In Rotation: Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) by Taylor Swift – The Vault Tracks

In Rotation: Speak Now (Taylors Version) by Taylor Swift – The Vault Tracks

As we are less than a month out from her new album, The Tortured Poets Department, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit some Taylor Swift songs. This installation focuses on another set of vault tracks that she has written, this time from her album Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). This was the third re-recording that she has released and is now her fourth overall. So, let’s get into the breakdown–


Electric Touch (feat. Fall Out Boy) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)

When Emma Falls In Love (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)

I Can See You (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)

Castles Crumbling (feat. Hayley Williams) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)

Foolish One (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)

Timeless (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)


1. Electric Touch (feat. Fall Out Boy) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault) 

Synopsis– Both speakers on this track are struggling with opening themselves up to new people in order to start new relationships. At this time, they are both extremely vulnerable and are trying to see the idea of a relationship from new perspectives instead of holding a pessimistic outlook towards starting again. There’s clear nervousness and excitement shown and the mixture of feelings is hard to deal with after coming out of a difficult relationship. 

Lyric Pullouts– 

Just breathe, just relax, it’ll be okay

Just an hour ’til your car’s in the driveway

Just the first time ever hangin’ out with you tonight

I’ve got my money on things goin’ badly

Got a history of stories ending sadly (Verse 1)

The speaker is experiencing a lot of anxiety regarding her first time going on a date with this person. She expresses her nervousness while waiting for her date to show up by painting a picture of her inability to breathe or calm down when thinking about this. She expects that this outing is not going to go very well and is trying to not get her hopes up by believing that it’ll be good for her. She’s used to things going awry so she has her mind set on the fact that it’ll end up being a bad experience so she tries to convince herself that that’s exactly how this will play out for her as well.

All I know is this could either break my heart or bring it back to life

Got a feelin’ your electric touch could fill this ghost town up with life 

And I want you now, wanna need you forever” (Chorus)

It is evident that she has just come out of a rocky relationship and trying to get back into dating is something that she knows could go extremely well or extremely wrong. Either she’ll be met with something new and uplifting that will get her out of the rut that she’s been in from the breakup that she just went through, or she’ll have to face heartbreak again. However, she is trying to stay optimistic in thinking about this new relationship, hoping that it’ll bring her something that allows her to be happy. This is someone that she obviously has strong feelings for and she wishes that their time together will last.

Taylor’s Commentary– Taylor explained her decision to include Fall Out Boy on this track by saying, “Since Speak Now was all about my songwriting, I decided to go to the artists who I feel influenced me most powerfully as a lyricist at that time and ask them to sing on the album.” (via X, formerly known as Twitter) 

2. When Emma Falls In Love (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault) 

Synopsis– The subject, Emma, is someone who seems to be universally loved by all people that come in contact with her. Everyone, especially the speaker, wants the best to happen for her and loves to see her in a position that makes her happy. At the time that this sound was written, Taylor was close friends with Emma Stone, so it has been rumored amongst fans that this song is about her. Throughout the song, the speaker notes this person as a good friend of hers, someone that she loves to be around and can instantly brighten any room. 

Lyric Pullouts– 

“When Emma falls in love, it’s all on her face

Hangs in the air like stars in outer space

When Emma falls in love, she disappears

And we all just laugh after seein’ it all these years” (Verse 2)

After coming to terms with loving the person that she is in a relationship with, everyone who spends time with her can tell that this is something good and special because of how happy she is presenting herself. They can see how infatuated she is with her partner and it is something that anyone can see, not only her friends and family. This relationship causes her to kind of drift off from the other people that she loves, but none of them hold any grudge against it because they believe it is something that is worthwhile, and that she’ll come back around once the “honeymoon phase” is over.

Emma met a boy with eyes like a man

Turns out her heart fits right in the palm of his hand

Now he’ll be her shelter when it rains

Little does he know, his whole world’s about to change” (Verse 3)

Emma’s new partner is someone that outsiders can tell is reliable and will be there for her, not someone who is flaky and causes her to feel uncomfortable to open up to. He seems to be a person that knows exactly how to cater to what she needs and the people that love her are excited for this new chapter in her life because they can see that it’ll be something very beneficial for her. Aside from this, though, the speaker knows the extent to how amazing and inspiring Emma is and seems like she’s “warning” Emma’s partner that she is going to become the best thing in his life very quickly.

