Monday, January 7, 2013

8th Grade Playlist: 9 - Everything Has Changed by Taylor Swift featuring Ed Sheeran

Diana Ross and Lionel Richie, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, Neil Diamond and Barbara Streisand and now there’s Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran.

There’s this amazing tradition in popular music of artist joining together to do duets. It’s a dream team kind of idea where two people at the top of their game come together and create something amazing. Taylor Swift, a still rising pop star, and Ed Sheeran who recently broke big (I talked about him in this earlier post) are huge right now.

Taylor and Ed are the Neil Diamond and Barbara Streisand of their generation. They are central figures in their genre representing the best in popular music right now.

No, they are not singing a break-up song about the lack of flowers in their lives (check out this post if you missed this reference). Instead they are singing about the beginning of a relationship, that special spark in “Everything Has Changed.”

Taylor and Ed lay down a peaceful and intimate track. The opening dialogue breaks down any sense of formality. You really feel like you are in a living room hearing them perform this song.

“Everything Has Changed” is a very gentle and unassuming song. It doesn’t really insist on a strong meaning or narrative. Instead it reflective and honest capturing a certain innocents that we sometimes overlook and forget about when we get to know the people around us.

The phrase “all I know,” appears throughout this song. This phrase expresses a sense of humility. They don’t fully understand their own feelings but they do know that they want to know each better.

There are beautiful and subtle descriptions as Ed sings about a wall painted blue coming down and Taylor’s butterflies in her stomach taking flight. These are the lines that really show the strength of these two song writers. They are short but meaningful and full of emotion.

There’s no turn around or twist in this song. Unlike other Taylor Swift songs like “Love Story,” this song is really about a single moment and not the way a relationship develops over time. It’s tough to have a song talk about such a small moment but this song does it really well.

Initially this song feels like teenagers singing about their first love.  That mix of hormones and infatuation that rarely leads to a long-term relationship, but it's more than that.  The older I get the more I realize how much I need people in my life and how much of the meaning in my life lies I share my life with others. 

When I first met Diana everything in my life didn't change, but it felt like it did because my perspective changed.  Every person you meet changes the way you look at the world sometimes in very small ways but in other times in very significant ways.

When you meet that person and all you want to do is get to know them better you're entering a journey that leads you to truly know yourself.  This is what life is really about.

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