Adrie’s Beats of the Week [Vault Edition]: Taylor Swift ‘You Are in Love’

To start off the school year, we are bringing it all the way back to the beginning of Beats. Introducing, the original drafts.


Ellie Larsen

To start off the 2022-2023 school year, a polaroid 1989 style with my favorite Swiftie and fellow Cougar Chronicle reporter.

by Adrie Starkenburg , Copy Editor

Welcome to Adrie’s beats of the week, a weekly column dedicated to remarking upon the intricacies of modern music. To submit any songs for entry, please contact starken690[email protected], with the subject line, ‘beats of the week.’  

This summer there have been very few notable music releases (please call me out if I’m missing something here), and so to start off Beats for this year, I am going to do something a little different. Beats of the Week all started last Thanksgiving at the very table that I sit now, and has come quite a distance since then. However, to bring things back to the very roots of what Beats really is, I am going to hand over to you readers my original drafts from the very beginning. This was a collection of songs that I really truly love(d), and I am very happy to share them with you. I am going to start today with one of my favorites, partially in celebration of the Midnights announcement (Oh. My. Gosh). I will most certainly be back in present time to review that. So here I have for you, Taylor Swift, “You Are in Love.”

A year or so ago I had the extraordinary privilege of watching my best friend fall in love. Or at least grow really fond of a very nice boy. Falling in love is always a very tumultuous experience, but watching someone else do it is almost as exciting. I became the recipient of a lot of late night text ranting and a few well meant (and lovely) songs, but it was a fascinating thing to just observe. It was mostly indescribable, but the best way to put it might be like looking up into the sky and suddenly realizing that there are all of these stars and then you have to close your eyes again because it’s too precious to look at for too long. I have tried not to observe too much and not look too much because I know how volatile it all is; just enough so that I can understand the things that nobody really wants to say out loud. 

Being the person that I am though, I was constantly looking for the words to describe what I was seeing, and I think so far Taylor Swift’s “You are In Love,” is the best I have come across. She describes watching two people fall in love, almost from the point of view of a best friend. But the best friend that screams “I told you so!” and dances around when you finally admit how you are feeling. The song is rumored to be, in part, about her producer and long time friend Jack Antonoff, which is rather irrelevant to the feeling of the song, but it’s definitely not totally satirical. 

There are three things that are said about love within the song. One, “You can hear it in the silence,” which I, super un-objective, think is not only true, but so true that that is when you hear it the loudest. Also, “You can feel it on the way home,”which I also think is another true statement, but maybe a more fleeting one. Yeah, it makes sense that you would have a wonderful time with somebody and be going home and being like ‘oh my gosh I love them,’ but I think it’s really especially cool when you love them on the way there, and when you’re there too (It is probably right for me to assume here that “there” is like a Christmas party or something; it just feels right). And finally, “You can see it with the lights out.” Honestly I can see most things with the lights out… I tend to think of love as something you do and feel rather than look for when there are no lights on. I claim to be no love expert though, so maybe a more seasoned soldier would see the true romanticism in it. 

It might be fair for me to mention here that the previously talked about couple that she was writing about is no longer together. I don’t think that means that all love is doomed to fail or something like that, but it does give me pause to just how far the powers of our observations can stretch. I think that the love story that was written about here is beautiful and true, but seemingly like many, just wasn’t meant to last. During the bridge she says, “And why I’ve spent my whole life tryin’ to put it into words,” which, when we look at the songs Taylor has written over the year, is very true. This song seems to be her turning outward though, seeing a love story that is not her own and being like ‘huzzah!’ ‘Love is real!’  

So maybe when my best friend announces her engagement I will put in a request for this song to be played at her wedding. Or maybe when she calls me in tears because they’ve broken up we can cry to this song together when it accidentally comes on. I think whichever way it goes though, love seems to be something that just keeps on going, so we can hope that it will be perfectly fitting (and lasting) for someone out there.