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The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

1989 Revamped: Taylor Swift Explores Relationships With New Vault Tracks

Hadley Norris
Released on Oct. 27, 1989 (Taylor’s Version), specifically the vault tracks, explores everything about relationships — from falling in love to saying goodbye.

Is it over now? For Taylor Swift fans, the answer is a happy no. While Swift is well known for her many albums, she has started releasing re-recorded versions of her albums, aptly named “Taylor’s Version.” She’s been doing this so that she can get the royalties she so rightly deserves — and with every re-recording comes the Vault tracks. These are tracks that Swift wrote before she released the original album but did not release with it. She tacks them on to the end of her version of the album, and they’re highly anticipated by many fans. 

Recently, Swift released 1989 (Taylor’s Version), and her five Vault tracks explore the theme of a romantic relationship, from falling in love to breaking up to moving on.


When fans first heard the titles of the Vault tracks, they thought that this song would be loud, angry, and about Swift being hostile towards anyone who would call her that word. To their surprise, it’s actually a slow, soft love song. The lyrics are gentle and all about how she’d be okay if someone called her a sl*t if it was from a certain person.

“And if they call me a sl*t, you know it might be worth it for once”

While this song is undeniably beautiful, I have contrasting opinions. I really do enjoy the song, but I think that there’s no need for it to be called Sl*t! — If I ignore the title and that line, it’s a beautiful love song, but that title is somewhat jarring for me.

The song paints a picture of the high of a relationship. It paints a romantic relationship in the best possible light and talks about how Swift is completely fine as long as she’s with this person. Being one of Swift’s more romantic songs, it works out well. Everything about the song, except for the controversial title, is beautiful.

“And if I’m gonna be drunk, might as well be drunk in love”

Say Don’t Go

Upbeat and sad, Say Don’t Go is the perfect song for ending a relationship. The lyrics describe an almost breakup, with one person reminiscing and realizing that they still want their partner back. This song, in my opinion, is mediocre. I think it’s one of the weaker Vault tracks, and while that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad, it doesn’t mean it’s great.

“I would stay forever if you say don’t go”

In Say Don’t Go, Swift again follows the theme of romance, this time looking at the end of a relationship and how longing is a prominent aspect of it. This song demonstrates the end of a relationship. While it is a song about desire, it’s just too similar to other songs Swift has done in 1989, namely All You Had To Do Was Say and I Wish You Would

At the climax of the song, which is the primary reason I listen to it, the raw emotions are the most prominent, as Swift discusses her anger and sadness at how hard she fought for the relationship and how it fell apart.

“I said I love you, you say nothing back”

All in all, Swift is highlighting the ache she feels as she walks away from the relationship while the song slowly fades out.

Now That We Don’t Talk

In Now That We Don’t Talk, Swift emphasizes how she wishes that she could care about the person that she was in a relationship with, but she feels like she isn’t allowed to. I really enjoy this song, specifically the chorus of it. This song displays the feelings of moving on in a relationship, and I think that it’s not something we see very often in the media, which is part of what makes this song so unique.

“But I guess I don’t have a say now that we don’t talk”

Eventually, Swift realizes that maybe the relationship is better now that it’s over, and that eventually she can grow without this other person. She mentions not having to pretend to be someone she isn’t and how it’s time for her to get back to her dignity. 

“Guess maybe I am better off now that we don’t talk”

Suburban Legends

This song is essentially the beginning and the end of a relationship. Swift talks about a whirlwind romance, from meeting this person to falling in love to eventually ending the relationship. The lyrics reflect on the relationship positively until the end where Swift mentions her life being ruined. Suburban Legends is another very weak song, but somehow it still ends up being one of my favorites. I love a good love song, and this song is a perfect example of one. Its reference to high school romances hit the spot. 

“When you kissed me in a way that’s gonna screw me up forever”

This song is one of Swift’s most hopeless romantic songs, spotlighting every aspect of a full relationship. While most of Swift’s songs tend to feature one aspect of a relationship, Suburban Legends provides a nice contrast by showing an entire relationship.

“I broke my own heart cause you were too polite to do it”

Is It Over Now?

Is It Over Now? is about the confusion of an ambiguous end to a relationship. Swift mentions needing clarification about when exactly the relationship ended, and if it even is over. She also talks about taking drastic measures to get the attention of the person she was in a relationship with. Is It Over Now? is absolutely my favorite Vault track, and maybe even my favorite song from 1989, which is a hard title to have. I love this song — it’s so catchy and confused that I think it’s perfect.

“I think about jumping off of very tall somethings just to see you come running”

She embellishes the struggles of trying to find a new relationship while still being disoriented from the original relationship. In this upbeat song, Swift uses her lyrical genius to emphasize the jumble that is the ending of a relationship.

By the end, Swift has highlighted every aspect of a relationship, from the high points in Sl*t! to the longing in Say Don’t Go to the confusion in Is It Over Now? — all in all, Swift perfectly understands and puts into words every feeling that goes into and comes out of a relationship.

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About the Contributors
Katie Ring
Katie Ring, Reporter
Class of 2026 Hi! I'm super excited to be on Student Press this year, and I look forward to working with everyone. In my free time, I like reading, listening to music, hiking, theatre, and being with my friends.
Hadley Norris
Hadley Norris, Graphics Editor
Class of 2024 I look forward to designing graphics this year, you can always find me in the caption :)
Shivani Kondubhatla
Shivani Kondubhatla, A&E Editor
Class of 2025  Feeding my ardent love for both the arts and journalism, I am beyond excited to take on the role of the Arts & Entertainment editor to represent the fine arts and pop culture not only at Westwood but also in our buzzing community. Outside of the newsroom, I am most likely cherishing time with friends, watching sit-coms (probably Modern Family!), or sustaining my unhealthy coffee addiction. 

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