Thursday, January 11, 2024

Taylor Swift’s “Tim McGraw” and conventional rhetoric

"Tim McGraw", the opening song on Taylor Swift's eponymous debut album from 2006 (co-written with Liz Rose), begins with the flattery of a teenage boy for his date: "He said the way my blue eyes shined / Put those Georgia stars to shame that night." But the girl does not fall for this conventional comparison of her eyes and stars: "I said, 'That's a lie." Swift's first song thus begins with a rhetorical figure but immediately challenges the rhetorical. The discourse on love that runs through her work repeatedly takes this form: moments of conventional language keep coming up in contexts – both within songs and within albums – that question those conventions. (Andrew Shields, #111Words, 11 January 2024)

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