Our Song (Taylor Swift song)

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"Our Song"
Single by Taylor Swift
from the album Taylor Swift
Released September 9, 2007 (2007-09-09)[1]
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded 2006; Quad Studios-A, Sound Cottage
(Nashville, Tennessee)[2]
Genre Country
Length 3:22
Label Big Machine
Writer(s) Taylor Swift
Producer(s) Nathan Chapman
Taylor Swift singles chronology
"Teardrops on My Guitar"
(2007)
"Our Song"
(2007)
"Picture to Burn"
(2008)
Music video
"Our Song" on YouTube

"Our Song" is a country music song performed by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. The song was written by Swift and produced by Nathan Chapman. It was released on September 9, 2007 by Big Machine Records as the third single from Swift's eponymous debut album, Taylor Swift (2006). Swift solely composed "Our Song" for the talent show of her freshman year in high school, about a boyfriend who she did not have a song with. It was included on Taylor Swift as she recalled its popularity with her classmates. The uptempo track is musically driven mainly by banjo and lyrically describes a young couple who use the events in their lives in place of a regular song.

"Our Song" was met with great praise from contemporary critics, some who deemed it one of Swift's best singles, and commercial success. The song charted within the top 30 and top 20 on the Canadian Hot 100 and Billboard Hot 100, respectively. In the United States, it became Swift's first number one single on the Hot Country Songs Chart, maintaining the position for six consecutive weeks, and was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). A music video accompanying "Our Song" was directed by Trey Fanjoy and features Swift performing in various settings, including a front porch. The video won both nominations for "Video of the Year" and "Female Video of the Year" at the 2008 CMT Music Awards. Swift has performed the song at an abundance of venues, some while supporting as opening act for various country artists' concert tours. She also performed it as part of the Fearless Tour (2009–10), her first headlining tour.

Background[edit]

Swift self-penned "Our Song" for the talent show of her freshman year in high school with no intentions of including it on her debut album.[3] She thought to herself that to be appropriate for the talent show, the song she would write needed to be upbeat and relatable to her classmates.[4] "I wrote it about this guy I was dating, and how we didn't have a song. So I went ahead and wrote us one", she said.[5] The writing process, as with her lead single "Tim McGraw", took place in approximately 20 minutes.[5] Several months after performing it at the talent show, some of her peers approached her to inform her that they enjoyed the song she played at the talent show, singing a few lines.[4] "They'd only heard it once, so I thought, 'There must be something here!'", Swift recalled.[4] When choosing tracks to record for Taylor Swift, Swift "stood by" "Our Song", repeatedly insisting album producers to record it with her. She claimed she "knew there was something about it."[5] She concluded, "I think there's just some sort of magic in the way the track sounds like it's bouncing."[5] Swift said she desired for the song to be placed as the closing track on Taylor Swift due to its last lyrics repeating the phrase "Play it again", which she thought would subliminally request audiences to replay the album.[6] Big Machine Records executives chose "Our Song" to be the third single from Taylor Swift, which Swift was surprised[3] yet glad about.[5]

Composition[edit]

An audio sample of Taylor Swift's "Our Song" sung in the key of D major

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"Our Song" is a country music song with a length of three minutes and 24 seconds.[7] It is set in simple time and has a moderately fast tempo of 96 beats per minute.[8] However, Sean Dooley of About.com described "Our Song" as a snappy midtempo number.[9] The song is written in the key of D major and Swift's vocals span one octave, from G3 to B4.[8] Jody Rosen of Slant Magazine considers Swift's vocal performance to be twangful.[10] It follows the chord progression D–Em7–G–A.[8] The song's instrumentation relies mainly on banjo[6] and, after the completion of the break, a violin solo arrives.[11]

The lyrics are in first person.[9] In the first verse, the protagonist realizes she and her boyfriend do not have a song of their own as he drives his car.[6][9] The young couple come to using the events in their lives in place of a regular song in the song's refrains.[6] Those events are described in sharp detail and include slamming screen doors to sneak out late.[10] Dooley identified Swift's role in "Our Song" to be a narrator.[9]

Critical reception[edit]

A female teen with blond hair and blue eyes, clothed by a sparkly dress, faces forward and plays a koa wood guitar.
Swift performing "Our Song" when opening for Rascal Flatts' Me and My Gang Tour.

