But she’s taking up valuable space on radio playlists that could and should go to more deserving artists, who, BTW, actually perform COUNTRY music.”

    Now we get to the heart of the matter, you really don’t like her and because of that you expect radio stations to change their air play and others to agree with you. And you are now the expert on who are the more deserving artists for air play time. I have read that some posters think other artists are not deserving of air play time either. I disagree. I will continue to listen to my pop-country station and suggest you find a traditional country station to listen to keep yourself happy so you won’t have to listen to Taylor Swift. Better yet, get an ipod and load it with all the traditional country you want. X M is another option.

  51. Razor X
    September 18, 2008 at 9:58 am

    Radio stations do not play what is requested by their listeners. They play what they are told to play by the corporate bigwigs that own them. And yes, they should either change what they play or stop calling themselves country.

    P.S. There is no such thing as “traditional country”. There is country and not country. Taylor is an example of what is not country.

  52. T J
    September 18, 2008 at 10:50 am

    I agree, Taylor Swift falls in the pop-country genre and she belongs there. Big Machine Records is the label Taylor signed under. This label is as country as they come. Big Machine Records was founded in late 2005 by music industry veteran Scott Borchetta, who serves as President & CEO. The company is headquartered in Nashville, and its artist roster includes Taylor Swift, Trisha Yearwood, Jack Ingram, Danielle Peck, Sunny Sweeney, Fisher Stevenson, Adam Gregory & Kate and Kacey Coppola. Maybe if you disagree with that you should take it up with the label.

    I disagree with you on what the radio stations play. I have heard the criteria for songs played on my local station and a big part of it is called in requests that determine what the countdown order for the previous week was.

  53. Razor X
    September 18, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Country isn’t defined by what record label an artist is signed to. If Big Machine reissued a Snoop Dogg record on its label would it then be country? Pop music is pop music no matter where it is recorded or what label releases it.

  54. LEAD
    September 18, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Taylor is Definitely not country. Mindy Mccready did a better Romeo and Juliet reference in her 1998 song “Oh Romeo”. It was a big hit in the UK!

  55. Hollerin' Ben
    September 18, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    I think this represents a big step in the wrong direction for Taylor Swift.

    I actually liked a lot of the singles from her first album and think she deserves her spot at the top of the pile right now, and I’ll tell you why.

    While we’re submerged in positive affirmation songs that insist on beating us silly with the message that everything is always ok (Pickler’s “Beautiful”), or worse yet songs that present a conflict simply for the satisfaction of resolving it (Sugarland’s “stay”), Taylor was writing simple songs that allowed for the fact that things go wrong and then explored those feelings.

    “Tim McGraw” deals with impermanence, “Terdrops on my Guitar” is a classic unrequited love song, and “should’ve said no” explores the aftermath of unfaithfulness. None of those songs force a resolution, they explore the conflict and do so using a clear narrative that revolves around a simple hook. In other words, country music.

    But Love Story is different. The narrative doesn’t feature people interacting, rather it’s literary archetypes (representative of people I know, but the sense of the personal interaction between the two, or the narrator’s voice as sincere and personal, is missing). “Love Story” finds Swift resting way too much on the melody and pop structure to carry the song, and this abstract fairy tale imagery to set the mood (in fact, that’s how she was using Romeo and Juliet and the Scarlet Letter, not as literary allusions, but as Disney fairy tale references),

    and, worst of all, she sets up all of this life and death conflict “my dad will kill us! We’re Romeo and Juliet! I’m a Scarlett Letter!” (I’ll side with the Scarlett Letter being misused here. Hester wasn’t primarily a forbidden woman, she was primarily a fallen woman. She wasn’t arbitrarily placed off-limits like a treasured daughter, she was revealed as being legitimately undesirable, in the eyes of the community) merely for the satisfaction of resolving the conflict with the cheesy proposal at the end of the song. After all of the melodrama, everything turns out all right and the whole song was an exercise in futility.

    Judging from her first record, one of Taylor’s strenghts was that she knew, as a songwriter, that life is not a fairy tale where everything turns out all right, and more importantly, that the best songs are the ones that address this reality.

    “Love Story” is a move away from all of that and is, at the end of the day, a saccharine sweet, boring, and unsophisticated waste of time. Sorry Taylor, try harder.

  56. PaulaW
    September 18, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    “Tim McGraw” deals with impermanence, “Terdrops on my Guitar” is a classic unrequited love song, and “should’ve said no” explores the aftermath of unfaithfulness. None of those songs force a resolution, they explore the conflict and do so using a clear narrative that revolves around a simple hook. In other words, country music.

    I’ll agree pretty much with that …. but in my opinion, she just really cannot sing!

  57. Chris N.
    September 18, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    From Taylor’s MySpace blog:

    “I think the line that sums up what that song is about is ‘This love is difficult, but it’s real.’ It just means that sometimes you have to fight for love, but sometimes it’s worth fighting for. Like with Romeo and Juliet. Except without the death. :) To me, the song isn’t really about living in a castle and having met your true love at a royal ball. It’s simpler than that. It’s about love being worth it.”

  58. Radio
    September 18, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    T J – I disagree with you on what the radio stations play. I have heard the criteria for songs played on my local station and a big part of it is called in requests that determine what the countdown order for the previous week was.

    ^^^^^
    That’s not a good example. You’re talking about 1 out of over 1,000 stations, and out of a 168 hour week how many hours does this countdown air? Stations play a small percentage of requests and they try to play them when they were planning to play those songs anyway. They mostly stick to their regular playlist. Taylor is one of the most promoted and played artists of 2007 and 2008.

  59. PaulaW
    September 18, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    We’ve got three “country” stations that I can listen to where I am … and it is not at all unusual for the same song to be on the same station at the same time. (Not synchronized but when I change the channel because I dont like the song coming on, it might be in the middle of the song I just heard, or it will be the next song to be played.)

  60. Troy
    September 18, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    There is no such thing as “traditional country”. There is country and not country.

    Most genre have sub groups and the Taylor is country i think people who say is pop not really listen to enough pop to say that she pop because listening to her cd and pop cd are very different.

  61. Peter
    September 18, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Well I guess we can all shut up now that Troy has set us all straight.

  62. Chris N.
    September 18, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    I wish Dale Watson were here to offer some guidance on this.

  63. Brady Vercher
    September 18, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    One thing is for sure: it ain’t Ameripolitan!

  64. leeann Ward
    September 18, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    “There is no such thing as “traditional country”. There is country and not country.”

    Okay…Troy…

  65. Thomas
    September 18, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    dale watson may be country but taylor is nation.

  66. Christine
    September 18, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    I think this song although the literary undertones are not completley similar to the story of romeo and juliet I think its very clever that she includes the part in the end where ‘they are together and alone’ like romeo and juliet they are alone together in heaven or where ever and in the end the capulets and the Montaugs resolve there differences, so when she says ‘ Talked to your dad’ it shows that everything between the two families in the story are alright. What I’m trying to say is that you may brand it as disney writing, but you could also think of it as together in death…. it doesn’t sound so disney now does it?

  67. Troy
    September 18, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Leann, Razor x said that 7 comments above that.

  68. Elina
    September 18, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    I am also a teenager and have read Romeo and Juliet as well as The scarlett letter and I do care how the book is used in this song but I don’t think that most teenagers are going to look into the lyrics, I’m not saying there too dumb to put two and two together like it seems those commenting think, its just not about the book its trying to explain forbidden love through famous stories… it’s not necessarily trying to tell you the story of romeo and juliet perfectly or even at all!

