More about: Taylor Swift
A prevalent theme throughout Fearless (and, of course, this column) is the concept of fairytales and escaping real life through them, whether that be through love ('Love Story') or heartbreak ('White Horse'), but there’s a different type of escapism found in Swift’s 'The Best Day', an ode to her relationship with her mum.
Penned entirely by Taylor in the summer of 2007 and written and recorded secretly so Andrea Swift didn’t know about it prior, 'The Best Day' is a 17-year-old’s view on her relationship with her mother as it evolved over the years and ages. In each verse, Swift jumps between times and experiences as a five-year-old, thirteen-year-old, a three-year-old, and then back to an adult.
When discussing the song, Swift reminisced on the adventures she would have with her mother to towns they’d never been to as a way to offset the adolescent pain Taylor was experiencing when: “you’re 13 and your friends won’t talk to you and they move when you sit down at the lunch table.” It provided a space for Swift to escape; a place where she could get away from the pseudo-friends and negativity clouding her school life. In addition, it also served as a reminder that life goes on outside of high school, much like how the childlike fairytales Swift obsesses over throughout Fearless typically have a good outcome by the end like in Snow White, the story she mentions in 'The Best Day'.
Grappling with the concept of age and time is something that frequents Swift’s songs ('The Lucky One', 'Mary’s Song (Oh My My My)'), but she’s at her most open in 'The Best Day'. Pulling from her own memories rather than dressing them up, she succinctly and poetically describes the scenes and moments she can remember feeling close with her mother. It shows everyone that the tiniest of moments — the ones that feel less than significant — are sometimes the ones we remember and cherish, forever. From pumpkin patches to retail therapy to paint sets, Swift juxtaposes a kaleidoscope of memories in the short but sweet song and instills a feeling of nostalgia in the song.
A few years ago, after Andrea’s cancer diagnosis, Taylor was incredibly open and honest about her feelings regarding it. "Everyone loves their mom; everyone's got an important mom," she stated. "But for me, she's the guiding force. Almost every decision I make, I talk to her about it first. So obviously it was a really big deal to ever speak about her illness." As Swift has grown up and only become more and more famous, the secret message of this track — God Bless Andrea Swift — carries even more significant weight.
Andrea has been at every show for over a decade, ready to greet fans and make dreams (like mine!) come true. In addition to that, she’s helped Taylor weather the stormiest of times and has encouraged her to put her voice behind important issues, as shown in the Miss Americana documentary. She is, to put it lightly, Taylor’s pillar of strength and guiding light — one that she relies on when she needs someone to lean on and show her the way out of the darkness. Although it’s been well over a decade since 'The Best Day' was first released and so much has changed, the re-recording was a poetic, powerful, and profound nod to both a song and a woman who has shaped Taylor into becoming who she is all of these years later.
Fearless (Taylor's Version) is out now.
More about: Taylor Swift