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The Best Day

Fearless (2008) | Fearless (Taylor's Version) [2021]

“The Best Day” is a love letter Taylor wrote to her mother, Andrea Swift. It was a Christmas gift for her, put into a music video with photos and videos from Taylor’s childhood. The song first appeared on her second studio album Fearless (2008). Its re-recording, “The Best Day (Taylor’s Version)”, was released on April 9, 2021 on the album Fearless (Taylor’s Version).

Background and Lyrical Theme

Although much of Fearless is primarily about the challenges of love from a teenage girl’s perspectives, a few songs are about life lessons and family love. Taylor wrote “The Best Day” while she was touring in summer 2008 with Brad Paisley. She dedicated the track to her family for their support of her music career, the emphasis being her mother. She “The Best Day” and edited an accompanying home video without telling her mother so as to surprise her on Christmas:

«I wrote this song on the road and didn’t tell my mom about it. I decided that I was going to keep it a secret and give it to her as a surprise for Christmas. I wrote it in the summer and then recorded it secretly with the band in the studio. After it was done, I synched the song up to all these home videos of her, and my family. She didn’t even realize it was me singing until halfway through the song! She didn’t have any idea that I could possibly write and record a song without her knowing about it. When she finally got it, she just started bawling her eyes out.»

Taylor Swift
In an interview with Taste of Country, Taylor talked about how special her mom is to her: “She would just take me on these adventures and we would drive around and go to towns we’d never seen before. Those adventures and those days of just running away from my problems — you’re not supposed to run away from your problems, but when you’re 13 and your friends won’t talk to you and they move when you sit down at the lunch table, and your mom lets you run from those problems, I think it’s a good thing…my mom was my escape in a lot of ways.”

Live Performances

Taylor had to drop the touching song from her “Fearless Tour” setlist as her mother burst into tears backstage every time she heard it. Andrea explained, “She had to drop it from the set because I kept breaking down.” However, when Taylor has a show on Mother’s Day she always performs “The Best Day”.

Critical Reception

James Reed of The Boston Globe called “The Best Day” the best song on Fearless, opining that while on first listen, the song is understated enough to be unnoticed, “after an entire album of wide-open choruses, it’s refreshing to hear Swift tell her story simply. If the melody doesn’t stick in your mind, the message at least speaks to the heart”. In a Billboard 2017 retrospective of Fearless, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong wrote that storytelling is used to “tear-jerking, emotionally manipulative effect” on “The Best Day”, and that Taylor “looks back at scenes from just five years earlier with the nostalgia, wisdom and sap of a 40-year-old”, despite her being aged only 18 when writing the song. Slant Magazine‘s Jonathan Keefe called “The Best Day” one of the most charming songs on Fearless, comparing it to George Strait’s 2000 song of the same name.

Accolades

The music video for “The Best Day (Taylor’s Version)” won “Best Family Feature” at the 2021 CMT Awards. Accepting the honor Twitter, Taylor wrote: “I LOVE YOU MOM.”

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
I’m five years old
It’s getting cold, I’ve got my big coat on
I hear your laugh and look up smiling at you
I run and run
Past the pumpkin patch and the tractor rides
Look now, the sky is gold
I hug your legs and fall asleep on the way home

[Chorus 1]
I don’t know why all the trees change in the fall
But I know you’re not scared of anything at all
Don’t know if Snow White’s house is near or far away
But I know I had the best day with you today

[Verse 2]
I’m thirteen now
And don’t know how my friends could be so mean
I come home crying and you hold me tight and grab the keys
And we drive and drive until we find a town far enough away
And we talk and window shop ’till I forgotten all their names

[Chorus 2]
I don’t know who I’m gonna talk to now at school
But I know I’m laughing on the car ride home with you
Don’t know how long it’s gonna take to feel okay
But I know I had the best day with you today

[Bridge]
I have an excellent father
His strength is making me stronger
God smiles on my little brother
Inside and out he’s better than I am
I grew up in a pretty house
And I’ve got space to run and hide
And I had the best days with you

[Verse 3]
There is a video I found
From back when I was three
You set up a paint set in the kitchen and you’re talking to me
It’s the age of princesses and pirate ships and the seven dwarfs
And Daddy’s smart
And you’re the prettiest lady in the whole wide world

[Chorus 3]
And now I know why the all the trees change in the fall
I know you were on my side, even when I was wrong
And I love you for giving me your eyes
Staying back and watching me shine
And, I didn’t know if you knew
So I’m taking this chance to say
That I had the best day with you today

General Information
AlbumsFearless
Fearless (Taylor’s Version)
ReleasedNovember 11, 2008
Re-ReleasedApril 9, 2021
Written2008
GenreCountry
Length4:07
LabelsBig Machine Records
Republic Records
SongwriterTaylor Swift
ProducersNathan Chapman (original)
Christopher Rowe
Taylor Swift
FEARLESS CHRONOLOGY
Forever & AlwaysThe Best DayChange
Song Certification
Hidden Message
God bless Andrea Swift
Song Artwork
Music Video
Live Performance
Lyric Video
Taylor's Version
Original Music Video
Original Audio