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Stay Beautiful

Taylor Swift (2006)

“Stay Beautiful” appears on Taylor’s debut studio album, Taylor Swift (2006). It is a cute, heartfelt song about a boy she had a crush on in high school. It epitomizes young relationships, acknowledging that things may not work out between the two, but still enjoying the present.

Background and Lyrical Theme

Taylor wrote this song with her frequent co-writer Liz Rose. She has clarified that this song is “about a guy (she) never dated”. Speaking on the inspiration of the song, she mentioned that she has often been asked how many people she has dated, since a lot of her songs seemed to be based on different relationships. On her website, Taylor wrote:

«After hearing my songs, a lot of people ask me, 'How many boyfriends have you HAD?' And I always tell them that more of my songs come more from observation than actual experience. In other words, you don’t have to date someone to write a song about them. This is a song I wrote about a guy I never dated! Wow, right? [Laughs] This song is about a guy I thought was cute, and never really talked to him much. But something about him inspired this song, just watching him.»

Taylor Swift
The meaning behind the song’s secret message, “Shake n bake,” remains unknown to this day.

Lyrical Theme

Taylor revealed in a Speak Now commercial that the song is about her crush named Corey Robinson. “So, I suppose it all started with my first crush in 4th grade. Cory Robertson. Yeah, he liked the cool girl. She had straight hair. Little did he know, I was writing songs about him after school. Dreaming of one day becoming a country singer. Or maybe a poet. Or a professional basketball player. Well, eventually I found my way.” Before playing the song at a concert in 2007, she said:

«People always ask me, 'What's the story behind this? Who was this guy? Who is Cory?' Well, I'll tell you. I'll explain to you the exact inspiration behind this song, exactly how I was inspired to write it. I was standing in the hallway at school and this guy walked past. And I was like, 'Wow, he's really hot.' And so I went home and I wrote a song about it.»

Taylor Swift
Cory later moved away, so Taylor never got to tell him that she liked him. Instead, she openly expressed her feelings she wrote in the song when she performed it at her school talent show.

Misheard Lyrics

Taylor clarified that the way the first lyrics of the song are supposed to be read is:

Cory’s eyes are like a jungle, he smiles
It’s like the radio, he whispers songs into my window
In words that nobody knows


The way that line sounds on the album led to lots of confusion among fans.

Live Performances

In total, Taylor has performed “Stay Beautiful” 30 times. She often sang it in promotion of her debut album, when she was a tour opening act for many country music superstars from 2006 to 2008.

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
Cory’s eyes are like a jungle, he smiles
It’s like the radio, he whispers songs into my window
In words that nobody knows
These pretty girls on every corner
They watch him as he’s walking home
Saying, “Does he know?”
Will you ever know?

[Chorus]
You’re beautiful, every little piece, love
And don’t you know?
You’re really gonna be someone, ask anyone
And when you find everything you’ve looked for
I hope your life will lead you back to my door
Oh, but if it don’t stay beautiful

[Verse 2]
Cory finds another way to be the highlight of my day
I’m taking pictures in my mind so I can save them for a rainy day
It’s hard to make a conversation when he’s taking my breath away
I should say, “Hey, by the way”

[Chorus]
“You’re beautiful, every little piece, love
And don’t you know?
You’re really gonna be someone, ask anyone
And when you find everything you’ve looked for
I hope your life will lead you back to my door
Oh, but if it don’t stay beautiful”

[Bridge]
If you and I are a story that never gets told
If what you are is a daydream I’ll never get to hold
At least you’ll know

[Chorus]
You’re beautiful, every little piece, love
And don’t you know?
You’re really gonna be someone, ask anyone
And when you find everything you’ve looked for
I hope your life will lead you back to my front door
Oh, but if it don’t

[Outro]
Will you stay beautiful, beautiful, beautiful?
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful?
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, but if it don’t stay beautiful
Stay beautiful
Na, na, na, na, na

General Information
AlbumTaylor Swift
ReleasedOctober 24, 2006
Recorded2006
GenreCountry
Length4:00
LabelBig Machine Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Liz Rose
ProducersNathan Chapman
Chad Carlson
TAYLOR SWIFT CHRONOLOGY
Tied Together With A SmileStay BeautifulShould’ve Said No
Hidden Message
Shake n bake
Song Artwork
Live Performance
Official Audio