Taylor Swift used her guitar-playing scars as inspiration for one of the lines in the title track of her new album, Lover.
During an intimate NPR Tiny Desk Concert, which dropped online on Wednesday (16Oct19), Taylor revealed she came up with the idea for the track in the middle of the night and “stumbled” to the piano in her pyjamas to write it.
And she’s particularly proud of the lyric “With every guitar string scar on my hand, I take this magnetic force of a man to be my lover”, telling fans crammed into the small concert space, “Songwriting is just really a cathartic, therapeutic thing to me, so there are a lot of things I’ve written about in life that are the harder things I’ve had to go through. So I took that as a metaphor for the times I was learning to play guitar.
“I’d play until my fingers bled when I was a kid, and I still have those marks from that; those times I’d be changing a string and it’d pop, and I still have those scars from that.
“It’s also a bigger metaphor… In life, you accumulate scars, you accumulate hurt, you accumulate moments of learning and disappointment and struggle and all that. And if someone’s gonna take your hand, they better take your hand, scars and all.”
Swift also confessed it felt great to write a heartbreaking ballad that wasn’t about a love split: “I’ve spent quite a bit of time writing break-up songs, and songs about things not turning out the way you wanted them to, or songs about what you thought would be love and it turned out not to be that at all – just the struggle of life,” she explained.