Thursday, December 13, 2012

"A Place In This World" Song Meaning

Today is Taylor's 23rd birthday!  Happy Birthday Taylor!  In honor of her birthday the meaning of today's song is "A Place In This World" from her "Taylor Swift" album.

Who is this song about?

It's about Taylor and her desire to find a place in this world through her music.

"I was thirteen when I wrote the song "A Place In This World" and I was just kind of looking around at all these big buildings and all these important people and wondering how I was going to fit in."

In the beginning of the song Taylor is doubtful and unsure of what she wants, "I don't know what I want, so don't ask me/Cause I'm still trying to figure it out."  In the middle of the song she knows that "I'm just a girl, trying to find a place is/This world/And tomorrow's just a mystery, oh yeah."  By the end of the song she is more confident and expresses this thought "Maybe I'm just a girl on a mission/But I'm ready to fly" knowing she needs to find her place in this world.

What was her place in this world?  What did she want more than anything?

In "A Place In This World" documentary Taylor says, "My big dream is to look out into a crowd of thousands of people and have them singing the words to my songs.  That to me would just be everything I've ever hoped for. I want to make people feel things when they hear my music. I want to give a song to someone who is going through a breakup.  I want to give a song to someone who loves someone and can't tell them, a song for someone who has just fallen in love, and a song for people who are just living their lives." ("A Place In This World" documentary)

Taylor's dream started when she was ten Taylor says, "I think I first realized I wanted to be in country music and to be an artist when I was ten and I started dragging my parents to festivals and fairs and karaoke contests and I did that for about a year before I came to Nashville for the first time." ("A Place In This World" documentary)

Taylor tells CMT Insider in 2008 "I first visited Nashville after I watched this TV program about Faith Hill. It said that she went to Nashville and that's how she made it in country music. So ever since I saw that TV program when I was about 10, I was obsessively, obnoxiously bugging my parents every day -- 'We've got to go to Nashville. Can we go to Nashville? Can we go on a trip to Nashville like now? Or maybe spring break, can we go to Nashville?' Everything led to that. It was like, 'So how was your day at school today, Taylor?" 'Great. Can we go to Nashville?' I would bug them every day about it until finally we planned a trip to Nashville."

 "I was eleven and I had this demo CD of me singing Dixie Chicks and Leann Rimes songs and walked into ever major record label and was like, 'Hey I'm Taylor, I'm eleven, I want a record deal. Call me."

"I think that was the trip that made me realize that I really needed to be different so I went back home to Pennsylvania where I grew up and I started writing songs and I picked up a 12 string guitar and started to play.  That's when I started writing every single day after school.  I would go into town after school and write until nine pm, come home do my homework and that's what I did for about 2.5 years straight." ("A Place In This World" documentary)

Taylor tells CMT Insider in 2008 "After the trip that we initially took and met with people on Music Row, I went home and decided that I needed to learn a few more things before I went back. I learned guitar and I learned songwriting, and I never put it down. I would play guitar for four hours a day, and my mom would make me stop, and we'd have to tape up my fingers. So instead of playing at karaoke bars and things like that where I needed to drag my little karaoke machine everywhere, I would go with my guitar and I would plug it in at coffee houses, and I would bring my little amplifier and plug it in at Boy Scout meetings. I would plug it in at all these different places, little random places where you could play. I now had a portable instrument, and I could go accompany myself, and I could play anywhere I wanted to. That really expanded the places where I could play and my abilities. I played so much that I came a long way in a short period of time."

She still tried to make it in Nashville, and did not give up. "When I was about 12, we started going to Nashville and taking trips every two months or so, going to Nashville for a week trying to meet songwriters, trying to get my foot in the door at different places. Eventually, we scored this meeting with RCA Records when I was 13. I went into RCA, and I pulled out my guitar and I played them a bunch of songs, maybe 20 songs. The A&R people there said, "We want to sign you to a development deal." And that was when I was 13. A development deal is not a full-on record deal. It's not 'All right, we're going to make an album. Let's go.' It's 'We're going to sponsor and pay for your demos that you do over this next year, and we're going to see how you grow as an artist. And then in a year, we're going to decide whether we want you or whether we want to develop you for more time or whether we want to drop you.' It's a non-committal commitment, but I was elated. I was just, 'Oh, my gosh! This huge record label wants to sign me to a development deal! I'm so excited!' So we started coming to Nashville more and more and more, and eventually we just decided to move." (CMT Insider)

Taylor moved to Nashville when she was fourteen and started attending Hendersonville High her freshman year. And finally when she was fifteen everything started to pay off, she got a record label and was able to start sharing her music with the world.  When she was sixteen she released her first album, a major victory in Nashville, a city that didn't see many young artists.  Everything skyrocketed after that.

"In this last year everything I've ever worked for has started to pay off. This last year has been absolutely amazing.  It's like everything I've ever wanted, everything I've ever worked for all this time is just happening because getting a record deal means being able to do what I want to do.  This is my chance, this is my chance to bring my music out of my bedroom where I'm writing it. I think it's definitely very surreal right now because there are so many firsts." ("A Place In This World" documentary)

In her lyric hints, capital letters in the lyric booklet Taylor says "FOUND IT".  I'm SO glad you found your place in this world Taylor!  Thanks for your music and Happy Birthday!

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