Although the television screen split into tearaway curtains during a segment of “Forecast At Midnight” in the ‘Lavender Haze’ music video where particular states had dropped to 13 degrees, the station has truly flicked over to something more newsworthy. Taylor Swift’s newest re-recording era tinges in purple, and yep, our girly is back to breaking records again. That is the news!
Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) hasn’t arrived quietly, and has had the biggest debut for an album in 2023, with 716,000 album equivalents in the U.S. and over 1 million internationally. While we can’t mentally grasp that, we did understand how big it is when it became number one on the Billboard 200. Though, this is kinda unsurprising since four of the top 10 on the charts belong to her, making her the first living artist in 60 years to achieve this.
We’re not going to sit here listing every remarkable statistic Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) has achieved since the list would be as long as the scroll Supernatural’s Crowley pulls out. You know the one gif, and if you don’t, we’ll be here for hours; just know that.
However, we will tell you one of the reasons this album is so successful, and it’s not just because she’s a genius. We’ve had this album on replay because of one of its vault songs… ‘Timeless!’ From its lyrics to it being quintessential young Taylor Swift (aka she’s always been a romantic at heart), it just reminds us why we love her.
Although it’s literally impossible to trace back the specific date Taylor decided to pen ‘Timeless,’ there are some clues around potential months. They’re found in the same place where she previously talked about another vault track (yes, we mean ‘Nothing New’ featuring Phoebe Bridgers), which was in the diary pages packaged with the Target deluxe version of Lover.
‘Nothing New’ from Red (Taylor’s Version) is timelined to having been written on a plane ride between Perth, Western Australia, and its state neighbor Sydney, on March 2nd, 2012, when she was 22 years old. Whereas ‘Timeless’ could be written around July 12, 2009, when she was only 19, which outlines a perfect day between her mother, Andrea, and herself when they visited antique shops. As the lyric visualizer showcases photographs of her grandmother on her mom’s side, Marjorie and Robert Finlay’s relationship, this is a definite possibility.
Another new hobby of mine is… antique stores. And not just neat, organized antique stores. I really like the ones where there’s so much crap to dig through, you can find absolute treasures for nothing.
Taylor Swift in the Lover (Target Exclusive Deluxe Version) diary
According to Taylor Swift Switzerland, this song is at the center of a Swiftie theory, as ‘Timeless’ was speculated to be the lead single off Taylor’s sixth album, with its name being Eclipse. That was, of course, before reputation became a thing, and we’ve been picturing zombified Taylor escaping from her grave ever since. This theory is pretty solid, though, because just like every fan can sense a release from an artist these days by their socials becoming blacked out, Taylor did so around a solar eclipse.
Combine many space references, a vague video on August 21, 2017 (when the eclipse was underway) and the domain name for Timeless.com being bought for a disclosed amount (a lack of leaking for a hypothetical $13,000 should’ve been our first clue!) with a “coming soon” attached, it did sorta add up?! So, who knows? Maybe we would’ve heard ‘Timeless’ before the purple Speak Now key turned to open the vault.
A Vintage Romance
What’s captivating about ‘Timeless’ from the get-go is that despite having a rough idea of the year it was written, it could’ve very well sat within the track rankings of an album like folklore. ‘Timeless’ features gorgeous, romantic tales just like ‘invisible string,’ ‘peace,’ and ‘the lakes,’ and it perfectly portrays the songwriter Taylor has become, as ‘Timeless’ is another song from Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) she wrote by herself. It’s only when producing the track does it have joint credit, having shared the studio with Jack Antonoff.
As for its themes, there is an exploration around the perceptions of time, having both used it in a positive connotation, with her taking the listener through various periods where her muse and herself still would’ve been soulmates, but also negatively. For example, in the first verse, where she’s setting the scene by delicately describing this antique shop she’s stepped into, there’s one particular photo from the 30s; it’s “the kinda love that you only find once in a lifetime.” Here she’s stating that love is unique, but as the guitar chords and drums mingle, approaching the chorus, and we’re in 1944, the message is “You still would’ve been mine / We would have been timeless” meaning that although it’s rare, it also has a habit of recurring. It can prevail.
Then when we come into contact with 1958, time turns into a construct “Which brought me back to the first time I saw you / Time stood still like somethin’ in this old shop,” whereas love itself is the essence. From that point, there are even two instances where fear creeps in, at first with “I thought about it as I started lookin’ round / At these precious things that time forgot;” she’s noting that though the clock ticking can be a wondrous thing, it can also undo things, and that becomes even more true with “Time breaks down your mind and body / Don’t you let it touch your soul.”
“I would’ve read your love letters every single night / And prayed to God you’d be comin’ home all right.”
This thereby molds ‘Timeless’ into being much more than something you’d find on a Swiftie’s dream wedding playlist. This yearning, the chorus, and even her bolded pronunciation that steers us towards the word “mine.” As we know, ‘Mine’ is the first track title on this album, with ‘Timeless’ being the last. ‘Mine,’ of course, also has that brilliant lyric of “You made a rebel of a careless man’s careful daughter,” meaning that her beliefs around love were never exactly perfect. But more than that, we primarily associate that word with ownership. By putting herself into the shoes of these various other couples, it’s not only wistful and shows that what she’s found is fated but her working out the how of them standing the test of time, “’Cause I believe that we were supposed to find this.”
‘Timeless’ also harks back to past records and even throws towards the future with its melodic references. From the ‘Mary’s Song (Oh My My My),’ lyric reference to ‘Love Story’ with “Hundreds of years ago, they fell in love, like we did / And I’d die for you in the same way,” and also storytelling convention reference to ‘Begin Again.’ In that song, the lyric “But on a Wednesday in a cafe / I watched it begin again” comes up repeatedly, marking her renewal to finding love again. In contrast, here, “Down the block, there’s an antique shop / And somethin’ in my head, said, “Stop,” so I walked in” is both the first and closing line, acting as a vow to herself never to let love rust to time. It’s also the perfect way to end a re-record!
It’s that time to make punny jokes around the song title’s name that you know were rolled up our sleeves from the minute you clicked on this article but Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) will truly be ‘Timeless,’ not just for its accolades but also the nostalgic thrill that it gave to all of us OG Swifties.
What’s your favorite lyric of the vault track? Let us know on our Twitter over @thehoneypop, and if you’re still struggling to decide which song you’re claiming as your favorite, we have the perfect thing to help you do so: 13 Of Our Favorite Lyrics From Taylor Swift’s Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)! We’re also available on our Facebook and Instagram accounts.