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Brought Up That Way

Unreleased | 2004

“Brought Up That Way” is one of Taylor’s many unreleased songs. She co-wrote it with Tammy Hyler and tells the story of a widowed father and his daughter, Emily. It’s a bit a darker track for Taylor, but it does show the unconditional love of a father for his daughter.
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Background and Lyrical Theme

The song is based on a person Taylor knew in real life. It follows the relationship between a widowed father and his little girl as she grows up. Throughout her childhood and teen years, the father tries to protect his daughter Emily and raise her right.

But the song takes a very sad turn when news that Emily has been hit by drunk driver devastates her father. At the close of the song, Taylor paints the picture of the girl lying a hospital bed, with her father standing over her and she opens her eyes.


[Verse 1]
Emily comes home from school
Grabs onto her daddy’s hand
He says “Baby girl, what’s wrong with you?”
She says “Please don’t make me go back there again”
She said “I wish there was some way to make them stop it”
So he drives down to that principal’s office and says

[Chorus 1]
“I didn’t bring her up so they could cut her down
I didn’t bring her here so they could shut her out
I live my whole damn life to see that little girl’s smile
So why are tears pouring down that sweet face?
She wasn’t brought up that way”

[Verse 2]
Emily’s home late again
He sees that boy drive away
Oh, but something’s different this time
She doesn’t have too much to say
She said “He tried but there’s just some things I won’t do”
And through the tears she said “I couldn’t do that to you”
And he said

[Chorus 2]
“I didn’t bring you up so he could wear you down
Take that innocent heart and turn it inside out
I live my whole damn life to see my little girl’s smile
So don’t let nobody take that away
You weren’t brought up that way”

[Verse 3]
The phone rings on a rainy night, says “It’s Officer Tate”
He said “Sir, there’s been an accident
You better come down here right away
A drunken driver missed an overpass
And Emily, she’s fading fast”

[Chorus 3]
He says “God, I didn’t bring her up to watch them lay her down
Nearly killed me the day they put her own momma in the ground
Only thing that kept me alive was that little girl’s smile
So please don’t take that away, it won’t be easy taking her today
She wasn’t brought up that way”

He stands over the hospital bed
Emily opens her eyes

General Information
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Tammy Hyler
Leaked Demo Audio