Taylor Swift – You Belong with Me | Lyrics Meaning & Song Review
In celebration of the release of the re-recorded ‘Fearless’ album in 2021, we are taking a look at some of the iconic tracks on the album. In this article, we are diving into one of the most commercially successful tracks on the album and Taylor’s career in general. Let’s take a look at “You Belong with Me” by Taylor Swift.
“You Belong with Me” was released as the third single from Taylor Swift’s second studio album ‘Fearless’ on April 18, 2009. The song became Taylor’s highest-charting single at the time reaching #2 on Billboard Hot 100 Chart. It also reached the top 10 in charts in several countries including Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. The song also became one of the highest-selling singles in Taylor’s discography with over 7.8 million copies sold, falling behind only to “Love Story” on the album.
The music video for “You Belong with Me” was well received by the fans and the industry alike. The music video shows Taylor Swift playing two versions of herself–a nerd and a hottie. The hottie version is dating the guy (played by actor Lucas Till) while the nerdy version is secretly in love with him. The music video won MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, and the infamous Kanye West interrupting Taylor’s acceptance speech incident occurred. This incident spiraled into a feud lasting to date. The music video has over 1 billion views on YouTube alone.
The move to re-record her first six albums stemmed from the long-standing legal feud between Taylor Swift and her former record label ‘Big Machine Records,’ first of which will be her second studio album ‘Fearless’ from 2008. The re-recorded ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)‘ contains six never-before-heard tracks including a collaboration with Keith Urban. The album releases on April 9, 2021, including a re-recording of “You Belong with Me (Taylor’s Version).”
Watch “You Belong with Me” Music Video by Taylor Swift
Buy ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’ Album on Apple Music & Amazon
“You Belong with Me (Taylor’s Version)” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
In the release notes of the track, Taylor Swift revealed the real-life experience that inspired her to write this song;
I came into the writing session with Liz Rose and said….I’ve got this idea. I had overheard a friend of mine talking to his girlfriend and he was completely on the defensive saying, “No, baby…I had to get off the phone really quickly…I tried to call you right back…Of course I love you. More than anything! Baby, I’m so sorry.” She was just yelling at him! I felt so bad for him at that moment.
So I came up with the first line “You’re on the phone with your girlfriend, she’s upset, going off about something that you said,” and I ran that into the storyline that I’m in love with him and he should be with me instead of her. It just became this whole picture. It was really fun for us to write the line, “She wears short skirts, I wear T-shirts.”
In 2012, Taylor Swift watched the music video for “You Belong with Me” and reacted and gave some behind-the-scenes information about the video.
Throughout the lyrics of the song, the nerdy Taylor Swift narrates the story of how she is in love with the guy who is in love with the popular girl at school. She contrasts her traits with the popular girl and thinks of all the reasons why he cannot have a popular guy like him.
However, the nerdy Taylor also knows that the popular Taylor doesn’t love him like the way she does. The popular Taylor is likely in this relationship for the ‘popularity’ points. This is why they have arguments frequently.
And you’ve got a smile that could light up this whole town
I haven’t seen it in a while since she brought you down
The nerdy Taylor understands that he is not happy with his popular girlfriend. She doesn’t treat him the way he should be treated. Although he says he is fine, the nerdy Taylor knows that he is not. In the music video, we see that the nerdy Taylor and the boy are next-door neighbors. So they are friends. She can see him having arguments with his girlfriend over the phone through his room window.
But the nerdy Taylor Swift has no confidence to tell him how she feels. She is nothing like the girl he is dating right now. She is popular, prettier, wears high heels, and the Cheer Captain. On the other hand, the nerdy Taylor is not so popular, still prettier, wears sneakers, and sits on the bleachers, mixed within the crowd.
Watch Taylor Swift Perform “You Belong with Me” Live in 2012
However, the story isn’t a sad ending, at least in the music video. The guy catches his girlfriend flirting with another guy in front of the whole school. So, when the nerdy Taylor makes a rare appearance at the school prom(?), the guy realizes that what he was looking for was always next-door to him! He dismisses his popular girlfriend and takes the nerdy Taylor to the dance floor.
“You Belong with Me” narrates the classic highschool love triangle between a guy, the popular girl, and the nerdy girl.
Let us know what you think about the song and the music video in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics on Genius.