  69. Razor X
    September 18, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    Troy said, “Most genre have sub groups and the Taylor is country i think people who say is pop not really listen to enough pop to say that she pop because listening to her cd and pop cd are very different.”

    Well, that’s as clear as mud.

  70. Troy
    September 18, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    Razor X you said there is no traditional country there is just country or not country. In pop music they have dance pop, piano pop, and bubble gum pop.

    As for pop music it has been more beat driven. Taylor Swift’s songs have not been using the beat of the song to get people to like it. Personal country music is music that tells a story and is something you can relate to which Taylor does both of them.

  71. Razor X
    September 18, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Taylor isn’t country and no amount of rationalization on your part can change that. Country music is a genre of music and not a radio format that is up for redefinition to fit the whims of marketers and radio programmers.

    As for the “there is no traditional country” comment, what I meant was that country music shouldn’t be marginalized by trying to define authentic country music as a sub-genre known as “traditional.”

    General rule of thumb, if there’s a discussion such as this one about whether something is country, then it isn’t.

  72. Troy
    September 18, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Anyone could say that an artist isn’t country that doesn’t make them not country so that a bad rule.

    Traditional music isn’t the authentic country it all is.Pop-country has its own place in country music and has been in country music since the late 70. Take a pop cd listen to it a compare it to Taylor cd they are very different.

    An also what is your def of country music

  73. Nicolas
    September 18, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Taylor Swift is country, like it or not people : /

  74. Stormy
    September 18, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    How is she country?

  75. Troy
    September 18, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    The way she sings sound country her background music, how her songs are written and how they can relate to people.

    How is not country?

  76. Nicolas
    September 18, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    She sings country music

  77. T J
    September 18, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Taylor’s songs tell a story as mentioned above ^.
    The use of fiddles (If You’re Gonna Play In Texas You Have To Use A Fiddle In The Band). Love Story uses a banjo which country music also generally does too. Except for ‘Should’ve Said No’ at the ACM’s (which is a COUNTRY award show) Taylor always wears cowboy boots. I know that boots do not make her country. In an interview just today – Taylor says “She considers herself country.”
    So, STORMY the kettle itself is calling itself black. That is “How is she country”.

  78. Razor X
    September 18, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Troy: “Take a pop cd listen to it a compare it to Taylor cd they are very different. ”

    Take a COUNTRY CD and compare it to a Taylor CD and they are even more different.

  79. She is so country
    September 18, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Characteristics of Country:
    1 A simple Chord progression. Generally country depends on a limited number of chords. It is not musically complicated and this certainly contributes to its popularity and playability.

    2 Country music should have a strong story line. “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda” or “Pub With No Beer”, illustrate the point.

    3 The song should have a simple and memorable chorus, which supports the storyline and is one reason so many people find it easy to recall and sing a good country song.

    4 Identifiable instrumentation. Organs, orchestras, strings, wind instruments are NOT country. Guitars, banjos, fiddles, pedal steel guitars, harmonicas definitely are. There are exceptions of course but instruments must be played in a country manner.

    Some say that geographic locations are a factor, insisting that a non urban setting is an essential ingredient. But there are plenty of examples of successful country songs that don’t have country locations.

    http://www.historyofcountrymusic.com.au/whatiscm.html

  80. Troy
    September 18, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    Razor X said Take a COUNTRY CD and compare it to a Taylor CD and they are even more different.

    I did it sounded like Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban cds.

    Compare Taylor cd to Carrie’s Carnival Ride the compare it to Rihanna’s Good Girl Gone Bad. Sound a lot more like Carnival ride

  81. Stormy
    September 18, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    Troy: No, a country cd.

  82. Troy
    September 18, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Oh so now Carrie and Keith are not country to. I love how traditionalist are so upset that people that don’t listen to a lot of country could like a song.

  83. Troy
    September 18, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    Stormy is your time of country music the real tacky kind that is why most people avoid the genre.

  84. Mike Parker
    September 18, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    I’m not sure how country she is, but she does have a couple country songs, like them or not. “Tim McGraw” was by all counts a country song, as was the travesty that was “Our Song.”

    I, for one, am glad she considers herself country, even if I’m not a huge fan of her music. Perhaps she should be considered to country what Hannah Montana is to pop. Kind of a gateway drug. Taylor’s themes are straight Country Music 101. Her arrangements might lean toward pop, but the focus of the songs are the lyrics.

    Country is progressive. I’m sure Hank Williams woke up and dug himself out, he’d be singing a eulogy to country music. His kind of country music is dead. Just like Chubby Checker’s brand of rock and roll is dead.

  85. T J
    September 18, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    SHE IS SO COUNTRY – Great post ! Two thumbs up.

  86. Stormy
    September 18, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Troy: No, mine is the really good kind that I use to lure people who gave up on artists like Taylor back to the genre.

  87. She is so country
    September 18, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Thanks T J

  88. Nicolas
    September 18, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    I agree w/ everyone that said Taylor is country:

    She may not be old-fashioned country, but she is country by today’s means – which is still good IMO

  89. Troy
    September 18, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    Really i have to lure people back to the genre with swift and underwood because they think country hillbilly.

    And who are these country artist that you are saying like Alan Jackson.

  90. Nicolas
    September 18, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    @Troy: Yeah, a lot of people hate country because they think of it as oldies music… but these days it is more popular with younger people, and I like that

  91. Razor X
    September 18, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Troy said, “Stormy is your time of country music the real tacky kind that is why most people avoid the genre.”

    Actually, country music sales are a low point right now. Why is that?

    Your statement shows that you have no respect for the history of the genre. A true country fan would never say such an appalling thing.

  92. Razor X
    September 18, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    Nicolas, “She may not be old-fashioned country, but she is country by today’s means”

    Country by today’s means = not country. So I guess we’re in agreement.

  93. Stormy
    September 18, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    Troy: No, I am saying like Kasey Chambers or Neko Case or Billy Joe Shaver.

  94. Troy
    September 18, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Razor look at who sales are the highest Taylor Swift her cd is still in the top five on billboard country sales and her singles like underwood have got most sales. Our Song and Teardrops both went platinum if you look on billboard country charts Taylor Swift song Should’ve said no is the only one that went gold.

    And there are a lot of tacky songs like She a hottie, everybody wants to go the heaven, time for a good time.

    And it doesn’t show that i have no respect for history i like Johnny Cash who’s music cross-over, Willie Nelson, and Dolly who crossed over to pop to.

  95. Stormy
    September 18, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Troy: All those tacky songs are part of Taylors country.

  96. Troy
    September 18, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    actual no Taylor has never wrote those types of songs and would be considered traditionalists. If this type of country music at low point then ur type must be at a lower one because their not charting as high.

    Stormy loved how u didn’t address how Taylor sales have been so dominate. How many country singers have had platinum singles on downloads?

  97. Razor X
    September 18, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Troy said, “Razor look at who sales are the highest”

    Commercial success does not necessarily equate to quality. A lot of bad music sells well; that’s why the labels keep churning out more bad music.

  98. Troy
    September 18, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    Then why make a point about sales being low and trying to show that means their quality hasn’t been good

  99. Razor X
    September 18, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    Troy said, “Then why make a point about sales being low and trying to show that means their quality hasn’t been good”

    Because you made a comment about people avoiding real country music. I was just pointing to the sales data to demonstrate out that even more people are avoiding it now.

