Earlier this week, Taylor Swift serenaded fans who were invited to her Reputation Secret Sessions listening party at her Rhode Island home with the soft, hopeful ballad "New Year’s Day" and the intimate performance aired last night, (Nov. 9) during Shondaland’s TGIT programming block on ABC. In the attached video, Swift sits at the piano surrounded by hand-picked Swifties, who intermittently join in with her to sing the song’s optimistic chorus: “Don’t read the last page/But I stay when you’re lost and I’m scared/And you’re turning away/I want your midnights/But I’ll be cleaning up bottles with you on New Year’s Day.”
Part of Swift’s Grammy-winning songwriting prowess is her ability to tune into the small, quiet moments between two people with laser-sharp focus. This song is about staying with someone through ups and downs and mistakes. It’s about having a great time with someone at a glittery party and sticking around to carry out the very mundane, real task of cleaning up the mess the next day.
The second verse speaks specifically to being in it for the long haul: “You squeeze my hand three times in the back of the taxi/I can tell that it's gonna be a long road/I'll be there if you're the toast of the town, babe/Or if you strike out and you're crawling home.”
“New Year’s Day” is the final track from Reputation, which dropped to the masses today, Nov. 10. The song offers a keen example of Taylor Swift at her ballad-writing best. But this time, instead of it being about a love story that’s ending, like with Red’s wistful “All Too Well,” this song is about holding on and having hope for a bright, shared future. Titled as is, “New Year’s Day” also seems destined to become a brand-new romantic holiday classic.
Reputation is available today for purchase, but not on streaming services. You can watch the entire “New Year’s Day” performance in the attached video. Taylor Swift will also appear as the musical guest on SNL on Nov. 11 and will perform at Capital's Jingle Bell Ball at London's O2 Arena.
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