Taylor Swift NPR interview: There’s one song on the new album called ‘The Last Time,’ which you sing with Gary Lightbody of the band Snow Patrol, that’s particularly heartbreaking. Where does that come from? You have this bright, upbeat personality and this charisma that’s been written about so much, and yet there’s a lot of pain in what you write about.
The idea was based on this experience I had with someone who was kind of this unreliable guy. You never know when he’s going to leave, you never know when he’s going to come back, but he always does come back. My visual for this song is, there’s a guy on his knees sitting on the ground outside of a door. And on the other side of the door is his girlfriend, who he keeps on leaving, and he keeps coming back to her, but then he leaves again.
He’s saying, ‘This is the last time I’m going to do this to you.’ And she’s saying, ‘This is the last time I’m asking you this: Don’t do this again.’ And she’s wondering whether to let him in, and he just wants her to give him another chance, but she doesn’t know if he’s going to break her heart again. It’s a really fragile emotion you’re dealing with when you want to love someone, but you don’t know if it’s smart to.
This is an election weekend, and I know that the day you turned 18, you registered to vote. You’ve also said that you want to wait to take public positions on issues; that you want to feel comfortable enough to defend them. Are you there yet?
No, I’m not. I think at 22, I’m still gathering information about who I am as a person. I look at a lot of people’s interviews on their lives, [and] I talk to a lot of people who are older than me — I have a great respect for gray hair. A lot of people tell me that when they were 22, they thought they had it all figured out, but they didn’t. Just when I start to think that I know how I feel about something, I learn something else that changes my mind. I just feel like I don’t have enough wisdom about myself as a person yet to go out there and say to 20 million followers on Twitter, and these people on Facebook, and whoever else is reading whatever interview I do, “Vote for this person.” I know who I’m going to vote for, but I don’t think that it’s important for me to say it, because it will influence people one way or another. And I just want to make sure that every public decision I make is an educated one.
For most people, the time to make mistakes is when you’re 22. Do you feel like, because of your public persona, you can’t?
I do think about it. There’s not really one day that goes by that my life isn’t documented somewhere. I live in a world where I know for a fact that my grandkids will get to Google what I wore today. It’s a strange dilemma because it puts an amount of pressure on your every move that other 22-year-olds don’t necessarily have to think about. In the grand scheme of things, I’m living a life. ..I know I’m going to make mistakes. I’m just going to try to handle those mistakes as a good person. The perception of you is going to change daily when you do what I do, but I just want to end up knowing in my heart that I did that right thing and tried my best, and if you mess up, hopefully it teaches you something.