  100. Troy
    September 18, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    But it hasn’t Taylor been getting the most success because more people are coming towards country. That why some the first platinum songs digital wise have come from Carrie’s Before He Cheats and Taylor’s Our Song and Teardrops.

    And more people are avoid ur music how are their sales going?

  101. Razor X
    September 18, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Troy said:

    “But it hasn’t Taylor been getting the most success because more people are coming towards country. That why some the first platinum songs digital wise have come from Carrie’s Before He Cheats and Taylor’s Our Song and Teardrops.”

    If Taylor and Carrie are bringing fans toward country, then shouldn’t other artists be getting platinum digital sales as well? That isn’t happening, because Taylor and Carrie aren’t bringing fans to country, they’re bringing fans to themselves only.

    Troy: “And more people are avoid ur music how are their sales going?”

    Real country music isn’t doing as well because it isn’t being marketed. Radio is too infatuated with pop singers like Taylor right now to play country. But like I said before, sales have nothing to do with quality. Sales are largely a result of slick marketing campaigns.

  102. She is so country
    September 18, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    Who decides what is “good” or what is “bad”. If anything, sales would show you what good taste in music is. If theres a number one song and you say its bad music, I’m not going to listen to you because your opinion means nothing. For that many millions of people to be thinking its a good song, they can’t all be that stupid. Sure there might be a bad song that hits the top, but it quickly falls and is forgotten about. I don’t think that someone with 5 chart topping songs on a debut album falls into that category. So all of you guys saying she isn’t country and that “your country music” is better..where are those country artists? Maybe there sales are so bad because they didn’t adapt to the constantly changing taste in music. Maybe they weren’t talented enough to perform in more than one way. Why can’t taylor be the one who has musical genius to be surviving in this difficult time of intense competition for the top?

  103. Troy
    September 18, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    But if they were better radio and executives/corp. would pick that music to be play but very few people want to hear and don’t like the quality as much. If there were more people like you they would be playing that style more better the country-pop artist are making better music

    As far as the not bringing into country listens other country singer have had their digital sales go up and talk to be who didn’t listen to country before carrie and taylor and now they have many different cd from country music singers

  104. Razor X
    September 18, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    “If anything, sales would show you what good taste in music is. If theres a number one song and you say its bad music, I’m not going to listen to you because your opinion means nothing. For that many millions of people to be thinking its a good song, they can’t all be that stupid.”

    Sure they can. How else do you explain all the bad rap and pop songs that sell millions?

    “So all of you guys saying she isn’t country and that “your country music” is better..where are those country artists? Maybe there sales are so bad because they didn’t adapt to the constantly changing taste in music. Maybe they weren’t talented enough to perform in more than one way. ”

    Maybe they had too much artistic integrity to prostitute their work by trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

  105. Razor X
    September 18, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    Troy said, “As far as the not bringing into country listens other country singer have had their digital sales go up and talk to be who didn’t listen to country before carrie and taylor and now they have many different cd from country music singers”

    I have no idea what you just said. Translation please?

  106. Troy
    September 18, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    what bad pop songs are you talking about and as for the rap song it is popular to certain group of people that like it because they think the relate to it and thats what a good song should do

    I never said they had to change i just said if they were good enough then more people would like them and this would make radio play more of that type of music

  107. Troy
    September 18, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    As far as them not bringing more listeners into country other country singer have had their digital sales go up and talk to people who didn’t listen to country before carrie and taylor and now they have many different cd from country music singers

    srry bout the mistakes

  108. Razor X
    September 18, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    “I never said they had to change i just said if they were good enough then more people would like them and this would make radio play more of that type of music”

    It’s tough to get great sales when you aren’t getting any radio airplay. Radio won’t play music by older artists, no matter how good or popular it is. Dolly Parton won a Grammy in 2002, but radio refused to play anything from her album. The soundtrack to “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” won two Grammys in 2000 and went 8 x platinum but got no radio airplay. Wouldn’t you think that 8 million copies sold would be an indication that people might want to hear it on the radio?

  109. She is so country
    September 18, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    Now rap music isn’t appealing to me personally either, but what I’m saying is what gives you the right to call it “bad music”. You are not the music God. You can not be a fan of taylor swift, but that does not make her a bad artist or produce bad music. It just means that its not your favorite.

  110. Razor X
    September 18, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    “You are not the music God.”

    You sure about that? ;)

  111. She is so country
    September 18, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    …and I even liked her music before I saw how incredibly beautiful she is!

  112. Vicki
    September 18, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    I like watching the pretty pictures. I just enjoy it so much more when I turn the sound down.

  113. Matt B.
    September 19, 2008 at 1:38 am

    Wow. Bad use of English here. Start teaching lesson/
    “You can not be a fan of taylor swift…” is clunky to me. If you added a couple of words to what you said, it would be easier to understand. For example: “You can choose not to be a fan of Taylor Swift, but that doesn’t make her a bad artist or the producer of bad music.” Also, since when is Taylor Swift an “it>” Because you are talking about HER music, not just the music itself. At least that’s the way I read it.

    /end teaching lesson.

    I know this is a comment thread about the song but that ‘clunky’ wrti

  114. she is so country
    September 19, 2008 at 10:38 am

    I know. I saw that. I should have rewritten it with less negatives, but I was tired.

  115. Elina
    September 19, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    WHY THE HECK DO YOU CARE if it’s country or not! if you were to ask me I’d say it’s country for a younger generation….. most people my age HATE country, but they love taylor swift I think she’s a great artist to bridge younger people from crap pop to a different genre such as country. and I think you can argue whether carrie underwood’s country or not as well… just because she is signed with a disney related company doesn’t mean she isn’t a ‘certain’ genre besides pop get over yourselves and find something worth discussing

  116. Elina
    September 19, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    oh and razor x about your comment about dolly’s radio play (or lack there of)… don’t you prefer that its not an overplayed song/album that drives you batshit crazy! i think that even though they didn’t acknowledge her on the radio, i’d rather it be a good song that i’ll ike for a long time than a song i really liked then drove me crazy

  117. hairandtoenails
    September 19, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Elina asks “WHY THE HECK DO YOU CARE if its country or not!” but then proceeds to suggest that Swift is “country for a younger generation” and make an argument that Swift is a “great artist to {bring younger people to] country.”

    Elina probably cares at least a little if Swift is country, or she wouldn’t bother making these arguments. So its unfair to criticize others for caring if Swift is country when Elina herself seems to care.

    Why care if Swift is country? I think country fans want to understand the music, to know what country is or isn’t, and thus they care. If I can’t figure out whether Swift is country, it implies that there is something about country or Swift that I don’t fully understand. And I want to understand.

    Elina notes that people her age “HATE country, but they love taylor swift.” That might suggest that Swift is not country — if someone truly hates country, and Swift is country, we’d expect them to hate Swift.

    Of course, it might suggest that people Elina’s age actually only hate certain kinds of country, and Swift’s music is of a congenial subgenre.

    We aren’t likely to resolve whether Swift is country anymore than we are likely to resolve just what makes a house a “Mansion” (how many square feet must it have? Must it be fancy? Must it have a large yard? A big garage? Is it still a mansion if a bank buys, kicks out the residents, and sets up a local branch? Might an average size house in the US be a mansion in a very poor country?)

    But the discussion can be productive if it increases our knowledge about music (or residential architecture). I do think, though, a lot of the “She is/isn’t country” discussions tend to shed little light.