3. I Can See You (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault) 

Synopsis– Taylor depicts her experience with somewhat of a “forbidden” lover throughout this song. It is rumored to be about Taylor Lautner and how the work relationship they shared while working on the movie “Valentine’s Day” together became something more. Before they decided to be public about their romantic relationship, though, they had to make their time spent together secretive so that no one would find out and publicize their new status before they were ready. Taylor details all of the events in which the two of them had to sneak around to avoid being caught by others, especially those who they worked with. 

Lyric Pullouts– 

“And we kept everything professional

But something’s changed, it’s somethin’ I, I like

They keep watchful eyes on us

So it’s best that we move fast and keep quiet (Verse 2)

The person that this song is about seems to be someone that Taylor originally had a professional work relationship with, so when  their relationship began to evolve into something romantic, they knew it was best for both of them to not let anyone have any ideas that they are now something more than coworkers. It is evident that there are speculations regarding what their relationship has now become, so they have to ensure that they act extremely professional at all times when together. They know that the closer they are, the more people will realize what is going on, so they have to do everything with each other in secret.

“I can see you in your suit and your necktie

Passed me a note sayin’, ‘Meet me tonight’

Then we kiss and you know I won’t ever tell, yeah (Bridge)

At a seemingly fancy work event, they both wanted to sneak away to see each other. They have to remain extremely professional around one another as well as everyone else, but still want to be able to be together without speculation. So, the subject slyly passes her a note with a when and where to meet so that they still can spend time together. She follows this and they get to see each other, even in a place where they need to keep this side of them hidden. As much as it was something that they both wanted, it is something that they will never be able to reveal because they need to keep the eyes off of them.

Taylor’s Commentary– When announcing the release of the music video for this track, Taylor said “I’ve been counting down for months and finally the ‘I Can See You’ video is out. I wrote this video treatment over a year ago and really wanted to play out symbolically how it’s felt for me to have the fans helping me reclaim my music.” (via X, formerly known as Twitter) 

4. Castles Crumbling (feat. Hayley Williams) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault) 

Synopsis– Taylor expresses her extreme feelings of anxiety as she’s growing bigger within the music industry. As her presence grows stronger and she is becoming a bigger public figure, she is met with a lot of unprecedented hate and upsetting opinions that she had never expected. She is being constantly judged for her music and herself as a person, and she can’t help but think that she should change everything that she is doing. She feels as though nothing she does will ever be good enough for the public eye and that she should just give up.

Lyric Pullouts– 

“Once, I had an empire in a golden age

I was held up so high, I used to be great

They used to cheer when they saw my face

Now, I fear I have fallen from grace (Verse 1)

At the start of her career, Taylor was praised for her projects, mostly because she was a young artist, in comparison to the rest of those on the scene, who actually made extremely good and well-written music. Unfortunately for her, though, as she got older and began to experiment with her sound and what she wanted to do with her music, people started to look down on her. She was used to getting her flowers from her peers, fans, and critics, but as she grew up and was no longer that “little girl” that everyone loved, they didn’t just begin to not care about her, they began to hate her. The people in the industry, especially, were upset that she wasn’t someone they could boss around anymore because she was growing out of her naivety and started to speak up for herself and advocate for things she believed in.

And I feel like my castle’s crumbling down

And I watch all my bridges burn to the ground

And you don’t want to know me, I will just let you down

You don’t wanna know me now (Chorus)

This new hate, which is something that she has never experienced before her, crept to Taylor’s head and made her doubt not only herself, but her career choice. How could something that she loved so dearly turn into something that she wanted to run and hide from? She feels that she shouldn’t let anyone in because if they get too close, if they see her from an insider perspective, they will be extremely disappointed, and regret the choice to associate with her. She is staring at everything going awry and can’t help herself from feeling like a failure because of what she is now experiencing.

