For this song, Swift wanted to replicate the sounds of the songs Jacknife Lee has produced for the likes of U2 and Snow Patrol. So not only did she recruit the latter band's lead singer, Gary Lightbody, to co-write and duet with her, but she recruited the producer himself to helm the whimsical orchestral ballad.
Gary Lightbody is one of several songwriters that Swift reached out to write with her on Red. She told Billboard magazine that the people she chose to collaborate with were ones who inspired her. "Snow Patrol are so absolutely dead-on," she said, "they can just hit you when they are singing about loss or longing."
"The Way" by Fastball was inspired by the story of an elderly couple from Texas who drove to a nearby family reunion and kept going. Fastball's bass player imagined them taking off and having fun like they were young. The story didn't end well: the couple was later found dead after they crashed in a canyon.
"Cigarettes And Chocolate Milk" describes a time in Rufus Wainwright's life when he found himself hungover and pounding chocolate milk to feel better. It didn't work, so he smoked a cigarette, which is when he realized his addictive personality could be a problem.
Angus Young created the distinctive opening guitar part for "Thuderstruck" by playing with all the strings taped up, except the B. He learned the studio trick from his older brother George Young, who was the rhythm guitarist for The Easybeats.