  118. Razor X
    September 19, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    “oh and razor x about your comment about dolly’s radio play (or lack there of)

  119. Elina
    September 19, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    :D you guys are really funny! I love to hear you debate!!

  120. Elina
    September 19, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    oh and what they teach in schools now is probably something they never taught you… maybe you should go back and learn

  121. Elina
    September 19, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    I also have to add that you shouldn’t look on the negative side of taylor’s music, when I said they hate country but they love taylor swift I meant she’s country enough to make people look twice at the genre you love so much, but is ridiculed by many. Don’t you think thats a good thing?

  122. Razor X
    September 19, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    “oh and what they teach in schools now is probably something they never taught you

  123. Elina
    September 19, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    whatever you want to think razor x, have fun sitting in front of your computer! and they do teach manners, but I only use them with people worth my time …

  124. Nicolas
    September 19, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    “Elina notes that people her age “HATE country, but they love taylor swift.” That might suggest that Swift is not country — if someone truly hates country, and Swift is country, we’d expect them to hate Swift.”

    Today’s country music appeals to a wider fanbase… although there are many individuals who still laugh at the thought of listening to such “old peoples’ music”

  125. T J
    September 19, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    hmmm.. I personally have no problem listening to Hank Snow – Bob Wills – Johnny Cash – Johnny Horton – Kitty Wells – Loretta Lynn – Barbra Mandrell – Travis Tritt – Marty Robbins – Marty Stuart – Patsy Cline – you get the idea. I have on myspace Carrie, Trisha, Taylor, Colbie Calliet, Danielle Peck, Heidi Newfield, Carter’s Chord, Whitney Duncan, Crystal Shawanda, Ali Gray, Kellie Pickler, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith and over a hundred more newer country artists…there is room for all of them, old or new it makes no difference to me.
    I have NO idea why age would have anything to do with whether you like or hate country.??

    bty – Jim – Taylor said in an interview today she is headlining starting next year! You are going to be hearing a lot of ‘Love Story’ in the future.

  126. Chris D.
    September 19, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Well, I personally like Taylor Swift, as well as many other country artists including Kathy Mattea, the Dixie Chicks, Sugarland, Lee Ann Womack, The Judds, Trisha Yearwood, and SHeDAISY, and I am a teenage boy.

    But, I have seen an attitude in people my age (and I go to an all boys high school) of liking “Rascal Flatts and Taylor Swift” and hating all other country. A friend of mine (A boy, FYI) actually said “I bet you listen to Hank Williams!” as an insult, which I started laughing at, of course. (I personally don’t listen to him, but by no means is liking him an insult in any way possible.)

    By this story, I would like to point out that teenage boys only support those two artist, at least where I live.

    I agree with Razor that this is bad because these teenagers are supporting Rascal Flatts (Possibly the worst artist I can think of in any genre). It boils down to them making crappy country profitable.

  127. Stormy
    September 19, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    Troy
    September 18, 2008 at 10:39 pm Permalink actual no Taylor has never wrote those types of songs and would be considered traditionalists. If this type of country music at low point then ur type must be at a lower one because their not charting as high.

    Stormy loved how u didn’t address how Taylor sales have been so dominate. How many country singers have had platinum singles on downloads?

    My country is charting fine. Just on a completely different set of charts.
    Taylor is selling okay because she is the flavor of the month. Last week she only sold about 10,000 copies. The Waifs sold that many after their show at Merlefest 2006. Don’t assume that because you cannot see something it doesn’t exist.

    As for sales, Patsy Montana was the first female country singer to sell a million copies. In 1935. 73 years ago. And, incidentally, in the middle of The Great Depression.

  128. Stormy
    September 19, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    Nicolas
    September 19, 2008 at 8:53 pm Permalink “Elina notes that people her age “HATE country, but they love taylor swift.” That might suggest that Swift is not country — if someone truly hates country, and Swift is country, we’d expect them to hate Swift.”

    Today’s country music appeals to a wider fanbase

  129. Nicolas
    September 20, 2008 at 12:18 am

    Taylor Swift sold 3 million+ copies, and Carrie has sold about 10 million+, and Rascal Flatts has probably sold about 15 million…

    Sounds pretty good sales too me… and not to mention all the singles these artists have released that have topped the charts, and Carrie’s had a 2x Platinum single <3 that’s a BIG accomplishment for country singles

  130. She is so country
    September 20, 2008 at 2:52 am

    Wow. I think Chris D. is my twin. I feel the EXACT same way about all of those groups…and go to an all boys School in L.A.

  131. T J
    September 20, 2008 at 7:52 am

    She is so country – what is it that your girlfriends are listening to, if I may ask?
    Because I am now wondering if you listen to Rascal Flatts just because someone else is too? A little like music peer pressure. I get Taylor, I like her and I am finding that you either love her or hate her there is no room in between. But, with Flatts it seems there are some that just go along for the ride and secretly cannot stand the group. And for the people that cannot figure out their successes, I believe it is in the lyrics.

  132. Razor X
    September 20, 2008 at 10:00 am

    “And for the people that cannot figure out their successes, I believe it is in the lyrics.”

    Yes, the lyrics to “Bob That Head” were just sheer poetry. {groan!}

  133. Stormy
    September 20, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Nicholas:
    I’m guessing you’re young. Go back to the early 90′s and you had people selling tens of millions PER album. I can remember a time when it was considered a slow week if the #1 album hadn’t surpassed a million copies.

  134. Matt B.
    September 20, 2008 at 11:18 am

    For the record, Big Machine Records, isn’t related to any Disney companies. In the country music world, that’s Lyric Street Records.

  135. T J
    September 20, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    “X” says “Yes, the lyrics to “Bob That Head” were just sheer poetry. {groan!}”

    ha ha! ‘not’ that song for sure..that song is time wasted for me..I will agree with you that there are some songs that do waste air play time (not Taylor Swift) and that ‘Bob’ is one of them…there ya go, Razor we agree on something..
    I never said I was a Flatts fan – although a couple of their hits were good thought out compositions.
    “Bless the Broken Road” and “Praying For Daylight” were excellent songs by Flatts. “What Hurts The Most” and “My Wish” also excellent.

  136. Michael
    September 21, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    It is not even country– it is bubblegum pop. Can anyone here honestly tell me that there is even a hint of country in this song? You can’t, because there isn’t.

    Taylor wants to be a pop artist– and she is remixing all her songs to pop radio.

    This song is listed for Adds to pop radio for 10-7, just 2-3 weeks after it was released to country radio. That is an insult to country artists that are actually country— as she is clearly using country music to establish herself.. with her eyes set for pop radio.

    She re-released her album like 4 times, with pop remixes and other ways to manipulate sales to her innocent teen fans who don’t know any better.. so they end up buying the same album 4 times over.

    She is on mtv or some other jonas brothers related pop event every week.. and she doesn’t even try to hide her pop remixing ways.

    Why did Shania, Faith and leanne rimes get shunned for their pop remixing, while taylor is given a free pass?

    Finally– and most importantly, the girl cannot sing. She is not even 1/10th the artist that Trisha yearwood is, and she is getting the shaft by their label. What an insult to trisha!

    Trisha, Carrie Underwood, Martina, Leanne rimes, Faith Hill, etc– all represent the genre of country music with pride and respect. They can sing any song, any day, any time, and sing it beautifully.

    Taylor cannot even dream of reaching the notes or power, range, etc- that these superior singers can.

