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Permanent Marker

Unreleased | 2006

“Permanent Marker” is one of Taylor’s many unreleased songs. She wrote it about a girl who broke her little brother Austin‘s heart. Two versions of the song are in circulation, a studio version and a live version with an added bridge.
Taylor co-wrote “Permanent Marker” with Nicholas Brophy, who also contributed to her unreleased song “Diary of Me.” Taylor eventually sold the song to American country singer-songwriter Mary Sarah. It appeared on her debut album, Crazy Good (2010).

Lyrical Theme

“Permanent Marker” is thought to be written in 2007. Even though Taylor wrote the song about observing one of her brother’s experiences, she introduced the song in concert as a situation she had herself, saying:

«You know when you have a boyfriend and he's got that ex girlfriend? And she doesn't know she's an ex girlfriend? That's what I wrote this song about.»

Taylor Swift

Almost on Fearless

For a while, “Permanent Marker” was intended to be the opening track for Taylor’s second studio album, Fearless (2008). Other songs that appeared on an early tracklist were “Tell Me Why,” “I’d Lie,” “Fearless,” “Dark Blue Tennessee,” “Sparks Fly,” and “Bye Bye Baby” (which was originally called “The One Thing”.) Taylor performed “Permanent Marker” multiple times while touring between 2006-2008 and confirmed that the song was set to be included on the album. It was ultimately scrapped from the final cut and was replaced by “Forever & Always” instead.

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
I know he loved you
A long time ago
I ain’t jealous of you
Just thought you should know
You were never good enough for him
Or anything like me
So you might as well sit back
‘Cause I ain’t trying to show maturity

[Chorus]
“X” is the shape I drew through your face
In permanent marker
Oh, yeah
Just like the mark you knew you were making
Who do you think you are?
To write on his heart in
Permanent marker

[Verse 2]
I found that picture
Of you in that green dress
Sure had a good time
Cleaning up that mess
He found 30 of the pieces
But he’ll never find them all
Tried to tape it back together
Now he knows to keep it off the wall

[Chorus]
“X” is the shape I drew through your face
In permanent marker
Oh, yeah
Just like the mark you knew you were making
Who do you think you are?
To write on his heart
In permanent marker

“X” is the shape I drew through your face
In permanent marker
Oh, yeah
Oh, just like the mark you knew you were making
Who do you think you are?
To write on his heart

“X” is the shape I drew through your face
In permanent marker
Oh, yeah
Just like the mark you knew you were making
Who do you think you are?
To write on his heart
In permanent marker

[Outro]
In permanent marker
Oh, permanent marker, yeah

General Information
StatusUnreleased
Leaked2007
Written2005-2006
GenreCountry
Length3:09
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Nicholas Brophy
Early Fearless Tracklist
Song Artwork
Taylor & Nicholas Brophy
Live Performance
Official Audio