What many fans love about the first of Taylor Swift’s rerecorded albums, Fearless (Taylor’s Version), is the way it stays so faithful to the original. However, that doesn’t mean that some of the songs haven’t taken on new meaning in the past decade. According to Swifties, that evolution is especially evident in the aptly-named “Change.”
In the original iteration of the 2008 album, “Change,” the final track, was about working with her then-small record label, Big Machine Records, and its owner, Scott Borchetta.
“I wrote this song about being on a small record label, being a 16-year-old girl, and having a lot of odds stacked up against all of us,” Swift told Country Aircheck in August 2008. “A lot of people, if given those odds, would say that’s not going to work.”
Swift said that she wrote the song after a significant moment in her early career, when she won the Horizon Award at the 2007 CMAs. “I looked over at Scott Borchetta after I won, and he was crying,” she continued. “It was absolutely the most amazing night of my life, getting to see the emotion of all the people who worked so hard for me. So I wrote that song about that.”
However, a lot has changed since then. Notably, Borchetta has turned into Swift’s second-worst enemy for letting her No 1. worst enemy, Scooter Braun, buy Big Machine Records in 2019, and with it her masters (a move she heavily criticised). That was the reason she announced she would re-record her first six albums — in order to prevent Braun and Borchetta from profiting off of her work.
In “Change,” Swift originally sang about getting through challenges that nobody believed he could overcome: getting signed at 16, making it big coming from a small Nashville label. Now, “Change (Taylor’s Version)” seems to allude to a whole new set of obstacles: taking control over her life’s work and getting screwed over by the people she trusted most.
“So we’ve been outnumbered, raided, and now cornered/ It’s hard to fight when the fight ain’t fair/ We’re getting stronger now, finding things they never found/ They might be bigger but we’re faster and never scared,” she sings in the second verse.
And even though Borchetta and Braun “might be bigger,” Swift still found a way to fight back and reclaim her power. “Tonight we stand, get off our knees/ Fight for what we’ve worked for all these years/ And the battle was long, it’s the fight of our lives/ But we’ll stand up champions tonight,” she sings on the bridge.”
Fans agree that “Change” certainly hits different in 2021, and they believe its new meaning isn’t lost on Swift. In fact, she even announced the Fearless (Taylor’s Version) drop using a lyric from the final track: “It was the night things changed.”
A little cheeky subtweeting? Some things never change.
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?