    You call her the hottest thing in country music right now– but is she really? I think not. She is the new hot thing maybe, but Carrie is a much more respected, and talented, artist then taylor ever will be. It is kind of an insult to the millions of adult fans who are not impressed by her to say she is better then Trisha, martina or carrie, etc.

    Not impressed with this bubble gum pop, sorry.

  137. Michael
    September 21, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    By the way, her Change song is also clearly POP and it doesn’t have a shred of country in it.

  138. Nicolas
    September 21, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    @Michael: Maybe you haven’t noticed, but it wasn’t released to country radio — it was released only as pop

    She didn’t pretend that was a country song

  139. Michael
    September 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Nicolas- true, thank God. I just think that Love Story is a cute, disney pop song that should just be called pop and be done with it.

    It is fine for teens, just not my cup of tea. I am glad that taylor has given teens someone to relate to in country music, but I still do not find her to be a very good singer, especially live.

    So Taylor will never appeal to me as I prefer strong vocalists who can at least stay on key.

    I wouldn’t be so hard on her though, if it wasn’t for the over-exposure, over-playing on radio, and over-hype of her on every country music site such as CMT, GAC, etc. She is not a talented singer at all, and they hype she is getting is not deserved. She is becoming the hanna montana or britney spears of country music, unfortunately, because she is not known for her vocal skills, just the hype, (just like britney and miley).

    This site is more fair and neutral, giving everyone equal exposure, which is why I dare to come here. but every single day on CMT, it is a Taylor Love Festival, and it gets sickening.

  140. Troy
    September 21, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Taylor cannot even dream of reaching the notes or power, range, etc- that these superior singers can.

    But she is amazing at songwriting and puts that emotion in her singing

  141. Razor X
    September 21, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    Michael, stop watching CMT and GAC. There is very little worth watching on either channel.

  142. Bobby
    September 22, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    I don’t care too much about the “country/non-country” argument. I don’t care if my station plays Roy Orbison, The Kentucky Headhunters, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Carrie Underwood all in the same day (which has happened). As long as it’s listenable, I can’t complain too much.

    As for this song, I’m liking it. Sure, the lyrics aren’t perfect, but I really like the melody and production, and I think that her voice sounds a little stronger than usual (or maybe it’s just because she sounded REALLY weak on “Should’ve Said No”).

  143. Jack
    September 28, 2008 at 5:29 am

    As far as I can tell, Love Song is completely POP, there is no “country” in it at all. Taylor is for all intents and purposes a POP singer, and she should be classified as such.

  144. Amazace
    September 28, 2008 at 9:30 am

    I would just like to say, it seems most people here are quite confused as to the definition of “Pop Music”. Pop Music is an industry, not a specific genre. Swift, Underwood, Yearwood, McBride, Rascal Flatts, Keith, Jackson, Urban, Sugarland etc. Are all country acts. They just happen to be Pop Country acts.

  145. Stormy
    September 28, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Woah–do not put Trisha in the same category as Taylor and Carrie. They make very different kinds of music.

  146. Amazace
    September 28, 2008 at 11:28 am

    Are you saying Yearwood is not a Pop act? If it was a very different kind of music, she would be in a very different kind of industry/genre. She’s not.

  147. Dude
    September 28, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    I just sat here and read every comment for the past 10 minutes. I feel we should all agree to disagree (no that is not a reference to Toby Keith’s Love me if you can). We all have our own opinions, some say Taylor is not country, some say she is. No, she is no Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, or Dolly Parton. But she is a breath of fresh air and is here to stay. She is not terrible, she is not legendary, She is Taylor Swift. By the way, who would you rather listen to, Taylor or Jessica Simpson.

  148. John Maglite
    September 28, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    By the way, who would you rather listen to, Taylor or Jessica Simpson.

    That’s like asking whether I’d rather be punched in the face or in the stomach.

    Which is to say, neither. Not with so many other options out there.

  149. Dude
    September 28, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    you have your opinion, which is great and I respect you for that. I’d rather listen to Taylor and you would rather listen to someone else, that’s fair and that is life.

  150. John Maglite
    September 28, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Which is to say, neither. Not with so many other options out there.

    I’d like to clarify that this is referring to Jessica and Taylor, not getting punched. Ideally, I would not get punched anywhere.

  151. Dude
    September 28, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    I understood what you were saying and I understand, you have your ideal artist and I have mine. That is 100% fair.

  152. Stormy
    September 28, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Amazace:
    Trisha is in an entirely different genre–that’s why she doesn’t get played in the one that plays Taylor and Carrie.

  153. Dude
    September 28, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Stormy, what do you mean, please explain yourself.

  154. Amazace
    September 28, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Stormy, You may like Yearwood, but that doesn’t change the fact of what industry/genre she’s played in. Yearwood used to be all over the Pop Country radio and charts, the very same radio and charts Swift and Underwood are on now. Lets face it, the shelf life isn’t very long in Pop music no matter how good or bad a singer you are. Basically Underwood has replaced Yearwood by mainstream Pop standards. You’re not trying to tell me Yearwood is now a Roots music artists are you?

  155. Dude
    September 28, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    Country pop, Nashville sound, Bakersfield sound, bluegrass, Traditional Country, it does not matter what it is called it is still country, Some people like country pop, some like traditional or bluegrass, it does not matter, they are still country fans. Amazace, I get you, you like traditional country and that is okay, but do not bash someone just because they happen to like an artist that is country pop, alright. The point is, no matter what sub-genre of country music you listen to, it is still country music.

  156. Amazace
    September 28, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Yes in essence, but sorry Dude, the days of “Country is Country” are over. To throw a big blanket over all of todays music and call it just “Country” is absurd. With your way of thinking, that would mean Dale Watson and Kenny Chesney are just country? Same genre? How about Roger Wallace and Trace Adkins? The same? Sara Hamilton and Carrie Underwood? Two Dollar Pistols and Rascal Flatts are both just “Country music”? I could go on all day, but I hope you get my point. There are different genres in music for a reason. This is why.

  157. Dude
    September 28, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    You misunderstood me Amazace, I was talking about the sub-genres of country music such as the Bakersfield sound, the Nashville Sound, Bluegrass, etc. Now re-read my comment and see if it makes sense. I was not talking about Rock, pop, rap and that other stuff. I was talking about the SUB-GENRES of country music not all the music genres in America.

  158. Stormy
    September 28, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Amazance: The mainstream was a vastly different world when Trisha got played there.

  159. Amazace
    September 28, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    So was I (talking about “subgenres” of Country Music). Are you now saying Watson, Wallace, hamilton and TDP are not country? I read your post, and you’re not making sense at all. You didn’t answer any of my questions, and now you’re adding the term Pop into the mix. Pop is not a specific genre of music, it’s an industry. I also see you didn’t include Americana/Roots music into your sub genre. Why is that? Like I said, for anyone to call the matchups i listed as just “Country” is absurd.

  160. Dude
    September 28, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Almazace, all those singers that you listed are country, some stretch the boundary a little bit but when you listen hard and long enough, they are all country. You like traditional and I like all country music and that is 100% cool. Trisha is still a great country artist and no matter who you are, you have to respect her. 40 years from now, the same argument will be made about Underwood and Swift( by the way, Love Story is a song that will top the charts even if it is at best decent because of Swifts growing Disney audience).

  161. Amazace
    September 28, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    First of all, now you’re telling me what I like? Second, you may like Yearwood, and that’s fine but now you’re saying I have to respect her?

