Stay Stay Stay… and Listen to Red (Taylor’s Version)


Leah Hunter, Writer

Starting July 24th, 2021 a new era began for Taylor Swift with her release of her album “Folklore”. Later that year on December 11, 2021 she released its sister album “Evermore”. These defined a new age in her maturity and growth, allowing fans worldwide to appreciate a different style of music from her. She produced these albums almost all by herself during quarantine with the documentary Folklore: Long Pond Studio Sessions recounting her process. 

Before her album “Lover” in 2019, Taylor Swift’s music had been owned by Big Machine Records, and more importantly, Scooter Braun. After he sold her albums for investment she finally left her label. In order to own the music she should have owned all along, she has been rerecording all albums that were released before “Lover”. Recently, this has meant “Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and as of November 12, 2021, “Red (Taylor’s Version)”.

This album is 2 hours and 10 minutes long, but don’t let that intimidate you. “Red (Taylor’s Version)” includes all of Taylor’s tracks from the original album, along with her vault songs.

One of these original tracks is a song titled “Ronan”. Unlike many of her songs, this one is not about her own experiences with love, family, friends and enemies, or her storytelling. “Ronan” tells the story of a young boy who was sadly lost four days prior to his birthday to neuroblastoma in 2011. Taylor found his story on his mother’s blog and could not help but write a song about it. Ronan’s mother, Maya Thompson, told the world the day before the official release of the album that she was left in tears. She said, “This is how I’ll be all day. I just listened AND watched Ronan, Taylor’s version. @taylorswift13 You are one of the greatest loves of my life. TY for loving him.”

By far the most notable part of this new album would be “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)”. This song left fans all around the world in shock. Taylor adds extra lines that add much more emotion to the song, and really show much more depth. An example of one such line is, “And I was never good at telling jokes \ but the punchline goes: \ ‘I get older, but your lovers stay my age’ ”. 

As well as the album release on November 12 Taylor also released an “All Too Well” short film starring Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien. The short film shows the story that is recounted in the song, with most clips playing the 10 minute version in the background. This short film had fans wild. It was directed and produced by Taylor Swift herself, and she shows excellent promise in the filmmaking business with her directorial debut, leading fans wondering if there will be more cinematography to see from her.

Along with the album and short film, Taylor came out with a music video for one of her new vault songs called “I Bet You Think About Me (ft. Chris Stapleton)(Taylor’s Version)(From the Vault)”. The music video was directed by Blake Lively as her own directorial debut, a long time friend of Taylor’s. It stars Taylor Swift herself along with Miles Teller. The video’s storyline is of Miles Teller, a groom, who cannot help but think about Taylor’s character at his wedding. It depicts her almost crashing it, but it’s revealed that she was never really there at all.

In classic Taylor Swift fashion, the video contains quite a few Easter eggs. The most noticeable of these is the infamous red scarf from “All Too Well” original, Taylor’s Version, and 10 minute version, along with the short film.

Taylor Swift has always been a prolific music artist and over the last two years her production has greatly increased. I, along with many other fans, am extremely impressed and excited to see what’s next. Whether it be “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” or “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” I will be eagerly awaiting it, ready to listen.