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It's Nice To Have A Friend

Lover (2019)

Infused with steel drums, “It’s Nice to Have A Friend” is a dreamy ballad on Taylor’s seventh studio album, Lover (2019). It talks about two friends meeting in school and ending up getting married.

Lyrical Theme

“It’s Nice To Have A Friend” recalls a love story of children growing up together and falling in love, similar to Taylor’s song “Mary’s Song (Oh My My My)” from her debut album, Taylor Swift (2006). The song is also a first hint of where Taylor was headed after Lover, setting up the narrative building and intimate sound she would be wholeheartedly embracing on tracks like “seven” and “invisible string” from her eighth studio album, folklore (2020). When asked about which song on Lover hits her heart the most a Tokyo fan event in, 2019, Taylor responded with:

«There’s a song on Lover about flashback and childhood. It compares childhood friendships to when you find someone to fall in love with when you’re older, called 'It’s Nice To Have A Friend.' It’s very nostalgic.»

Taylor Swift
Of note, the song’s title could be a direct reference to Taylor’s partner, Joe Alwyn. In its original German meaning, the name Alwyn means “Friend”. In the original English meaning, the name also means “Wise Friend,” while the old Teutonic meaning is “Loved By All”.

Production

In its three-part act, “It’s Nice To Have A Friend” sees Taylor giving listeners an insight into a close friendship-turned-relationship throughout the character’s childhood, teenage years, and adulthood together. It is, without a doubt, what Taylor does best: tying together a story that feels so intimate, you could be the person she’s singing about. With its stripped-down production, background singers from a Toronto youth choir mimicking the sounds of a church wedding, and Taylor’s dreamy vocals, “It’s Nice To Have A Friend” is one of Taylor’s most underrated but confident tracks; letting everyone know that she’s comfortable where she is and where she’s headed.  She told Billboard in 2019:

«It was fun to write a song that was just verses because my whole body and soul wants to make a chorus – every time I sit down to write a song I’m like, ‘Okay, chorus time, let’s get the chorus done.’ But with that song, it was more of like a poem, and a story, and a vibe, and a feeling. I love metaphors that kind of have more than one meaning. We all want love, we all want to find somebody to see our sights with, and hear things with, and experience things with. But at the end of the day we’ve been searching for that since we were kids! When you had a friend when you were nine years old, and that friend was all you talked about, and you wanted to have sleepovers, and you wanted to walk down the street together, and sit there drawing pictures together, or be silent together, or be talking all night. We’re just looking for that, but endless sparks, as adults.»

Taylor Swift
Regent Park School of Music is a community school from producer Frank Duke’s home city, Toronto, which helps children develop by involving them in music. Dukes sampled the youth choir because it generates income for the school’s youth program: “We made it so that the proceeds from the sales of the library go to fund the school,” Dukes told CBC in 2019. “Beyond that, when it gets sampled, money from sample clearances and the royalties – which could be long-standing and pretty significant overtime – would go and sustain the program.”

Commercial Performance

Upon the release of Lover, during the week ending September 7, 2019, “It’s Nice To Have a Friend” peaked at No. 92 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Usage in Film

A remix of “It’s Nice To Have A Friend” is featured in the trailer for the horror film M3GAN, which is scheduled for release on January 13, 2023. Taylor’s voice is distorted in order to give the song a chilling, eerie sound.

Lyrics

[Intro]
Ooh
Ooh

[Verse 1]
School bell rings, walk me home
Sidewalk chalk covered in snow
Lost my gloves, you give me one
“Wanna hang out?” Yeah, sounds like fun
Video games, you pass me a note
Sleeping in tents

[Chorus]
It’s nice to have a friend (Ooh)
It’s nice to have a friend (Ooh)

[Verse 2]
Light pink sky, up on the roof
Sun sinks down, no curfew
Twenty questions, we tell the truth
You’ve been stressed out lately, yeah, me too
Something gave you the nerve
To touch my hand

[Chorus]
It’s nice to have a friend (Ooh)
It’s nice to have a friend (Ooh)

[Instrumental bridge]

[Verse 3]
Church bells ring, carry me home
Rice on the ground looks like snow
Call my bluff, call you “Babe”
Have my back, yeah, every day
Feels like home, stay in bed
The whole weekend

[Chorus]
It’s nice to have a friend (Ooh)
It’s nice to have a friend (Ooh)
It’s nice to have a friend (Ooh)
(Ooh)

General Information
AlbumLover
ReleasedAugust 23, 2019
GenreIndie Pop
Length2:31
LabelRepublic Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Louis Bell
Adam King Feeny
ProducersTaylor Swift
Louis Bell
Adam King Feeny
LOVER CHRONOLOGY
ME!It’s Nice To Have A FriendDaylight
Official Audio