One of the best parts of the virtual One World: Together at Home benefit concert was none other than musical icon Taylor Swift. Not only was it a complete thrill to see her singing and playing in front of some of the most gorgeous wallpaper I've ever seen—Did she paint it herself? fans wondered—but she actually performed a song she said she wouldn't perform. And yet, not only did she sing the song, she did it live for the benefit, which honors those who are suffering and those who are supporting during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In case you missed it, this is one of Swift's most personal songs (and probably the saddest) off of Lover. The original track features the Dixie Chicks. It's an ode to her mom, who's battling cancer, and is the most personal she's gotten about her thoughts about it. She has said it's been one of the most difficult to write and even has a hard time hearing it—much less performing it. Fans thought they might never hear it live.
The lyrics are heartbreaking. Just a few: "The buttons of my coat were tangled in my hair. In doctor’s office lighting, I didn’t tell you I was scared...That was the first time we were there. Holy orange bottles, each night, I pray to you. Desperate people find faith, so now I pray to Jesus too." And later: “And I hate to make this all about me, but who am I supposed to talk to? What am I supposed to do, if there’s no you?" (weeps)
Swift fans informed the world that this is apparently this is the first time she has performed the song. Fans were even more floored at her vulnerability—choosing this moment to share this song with the world, when it's clearly so hard for her, but understanding what her audience (and the world) needs. She was somber throughout the performance and even sounded close to tears at one point, but got through it like an absolute champ.
Here's the video for you to watch. I won't lie, I got choked up:
Taylor Swift’s first live performance of “Soon You’ll Get Better” was just right for this moment #TogetherAtHome pic.twitter.com/O6vaWe5w3hApril 19, 2020
No surprise, the Swifties were out in full force during and after her performance. The reactions honestly were the best part:
The fact that ‘Soon You’ll Get Better’ is just a deeply emotional & personal song for @taylorswift13 made it even more special, thank you ❤️ #TogetherAtHomeApril 19, 2020
taylor knows that song would mean a lot to other people right now and even though it clearly hurt her to sing i have never been so proud of herApril 19, 2020
Did @TaylorSwift13 paint her walls herself? #TogetherAtHome pic.twitter.com/nz82dBKdLWApril 19, 2020
That @taylorswift13 song kills me. Makes me think of my Mom. #togetherathome pic.twitter.com/3ZvU1QcCcxApril 19, 2020
Taylor Swift just ended this pandemia and social distancing and suddenly the world is healthy and working again! #TogetherAtHomeApril 19, 2020
Taylor Swift has just played the most personal song she’s ever written... what a brave thing to do. She’s the strongest and we are so proud of her 🤍 #TogetherAtHome pic.twitter.com/h9rS1gRvGiApril 19, 2020
I never thought I’d ever hear ‘Soon You’ll Get Better’ live.Thank you, @taylorswift13. #TogetherAtHome is so beautiful.April 19, 2020
It was honestly so sweet and meaningful.
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Katherine’s a Boston-based contributing editor at Marie Claire online who covers celebrity, fashion, entertainment, and lifestyle—from “The Bachelor” to Everlane to Meghan Markle. She also edits the Couples + Money series, so she’s always looking for volunteers at firstname.lastname@example.org. Igoe: “I go to the store,” not “Her huge ego".
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