Tim McGraw (Taylor Swift & Liz Rose) - "This song means so much to me, that's why we wanted it to be the first track on the album. The idea for this song came to me in math class. I just started singing to myself `When you think Tim McGraw.' The concept for this song hit me, because I was dating a guy who moved away, and it was going to be over for us. So I started thinking of things that I knew would remind him of me. The first thing that came to mind was that my favorite song is by Tim McGraw. After school, I went downtown, sat down at the piano, and wrote this with Liz Rose in fifteen minutes. It may be the best fifteen minutes I've ever experienced."
Picture To Burn (Taylor Swift & Liz Rose) - "Before I sing this song, I always try to tell the audience that I really do try to be a nice person... but if you break my heart, hurt my feelings, or are really mean to me, I'm going to write a song about you. Haha. This song is the perfect example."
Teardrops On My Guitar (Taylor Swift & Liz Rose) - "I used to have a huge crush on this guy, who would sit there every day talking to me about...another girl: how beautiful she was, how nice and smart and perfect she was. And I sat there and listened, never meaning it any of the times I said `Oh, I'm so happy for you.' I guess this is a good example of how I let my feelings out in songs, and sometimes no other way. And I've never been afraid of using names. I love this song because of its honesty and vulnerability. To this day, they are still together and he has no idea about this song."
A Place In This World (Taylor Swift & Robert Orrall & Angelo) - "I wrote this song when I was thirteen and had just moved to Nashville. It was tough trying to find out how I was going to get where I wanted to go. I knew where I wanted to be, but I just didn't know how to get there. I'm really happy this is on the album, because I feel like I finally figured it out."
Cold As You (Taylor Swift & Liz Rose) - "I wrote this song with Liz, and I think the lyrics to this song are some of the best we've ever written. It's about that moment where you realize someone isn't at all who you thought they were, and that you've been trying to make excuses for someone who doesn't deserve them. And that some people are just never going to love you. We were halfway through writing this when I started singing `And now that I'm sitting here thinking it through, I've never been anywhere cold as you'."
The Outside (Taylor Swift) - "This is one of the first songs I ever wrote, and it talks about the very reason I ever started to write songs. It was when I was twelve years old, and a complete outcast at school. I was a lot different than all the other kids, and I never really knew why. I was taller, and sang country music at karaoke bars and festivals on weekends while other girls went to sleepovers. Some days I woke up not knowing if anyone was going to talk to me that day. I think every person comes to a point in their life when you have a long string of bad days. You can choose to let it drag you down, or you can find ways to rise above it. I came to the conclusion that even though people hadn't always been there for me, music had. It's strange to think how different my life would be right now if I had been one of the cool kids."
Tied Together With A Smile (Taylor Swift & Liz Rose) - "One of my best friends is absolutely beautiful. She goes to beauty pageants and wins everything. Girls want to be her and guys want to be with her. I wrote this song the day I found out about her eating disorder. It completely blew my mind, and this one was tough to write, because I wasn't just telling some sad story. This was real. This song is basically about the girls I know, and the difficult things I saw them go through. I've never seen this song as a lecture. It's really about how no matter what my friends go through, I'm always going to love them."
Stay Beautiful (Taylor Swift & Liz Rose) - "After hearing my songs, a lot of people a
sk me, `How many boyfriends have you HAD?' And I always tell them that more of my songs come from observation than actual experience. In other words, you don't have to date someone to write a song about them. This is a song I wrote about a guy I never dated! Wow, right? Haha. This song is about a guy I thought was cute, and never really talked to him much. But something about him inspired this song, just watching him."
Should've Said No (Taylor Swift) - "Just being a human being, I've realized that before every big problem you create for yourself, before every huge mess you have to clean up, there was a crucial moment where you could've just said no. This is a song I wrote about a guy who never should have cheated on me."
Mary's Song (Oh My My My) (Taylor Swift & Liz Rose & Brian Maher) - "I wrote this song about a couple who lived next door to us. They'd been married forever and they came over one night for dinner, and were just so cute. They were talking about how they fell in love and got married, and how they met when they were just little kids. I thought it was so sweet, because you can go to the grocery store and read the tabloids, and see who's breaking up and cheating on each other (or just listen to some of my songs, haha). But it was really comforting to know that all I had to do was go home and look next door to see a perfect example of forever."
Our Song (Taylor Swift) - I just sat down one day with my guitar and got in a groove, and went with it. I like to write about how music affects people, and this was fun to write because it's about a couple who DOESN'T have a song. I like the banjo and you really can't go wrong with banjo. I wanted it to be last on the album, because the last line of the chorus is `play it again'. Let's hope people take it as a hint to go ahead and play the album again. Haha!"