Millions of fans have been more than a little antsy to hear something new from Taylor Swift, whose 2008 album Fearless went platinum six times over in the U.S. So antsy, in fact, that somebody leaked the lead track from her October 2010 album Speak Now before Swift and Co. wanted to release it. As the low-quality MP3 began to go viral online, Big Machine Records decided to push out the real deal. It immediately jumped to No. 1 on the digital chart and No. 3 on Billboard's Hot 100.
"Mine" is Taylor's account of her first, sweet realization that she's in a committed relationship. She lauds two great ideas: loyalty and remembering your first rush of love when life gets mundane. On the first count, she sings, "Braced myself for the good-bye/'Cause that's all I've ever known/Then you took me by surprise/You said, 'I'll never leave you alone.'" As for the second, "But we got bills to pay/We got nothin' figured out/When it was hard to take/This is what I thought about/Do you remember, we were sittin' there by the water?/You put your arm around me for the first time." The song's video lends positive weight to the line, "You made a rebel of a careless man's careful daughter/You are the best thing that's ever been mine," by showing us that in this case, being a rebel means falling in love and staying in love.
Those sentiments would be sweeter and more comforting if it weren't for one other thought the song holds: Rarely does Swift hint at sex in her lyrics or her personal life, but with the line "And there's a drawer of my things at your place," the 20-year-old star implies that she (or at least the she in her song) is sleeping over with her sweetie. The video adds images of moving boxes. Later it shows the couple getting married.
The idea of through-thick-and-thin love is great. Taylor rightly celebrates the peace and good memories that come with this type of solid relationship. But I can't help but think of the millions of young girls who devour her every lyric. How is that other subtle-but-still-there idea going to digest?