The Bridges of Swift County. An Editorial.

(Credit: Joseph Anthony Baker)

Hello, Taylor Nation!

Once in a while I actually talk about music here. Imagine that.

In music, a bridge is that small piece of music that is radically different from the rest and prepares you for the song’s ending. As a songwriter, Taylor understands the importance of bridges and often gives them various twists. Sometimes, it’s just an extra bump in the song but sometimes it comes out like a completely different song.

Here at the Swift Agency, one guy with the musical talent of a doorknob, we thought we could highlight what we consider the best of them. Realize that I have barely an ear to tell them apart, so if you actually see there’s an oversight or I have confused the bridge with another part of the song… you might be right. I’ve selected these with more heart than mind.

Enchanted

This is quite a peculiar bridge. It actually becomes another chorus. The song’s chorus starts with This night is sparkling, don’t you let it go… but once it reaches the bridge, there’s this little line that is just a background vocal and slowly comes to the foreground:

Please don’t be in love with someone else
please don’t have somebody waiting for you.
Please don’t be in love with someone else
please don’t have somebody waiting for you.

This becomes the bridge. When the Enchantress sings this one live, she actually repeats it a lot more, building it up. Even after an extra serving of the chorus, these lines keep repeating themselves to as a second chorus right to the end.

Watch on YouTube

Innocent

I have a particular pet peeve: I dislike the fact that more often than not, people focus on the song’s main inspiration than on the craftsmanship. I know what inspired Innocent but if you’re going to dismiss this song outright due to its origins, you’re missing out. This is quite a beautiful song both in music and lyrics, and can be quite cathartic for all of us that have ever been less than kind to someone.

The bridge is not powerful in a musical sense, but I think it makes up for it lyrically:

Time turns flames to embers
you’ll have new Septembers
everyone of us has messed up too
minds change like the weather
I hope you remember
today is never too late to
be brand new

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Dear John

This song could have been a hit even without its bridge. I have the feeling that the Outspoken One wanted to add something extra to it. The whole song feels like a blues song, it contains more melancholy than actual recrimination. I don’t believe this is a song about a spurned lover. It’s more of a song for a crush that ended in a sad realization. The bridge in some fashion is a triumph of Tay against her own fantasies. Musically and lyrically it shoots straight up…

But I took your matches before fire can catch me
so don’t look now
I’m shining like fireworks
over your sad empty town

…very much like a firework. The song that was a sad realization ends up in what feels like a personal victory.

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Last Kiss

I have a confession to make. I wrote the whole article with the very intention of highlighting this song. Taylor has some great bridges that very short, such as Haunted or Mine. She has some songs that seem to have a bridge at the end of every chorus like Long Live. But if there’s one bridge that I feel really shines with Taylor’s talent, it’s the one in Last Kiss:

So I’ll watch your life in pictures like I used to watch you sleep
and I’ll feel you forget me like I used to feel you breathe
and I’ll keep up with your old friends just to ask them how you are
I hope it’s nice where you are

And I hope the sun shines and it’s a beautiful day
something reminds you you wish you had stayed
you can plan for a change in the weather and time
but I never planned on you changing your mind

I’m not sure if that last part is actually part of the bridge or not, but lyrically it doesn’t seem like the thought is complete if I print one without the other. Consider it dramatic license.

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The Blond With The Sparkly Guitar and The Agency are in Los Angeles. They’ve got several shows lined up starting Tuesday, August 23. Remember to vote for Mean for the Video With A Message on the 2011 Video Music Awards coming up on August 28!

(Credit: Joseph Anthony Baker)

Coming up in the Calendar!

  • August 23: Speak Now tour in Los Angeles, California at the Staples Center. Sold Out.
  • August 24: Speak Now tour in Los Angeles, California at the Staples Center. Sold Out.
  • August 27: Speak Now tour in Los Angeles, California at the Staples Center. Sold Out.
  • August 28: Speak Now tour in Los Angeles, California at the Staples Center. Sold Out.
  • August 28: 2011 Video Music Awards on MTV at 8pm EST. The video for Mean is nominated for the new category “Video With A Message.”
(Source: The Swift Agency)

7 thoughts on “The Bridges of Swift County. An Editorial.

  1. We are so much alike! Last Kiss also contains my favourite bridge… with this song, Taylor actually accomplished something special for me, she made me understand the feelings of loss which I have never felt in the way the songs speaks for. Especially the beginning of the bridge. Now I’m going to listen to Last Kiss.

  2. hmm, i thought the bridge to “enchanted” was

    this is me praying that
    this was the very first page
    not where the story line ends
    my thoughts will echo your name
    until i see you again
    these are the words i held back
    as i was leaving too soon

    eh, you’re probably right though…

  3. i also took the bridge of the song for “dear john” to begin with “you are an expert at sorry and keeping lines blurry” and ending with what you put. but again, i’m probably wrong.

    thank you so much for this entry by the way; i feel like i’m learning a lot! 🙂

  4. “Innocent

    I have a particular pet peeve: I dislike the fact that more often than not, people focus on the song’s main inspiration than on the craftsmanship. I know what inspired Innocent but if you’re going to dismiss this song outright due to its origins, you’re missing out. This is quite a beautiful song both in music and lyrics, and can be quite cathartic for all of us that have ever been less than kind to someone.”

    Great point! All of Taylor’s songs become even more outstanding if we can clear our minds of ‘what we think we know’ about the backstory behind the song…and just enjoy the music 🙂

    ….Innocent is one of my favorite songs so the 2010 VMA’s had one of my favorite live performances 🙂 🙂

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