As Taylor Swift prepares to re-record her albums, Kelsey Barnes unpacks a song per week
Kelsey Barnes
12:12 16th September 2021

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The final track on Fearless: Platinum Edition is the understated country pop song 'The Other Side of the Door'. With the last secret message being “What I was really thinking when I slammed the door”, this song is written from the perspective of Swift as she grapples with the aftermath of an argument.

Despite being an album full of themes of fairytales and happy endings, Fearless also contains a lot of heavy allusions to fighting and arguing, like on 'The Other Side of the Door'. Similar to other songs on Fearless, like 'The Way I Loved You' and 'Forever & Always', the final track highlights Swift’s teenage romanticism of all things melodrama; her idea of love back then was slightly twisted and warped in regards to conflating fire with passion. 

There’s a distinct build-up—and breakdown—in 'The Other Side of the Door' as Swift navigates the full scope of an argument with the song mirroring what happens in the aftermath of an argument, from rage (“I said, 'This time I've had enough'/And you've called a hundred times/But I'm not picking up”) to reflection (“I keep goin' back over things we both said/And I remember the slamming door/And all the things that I misread“) to forgiveness (“I don't need you but I do, I do, I do/I say, ‘There's nothing you can say/To make this right again, I mean it, I mean it’/But what I mean is/I said, 'Leave', but, baby, all I want is you”). 

Swift is known for being a master at building bridges and 'The Other Side of the Door' has both a bridge and an outro that fans have previously described as something that doubles as a second bridge. While she goes through her stages of anger, reflection, and forgiveness, the outro shows listeners that she isn’t just letting the other person off the hook completely like she would previously. The pseudo-bridge outro is breathless and frantic, almost sounding as if Swift is trying to capture everything she needs to say before the other person opens their mouth to speak as she lists a number of things that happened during the course of their break-up (“You carried me from your car up the stairs/And I broke down crying, was she worth this mess?/After everything and that little black dress/After everything I must confess, I need you”).

As the final track, 'The Other Side of the Door' is a complete step up both in regards to Swift’s songwriting (and bridge-building) but also her emotional maturity when it comes to love.

Fearless (Taylor's Version) is out now.

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Photo: Press