  162. Dude
    September 28, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    Amazace, I am sorry that I tried to tell you what to and what not to like. I am sorry that I tried to force you to respect someone, that is not my place at all. On the traditional country thing, I took and educated guess just because you are putting down Pop Country and most Traditionalist do that, I am sorry for saying that, that again is not my place. If I offended you, I am sorry for typing 2 straight unnescesary(pardon my spelling) comments. In the future, I will think about what I type before I type. I am sorry if I offended you or upset you, that is not me, I’m sorry.

  163. Amazace
    September 28, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    No problem Dude.

  164. Amazace
    September 28, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    Stormy, I’ll have to disagree that Mainstream was vastly different when Yearwood was played. It doesn’t seem to have been that long ago. In what way was it vastly different? How long has it been since she was still played in Mainstream Pop Country? When was her last Pop Country award? Seriously,(I’m not trying to be a smart @**) I don’t know. 5 years ago? 10?

  165. Dude
    September 28, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    Now to answer your question, no I am not saying that Watson, Hamilton, Wallace and TDP are not country. I acknowledge that Americana/roots is a sub-genre of country music. I forgot them in the heat of the moment. I like all sub-genres of country music and feel that if it is a sub-genre af country then it is country, even if it sounds pop. Country music is about telling lyrical stories and I have never found that in pop, but MOST country songs posses that(Bob that head and Honky tonk b-donk-a-donk are the prime examples of pop songs that are called country). That is my definition of country music. A song that tells a story with a guitar in the background with chords I can actually hear. I hope this answered some of your questions and If I missed anything ask the question again and I will answer it.

  166. Razor X
    September 28, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    ” I’ll have to disagree that Mainstream was vastly different when Yearwood was played. It doesn’t seem to have been that long ago. In what way was it vastly different?”

    It didn’t suck then. It does now.

    “How long has it been since she was still played in Mainstream Pop Country?”

    Her last top 10 hit was in 2001.

    “When was her last Pop Country award? Seriously,(I’m not trying to be a smart @**) I don’t know. 5 years ago? 10?”

    Not sure what you mean by a “Pop Country” award, but her last major awards were in 1998 when she won a Grammy and was the CMA Female Vocalist of the Year.

  167. Dude
    September 28, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    ” I’ll have to disagree that Mainstream was vastly different when Yearwood was played. It doesn’t seem to have been that long ago. In what way was it vastly different?”
    I also have to agree with this comment. I’m sorry Stormy.

  168. leeann Ward
    September 28, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Amazace, I’m fascinated by your narrowly selective choices of what you consider country music. I obviously disagree with you greatly. Just to get a better sense of where you’re coming from, do you consider people like Patty Loveless pop country? If so, I know we’ll just never agree on country music and I’ll leave it at that.

  169. Stormy
    September 28, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    The mainstream is more corporate controlled and less diverse than it was even 7 or 8 years ago.

  170. Amazace
    September 28, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Leeann, Quite the contrary. I accept all of todays Country music for what it is. I just prefer not to lump it all together like most people seem to do. It seems the people who lump it all together are the ones who know the least about it. When Patty was part of the Pop country music scene, it was much different. Remember when Dwight Yoakam, Steve Earle, Marty Stuart, and Ricky Skaggs, and Patty were considered Pop country too? What I find interesting is these artists are still recording some great music and are being recognised and respected in todays Americana Music scene. By definition todays Pop music scene, whether it be Country, Rock, R&B, Rap, Hip Hop, etc is music with general appeal to the masses for profit. In musical terms It is essentially conservative in that it attemps to resonate with a large segment of it’s target demographics rather that pushing artistic boundries. While todays Americana scene whether it be Country, Rock, Blues, Bluegrass, Folk is Roots music based on the traditions of the specified genre. Americana music not only recognises the new roots artists it also recognises the established artists and the legends. I can give you examples if you’d like. That being said it’s an easy decision to what I will support, promote, and defend.

  171. Dude
    September 28, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    I think pop country back then would be considered pure country when placed alongside some Underwood or Swift songs and then Swift and Underwood’s songs would be considered pop. If this does not make sense, tell me and I will try to explain myself.

  172. Amazace
    September 29, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    Well, nowadays the Music of Yoakam, Earle, Stuart Skaggs and Loveless is Americana Music. If these artists were to release their debut CD’s today, they wouldn’t be played in Mainstream, they’d be played in Americana, just as their new music is today.

  173. Vicki
    September 29, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    Do you remember Country in the 80′s? Country revolves…there is going to be purists and there is going to be contemporary-whatever that is at the time. I go for vocal talent. Some can sing traditional and contemporary (Carrie). Some need more time and vocal range (Taylor)

  174. Mirandas2cool
    September 30, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Although im not the biggest Taylor fan, i have to credit her that she has great songwriting potential, and has shown that in some of her songs. But this song is soo pop and the one line is so confusing, i just cant get behind it. She does sound better vocally than her last couple songs but… i think she has alot of room for improvement, but the potential is there to be pretty descent.

  175. Chris J
    October 2, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    Firstly I never liked Taylor Swift and most timess I agree with with this site but, since I don’t remember Romeo and Juliet, I can only make out only a couple connects and I strangly like this song…so for once I disagree with Jim

  176. Jim Malec
    October 5, 2008 at 3:28 am

    I just realized, as I was going over this thread for the Roundup, that I never answered Razor X’s question about why I eventually gave this an UP as opposed to a DOWN.

    It’s pretty simple–as I was writing the review, I decided that the good outweighed the bad. There aren’t enough artists being creative in today’s mainstream–few are willing to take risks and fewer are willing to use symbolism as opposed to dumbed-down quasi baby-talk.

    The UP/DOWN system has its flaws, and this is one of them. There is almost always a way to defend either rating for any particular song.

  177. Billy
    October 9, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    I’m a bit late on this one, but I’m going to throw my two cents in anyway. I love Taylor Swift. I do think that Love Story is her best song since Teardrops. I liked the references to Romeo and Juliet and Scarlet Letter, at least we know that she paid attention in her English class.

  178. Anne
    October 12, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    This is my new all-time favourite song, the one I listen to on infinite repeat, replacing Teardrops on My Guitar, which held that spot for a year and a half. (This one has a considerably happier ending, wouldn’t you say?)

    Yes, I cringed when I first heard the Romeo & Juliet references, and I did pick up that the “scarlet letter” was not used exactly right–but both things are and should be open to interpretation. I believe in an expansive use of the english language (much to the dismay of my professors marking my papers trying to tell me I don’t know what a word means–I know what it means; I’m applying it creatively). And wasn’t Shakespeare himself a master at that? I rest that case.

    And anything with ballgowns in it automatically gets my stamp of approval. What 18-year-old girl doesn’t want to be the princess with the streaming white gown running across the meadow to meet her handsome prince? (Okay, maybe a few, but I’m not one of them.) Taylor is 18, and so am I, and so I guess it doesn’t matter if cynical middle-aged men think it’s vapid and off-putting.

    Taylor shouldn’t be pushed to grow too quickly or to pretend to be something she’s not. She and I are a month and a half apart, and the day I stop thinking she’s somehow read my mind is the day I know the bigwig high horse executive guys have won. Yes, it’s been a couple years since she broke into the industry, but… a couple years from 16 is only 18, which is still awfully young and wide-eyed and free. (At least I hope so. I’d hate to think that I’m a grown-up. I shudder at the thought.)

