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Tied Together With A Smile

Taylor Swift (2006)

“Tied Together With A Smile” was released on Taylor’s debut album, Taylor Swift (2006). It is a song about a friend of Taylor’s who struggled with an eating disorder.

Background and Lyrical Theme

Taylor wrote “Tied Together With A Smile” in August 2005 together with Liz Rose about one of her best friends in high school. The reason Taylor wrote the song is sad, as it illustrates the struggles so many girls go through while growing up. On her website Taylor wrote:

«One of my best friends is absolutely beautiful. She goes to beauty pageants and wins everything. Girls want to be her and guys want to be with her. I wrote this song the day I found out about her eating disorder. It completely blew my mind, and this one was tough to write, because I wasn't just telling some sad story. This was real. This song is basically about the girls I know, and the difficult things I saw them go through. I've never seen this song as a lecture. It's really about how no matter what my friends go through, I'm always going to love them.»

Taylor Swift
The song’s lyrics explain how her friend is starving herself for a boy, and trying to fake her way through it. She’s only “tied together with a smile” and she’s “coming undone” and cries, but doesn’t “tell anyone”. Taylor offers some comforting words to her friend at the beginning of the song. She sings:

Seems the only one who doesn’t see your beauty
Is the face in the mirror looking back at you
You walk around here thinking you’re not pretty
But that’s not true, cause I know you

Live Performance

Taylor performed “Tied Together With A Smile” life for the first time in roughly ten years on her “reputation Stadium Tour” in 2018. Before she sang the song, she shared some meaningful advice with her fans, reminding those in the crowd that they’re not alone in whatever struggles they may encounter in their lives:

«One thing I have noticed in my life is you can never judge what somebody else is going through, even if they seem like they have it all together. [...] Somebody is maybe really beautiful or seems like they have it all together, maybe they have a life that you're really envious of. But I've learned that appearances aren't everything. Just because somebody looks happy doesn't mean they are. Just because somebody looks healthy doesn't mean they are. There's so much pressure on everyone these days to have it all together, to have a perfect body, a perfect life, to know exactly where they want to go with their life. I think the stress and the pressure of not being able to say that they're hurting has really taken a toll on a lot of people. So I'm just asking you, just try to be kind to yourself. Just know that there are so many people that are going through the exact same thing that you might be going through, whatever it is.»

Taylor Swift

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
Seems the only one who doesn’t see your beauty
Is the face in the mirror looking back at you
You walk around here thinking you’re not pretty
But that’s not true, ’cause I know you

[Chorus]
Hold on, baby you’re losing it
The water’s high, you’re jumping into it
And letting go, and no one knows
That you cry but you don’t tell anyone
That you might not be the golden one
And you’re tied together with a smile
But you’re coming undone

[Verse 2]
I guess it’s true that love was all you wanted
‘Cause you’re giving it away like it’s extra change
Hoping it will end up in his pocket
But he leaves you out like a penny in the rain
Oh, ’cause it’s not his price to pay
It’s not his price to pay

[Chorus]
Hold on, baby you’re losing it
The water’s high, you’re jumping into it
And letting go, and no one knows
That you cry but you don’t tell anyone
That you might not be the golden one
And you’re tied together with a smile
But you’re coming undone

[Breakdown]
Hold on, baby you’re losing it
The water’s high, you’re jumping into it
And letting go, and no one knows

[Final Chorus]
That you cry ut you don’t tell anyone
That you might not be the golden one
And you’re tied together with a smile
But you’re coming undone

[Outro]
You’re tied together with a smile
But you’re coming undone, oh
Goodbye, baby
With a smile, baby, baby

General Information
AlbumTaylor Swift
ReleasedOctober 24, 2006
WrittenAugust 2005
GenreCountry
Length4:11
LabelBig Machine Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Liz Rose
ProducersNathan Chapman
Chad Carlson
TAYLOR SWIFT CHRONOLOGY
The OutsideTied Together With A SmileStay Beautiful
Hidden Message
You are loved
Song Artwork
Official Audio