Last night, Taylor Swift accepted the Nashville Songwriter's Songwriter-Artist of the Decade award in Nashville, to a crowd of fellow creatives who also "just love making stuff". The 'Evermore' artist was also named as Artist of the Decade at the American Music Awards back in 2019 and has plenty of accolades under her belt.
In typical Taylor Swift fashion, her acceptance speech was rife with new tidbits about her process, peeling back yet another layer to Ms. Swift for us to get a closer glimpse into the mind of a lyrical, musical genius for which we're certain we'll never fully unravel.
If you're a Swifty, knowing exactly what pen-categories Taylor's songs fall into is like striking gold — a little nugget to place on your mind's shrine to the woman who came up with the line "You call me up again just to break me like a promise, so casually cruel in the name of being honest". It's powerful stuff.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, she revealed that her songs fall into three categories based on which kind of pen she'd use for writing the lyrics down (not always literally); first there's the quill category, then the fountain pen category, and finally, perhaps the most magical of all, the glitter gel pen category. How 90s.
It's more like a feeling, she explains, "I know this sounds confusing but I’ll try to explain. I came up with these categories based on what writing tool I imagine having in my hand when I scribbled it down, figuratively. I don’t actually have a quill. Anymore. I broke it once when I was mad".
The quill category denotes songs that have an old timey-feel with words from a bygone period or that feel "antiquated". She describes it as "if I was inspired to write it after reading Charlotte Brontë or after watching a movie where everyone is wearing poet shirts and corsets".
An example for this category is her song 'ivy' with lyrics she quotes as being, "How’s one to know/I’d meet you where the spirit meets the bones/In a faith forgotten land/In from the snow, your touch brought forth an incandescent glow/Tarnished but so grand".
Next, the fountain pen category she admits is the most common for her songs to fall into; she explains it as "Fountain pen style means a modern storyline or references, with a poetic twist. Taking a common phrase and flipping its meaning".
She uses her hit song 'All Too Well' as a prime example of this style, wherein the details are so story like and immersive, we feel like we're practically in the room with her, so vivid are her descriptions.
We'll wait for you to have a guess which of her songs she cites as falling into the glitter gel pen category. Go on. Give it a whirl. Three, two, one. It's 'Shake It Off'. This category is personified by a friendly drunk girl at a party, she says, "Glitter Gel Pen lyrics don’t care if you don’t take them seriously because they don’t take themselves seriously".
As Artist of the Decade, we'd expect no less from someone with such depth of emotion and feeling, and an extensive stationery collection (we can imagine).
What's your favourite song-pen category of Ms. Swift's?