Hayley’s Commentary– In an interview, Hayley was asked about working on this song with Taylor and she responded with, “[Working with Taylor] was really special because we have known each other for a really long time in different stages of our lives. We connected in the beginning when Paramore was just sort of starting to break out and kind of become a popular band, and she had already been successful in country [music] but she was kind of nearing her crossover moment, and it was very exciting. I was also very thankful to know someone that was my age, that was in a similar position to me. And over the years, whether we’ve been in contact consistently or not, I’ve just always been really grateful to know I’m not alone in it.” (via Coup De Main) 

5. Foolish One (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault) 

Synopsis–  After a rough relationship has ended, the speaker is stuck replaying all of the events that led to their relationship and its end. She blames herself for being unable to see the red flags within her partner and not realizing that he had fallen out of love well before they ended things. She feels as though she is the reason that he no longer loves her, that it was something to do with her, her personality, or her career. There is an expression of hopelessness throughout the track and conveys all of her feelings through her “voices of reason” that are talking her through this breakup. 

Lyric Pullouts– 

And the voices say, ‘You are not the exception

You will never learn your lesson’ (Pre-Chorus)

Foolish one

Stop checkin’ your mailbox for confessions of love

That ain’t never gonna come” (Chorus)

It is likely that her ex has a reputation of doing similar things to his past girlfriends as he had done to the speaker. She feels like it’s her fault for expecting love from this relationship, when in reality that is what everyone seeks out when beginning to date someone. She thinks of herself as stupid for looking for that outcome, with her head telling her that she is nothing special and she is not going to be the one to receive his love if he hasn’t been able to give it to anyone else. She keeps looking out for love to come, whether it be from him or anyone else, but tells herself that it will never happen.

“Now I’m slidin’ down the wall with my head in my hands

Sayin’, ‘How could I not see the signs?’

Oh, you haven’t written me or called

But goodbye screamin’ in the silence” (Bridge)

The speaker is taking this breakup extremely hard because it’s something that she never expected. She thinks that she is responsible for the end of it because she hadn’t picked up on the signs that he was no longer in love with her, which looking back on, she feels were very obvious. She mentions that he hadn’t contacted her in who knows how long, which should’ve been the first thing to raise her worry, but she was too much in love to even realize that. All she got from him was him leaving her, with no explanation or remorse.

6. Timeless (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)

Synopsis– On this track, the speaker recounts the experience of wandering into an antique shop and seeing her and her partner in photos and other knick-knacks. Seeing these items makes her think about their relationship and how she knows that they were meant to be together no matter what, no matter the time, whether it be the 1500s, 1950s, or present day. It has been speculated that Taylor wrote this about her grandparents’ relationship, yet that has never been confirmed. Either way, this song deals with the idea of fate and the speaker thinking wishfully that this relationship will last forever. 

Lyric Pullouts– 

“And, somehow, I know that you and I would’ve found each other

In another life, you still would’ve turned my head even if wе’d met (Pre-Chorus 1)

On a crowded street in 1944

And you werе headed off to fight in the war

You still would’ve been mine

We would have been timeless” (Chorus 1)

The speaker is thinking about all the scenarios of the people she had seen in the photographs at the antique shop. She truly believes that no matter what time or life they were living, she and the subject would have always found each other and would always be meant to be together. She obviously holds so much love for this person and truly thinks that they are soulmates, that in any life, despite who or what they are, they will find their way to each other and be together until the end of that life.

That’s when I came upon a book covered in cobwebs

Story of a romance torn apart by fate

Hundreds of years ago, they fell in love, like we did

And I’d die for you in the same way if I first saw your face” (Pre-Chorus 2)

It is likely that in these lines she is referencing Romeo and Juliet, a story of star-crossed lovers who were forbidden to be together, and eventually died for each other. This book appeared to her in the antique shop and just became another thing to remind her of the person that she loves. It makes her think about how for hundreds of years, love has always existed, there has always been a love like how humans feel for each other now, even in the 14th century. She thinks about the story of Romeo and Juliet and easily assures herself that the love that she has for the subject is one that allows her to feel as though she would die for them, a love that is larger than any other feeling.


Out of the 4 sets of vault tracks that Taylor has released with her (Taylor’s Version), I think that I can safely say that this is by far my favorite. I love how different yet connected all 6 of these songs are and I love seeing the imagery that Taylor creates through all of her lyrics. What really helps to push it over the edge is that it is included on one of my favorite albums of Taylor’s. She flawlessly paints pictures within her listeners’ minds that helps to highlight her brilliant songwriting. And finally–


1. I Can See You (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)

2. Castles Crumbling (feat. Hayley Williams) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)

3. When Emma Falls In Love (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)

4. Foolish One (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)

5. Electric Touch (feat. Fall Out Boy) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)

6. Timeless (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)





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