Friday, February 16, 2024

Two perspectives on a dress: Greg Brown’s “If I Had Known” (1990) and Taylor Swift’s “Dress” (2017)

One of my favorite songs by the folk singer-songwriter Greg Brown is "If I Had Known", the opening song on his riveting 1990 album "Down in There". The third stanza contains a wonderful image embedded in the story of a night of sex on the roof under an August meteor shower: "Summer was invented for her to wear that dress." I like that line so much that sometimes, when I play the song, I stop there and sing the line unaccompanied. Taylor Swift's "Dress", from her 2017 album "reputation", offers a possible flip side of the man's perspective in Brown's song: "Only bought this dress so you could take it off." (Andrew Shields, #111Words, 16 February 2024) 

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