Taylor Swift dropped an unreleased song from her second album Fearless last week. You can listen to it here:
The song lyrics tell a story of nostalgia, noting how “every breath of air I breathe reminds me of then.” The narrative is fitting considering that the song was written over a decade prior to its release, sharing a story from ages ago.
Although the original track was never made public, this new version is a re-recording of the original. The sweet harmony is sung by country singer Maren Morris. Along with Swift’s two most recent albums Folklore and Evermore, the collaboration seems to be suggesting a return to Swift’s early musical genre, country.
Yet, while “You All Over Me” was once a part of her Fearless country era, fans seem more interested in comparing it to a track off of a different album, Swift’s more poppy 1984. “Clean” (2014) and “You All Over Me” arguably showcase many lyrical parallels.
“Clean” is filled with water imagery, where she sings that “rain came pouring down. When I was drowning, that’s when I could finally breathe. […] The drought was the very worst.”
The start of “You All Over Me” seems to respond to the metaphor, continuing, “Once the last drop of rain has dried off the pavement […], they leave it muddy underneath, reminds me of you.” It’s worth noting that the lyric video of the song (link attached above) pictures falling raindrops.
Then, while “You All Over Me” speaks of feeling unclean and trapped in memories of another person, “Clean” unsurprisingly references the exact opposite sensation.
“No amount of freedom gets you clean, I’ve still got you all over me,” she says in “You All Over Me.”
At first, “Clean”’s lyrics seem to agree, admitting that “you’re still all over me like a wine stained dress I can’t wear anymore.” But not long after, Swift declares that “gone was any trace of you, I think I am finally clean.”
Fans speculate that “You All Over Me” is perhaps a prequel to “Clean,” which fits into the chronological order of the albums’ releases. “If Taylor Swift songs were telling one story, this would come right before ‘Clean’,” one fan comments about the new track.
Another points out how the titles of each song are included in the other’s lyrics. “She’s a musical genius,” they say in awe.
This song follows the release of a re-recording of Swift’s more famous track “Love Story,” but it is the first of six to come out this year “from the vault” – in other words, never heard before. Swift says that she intends to release a total of 26 songs in this manner as a part of her new project “Fearless: Taylor’s Version.”
Many fans suspect that the project is a way for Swift to “reclaim” her early music, although the theories have not been officially confirmed by Swift.
Still, the rumors are not too far out, considering that Swift has always been vocal about rifts with her management. A Tumblr post she wrote in June 2019 stated that “For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work. Instead I was given an opportunity to ‘earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in.”
Of her manager, Scooter Braun, she had several unkind words to share: “He knew what he was doing. […] Controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them.” She also accused him of attempting to “dismantle” her “music legacy.”
The following year, Braun sold rights to Swift’s first six albums, earning him nearly $330 million. Swift said in a tweet that it was “the second time my music had been sold without my knowledge.”
Now, she continues to release both new and old music under her own name, and her fan base continues to aid her on the journey.