Illustration by @lu_jpg_ on Instagram
‘Sad girl fall’ is my favourite season of the year: muted colours, hot coffee, the smell of chestnuts, leaves falling… All of this adds to a cosy and comfy atmosphere that lasts until Christmas and beyond. The day that sad girl fall officially began for me and my best friend was the 12th of November, also known as the day that Taylor Swift released her album, Red (Taylor’s Version).
With her re-recording, Swift fought for her artistry and her ability to own music, which is why Swifties as well as many fans showed full support to her re-releases. For Red (Taylor’s Version), however, Swift took it to the next level. Her re-recorded songs showcased her improved vocals and better music production while her ‘From The Vault’ tracks blew everyone away due to their lyrics as well as the artists featured. Not only that, but Swift made a short movie for her 10-minute version of ‘All Too Well (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)’ and a music video directed by Blake Lively for ‘I Bet You Think About Me ‘(Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)’ feat. Chris Stapleton.
So what did this mean for me and my friends? Firstly, we got to relive 2012 when we were super young and carefree, and when the pandemic did not exist. Secondly, we got to pretend our hearts were broken and belt out the lyrics from ‘All Too Well’ and ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’, even though we were completely fine. Finally, we got to analyse why we related to certain songs and why our favourite songs tell a story about us.
My favourite is ‘Sad Beautiful Tragic’: frankly, it fits perfectly into the ‘sad girl fall’ aesthetic. Listening to the song, I feel the depth of strong emotions such as sorrow, grief, love and loss. Most of the time, I have a favourite song that I overplay and then need a break from. ‘Sad Beautiful Tragic’ is the exception to this rule as I never get tired of it. I have always considered myself to be an old soul, which also fits in perfectly with my zodiac sign of Capricorn, perhaps why I tend to gravitate towards really sad songs that have a deeper, even older, sort of feeling to them.
My friend’s favourite song has always been ‘All Too Well’, even before the 10-minute version came out, and I share her sentiment. The song is so raw and painfully beautiful that it touches the depths of the soul and brings a tear to the eye of even the most cold hearted people. Unlike me, my friend isn’t a romantic, which could make her choice of favourite song a bit daunting to those who don’t know her. However, this is not the case. While she is pragmatic and practical, she also has a part of her that is a dreamer. I believe it is this part of her that made her feel drawn to this song in particular, as our tastes reflect our inner selves, even if we don’t want to show them to the world directly.
‘Treacherous’ is the favourite song of another friend. Quite frankly, I have to admit that this song never spoke to me. Sure, I liked it, but I never connected to it on a deeper level like I did with some of her other songs, especially on this album. My friend is quite similar to me in tastes, but there are some occasions when our opinions diverge. This is one of those. Perhaps I don’t relate to the song because I haven’t had such an experience. On the other hand, she has. She even told me that she heard the song in her head upon meeting some people. While she didn’t know what it meant exactly, she was sure that it was a sign that they would be significant to her in some way just like the song. Daydreams and hopes, which hold a significant position in the song, are occurrences I indulge in daily and feel no guilt for. She on the other hand fears disappointment so for her there is guilt and fear surrounding them. If I were to guess, I’d say that this is one of the major reasons why this song in particular sticks out to her.
All in all, Taylor Swift’s recent re-release has made us all feel deep emotions and experience sad girl fall. For me, it brought about endless brunch discussions and midnight conversations with my friends, as well as reflective thoughts about my own life. Because of Taylor, walking in Hyde Park has become my favourite activity to relax and get my thoughts straight. Reflections that I’ve made during those walks gave me new perspectives and helped me make choices that were long overdue. With all of this said, Red (Taylor’s Version) allowed me to experience a ‘sad girl fall’ to the fullest and change for the better. I have no doubt that many other Swifties, and even casual fans, were impacted in the same manner.
Article by Sara Dozai