"Our Song" was met with great praise from contemporary critics. Sean Dooley of About.com listed "Our Song" as Swift's fifth best song to date. He identified Swift's "uncanny ability, especially at such a young age, to write a compelling narrative" as the song's highlight, referencing the opening lines "I was riding shotgun with my hair undone in the front seat of his car / He's got a one-hand feel on the steering wheel / The other on my heart."[9] Rob Sheffield of Blender magazine described the track as gem that hit hard.[12] Rick Bell of Country Standard Time said Taylor Swift '​s best efforts were Swift self-penned song, including "Our Song", which "she sings with stirring conviction."[13] Jonathan Keefe of Slant Magazine said the song "follow[s] time-tested narrative conventions and, more often than not, build to massive pop hooks."[14] Fiona Chua of MTV Asia selected the track as a choice cut from Swift's second studio album, Fearless.[15] Kate Kiefer of Paste magazine recognized the song to be Swift's "first great hit" and believed it became many couples' song.[16] In 2008, "Our Song" was listed as a "Winning Song" by Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI).[17]

Chart performance[edit]

On the week ending October 13, 2007, "Our Song" debuted at number eighty-six on the Billboard Hot 100.[18] In the following week, the song ascended to number sixty-seven on the chart and, on the week ending January 19, 2008, reached its peak at number sixteen, became her second top twenty hit.[19] "Our Song" spent a total of thirty-six weeks upon the Billboard Hot 100.[19] The single was certified quadruple platinum in August 2014 by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[20] As of November 2014, "Our Song" has sold 3.2 million copies in the United States.[21]

On Billboard Hot Country Songs, it debuted at number fifty-five and charted at number six on the week ending December 15, 2007.[22] In the succeeding week, the song jumped to number one on Billboard Hot Country Songs, becoming the largest leap the top position since Tim McGraw's "Just to See You Smile" in January 1998, which also ascended from number six to number one.[22] The song's appearance at number one on Billboard Hot Country Songs also became Swift's first and made Swift, then 18, the youngest sole writer and singer of a number one country song.[23] "Our Song" remained in the top position on Billboard Hot Country Songs for six consecutive weeks, marking Swift's best-charting single on the chart and the longest-running chart-topper there since Carrie Underwood's "Jesus, Take the Wheel" reigned for the same period in January 2006.[24] "Our Song" charted on Hot Country Songs for a total of 24 weeks.[19] It also peaked at number eighteen in Billboard Pop Songs and charted for fifteen weeks.[25]

"Our Song" also appeared in Canada. It debuted at number ninety-one and reached its peak at number thirty on its fifteenth week, becoming Swift's best-charting single from Taylor Swift in Canada.[19][26] It was certified platinum by Music Canada for sales of 80,000 digital downloads.[27]

Music video[edit]

The accompanying music video for "Our Song" was directed by Trey Fanjoy.[28] While listening to "Our Song", Fanjoy shared her ideals for a music video with Swift. "She had this idea for a front porch performance and then a field of flowers for another performance, then a black-and-white performance shot. It all came together in her head. She was able to translate that so well onto film. It just shows what a truly great director she is", Swift informed CMT News.[3] The video was conceptualized to be very fantasy-like and surreal.[29] The video begins with a shot of Swift's toenails as she paints them. Swift, casually wearing a blue tank top, white hot pants, and straightened hair, is revealed to be engaging in a phone conversation in a bedroom. A cut-scene shows Swift affront her bedroom mirror, which she writes the word "Love", before furtively approaching a front porch, seen in a blue dress and curly hair. Swift then sits near the edge and performs "Our Song". The scene transitions to Swift lying on a bed of flowers and wearing an orange evening gown. She holds a card that spells her first name. Then, clothed by a long, black dress, black cowboy boots, and black gloves, Swift sings with a microphone and a backup band behind her in front of a white backdrop. Throughout the remainder of the video, scenes alternate between previous settings and concludes with Swift giggling while sitting on the front porch.