    Taylor appeals to the teenage girl crowd in a way that all that slickly produced and marketed stuff that’s aimed at that exact demographic will always miss the mark on. To a middle-aged guy it all looks like teenage girl stuff, but most girls past the age of 13 can tell the difference between Taylor’s perfect honesty, even if it is more pop-tinged than pure country, and the marketing-department-created bland pop, such as that epitome of all that is wrong with music today, Miss Miley Cyrus. Never make the mistake of lumping all teenage girl stuff into the same category.

  179. Stormy
    October 12, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    I agree. People should stop pushing Taylor to think that she is a country singer.

  180. SugarlandFan
    October 13, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Wow Anne. Nicely put! You seem like you would also be good at writing songs/poems.

  181. Clinton
    October 15, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    The problem is ITS COUNTRY MUSIC!!!!!! not pop or Disney!!Taylor Swift is not country…She likes pretty boys and sings stupid songs…She has a horrible voice too…Studio made

  182. Billy
    October 17, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Anne described it perfectly.

  183. Kid
    October 22, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    This song made me realize why country radio refuses to play classic artists anymore. It came on one night and was immediately followed with Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Modern Day Romance.” Placing the inaine self indulgent drivel of “Love Story” next to a well written, well sung, musicaly inclined band like the Dirt Band was just embarrassing for the Taylor Swift song.

  184. Beth
    October 23, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    I’m a teenager, and this is one of my favorite songs. I’ve listened to it over and over again. I don’t care if the song goes with the play of Romeo and Juliet. The majority of Taylor’s fans are teenagers and most teenagers don’t care much about the play Romeo and Juliet. All that I know about that play is that Romeo and Juliet are in love. And that’s what the song is talking about, so why should I care? It’s a great song and lots of people can relate to it. Two of my friends can relate to it very much. And why do so many people think she doesn’t fit into the Country genre??? I think that she does sound country, it’s just modern country. I don’t see love story as being anything but country..

  185. T J
    November 1, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    KID says:
    Placing the inaine self indulgent drivel of “Love Story” next to a well written, well sung, musicaly inclined band like the Dirt Band was just embarrassing for the Taylor Swift song.

    You don’t know Taylor at all – the last thing Taylor would get is embarrassed. Taylor knows who her fans are and she is VERY thankful for the position they have put her in. Many times she has said “Without you (her fans) she would not be where she is today.”

    note: inaine is spelled inane.

  186. شات
    November 2, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    But she is amazing at songwriting and puts that emotion in her singing

  187. kid
    November 3, 2008 at 8:41 am

    Yeah, my apologies for the typo there. I’m not saying that Swift would be embarrassed, I’m saying that the song simply doesn’t hold up when placed in context with a song like “Modern Day Romance”. Of course she is thankful for the position in which her fans have put her, she’s been charting with just “Love Story” for the past seven weeks and just sang the National Anthem at the World Series this year (and did an excellent job I might add). That’s not the point. The point is that the song simply doesn’t hold up. She writes down to her fans rather than expecting them to step up to a better work. I agree that she puts real emotion into her music, but to paraphrase what Sam Phillips told Johnny Cash when he first come to the studio, “Go live a little and get back to me.” I liked “Picture to Burn” and “Our Song” wasn’t bad, but “Love Story” just isn’t very good. This of course is ignoring attempt to reference Romeo and Juliet and the Scarlett Letter. Beth’s statement that teenagers don’t care about Romeo and Juliet and that all she knows about it is that they were in love is my point exactly. She’s writing for her audience but at the same time ignoring the works she’s actualy referencing. Her voice, which ordinarily is pretty good, sounds strained and she has to contort it and stretch certain words way to long in order to make them fit.

  188. T J
    November 4, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    KID, I agree with you on the fact that this song is light and airy with not a lot of substance to it.
    Taylor does hit a demographic with her songs and it is the young teenage girl(and her boyfriend) because the boyfriend must like what his girlfriend is listening to or be on the outs with her somewhat.
    I hear tons of complaints about Taylor’s off key singing, weak vocals and anything that pertains to bad singing seems to be attributed to her. All the negative stuff does not seem to diminish her popularity and sales and successes. Rolling Stone’s Jody Rosen just wrote a glowing article about Fearless the cd, this is the cd that Love Story is on. Fearless will go multi-platinum just like Taylor’s debut did. Taylor Swift has an audience and it seems to be growing. Her debut cd has now been selling in the top 5 on country charts for 2 years straight, add to that a Guinness Book of World Records entry and I see her around for a long long time.

  189. Bella
    December 15, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    I LOVE THIS SONG…DON’T MAKE FUN OF IT!
    When she puts “Romeo” and “Juliet” and “Scarlet Letter” in her song, it makes it very good and made me look up some stuff..

    I LOVE THIS SONG!

  190. Stormy
    December 15, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    Beth: For future reference–Romeo and Juliet were not really in love, they were two kids trying to escape their controlling families. At the time he meets Juliet she is curious about meeting her future husband, Paris and he is despondent over Rosiline. They marry the next day.

    Now, the part of Romeo and Juliet you might want to learn before you emmulate them–to escape thier parents and avoid Juliet’s hastened nuptials she borrows a drug to fake her own death. Romeo finds her, thinks she actually died, kills her bethrothed and then himself. Juilet’s drug wears off and upon awakening she stabs herself. Everyone dies. In all of Shakespeare’s tragedies everyone dies. The man racked up higher body counts than Rambo.

    Mataraca Berg, upon seeing the play, penned the following:
    Matraca Berg/Gary Harrison)

    Juliet waits at the border
    Of a creek without a corner
    Gazes into the dark
    Was it the moon or only
    Her fear of being lonely
    That gave her leave of her heart?
    Oh- oh-oh

    Oh Romeo (Romeo)
    Who would lay down her life? (Romeo)
    Swallow the poison, pick up the knife
    Maybe I cried (maybe I cried)
    Just a teardrop or two (tear or two)
    I would not die for you
    I would not die for you

    Just another romantic depressant
    Giving in she becomes obsessive
    Maybe this time I’ll learn
    Life’s like a box of matches
    Sometimes the whole thing catches
    And all you can do is watch it burn
    Oh-oh-oh

    Oh Romeo (Romeo)
    Who would lay down her life? (Romeo)
    Swallow the poison, beck of the night
    Maybe I cried (maybe I cried)
    Just a teardrop or two (tear or two)
    I would not die for you
    I would not die for you

  191. T J
    December 31, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    Awesome is what Love Story has done as far as sales on itunes and the cd Fearless just went multi-platinum!! Over on CMT Love Story has just set the record for the most weeks at the Number One spot!
    The fans are speaking and they are speaking loud and clear…Love Story and the cd Fearless are outstanding successes!

  192. Charlotte
    February 25, 2009 at 12:56 am

    I am a teenager and one that likes this song a lot – not because i think its amazingly deep and so true and omg just like sooo cute. i just think its a nice song and like other teenagers (and im sure some older people as well) i can relate to the love theme, not necessarily the “forbidden love” but just the feeling. and i know that the song is pretty shallow, pretty straight forward and not deep at all, but really thats not needed for a song to be successfull and good. it leaves a lot of space for people to put in their own experiences into the song and therefore relate to it. love story has everything that makes songs succesfull on a broad scale.

  193. angelica
    February 27, 2009 at 7:02 am

    thats was …..cute taylor with the handsome guy in ,,,new album love story….mmmmmmmmwaaaaaaaaaahhh love yah…..

