Starlight

Album: Red (2012)
Charted: 90
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This song finds Swift singing about the romantic adventures of Ethel and Bobby Kennedy after coming across a photo of the pair dancing when they were teenagers. "She told The Wall Street Journal: "I get a lot of style inspiration from the 1960s, so I'll go and look at black and white pictures, and look at [photos from the] '50s and '60s, and I came across this picture of these two kids dancing at a dance. It immediately made me think of like how much fun they must have had that night. It was back in the late '40s. I ended up reading underneath that it was Ethel Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. And they were like 17. So I just kind of wrote that song from that place, not really knowing how they met or anything like that. And then her daughter Rory ended up coming to a show a couple weeks later and I told her about the song and she was like, you have to meet my mom. She would love to meet you. So that was kind of what that song was about."

    Ethel and Bobby are the grandparents of Conor Kennedy, whom Taylor was dating whilst writing for Red. The songstress became especially close to Ethel Kennedy during their relationship.
  • This was co-produced by regular collaborator Nathan Chapman and Dann Huff, who has also worked with Keith Urban and Rascal Flatts. It was one of three tracks on Red, where Huff co-manned the boards. "I chose the artists and the producers because I like their style," Swift told USA Today. "I didn't choose them because I wanted to force my style on them; I chose them because I wanted to learn from them. So they're true collaborations, it's not just somebody else singing on one of my songs that sounds like one of my songs. It's a real mixture of the two influences."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Meshell Ndegeocello

Meshell NdegeocelloSongwriter Interviews

Meshell Ndegeocello talks about recording "Wild Night" with John Mellencamp, and explains why she shied away from the spotlight.

Steely Dan

Steely DanFact or Fiction

Did they really trade their guitarist to The Doobie Brothers? Are they named after something naughty? And what's up with the band name?

History Of Rock

History Of RockSong Writing

An interview with Dr. John Covach, music professor at the University of Rochester whose free online courses have become wildly popular.

Dwight Twilley

Dwight TwilleySongwriter Interviews

Since his debut single "I'm On Fire" in 1975, Dwight has been providing Spinal-Tap moments and misadventure.

Arrested For Your Art - The Story Of 2 Live Crew's "Obscene" Album

Arrested For Your Art - The Story Of 2 Live Crew's "Obscene" AlbumSong Writing

In the summer of 1990, you could get arrested for selling a 2 Live Crew album or performing their songs in Southern Florida. And that's exactly what happened.

Superman in Song

Superman in SongSong Writing

Not everyone can be a superhero, but that hasn't stopped generations of musicians from trying to be Superman.