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long story short

evermore (2020)

“long story short” is the brisk-paced twelfth track on Taylor’s ninth studio album, evermore (2020). It offers an overview of the public demonizations that Taylor has experienced since her feud with Kanye West in 2016.
The drama of 2016 has taken subject in numerous songs of Taylor’s, appearing all the way back on her sixth studio album, reputation (2017). However on evermore, “long story short” offers a confirmation of resolution and peace, with Taylor finally feeling confident that that stage of her life has subsided. “long story short” is a particular ode to Taylor’s partner, Joe Alwyn, who she began dating around the time of the drama. Chronicled in a handful Taylor’s songs, “long story short” further emphasizes that Alwyn has always been her “safe place” throughout turmoil.

Background

On July 24, 2020, during the Covid-19 lockdowns, Taylor surprise-released her eighth studio album, folklore, to widespread critical acclaim and commercial success. In September 2020, she and her co-producers and co-writers for the album, Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff, assembled at Long Pond Studio, located in a secluded cabin in upstate New York, to film the documentary folklore: the long pond studio sessions. Released to Disney+ and accompanied by a live album released digitally, Taylor performed the stripped-down renditions of all 17 tracks on folklore and recounted the creative process of developing the album. Following the release of folklore, Taylor and Dessner continued writing songs at Long Pond, with her penning lyrics to his instrumental tracks. On December 10, 2020, Taylor announced that her ninth studio album and folklore‘s sister album, evermore, would come out at midnight and revealed its track listing, where “long story short” placed twelfth.

Lyrical Theme

“long story short” reexamines reputation, which addressed intense media scrutiny of her and her widely publicized feuds with other celebrities; Taylor described it as one of her life’s lowest moments. The song narrates her personal redemption, while covering her four-year emotional journey between 2016 and 2020, specifically the turbulent events of her professional life in 2016. Its lyrics see Taylor announce her peaceful state of mind after spending years of limelight in “petty things” and “nemeses”, while recalling her fall from grace after her feuds, and how she eventually sorted her priorities out and found true love. In the post-chorus, she states that her past relationships reshaped who she is, and in the bridge, she asserts her lack of interest in celebrity drama anymore, focusing only on her relationship outside of work. The song ends with the lyric, “I survived.”

Commercial Performance

Following the release of evermore, “long story short” entered the Billboard Global 200 chart at No. 55, alongside evermore‘s 14 other tracks, all of which charted in the top 75 of the chart. Similarly, it debuted at No. 68 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 dated December 26, 2020, simultaneously with the each of the album’s other tracks. It opened at No. 42 on the Rolling Stone Top 100, with 91,000 units sold and 11 million streams in its first week, and landed at No. 14 on the Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart, where it spent a total of 10 weeks. The song further entered at No. 39 on the Canadian Hot 100 and No. 49 on Australia’s ARIA Singles Chart chart.

Critical Reception

Slate critic Carl Wilson wrote that “long story short” is a “fairly slight song but an earned valedictory address”, incorporating Taylor’s standard wordplay and the “pleasure” that “comes in hearing her look back at all that and shrugging”. Jason Lipshutz of Billboard chose the song as the best on evermore and stated that the song materializes Taylor’s ability to create “deceptively simple” music that “is bursting with layers and moving pieces”. He admired the song’s “dense but never overcrowded” instrumentation and its “kicky post-chorus vocal hook”. Reviewers of Insider concluded that “long story short” is “the closest Swift gets to revisiting her pop star persona”; Callie Ahlgrim said that it is “glossier” compared to its fellow tracks, hybridizing the textures of 1989 (2014) and folklore, and functions as a “refreshing change of pace” inside evermore, whereas Courteney Larocca felt that it is a “Lover era message wrapped in 1989 production about overcoming her reputation mistakes”.

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
Fatefully
I tried to pick my battles ’til the battle picked me
Misery
Like the war of words I shouted in my sleep
And you passed right by
I was in the alley, surrounded on all sides
The knife cuts both ways
If the shoe fits, walk in it ’til your high heels break

[Chorus]
And I fell from the pedestal
Right down the rabbit hole
Long story short, it was a bad time
Pushed from the precipice
Clung to the nearest lips
Long story short, it was the wrong guy

[Post-Chorus]
Now I’m all about you
I’m all about you, ah
Yeah, yeah
I’m all about you, ah
Yeah, yeah

[Verse 2]
Actually
I always felt I must look better in the rear view
Missing me
At the golden gates they once held the keys to
When I dropped my sword
I threw it in the bushes and knocked on your door
And we live in peace
But if someone comes at us, this time, I’m ready

[Chorus]
‘Cause I fell from the pedestal
Right down the rabbit hole
Long story short, it was a bad time
Pushed from the precipice
Clung to the nearest lips
Long story short, it was the wrong guy

[Post-Chorus]
Now I’m all about you
I’m all about you, ah
Yeah, yeah
I’m all about you

[Bridge]
No more keepin’ score
Now I just keep you warm (Keep you warm)
No more tug of war
Now I just know there’s more (Know there’s more)
No more keepin’ score
Now I just keep you warm (Keep you warm)
And my waves meet your shore
Ever and evermore

[Verse 3]
Past me
I wanna tell you not to get lost in these petty things
Your nemeses
Will defeat themselves before you get the chance to swing
And he’s passing by
Rare as the glimmer of a comet in the sky
And he feels like home
If the shoe fits, walk in it everywhere you go

[Chorus]
And I fell from the pedestal
Right down the rabbit hole
Long story short, it was a bad time
Pushed from the precipice
Climbed right back up the cliff
Long story short, I survived

[Post-Chorus]
Now I’m all about you (And now)
I’m all about you, ah (And now)
I’m all about you (And now)
I’m all about you, ah
Yeah, yeah
I’m all about you (And now)
Yeah, yeah
I’m all about you

[Outro]
Long story short, it was a bad time
Long story short, I survived

General Information
ArtistTaylor Swift
Albumevermore
ReleasedDecember 11, 2020
Recorded2020
GenreAlternative
Indie Pop
Length3:36
LabelRepublic Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Aaron Dessner
ProducersAaron Dessner
Taylor Swift
EVERMORE CHRONOLOGY
cowboy like melong story shortmarjorie
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