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Teardrops On My Guitar

Single | Taylor Swift (2006)

“Teardrops On My Guitar” is Taylor’s breakthrough hit from her debut studio album, Taylor Swift (2006). It illustrates the unrequited love she felt for her classmate Drew Hardwick. She told fans that Drew would often ask her for date ideas for his girlfriend, and she would give him advice to be a good friend.

Background and Lyrical Theme

Written by Taylor and Liz Rose, the song is based on a true experience during Taylor’s schooldays when she had a crush on a boy she was friends with. However, there was no chance of him reciprocating her feelings as he already had a girlfriend whom he was madly in love with. He used to tell Taylor all about her and was completely unaware of her feelings. She told fans during an acoustic performance:

«This is a song that I wrote about a guy who went to school with me, and I was that ‘friend,’ you know, that girl who’s your friend. He had this awesome girlfriend who he would tell me about every single day. And, you know, I was that girl that he would go to and be like, ‘What should I get her for Valentine’s Day? I have to make this Valentine’s Day so awesome! It’s her birthday, what should I do? What would the perfect gift for a girl be?’ And of course I’d give him the most awesome ideas, awesome plans, like I would want them! And it didn’t end up like in the end of the chick-flick where they get together in the end. It didn’t happen like that. So I wrote a song and I put it out on the radio, and they’re still together! […] I think right under his driver’s license where it says ‘Drew Hardwick’ it says, ‘Taylor wrote a song about me.’ But I haven’t talked to him in a while, I haven’t talked to him for probably a year and a half, but I’ve heard through the grape vine that he’s very well aware of [the song.] But, you know, it’s crazy how having a top five hit with a song won’t get you over somebody.»

Taylor Swift

Music Video

The song’s music video was directed by Trey Fanjoy and features Taylor as she sees her love interest develop a relationship with another female. Two fans who won a contest to spend the day with Taylor got to see the video on her tour bus before it was released.

Critical Reception

Taylor was 17 when the song was released (it was her second single, following “Tim McGraw“). She became the first teen country star to make a major crossover into the pop charts since LeAnn Rimes. This seemed like a pretty big deal at the time, but her pop breakout was just one step in Taylor’s journey toward becoming one of the biggest stars of all time. Critics received the track generally positively, complimenting Taylor’s vocal delivery and songwriting style. “Teardrops On My Guitar” won the prestigious “Song of the Year” award at the 2008 Annual BMI Country Awards. It was honored for receiving more airplay in the past year than any other country song.

Commercial Performance

“Teardrops On My Guitar” is considered to be Taylor’s breakthrough single, as it spread her popularity throughout the United States, peaking at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the best-charting single from Taylor Swift on the chart, and being Taylor’s debut entry on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 charts.

The Sad Ending to the Story

Years afterwards, Drew appeared at Taylor’s house, but she rejected him. She went on to explain what happened:

«About two years after the album came out in the States he showed up in my driveway. Apparently, he and his girlfriend had broken up so that was his first stop when he was back in town. I was like, 'You are so late, y'know. If you'd stopped by right after the album came out then that would be one thing, but…I remember reading on his MySpace page one time, 'My name's Drew and I have a famous song written about me. Email me and I'll give you details.' I was like, 'Right, wow, note taken.'»

Taylor Swift
In 2015, Drew and his wife Joni were arrested in Hendersonville, Tennessee, on charges of child abuse.


[Verse 1]
Drew looks at me, I fake a smile so he won’t see
That I want and I’m needing everything that we should be
I’ll bet she’s beautiful, that girl he talks about
And she’s got everything that I have to live without

[Verse 2]
Drew talks to me, I laugh ’cause it’s just so funny
That I can’t even see anyone when he’s with me
He says he’s so in love, he’s finally got it right
I wonder if he knows he’s all I think about at night

He’s the reason for the teardrops on my guitar
The only thing that keeps me wishing on a wishing star
He’s the song in the car I keep singing, don’t know why I do

[Verse 3]
Drew walks by me, can he tell that I can’t breathe?
And there he goes, so perfectly
The kind of flawless I wish I could be
She’d better hold him tight, give him all her love
Look in those beautiful eyes and know she’s lucky ’cause

He’s the reason for the teardrops on my guitar
The only thing that keeps me wishing on a wishing star
He’s the song in the car I keep singing, don’t know why I do

So I drive home alone, as I turn out the light
I’ll put his picture down and maybe get some sleep tonight

[Chorus Variation]
‘Cause he’s the reason for the teardrops on my guitar
The only one who’s got enough of me to break my heart
He’s the song in the car I keep singing, don’t know why I do

He’s the time taken up, but there’s never enough
And he’s all that I need to fall into
Drew looks at me, I fake a smile so he won’t see

General Information
AlbumTaylor Swift
ReleasedOctober 24, 2006
StudioSound Cottage (Nashville)
GenreCountry Pop
LabelBig Machine Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Liz Rose
ProducerNathan Chapman
Picture to BurnTeardrops On My GuitarA Place In This World
Single Certification
Hidden Message
He will never know
Single Artwork
Music Video
Live Performance
Radio Single Remix
Pop Version
International Mix