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Taylor Swift loves a feel-good story where the underdogs win in life, from “Long Live” on Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) to “New Romantics” on 1989 (Taylor’s Version). And on one of the album’s “From the Vault” tracks, she keeps that tradition going. As part of 1989 (TV), released on Oct. 27, Swift unveiled “Suburban Legends,” which is sure to be the anthem your high school self needed to get by.
What Is “Suburban Legends” About?
Fans are already comparing the song’s swirling cinematic synths to “Mastermind” from Midnights, but lyrically, it’s more akin to the nostalgic hometown reunion in Evermore’s “‘tis the damn season.”
Co-written and produced with her constant collaborator Jack Antonoff, “Suburban Legends” tells the story of two star-crossed lovers who find success beyond their small town but try to stay together against all odds. “I didn’t come here to make friends,” she sings. “We were born to be suburban legends.”In the second verse, Swift shares her fantasy of walking into their high school reunion together, hoping that “maybe our mismatched star signs would surprise the whole school.” But alas, by the bridge, you can tell their story isn’t meant to last. The underdogs may have won — but they won’t celebrate their victories together. The story of suburban outcasts has emotional resonance for both Swift and Antonoff, who come from separate East Coast suburbs. Before heading to Nashville to kickstart her music career, Swift was raised on a (literal) Christmas tree farm outside of Philadelphia, while Antonoff grew up in nearby New Jersey, which has hugely influenced the sounds of his own music with Bleachers.
“Suburban Legends” Lyrics
You had people who called you on unmarked numbersIn my peripheral visionI let it slide like a hose on a slippery plastic summerAll was quickly forgivenYou were so magnetic it was almost obnoxiousFlush with the currency of coolI was always turnin' out my empty pocketsAnd when it came to youI didn't come here to make friendsWe were born to be suburban legendsWhen you hold me, it holds me togetherAnd you kiss me in a way that's gonna screw me up foreverI had the fantasy that maybe our mismatched star signsWould surprise the whole schoolWhen I ended up back at our class reunionWalkin' in with youYou'd be more than a chapter in my old diariesWith the pages ripped outI am standin' in a 1950s gymnasiumAnd I can still see you nowI didn't come here to make friendsWe were born to be suburban legendsWhen you hold me, it holds me togetherAnd you kiss me in a way that's gonna screw me up foreverI know that you still rememberWe were born to be national treasuresWhen you told me we'd get back togetherAnd you kissed me in a way that's gonna screw me up foreverTick-tock on the clock, I pace down your blockI broke my own heart 'cause you were too polite to do itWaves crash on the shore, I dash to the doorYou don't knock anymore and my whole life's ruinedTick-tock on the clock, I pace down your blockI broke my own heart 'cause you were too polite to do itWaves crash to the shore, I dash to the doorYou don't knock anymore and I always knew itThat my life would be ruined