Long Live

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"Long Live"
Single by Taylor Swift featuring Paula Fernandes
from the album Speak Now: World Tour Live
Released March 1, 2012 (2012-03-01)
Format Digital download
Genre Country rock
Length
  • 5:17 (album version)
  • 5:15 (single version)
Label Universal
Writer(s)
  • Taylor Swift
  • Paula Fernandes[a]
Producer(s)
[b]
Taylor Swift singles chronology
"Safe & Sound"
(2011)
"Long Live"
(2012)
"Eyes Open"
(2012)

"Long Live" is a song written and recorded by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift for her third studio album Speak Now (2010). The original version of the song was written by Swift, and produced by Nathan Chapman with Swift's assistance, and served as Speak Now′s closing number. On the strength of digital downloads following the album's release, the song charted at No. 85 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.[1]

In 2012, a new version of the song was released as a single from the Brazilian edition of Swift's live album Speak Now: World Tour Live (2011),[2] featuring additional Portuguese verses written and performed by Brazilian recording artist Paula Fernandes. This release was a local hit, breaking into the top 5 on Billboard's Brasil Hot 100 Airplay chart.[3]

Background and composition[edit]

The song's lyrics celebrate moments of triumph[4] in the narrator's life, including collecting awards and being crowned (prom) kings and queens, and indirectly bring into question what others will remember of those times later on. Dave Heaton of PopMatters described "Long Live" as an "anthem of defiance", similar to Fearless album-ender "Change".[4] In an explanation of the song's meaning on her website, Swift called the song a "love song... written to my team".[5]

Musically, "Long Live" is an anthemic[4] power ballad with influences of country and rock music, particularly arena rock. A prominent guitar riff carries the song, while the chorus features a strong drum beat.

The song's original name was supposed to be "Long Live (We Will Be Remembered)".[6]

Critical reception[edit]

"Long Live" received mostly mixed to positive reviews from critics. Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone found the song to be heavy-handed but effective: "Speak Now peaks with 'Long Live,' a ridiculously over-the-top prom anthem with all the epic girl-group swoon of the Ronettes or the Shirelles, plus a guitar lick from Def Leppard's 'Hysteria' ... Yet when Swift sings it, damn if you don't believe every word."[7] In About.com's review of Speak Now, Bill Lamb referred to "Long Live" as "perhaps the most powerful song [on the album]", noting its effectiveness as an album closer, and listed it as #5 on its top five album tracks.[8] Comparing the song favorably to Fearless's "Change", PopMatters editor Dave Heaton felt the song was somewhat generic, but that the ambiguity of its subject matter strengthens its appeal as an anthem. "It’s an anthem of defiance," he explained, "where the defiant ones are gaining their energy from memories and story-making, as Speak Now does." Heaton also highlighted "Long Live"'s "big triumphant message of hope".[4]

Others were less receptive to the song. In her review for HitFix, Melinda Newman labelled "Long Live", along with "Enchanted", as "throwaways" compared to the sharper lyricism of other tracks, and suggesting these two suffer the most from "going on a minute or two too long".[9]

Chart performance[edit]

Solo version[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
position
US Billboard Hot 100[10] 85
US Digital Songs (Billboard)[11] 54

Single version[edit]

Chart (2012) Peak
position
Brazil (Brasil Hot 100 Airplay) [3] 5

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Taylor Swift - Chart history (in Hot 100, pg. 3)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "Long Live (feat. Paula Fernandes) - Single de Taylor Swift". iTunes. Apple. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Taylor Swift - Chart history (in Brazilian Hot 100)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d Heaton, Dave (Nov 29, 2010). "Taylor Swift: Speak Now". PopMatters. Spin Media. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  5. ^ "Long Live by Taylor Swift". Songfacts. Tone Media. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "SwiftFacts". #SwiftFacts. June. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  7. ^ Sheffield, Rob (Oct 26, 2010). "Speak Now | Album Review". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  8. ^ Lamb, Bill. "Review of Speak Now Album by Taylor Swift". About.com. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  9. ^ Newman, Melinda (Oct 22, 2010). "Review: Taylor Swift takes on John Mayer and Taylor Lautner on 'Speak Now'". HitFix. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  10. ^ "Taylor Swift Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Taylor Swift.
  11. ^ "Taylor Swift Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Digital Songs for Taylor Swift.
  1. ^ Fernandes provided additional lyrics for the single release of "Long Live". The original version featured on Speak Now was written by Swift only.
  2. ^ Production credits listed are for the album version. The single release may have additional production.