Drop Everything Now: Speak Now Taylor’s Version is soon to be Ours


Taylor at the 5/13 concert in Philly singing Enchanted from Speak Now

On May 5th, at her first concert in Nashville, Tennessee, Taylor Swift dropped the biggest bomb thus far on her Eras Tour: Speak Now Taylor’s Version is being released. Swifties everywhere rejoiced over this enchanting news and immediately marked July 7th, 2023 on their calendars. 

  However, for those that do not listen or follow Swift, this whole business of re-recording her old albums can seem confusing. A history on why Taylor is re-recording her albums and the significance of Speak Now is provided to help non-Swifties put the pieces together of this substantial news. 

Re-recording History 

  Taylor signed a 13 year contract with Big Machine Records in 2005 when she was only 15 years old. With them, she released Debut, Fearless, Speak Now, Red, 1989, and Reputation. Once her contract ended in 2018, she signed with Republic Records. However, her association with Big Machine was far from over.

  Scooter Braun acquired Big Machine Records and in doing so, obtained all of Taylor’s masters up until that point. In 2019, Taylor announced her plans to re-record the albums that she did not own anymore due to this transaction, which was unbeknownst to her until the news hit the internet. The re-recorded track Taylor is on proves that, if anything, there is nothing she does better than revenge. In 2020, her masters were sold yet again to Shamrock Holdings and yet again, without her knowledge. Surprisingly, Braun has gone on record that he regrets the way he handled Taylor’s music–some may say it has haunted him. 

  Taylor released her first re-recording on April 9th, 2021 with Fearless Taylor’s Version. The album included all the songs previously on the original album, but re-recorded, and included 6 new songs “from the vault”. In November of 2021, Taylor released yet another re-recording with Red Taylor’s Version, and the new All Too Well ten minute version was soon belted out by Swifties all over the world. 

Speak Now

  A few weeks ago, Taylor re-recorded If This Was a Movie from Speak Now and added it to Fearless. This was the only song not written solely by Taylor on the Speak Now album, and fans theorized that she wanted the re-recording to be songs written by her alone.  

  The (now) self-written album was done when she was between the ages 18-20, an extremely impressive feat when looking at the depth of her lyrics and the clear talent within her songs.

  Speak Now tackles a wide range of themes. Songs such as Mine, Speak Now, and Sparks Fly emphasize love and crushes, while songs such as Back to December and Last Kiss express heartbreak and loss. The album was recorded after Taylor’s controversial relationship with singer John Mayer, who was 33 years old when she was only 19. Dear John is a powerful ballad on the album, with heart wrenching lyrics such as “Dear John, I see it all, now it was wrong/Don’t you think nineteen is too young/To be played by your dark twisted games, when I loved you so?/I should’ve known”. The song is 6 minutes long, and fans joke that like All Too Well, Taylor will produce a longer version of the song–namely a 19 minute version. 

Speak Now announcement 

 The re-recording having been announced at Nashville was more significant than one would think. Given that Taylor moved to Nashville at the ripe age of 14 years old to pursue a career in country music, she considers Nashville her hometown. So, it was only natural for her to announce Speak Now Taylor’s Version in the place she wasn’t only raised, but started her career in country music.

 The album was expected by fans to be the next re-recording after all the Easter eggs Swift had shared in the months leading up to the announcement. For instance, the koi fish, which was featured heavily in some of her recent works, such as the music video for a hit song on Midnights, Bejeweled, was an Easter egg for Speak Now. Likewise, the price for some of the merchandise for the Midnights album release cost $20.10, which was typed in purple ink (the cover of Speak Now) and was the year Taylor recorded the album. 

 Sure enough, when Taylor posted her Speak Now Taylor’s Version announcement, fans were quick to realize that July 7th, the date of the album release, is also National Koi Fish Day. 

Fan Theories

 Swifties aren’t only known for picking out Easter eggs, but also for theorizing. Taylor also mentioned in her post that July 7th was just in time for July 9th, adding “iykyk”.

 July 9th is mentioned in Taylor’s song on Speak Now, called Last Kiss: “That July ninth, the beat of your heart/It jumps through your shirt”. Fans seem to think that July 9th may have a deeper meaning, despite the seemingly obvious reference.

 It has been brought to attention that a few bookstores have a mystery book in their shops, and is supposedly being released on July 9th. Many fans have already pre-ordered the book in hopes that it is a memoir by Taylor. 

 However, there is no factual evidence to back up this theory, and the Swiftie community may have turned this anonymous book into a bestseller.

 Another theory from fans is that Taylor is going to release all of her remaining re-recordings in the month of May. 

 After Taylor announced Speak Now, she sang a hit from the album, Sparks Fly, which opens with the lyric “drop everything now”. Of course, fans almost immediately took this as a sign that Taylor really was going to “drop everything now”.

 The compelling theory comes with another backup. When Taylor was teasing her last album, Midnights, she started a little game with her fans called “Midnight Mayhem”, where every few days, she would announce the name of a track on Midnights. In the logo, the “May” in “Mayhem” was underlined four times. 

 This piece of information has prompted Swifties to theorize that Taylor could be announcing a new re-recording every Friday of May, since she has four albums left to re-record. But will Taylor really drop everything now? Given that she has so much going on already with the tour and other potential projects, it seems unlikely. But the unlikelihood of any theory has never stopped her fans.