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A Place In This World

Taylor Swift (2006)

“A Place In This World” is a song on Taylor’s debut studio album, Taylor Swift (2006). Taylor was thirteen when she wrote it in November 2003. During that time she was trying to get discovered in Nashville. If she had given her debut album a name, it would’ve been called A Place In This World. This was technically the working title until she requested it to be self-titled.
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Background and Release

Taylor co-wrote the song with Robert Ellis Orrall, one of her earliest collaborators. It was the second of nine songs they penned together. He revealed on his Instagram page that he originally recorded the song with Taylor, Angelo Petraglia, and Jamie Tate on January 15, 2004, along with “I’m Only Me When I’m With You” and the unreleased song “What Do You Say?“. That version of “A Place In This World” appeared on one of Taylor’s demo CDs and might be different from the one on her debut album.

During Taylor’s first year of her career, the TV station GAC filmed a documentary on Taylor and her teenage life for its series “GAC Shortcuts”. Taylor’s episode was called “Taylor Swift: A Place In This World.” A live recording of the song was released on the EP iTunes Live from SoHo (2007).

Lyrical Theme

“A Place in This World” is about the ups and downs of life, and trying to find out who you are and where you belong in this world. Taylor wrote the song about her dream of becoming a famous musician, knowing that it was what she wanted out of life, but was unsure whether or not her goal would be attainable. Her dream of being a country musician started when she was only ten years old. At the time, Taylor and her family still lived in Pennsylvania. She said, “I think I first realized I wanted to be in country music and to be an artist when I was ten, and I started dragging my parents to festivals and fairs and karaoke contests. I did that for about a year before I came to Nashville for the first time.” Taylor and her mom would travel back and forth between Wyomissing and Nashville, meeting with songwriters and record labels when Taylor was in middle school. The Swift family finally made a permanent move in 2004 when Taylor got offered a “Development Deal” by RCA Records. When asked about the song, she said:

«It was tough trying to find out how I was going to get where I wanted to go. I knew where I wanted to be, but I just didn’t know how to get there. I’m really happy this is on the album, because I feel like I finally figured it out.»

In her GAC documentary “A Place In This World,” Taylor said: “My big dream is to look out into a crowd of thousands of people and have them singing the words to my songs. That, to me, would just be everything I’ve ever hoped for. I want to make people feel things when they hear my music. I want to give a song to someone who is going through a breakup. I want to give a song to someone who loves someone and can’t tell them, a song for someone who has just fallen in love, and a song for people who are just living their lives.”

Live Performances

In total, Taylor has performed “A Place In This World” almost 20 times. She first performed it in 2006, most notably in her GAC documentary. The song was later added to her setlist for the promotion of her debut album, when she was a tour opening act for many country music superstars. It usually served served as the eighth song of her set. The song then wasn’t performed live for over a decade, until Taylor sang it on August 7, 2018, as an acoustic surprise song during her “reputation Stadium Tour” concert in Pittsburgh. When introducing the song, she said:

«I really haven't played this song in forever. And I figured since I'm back in Pennsylvania, I wanna play something that I wrote when I was still living here. There are so many people in the crowd tonight who are so young, you weren't even born when I wrote the song. It's a song that I wrote when I was living in Pennsylvania and I was travelling back and forth to Nashville with my mom. And I'd go there to write songs, or try to figure out how I was ever gonna get to do this. But we were trying, every way we could. My mom would pull over in front of a record label with our rental car, and I'd knock on the door of the record label and say, 'Hi, I'm Taylor, here's my demo CD. I'm thirteen.' And this is a song about not knowing if it was ever gonna work out.»

On April 22, 2023, Taylor chose to perform “A Place In This World” as the first of her two surprise songs in her set in Houston on “The Eras Tour.” The song was performed acoustically on guitar. This time around, Taylor shared how the song’s meaning had changed for her with time: “It’s okay if you don’t know this song, but if you do…you get bonus points. This is a song that I wrote when I was like 13 years old and it was on my first album. And I’m sure I related to it when I wrote it, but I think I relate to it more now, 20 years later. And I very rarely ever play it live, so I decided to play ‘A Place In This World’.”


[Verse 1]
I don’t know what I want, so don’t ask me
‘Cause I’m still trying to figure it out
Don’t know what’s down this road, I’m just walking
Trying to see through the rain coming down
Even though I’m not the only one
Who feels the way I do…

I’m alone, on my own, and that’s all I know
I’ll be strong, I’ll be wrong, oh but life goes on
Oh, I’m just a girl trying to find a place in
This world

[Verse 2]
Got the radio on, my old blue jeans
And I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve
Feeling lucky today, got the sunshine
Could you tell me what more do I need
And tomorrow’s just a mystery, oh yeah
But that’s ok

I’m alone, on my own, and that’s all I know
I’ll be strong, I’ll be wrong, oh but life goes on
Oh, I’m just a girl trying to find a place in
This world

Maybe I’m just a girl on a mission
But I’m ready to fly…

[Final Chorus]
I’m alone, on my own, and that’s all I know
Oh, I’ll be strong, I’ll be wrong, oh but life goes on
Oh, I’m alone, on my own, and that’s all I know
Oh, I’m just a girl trying to find a place in
This world

Oh, I’m just a girl
Oh, I’m just a girl, oh oh
Oh, I’m just a girl

General Information
ArtistTaylor Swift
AlbumTaylor Swift
ReleasedOctober 24, 2006
WrittenNovember 2003
StudiosCastles Studios-A (Nashville)
Sound Cottage (Nashville)
LabelBig Machine Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Robert Ellis Orrall
Angelo Petraglia
ProducerNathan Chapman
Teardrops On My GuitarA Place In This WorldCold As You
Hidden Message
I found this
Song Artwork
Live Performance
Official Audio
Live Audio
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Taylor Swift: A Place In This World