Here is the thing. I love Taylor Swift. I do. With all my heart and soul and everything. And I’ve done that thing we all fans do when we try to figure out who her songs are about. We read between the lines. We analyse her songs like they are Shakespearean literature. We match timelines of the men she has dated, her interviews, his interviews, what color eyes he has, the kind of relationship/break up they had and other details which may give us a clue as to who the mystery man is. We pay attention to the song title (as in case of Dear John and Style), any hospital injuries she/her boyfriend might have had (Out Of The Woods), the countries he has traveled to (Come Back..Be Here) and sometimes merely the liner notes (Enchanted).
But sometimes I wonder if we over-analyse them and take everything on face value. I’m sure she must have taken some kind of dramatic license and exaggerated some facts or stated some untrue things. I know that she believes her songs are like her journal entries, but when the entire world is listening to your journal entries, you can’t be completely honest, can you? And for the sake of making a song a little more exciting than it is, she may have tweaked lines so they sound lyrically better or so more people may be able to relate to it.
As someone who also writes stuff inspired by true events, I take some dramatic licenses too. I know what the real story is and the person it was written about, but my audience doesn’t. So I make some changes here and there, so it is understood better. I still believe that it is based upon the person it was originally written about, but not every sentence in it is necessarily a fact.
We cannot bear to believe that her songs have even an ounce of fiction. As a dedicated fan, I realize what a bubble burst it is, to even consider this possibility. But maybe we should. She is a commercial writer, after all.