Taylor Swift Announces Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)


Sophia Prichard

Taylor’s Speak Now announcement, live at Nissan Stadium.

Sophia Prichard, Sr. Editor

On May 5th, global superstar Taylor Swift officially announced her next re-recording: Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). The album is set to release on July 7th of this year, and will be an estimated 22 songs long, with 6 songs “From the Vault,” or previously unreleased songs. 

The original Speak Now, released in 2010, was a pivotal part of Taylor’s career, launching her first tour to break 100 million dollars grossed and being the first album of hers to reach 1 million copies sold in a single week, and just the 16th album in United States history to do so. The album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was the biggest debut of a female artist in 2010, and the second biggest debut of a female artist of all time (before later being moved farther down that list). The album is also critically acclaimed, with a current score of 8.2 on Pitchfork. 

The album also represents a turning point and sentimental place in Swift’s career, as it’s her only album to be entirely self-written, cementing Taylor as a pop culture phenomenon and solidifying her status as a great songwriter. The album plays on themes like aging and innocence, while also balancing some of her more rock-inspired songs like “The Story of Us” and “Haunted” which have since become fan favorites from the album.

Swift announced Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) live at a concert on May 5th of this year, in Nashville, before surprising her audience with a performance of “Sparks Fly,” the second track from the album. Taylor is infamous for her enjoyment of teasing and providing her fans with Easter Eggs, and Speak Now has definitely received the same treatment. The most clear example being in the “Bejeweled” music video from her most recent album, Midnights. 

In the video, Taylor plays Cinderella, going to the ball, in order to get the “keys to the castle” a metaphor Taylor has used repeatedly to mean owning her masters, as known as the re-recordings. At the 1:18 timestamp, Laura Dern’s character, step-mother, says “Speak not,” which could be an allusion to the album. At 2:41, Taylor’s character exits her exile and enters an elevator, in which she presses the 3 button, but Swifties (Taylor’s Fans) have noticed that these buttons and their numbers directly correspond to her albums. Speak Now is her third studio album, and is signified in purple, and the button is the third floor and is also purple. The thirteenth button is also purple, and if we count the re-recordings as albums, then Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) will be her 13th album. At the 4:28 mark, the elevator is shown going to that 13th floor. At the 5:08 mark, Taylor is seen wearing two hair clips, which spell “S” “N”, or Speak Now, abbreviated. The end of the music video shows Taylor on a balcony reminiscent of the one used for the Speak Now World Tour stage, dragons as mentioned in “Long Live”, and a bell, similar to the one used for the stage performance of “Haunted”. Youtube user quibblcredit mentions in the comments that the intro has a version of “Enchanted” as background music, and the outro includes a version of “Long Live”.

At the 3:32 timestamp, the elevator stops at the 5th floor, which is teal, and signifies her 5th album, 1989, which is theorized to be her next re-recording after Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). This also connects to a recent update at Nissan Stadium, in which the bridge connecting the stadium to parking and other parts of Nashville, while for the May 5th concert, the bridge’s lighting was purple.

The reaction to Taylor’s announcement was joyous and electric tic, as her audience of almost 70,000 people screamed, cried, and sand along to her next re-recording. This is special for Taylor as well, as her re-recordings represent her reclaiming what was once stolen from her and the way her fans have supported her every step of the way.