Taylor Swift is the queen of Easter eggs and her new baby midnight album revealed one she slipped into a speech at a recent awards show. Here’s how the singer said she breaks her lyrics into three categories, and how she spilled the words to one of her latest songs over a month before it came out.
On September 20, Swift received the Songwriter-Artist of the Decade Award from the Nashville Songwriters Association International. During her acceptance speech, the singer opened up about her songwriting process. As she told the audience, “I’ve never spoken about it publicly before because it’s idiotic, but I have in my head, secretly, set genre categories for lyrics that I write. Three of them, to be exact.”
Going on to name the categories, she said, “They are affectionately titled Quill Pen Texts, Fountain Pen Texts, and Glitter Gel Pen Texts … I came up with these categories based on what writing tool I envisioned having in my hand when I was scribbling it.” have. Figuratively.” Swift added, “Actually, I don’t have a quill anymore; I broke it once when I was angry.”
She described the quill style as “when the words and phrases are antiquated”. “If my lyrics sound like a letter Emily Dickinson’s grandmother wrote while sewing a lace curtain, then I’m writing in the quill genre,” Swift explained.
The singer said most of her lyrics fall into category number two, “fountain pen style.” “Fountain pen style means a modern story or references with a poetic twist,” she said. “To put yourself and everyone listening right in the room where everything happened: the love, the loss, everything. The songs I associate with this style sound like scrawled and sealed confessions in an envelope, but too brutally honest to ever send.”
And the third category is called “Glitter Gel Pen,” which Swift described as “frivolous, carefree, bouncy, perfectly syncopated to the beat.” According to Swift, glitter gel pen lyrics “don’t take themselves seriously” and “are that drunk girl at the party who tells you you look like an angel in the bathroom.”
Besides naming her secret lyric categories, Taylor Swift also gave examples from her discography for each type of song.
For the Quill Lyrics category, Swift credited her song “ivy” from the 2020 album always. “How should one know / I would meet you where the spirit meets the bone, in a faith-forgotten land / Out of the snow your touch brought forth a glowing glow / Stained but so magnificent,” she recited.
For “pen lyrics,” her most common category, Swift gave the example of her song “All Too Well.” “Because here we are again in the middle of the night / We’re dancing around the kitchen in the fridge light / Down the stairs, I was there / I remember it all too well / And here we are again, when no one needed to know / You got me like.” Kept a secret but I kept you like an oath / Holy prayer and we would swear / To remember it all too well.
And for “Glitter Gel Pen Lyrics,” Swift dubbed her 2014 hit “Shake It Off.” “My ex-husband brought his new girlfriend / She’s like, ‘Oh my god!’ but I’ll just shake / And to that guy over there with the hair as hell / Won’t you come baby? / We can shake, shake, shake.”
Swift explained that writing with glitter gel pens “is what we need every now and then during these strained times we’re living in.”
Describing her three secret song categories, Taylor Swift described “pen lyrics” as “basically trying to paint a living picture, a situation, right down to the chipped paint on the door frame and the incense dust on the vinyl shelf.”
She gave her speech a month before her release midnight album that contains lyrics that almost exactly match what she said at the awards ceremony. In the opening lines of the song “Maroon,” Swift sings, “When the morning came / We were cleaning incense from your vinyl shelf / ‘Cause we lost track of time again.”
Fans know this probably wasn’t a coincidence as Swift is the queen of Easter eggs. She probably teased her new lyrics a month before they came out.
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