Taylor Swift reminices of her storybook romance in the enchanting “Love Story.”
A doting fiddle opens the single, setting a romantic tone. She remembers how she and her husband first met. Her parents were holding a fundraiser for a local charity at their home. It was the beginning of June and her 18th birthday was only a couple days away. She was outside on the balcony, observing the wealthy businessmen and their wives talking in groups and eating appetizers. Her spacious backyard was lit with a string of tiny white lights, reflecting the bold greens, reds, and blue of the extragavant gowns the women were wearing. She noticed someone weaving through the people in jeans and a t-shirt. It’s her crush! He mouths “hello” to her. She breaks into a wide smile. (“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 crowd/And say, "Hello”/Little did I know.”)
She runs from her balcony to join him. However, when her dad saw him, he disapproved right away. Her dad told him to leave his house and not to return. Swift begins to bawl, as she watches from the staircase, hearing her father call him no good and unworthy of his daughter. She races to her crush, Between sobs, she asks him to stay. (“That you were Romeo, you were throwing pebbles/And my daddy said, "Stay away from Juliet"/And I was crying on the staircase/Begging you, "Please don't go"/And I said.”)
In the chorus, she whispers to him to meet her somewhere private. He will be able to find her. He’s a wonderful guy and the perfect match for her. They have a relationship worth fighting for. She needs to know if he’s willing to take the risk. (“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.”)
She waited for her to dad to go back to entertaining his guests. She joins the party, engaging in small talk with some of the people while keeping an eye on her dad. Once she sees him head back into the house, she takes off. She walks to the garden, located on the other side of the grounds, and sees her crush again. They whisper and try not any make noise. If they get spotted hanging out, the police would be called. They both would get into a lot of trouble. She enjoys spending time with him. Everyone in her circle (and family) are obsessed with status and showing off what they have. He appreciates what he has, even though he’s poor, by her family standards. (“So I sneak out to the garden to see you/We keep quiet 'cause we're dead if they knew/So close your eyes, escape this town for a little while/Oh, oh.”)
She says she was considered off-limits. The only guys she could date who were the ones thought to be respectable, future businessmen. However, she cares deeply for him and had no idea what she do without him in her life. (“'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.”)
In the extended chorus, she adds her family and her friends are discouraging her from being involved with him. She hears catty remarks about her slumming and gets ignored by people who once talked to her. It’s a struggle but it’s worth it. She tells him not to let the rude comments get to him. People will eventually get over it. (“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.”)
In the bridge, the talk got to be too much for him and he broke it off with her. She would go the garden to see him but he wouldn’t be there. It hurt,knowing he didn’t believe in their relationship. She had decided to stop at the park to think and be by herself for awhile. While there, she sees him at the batting cages. (“Oh, oh/I got tired of waiting/Wondering if you were ever coming around/My faith in you was fading/When I met you on the outskirts of town./And I said.”)
In the third extended chorus, she calls out to him. He throws down his bat and walks to over to her. She tells him she misses him and was hoping she could talk to him again. She isn’t sure where they stand anymore. He responds by taking out a miniature box out of his pocket and proposes to her. He’s in love with her and wants to be with her forever. He asked for her dad’s permission and it was granted, after many discussions. Everything is ok now. She jumps into his arms, crying. (“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 dress/It's a love story, baby, just say, "Yes"/Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.”)
She repeats that they were only teenagers when they fell in love to end the single. (“'Cause we were both young when I first saw you.”)
Swift’s lovesome, chaste vocals linger, tracing every detail with delicacy. She was living a sheltered life back then, full of elegant parties and expensive possessions. Her only goal was to find a suitable husband within the wealthy community. She rejected it and is proud of the choice she made. She chose love and wouldn’t have it any other way.
As for the literary references, the Romeo and Juliet comparison fits. They are both star-crossed lovers. However, they get a happy ending of marriage and a future shared together. The scarlet letter reference, however, is incorrect. It’s meant to be a symbol of shame and ostracization. She’s using it to describe to class structure. Her status as a member of the rich community causes her to stand out and be excluded from the rest of the town.
The endearing “Love Story” is a wonderful modern fairytale romance worth hearing.