30 songs in 30 days: #13 – “You Belong With Me” (Taylor Swift)

Day 13: A song that is a guilty pleasure

I’m pretty proud of the contents of my music library. Although it’s dominated by numerous types and eras of rock, it’s also peppered with varying amounts of rap, dance, techno, classical, and pop. “Guilty” pleasure? I’m not ashamed of anything in my collection.

Did I mention I don’t like country music? It’s probably not fair of me to say, I know. I haven’t ever given it a real chance to impress me. And sure, I like a song here and there. I know a Faith Hill tune or two. I think I remember enjoying something by Shania Twain years ago. And Garth Brooks? Well, who doesn’t sing along to “Friends in Low Places”? But as a genre? I know next to nothing, stretching from the classic Tex Ritter and Patsy Cline all the way to whoever’s popular today. And the little snippets I hear in TV commercials and whatnot don’t really spark any urge to explore.

 

So, um… what’s Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me” doing in my iTunes purchased-songs folder? *Ahem* well… um… Look, there are actually a bunch of reasons. Her blockbuster album Fearless came out during my last days as a radio listener, when the younger kids in my graduate school lab cranked pop radio while doing experiments. I didn’t pick up much from their Top 40 stations, but Tay-Tay managed to sneak underneath my headphones. And you know what? “You Belong With Me” is damn catchy, and the lyrics—and music video—are adorable. It’s a simple, straightforward confession of love for a best friend who’s tied to the school beauty queen. Underneath my sarcasm and professed devotion to bone-crunching rock music, I’m a sappy, hopeless romantic who tends to root for the relationship underdog, so I’m really not even surprised this song caught my attention. And neither am I surprised that Ms. Swift was able to take the pop world by storm, given her songwriting chops, her feminism, and her philanthropy.

“Guilty pleasure”? Forget that. I like what I like, and I’m not ashamed by it. You shouldn’t be, either. So check out T-Swizzle’s video below, and then stand up with me and proudly shout, “I like a Taylor Swift song!”

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