The video premiered on September 14, 2007 on CMT.[28] The video received a nomination for "Number One Streamed Music Video" at the web-hosted 2008 CMT Online Awards, but lost to Carrie Underwood's video for "All-American Girl".[30] At the 2008 CMT Music Awards, the video won the CMT Music Award for "Video of the Year" and "Female Video of the Year".[31] To date, the video has over 80 million views on YouTube.

Live performances[edit]

Swift performing "Our Song" at a concert included in the Fearless Tour.

She performed "Our Song" as she opened for Rascal Flatts on several dates, from October 19 to November 3, 2006, included on the Me and My Gang Tour (2006–07).[32] Swift opened the concert with the song and dressed in a black, knee-length dress and red cowboy boots with a design of a skull and cross bones across it, playing an acoustic guitar.[33] She also performed the song when she served as opening act on twenty dates for George Strait's 2007 United States tour,[34] and selected dates for Brad Paisley's Bonfires & Amplifiers Tour in 2007.[35][36] During mid-2007, Swift engaged as the opening act on several dates for Tim McGraw's and Faith Hill's joint tour, Soul2Soul II Tour (2006–07), where she again performed "Our Song".[37] Swift performed the song while she was again opening for Rascal Flatts for their Still Feels Good Tour in 2008.[38] Swift's first televised performance of "Our Song" was on October 10, 2007 on Regis & Kelly.[39] She continued promotion for track at the 2007 Country Music Association Awards,[40] The Engine Room,[41] and a concert at the Apple Store in SoHo, New York, which was recorded and released as a live extended play (EP), iTunes Live from SoHo, exclusively sold through the iTunes Store.[42] Since completing promotion for Taylor Swift and its corresponding singles, Swift has performed "Our Song" on The Ellen DeGeneres Show,[43] on Studio 330 Sessions,[44] on The Today Show,[45] at the 2009 CMA Music Festival,[46] as a duet with English rock band Def Leppard on CMT Crossroads, the episode was released as a DVD exclusively through Wal-Mart stores in the United States,[47] at the 2009 V Festival,[48] and at the Australian charity concert Sydney Sound Relief.[49]

Swift performed the song on all venues of her first headlining concert tour, the Fearless Tour, which extended from April 2009 to June 2010. During each performance, she donned a sparkly cocktail dress and black, leather boots. Swift skipped across the stage performing, playing a rhinestoned acoustic guitar.[50] Jim Harrington of The San Jose Mercury News reported the song's performance at the April 11, 2010 at HP Pavilion at San Jose in San Jose, California received a large positive reaction from the audience: "Moms and daughters, as well as groups of teens and couples out for a date night, sang along with equal gusto as Swift detailed young romance in 'Our Song'."[51] Molly Trust of Billboard attended the performance at the tour's final concert on June 5, 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts and stated, "Swift contrasted her slower songs with intense performances of 'Forever & Always' [...] and 'Our Song'".[52] "Our Song" was performed in the North American leg of the Speak Now World Tour, the only song from Swift's debut album.[53]

Track listings[edit]

  • U.S. Maxi-CD Single[54]
  1. "Our Song" - 3:22
  2. "Our Song" (CD-ROM video) - 3:33

Charts and certifications[edit]

Preceded by
"So Small"
by Carrie Underwood
Billboard Hot Country Songs
number-one single

December 22, 2007 - January 26, 2008
Succeeded by
"Letter to Me"
by Brad Paisley

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]