  194. Jason
    March 2, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Aren’t people taking the references to Romeo and Juliet too far? The overall theme of Romeo and Juliet to the population has always been love. When someone says you’re my Juliet to another person, does the other person take it as an insult in that they can’t be together and eventually they’ll commit suicide? No of course not, so why are people taking the references to Romeo and Juliet so literally?

    Furthermore, I’m reading about complaints about the “We’re dead if he knew” part of the lyrics. Hasn’t anyone used the lines “My dad’s gonna kill me….” or “Uh oh…we’re dead meat if so and so finds out.”? It’s a figure of speech that fits perfectly with the writer’s own demographics.

  195. ISHEPHERD628@AOL.COM
    March 13, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    TAYLOR YOU ARE SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO KOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I SANG YOUR SONG THE OTHER DAY AT THE 4H TALENT SHOW AT BREMEN ELEMENTARY THE SONG I SANG WAS LOVE STORY ME AND MY COUSIN SUNG IT TOGETHER WITHOUT WORDS AND WE DID NOT MESS UP ON IT ONE TIME AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!! I WISH I COULD COME SEE YOU IN CONCERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  196. ISHEPHERD628@AOL.COM
    March 13, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    O..M..G.. REALLY I LOVE LOVE STORY IT IS LIKE MY FAVORITE SONG EVER IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!!!!! AND DONT MAKE FUN OF IT

  197. Stormy
    March 13, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Someday you will spell cool with a C. And understand the implict humor of singing Love Story with your cousin.

  198. christlover72 on flickr.com
    March 13, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    She’s really pretty God bless

  199. Just sayin'
    April 28, 2009 at 11:39 am

    I think her freshman cd was by far her best. I was rather disappointed with her sophomore cd and think the only reason love story topped the charts was because of the popularity she garnered from her first release. That might have worked this time, but if she doesn’t step it up for her 3rd cd, she won’t have any number one singles, or at least not for 8 weeks.

  200. I'll have an Orange Juice
    May 6, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Firstly, I would like to thank Jim Malec who did a superb job on this review. Not only was it spot on, it was eloquent and thoughtful. Moving right along, I would like to toss this question out there: why is Taylor Swift so divisive? Love her, OR hate her. How about appreciate her?

    Let’s say you don’t think she sings country, why do you care? Popular opinion inarguably puts her in your camp. I say embrace it! How often does a “country” singer nab not only the top lists of country but of ALL genres. Let us imagine a techno artist were to put out an album that flew off the shelves. Oh wait, that did happen, and it revived the genre. Not that I am saying that Country needs a revival (though a concise definition might be handy so all y’all can stop bickering about it). Country music has an opportunity here, an opportunity to garner new fans, inspire new musicians. Love her or hate her, Taylor Swift is here (hopefully to stay). She crafts songs that appeal to a huge demographic, and even if they are pop tinged with country or country with pop sensibilities, give them a listen, chances are you’ll like them.

    The discussion of the applicablity of the symbolism in the song, inspired by Romeo & Juliet as well as (briefly) the Scarlet Letter has carried on and it appears that those who criticize it will not let anyone refer to a literary work without writing a quick thesis in the lyrics. It “misses” some themes of Romeo and Juliet.

    Duh

    I have personally spent an entire semester at college discussing and writing on the themes of Romeo and Juliet. I wrote 3 pages about lines 1205-1210. Should I set my essays to song? Will you listen to that?

    So long as I’m “country enough” I imagine. No worries, I’ve got my twangy guitar, my southern drawl, my cowboy hat and I have been listening to Gospel R&B for years.

    I suppose I should further explain that paragraph: I was being facetious for most of it. I’d explain my reference to Country’s roots if I felt it would do any good for those who didn’t know, or if I felt like I had enough time to ensure I hit upon every theme.

    On a final note, I hope Taylor Swift never has to read what some of you say about her. While attacking her focus on teenager themes, you forget she still is one. She’s young, she’ll have a weird enough time growing up without people insulting her singing, her lyrics, her intelligence (as all who say she hasn’t understood R&J are doing), and even (at one low point I saw above) her looks.

    For shame.

    Up until this moment, I have been an unwavering believer that all musicians should listen to what their fans and critics have to say. Now I see that what most of them have to say is unnecessarily hurtful, poorly thought through, and often grammatically incorrect.

  201. chloe
    May 23, 2009 at 2:37 am

    dear tayler your a great sing i wish i could meet you xoxo lv u

  202. maxmam
    October 1, 2009 at 9:31 am

    I have personally spent an entire semester at college discussing and writing on the themes of Romeo and Juliet. I wrote 3 pages about lines 1205-1210.

  203. Stacy L.
    October 13, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Overrated? Taylor Swift? Bullshit! She’s amazing! She deserves all the recognition and awards that she’s got!

  204. Dan
    October 13, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    I love this song, but you need to grow up and tone it down Stacy L. You’re not helping Taylor’s case by writing responses in this manner.

  205. J. Anne
    October 18, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    I agree, Dan. And Stacy, (I’m apologize to all of the guys who read what I’m about to say,) you shouldn’t be writing comments when you’re PMSing. People may disagree with you, okay? That’s life, missy. And anyone who knows what “Bull****” means should act more mature than that. Just saying.

  206. Leeann Ward
    October 18, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    J. Anne, I think you should apologize to us women for that statement too.

  207. J. Anne
    October 18, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    I’m very sorry, Leeann Ward. That was a bit offensive, wasn’t it? Sorry.

  208. Leeann Ward
    October 18, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    We’re cool, J. Anne. I agree with you on the advice to dial it down though.:)

  209. MusiC
    December 2, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Its a perfect song. You people are overanalyzing it. See it through a teenagers eyes! Yes, it is a disney story. And perhaps it is a dream. But all in all, its wonderful and because of its simplicity its genious. And the music is perfect. Dont you just love how the simple chorus just hits you in the stomach, and you can feel that you are getting a bit irritated bacause something so slick an so simple can hit you so hard! AH! I am overjoyed that simple music with the same chord progressions as ive heard a thousand times before, can bring a feeling of satisfaction to my soul and body. Good preformer, good song and a good production!
    Go Swift!

  210. Stormy
    December 2, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    See it through a grown ups eyes: Teenagers are annoying. Also, didn’t Romeo and Juliet die?

  211. Razor X
    December 2, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    What flavor is that Kool Aid you’re drinking, Music?

  212. Steve M.
    December 2, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    My ten year old daughter asked for a Taylor Swift CD for Xmas. I just can’t, I just refuse to commit child abuse.

  213. Razor X
    December 2, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Actually, there are far worse things for kids to listen to than Taylor.

  214. Stormy
    December 2, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    Yes, but is it legal to record them?

  215. Jon
    December 3, 2009 at 12:34 am

    See it through a grown ups eyes: Teenagers are annoying.

    That’s not what a grownup would say.

  216. Please!
    December 3, 2009 at 7:47 am

    no most grownup’s would say that their music is annoying and/or are annoyed with their music… not them.. if they did think it, they won’t admit it.

  217. tayten
    December 20, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    hi i think your pretty
    and my friend thinks ur pretty 2
    love your songs

  218. tori sehn
    May 12, 2010 at 9:57 am

    kooleo man!!!

  219. شات صوتي
    April 3, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Country isn’t defined by what record label an artist is signed to. If Big Machine reissued a Snoop Dogg record on its label would it then be country? Pop music is pop music no matter where it is recorded or what label releases it.

  220. luckyoldsun
    April 3, 2011 at 11:21 am

    شات صوتي
    April 3, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    What country is that–Saudi Arabia?

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