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Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you awesome songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Taylor Swift’s Juliet gets her prince (and a ring) in the mega-hit, “Love Story.”
Back in 2008, an 18-year-old Swift released a semi-autobiographical song about Juliet, a teenager whose love interest is despised by her family and friends. Even though her dad forbids his daughter to date the young Romeo, Swift’s character steals away with him. The story, which is based on real events in Swift’s life, is spun with key elements from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
But, instead of having a tragic ending, Swift’s version ends with a proposal and an engagement ring (the only part of the song that’s not based on fact). Swift sings, “He knelt to the ground and pulled out a ring and said… / Marry me, Juliet, you’ll never have to be alone / I love you, and that’s all I really know / I talked to your dad. Go pick out a white dress / It’s a love story, baby, just say, ‘Yes’.”
Swift told the Los Angeles Times why she decided to put a happy ending on Shakespeare’s tragedy.
“I was really inspired by that story, except for the ending,” she said. “I feel like they had such promise and they were so crazy for each other. And if that had just gone a little bit differently, it could have been the best love story ever told. And it is one of the best love stories ever told, but it’s a tragedy. I thought, why can’t you… make it a happy ending and put a key change in the song and turn it into a marriage proposal?”
Songfacts.com reports that Swift was so excited when the pre-chorus lyrics came into her head, that she grabbed her guitar, sat on her bedroom floor and wrote the song in 20 minutes. Some of Swift fans believe the song relates to her relationship with Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers.
“Love Story,” which was the lead single from Swift’s second studio album Fearless, was the singer’s biggest seller (only to be surpassed by “Shake It Off” in 2014). With more than eight million copies sold worldwide, “Love Story” also ranks in the top tier of the most successful singles of all time. Music critics at the time wrote that “Love Story” established Swift as a “true princess of pop.”
Born in Wyomissing, Pa., Swift was not an average schoolgirl. By the time she was 11, Swift was already performing regularly at karaoke contests, festivals and fairs near her home in Berks County. When she was 14, her parents moved the family to Nashville, where Swift would be better positioned to pursue a career in country music. At the age of 17, Swift was topping the country charts.
Now 32 years old, Swift is one of the best-selling musicians of all time. She has sold more than 200 million records, nabbed 11 Grammy Awards and topped the Billboard Hot 100 eight times.
Please check out the video of Swift performing “Love Story” during a “Live on Letterman” concert. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…
“Love Story”Written and performed by Taylor Swift.
We were both young when I first saw you.I close my eyes and the flashback starts:I’m standing there on a balcony in summer air.
See the lights, see the party, the ball gowns.See you make your way through the crowdAnd say, “Hello, ”Little did I know…
That you were Romeo, you were throwing pebbles,And my daddy said, “Stay away from Juliet”And I was crying on the staircaseBegging you, “Please don’t go”And I said…
Romeo, take me somewhere we can be alone.I’ll be waiting; all that’s left to do is run.You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess,It’s a love story, baby, just say, “Yes”.
So I sneak out to the garden to see you.We keep quiet ’cause we’re dead if they knewSo close your eyes… escape this town for a little while.Oh, oh.
‘Cause you were Romeo – I was a scarlet letter,And my daddy said, “Stay away from Juliet”But you were everything to me,I was begging you, “Please don’t go”And I said…
Romeo, take me somewhere we can be alone.I’ll be waiting; all that’s left to do is run.You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess.It’s a love story, baby, just say, “Yes”.
Romeo, save me, they’re trying to tell me how to feel.This love is difficult but it’s real.Don’t be afraid, we’ll make it out of this mess.It’s a love story, baby, just say, “Yes”.
Oh, oh, oh.
I got tired of waitingWondering if you were ever coming around.My faith in you was fadingWhen I met you on the outskirts of town.And I said…
Romeo, save me, I’ve been feeling so alone.I keep waiting for you but you never come.Is this in my head? I don’t know what to think.He knelt to the ground and pulled out a ring and said…
Marry me, Juliet, you’ll never have to be alone.I love you, and that’s all I really know.I talked to your dad – go pick out a white dressIt’s a love story, baby, just say, “Yes”.
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.
‘Cause we were both young when I first saw you
Credit: Screen captures via YouTube / Taylor Swift.