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Taylor Swift’s appeal? She writes lyrics fans can relate to

  • Special to The Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, July 31, 2013, at 7:14 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, at 2:53 p.m.

When you’re 15 … there’s so much of life that you’re having to figure out quickly, and it’s easy to believe nobody completely understands you.

Taylor Swift has done an amazing job of taking her own experiences and turning them into songs that allow her audience – including 15-year-old girls like me – to feel as if she has been through the same sort of things.

The first time I fell in love with Swift’s music was when I heard the song “Back to December,” shortly after my own first breakup. I was able to understand the emotion behind the lyrics, which made me feel like Taylor was there for me:

It turns out freedom ain’t nothing but missing you,

Wishing I’d realized what I had when you were mine.

I go back to December, turn around and make it all right,

I go back to December all the time.

Swift’s music, though it’s still written about young love and breakups, has evolved as the singer-songwriter has matured. Girls and young women around the globe can relate to the lyrics in Swift’s songs and find her music to be therapeutic.

She gets a lot of grief for writing songs about ex-boyfriends and heartbreaks, getting revenge on the radio with songs like “Picture to Burn” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”

But songs like “22” and “Stay Stay Stay” show a joyful, happy side. She shares photos, tweets and bits of her everyday life with fans – including pictures of her adorable cat, Meredith – which make her seem genuine, real and nice.

Swift has said she enjoys putting together her own shows instead of depending on a director, which makes her concerts more enjoyable for fans. It allows them to get a good look at what she envisions while writing the lyrics.

Though she usually writes and performs entire albums on her own, she has worked with other artists, including singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, who opens for her on this tour. In fact, I and many Wichita-area “Swifties” are just as excited about Tuesday’s opening act as we are about the main event, and we look forward to hearing the duo perform “Everything Has Changed,” a highlight of Swift’s “Red” album.

(Definition of “adorable”? The mini-me versions of Swift and Sheeran playing, dancing and eating lunch on the school playground in the music video for that song.)

Sheeran, best known for his Grammy-nominated song “The A Team,” also has written songs for the British boy band One Direction, including “Little Things” and “Moments.”

Swift and Sheeran write a lot about the same things. Because they share a common audience, having both of them on the same tour promises to be entertaining and also inspiring.

I look forward to seeing for myself just how much Taylor has changed since her last world tour, and also seeing many of my favorite songs come to life. From lucky No. 13 (Taylor’s favorite number) to the color “Red,” Taylor Swift is sure to impress.

Hannah Tobias, 15-year-old daughter of Eagle reporter/columnist Suzanne Perez Tobias, is a longtime Taylor Swift fan who will attend her first Swift concert on Tuesday.

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