Safe & Sound (Taylor Swift song)

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"Safe & Sound"
Single by Taylor Swift featuring The Civil Wars
from the album The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond
Released December 26, 2011 (2011-12-26)
Format Digital download
Genre Country, folk rock
Length 4:01
Label Big Machine
Writer(s) Taylor Swift, Joy Williams, John Paul White, T-Bone Burnett
Producer(s) T-Bone Burnett
Taylor Swift singles chronology
"Safe & Sound"
"Long Live"
The Civil Wars singles chronology
"Birds of a Feather (Live)"
"Safe & Sound"
"Billie Jean"

"Safe & Sound" is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift in collaboration with folk rock duo The Civil Wars for The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond, the official soundtrack for the 2012 film The Hunger Games. The song was released to iTunes in the US December 26, 2011,[1] and was later added to the BBC Radio 1 playlist.[2] The song was critically lauded, with critics praising Swift's breathy vocals, the simplicity of the music, and its lyrics, some citing it as a welcome return to form for Swift.


A 27 second sample of Taylor Swift's "Safe & Sound", featuring the chorus and The Civil Wars.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Swift premiered the song via Twitter. Prior the release of the song, Swift had tweeted "Something I've been VERY excited about for a VERY long time is going to be happening VERY soon (and I'm not referring to Christmas)," later adding: "And this is it, the big surprise... Go get it!". The day of the release date, Swift tweeted the link to the song, which is being sold exclusively on iTunes.

Not long after tweeting the link to the song, "Safe & Sound" became the top-trending topic on Twitter in the US and number two worldwide, with many fans being surprised that Swift was part of the soundtrack.[3]

Critical reception

Amy Sciarretto of PopCrush said the song is "breathy, ethereal and heady, not frothy and lite. Swift writes her confessional and heartfelt songs for a young audience, but here, she's exploring her dark side. The song's twangy guitars, and the icy, layered vocals make it sound like it could be sung around a campfire in the woods when you are telling scary stories that aren't exactly fake."[4] Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone gave the song four out of five stars, calling it Swift's "prettiest ballad." [5]

Chart performance

The song entered the Billboard Hot Digital Songs tally at number 19 with 136,000 sold in two days.[6] The song debuted at number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100. In its second week it dropped to number 31.[7] After the release of the song's music video, it re-entered the Hot 100 at number 56.[8] In its 11th week, just prior to the release of the album, the song rose again from 71st to 35th on the Billboard Hot 100.[9] As of September 2013, the song has sold 1,628,000 copies in the United States.[10]

"Safe & Sound" also appeared in some countries outside the U.S. The song peaked in Canada at number 31, in Australia at number 38, and in UK at number 67. "Safe & Sound" attained its highest position worldwide in New Zealand at number 11.[11]

Awards and nominations

"Safe & Sound" received a nomination for Best Country Duo/Group Performance and won Best Song Written for Visual Media at the 55th Grammy Awards. The music was also nominated for Best Original Song at the 70th Golden Globe Awards (lost to Adele's "Skyfall"), a CMA Award for Musical Event of the Year and two CMT Music Awards for Video of the Year and Collaborative of the Year.

Music video

Swift outside in a white dress and with straight hair, with a forest as a backdrop.

The song's music video, which is directed by Philip Andelman, premiered on February 13, 2012 at 7:54 p.m. ET on MTV.[12] The video features Swift, walking barefoot through a forest in Watertown, Tennessee, wearing a long white gown. Between scenes, The Civil Wars are seen inside a cottage house sitting in front of a fireplace as they sing along to the song.[13]

The music video was shot in a cemetery, and the scene featuring Swift sitting atop the graves are of a real couple who died in 1853.[14]

Track listing

Digital download[1]
  1. "Safe & Sound" – 4:01

Release history

Country Date Format Label
United States[1] December 26, 2011 Digital download Big Machine Records

Charts and certifications

Weekly charts