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Long Live

Speak Now (2010)

“Long Live” is the last track on the standard edition of Taylor’s third studio album, Speak Now (2010). In the song, Taylor looks back at her career highlights, none of which would have happened without her fanbase and band, who the song is dedicated to.

Background and Lyrical Theme

“Long Live” was originally inspired by a moment Taylor shared with her band backstage on the final date of the “Fearless Tour” at Gillette Stadium in 2010. She had the melody for the chorus stuck in her head the entire night and wrote “Long Live” soon after. In a since-deleted post on her website, Taylor said:

«'Long Live' (in parentheses 'We Will Be Remembered'), is the first song where I've ever had parentheses in the title. Besides that, though, this song is about my band, and my producer, and all the people who have helped us build this brick by brick. The fans, the people who I feel that we are all in this together, this song talks about the triumphant moments that we've had in the last two years. We've had times where we just jump up and down, and dance like we don't care how we're dancing, and just scream at the top of our lungs, 'How is this happening?' And I feel very lucky to even have had one of those moments, nonetheless all the ones that I got to have. 'Long Live' is about how I feel reflecting on it. This song for me is like looking at a photo album of all the award shows, and all the stadium shows, and all the hands in the air in the crowd. It's sort of the first love song that I've written to my team.»

Taylor Swift
“Long Live” can be seen as a sequel to “Change“, which appeared on her second album, Fearless (2008). That song was about Taylor, and all the people who helped her get to where she was then, being the underdogs and them finally getting something right and winning. “Long Live” on the other hand is celebrating the huge success the underdogs achieved together since then. The “band of thieves” line is written about when her band Taylor won the award for “Entertainer of the Year” at the 2009 CMA Awards and she called her band on stage, even though they were all underdressed.

Live Performances

Taylor included the song on her setlist for the “Speak Now World Tour“, performing it on every tour date as the last song before the encore. “Long Live” was also performed on the respective last dates of her “RED Tour” and “1989 World Tour“. On the “reputation Stadium Tour“, Taylor performed this song on the piano every night along with a mashup of “New Year’s Day“.

Critical Reception

Rolling Stone included Taylor in its 2012 “Women Who Rock” list, which detailed “50 of the fiercest albums that female rock & rollers have given the world.” Speak Now came in at No. 45 on the list, whilst the magazine called “Long Live”, “the best Bon Jovi song Bon Jovi never wrote.”

Remix

In 2012, a new version of “Long Live” was released as a single from the Brazilian edition of Taylor’s live album Speak Now: World Tour Live (2011), featuring additional Portuguese verses written and performed by Brazilian recording artist Paula Fernandes. This release was a local hit, breaking into the top 5 on Billboard Brazil’s Brasil Hot 100 Airplay chart.

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
I said remember this moment
In the back of my mind
The time we stood with our shaking hands
The crowds in stands went wild

We were the kings and the queens
And they read off our names
The night you danced like you knew
Our lives would never be the same

You held your head like a hero
On a history book page
It was the end of a decade
But the start of an age

[Chorus]
Long live the walls we crashed through
How the kingdom lights shined just for me and you
I was screaming long live all the magic we made
And bring on all the pretenders
One day, we will be remembered

[Verse 2]
I said remember this feeling
I pass the pictures around
Of all the years that we stood there
On the side-lines wishing for right now

We are the kings and the queens
You traded your baseball cap for a crown
When they gave us our trophies
And we held them up for our town

And the cynics were outraged
Screaming, “This is absurd!”
‘Cause for a moment a band of thieves
In ripped-up jeans got to rule the world

[Chorus]
Long live the walls we crashed through
How the kingdom lights shined just for me and you
I was screaming long live all the magic we made
And bring on all the pretenders
I’m not afraid

Long live all the mountains we moved
I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you
I was screaming long live that look on your face
And bring on all the pretenders
One day, we will be remembered

[Bridge]
Hold on to spinning around
Confetti falls to the ground
May these memories break our fall

Will you take a moment,
Promise me this
That you’ll stand by me forever
But if God forbid fate should step in

And force us into a goodbye
If you have children some day
When they point to the pictures
Please tell them my name

Tell them how the crowds went wild
Tell them how I hope they shine

[Chorus]
Long live the walls we crashed through
I had the time of my life, with you

Long, long live the walls we crashed through
How the kingdom lights shined just for me and you
And I was screaming long live all the magic we made
And bring on all the pretenders
I’m not afraid

[Final Chorus]
Singing, long live all the mountains we moved
I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you
And long, long live that look on your face
And bring on all the pretenders
One day, we will be remembered

General Information
AlbumSpeak Now
ReleasedOctober 25, 2010
Recorded2010
StudioBlackbird (Nashville)
GenreCountry Pop
Length5:18
LabelBig Machine Records
SongwriterTaylor Swift
ProducersNathan Chapman
Taylor Swift
SPEAK NOW CHRONOLOGY
Last KissLong LiveOurs
Hidden Message
For you
Song Artwork
Live Performance
Official Audio
Official Live Version
Remix Music Video