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Today Was A Fairytale

Valentine's Day Soundtrack (2010) | Fearless (Taylor's Version) [2021]

“Today Was A Fairytale” was originally written for a movie Taylor acted in, Valentine’s Day (2009). It speaks of a magical date. As a song originally released by Big Machine Records, it was included in the release of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) since it was written around the same time as much of the 2008 version of Fearless.

Background and Release

Taylor solely penned “Today Was A Fairytale” in the summer of 2009 and stored it away for a while. After being cast as Felicia Miller on Valentine’s Day, Taylor offered the song to the film producers for the soundtrack as she did not believe it fit on her upcoming album. She told The Tennessean in 2010:

«I wrote that song last summer, and when this movie opportunity came about, I reached back into my pocket and thought, 'I think this is perfect for the soundtrack. I hope it's perfect for the soundtrack.'»

Taylor Swift
“Today Was A Fairytale” was released as a single from the Valentine’s Day soundtrack on January 22, 2010, exclusively through the iTunes Store. “Jump Then Fall” was also part of the soundtrack. “Today Was A Fairytale” was re-issued as a single on February 15, 2011. By then, “Jump Then Fall” had already been released on the Platinum Edition of the Fearless album (2009).

Lyrical Theme

Like many of Taylor’s early songs, the lyrics of “Today Was A Fairytale” invoke a princess imagery, though they are driven more by sweeping emotion than specific, youth-focused imagery. Occasionally, she does interrupt the fairytale construct with modern day, by mentioning real world details like the time her date arrives or the color of his shirt.

Live Performances

Taylor performed a medley, which included “Today Was A Fairytale,” at the 52nd Grammy Awards. She also annexed the song to a revised set list for the continuation of her “Fearless Tour” in 2010. In 2013, Taylor performed the song acoustically during the Miami show of “The RED Tour.”

Critical Reception

The song received generally positive reviews from contemporary critics. Melanie Bertoldi of Billboard compared the song’s lyrics to those of Taylor’s previous singles “You Belong With Me” and “Fifteen“; she was convinced that “Today Was A Fairytale” would “help [Taylor] reach an even broader audience.” Brittany Talarico of British magazine OK! called the song’s refrains “catchy” and described the overall feel as “sweet.” Jody Rosen of Slate magazine declared “Today Was A Fairytale” “track of the week”, highlighting its imagery that, according to her, “sharpen the focus instead of softening it.”

Commercial Performance

On the week ending February 6, 2010, “Today Was A Fairytale” debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. This was due to the sales of 325,000 digital downloads, which broke the record for largest first-week download sales by a female artist previously set by Britney Spears’ “Womanizer.” It spent a total of eighteen weeks on the chart. “Today Was A Fairytale” additionally peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Digital Song Sales chart, and No. 20 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart. It was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for the sales of over one million units. On the week ending February 20, 2010, “Today Was A Fairytale” debuted at No. 1 on the Canadian Hot 100, becoming Taylor’s first number-one single in Canada. It also peaked at No. 3 in Australia, No. 29 in New Zealand, No. 63 in Japan, No. 41 in Ireland, and No. 57 in the United Kingdom.

Taylor's Version

Taylor released a re-recorded version, “Today Was A Fairytale (Taylor’s Version)”, on her re-recorded album Fearless (Taylor’s Version), on April 9, 2021. It replicates the first original version of the song that appears on the Valentine’s Day (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack). A second version of the original song exists as well, which features a slightly different instrumental and has more of a pop-oriented feel to it.

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
Today was a fairytale
You were the prince
I used to be a damsel in distress
You took me by the hand and you picked me up at six
Today was a fairytale
Today was a fairytale

[Verse 2]
Today was a fairytale
I wore a dress
You wore a dark gray t-shirt
You told me I was pretty when I looked like a mess
Today was a fairytale

[Pre-chorus 1]
Time slows down
Whenever you’re around

[Chorus]
But can you feel this magic in the air?
It must have been the way you kissed me
Fell in love when I saw you standing there
It must have been the way
Today was a fairytale
It must have been the way
Today was a fairytale

[Verse 3]
Today was a fairytale
You’ve got a smile that takes me to another planet
Every move you make everything you say is right
Today was a fairytale

[Verse 4]
Today was a fairytale
All that I can say is now it’s getting so much clearer
Nothin’ made sense ’til the time I saw your face
Today was a fairytale

[Pre-chorus 2]
Time slows down
Whenever you’re around, yeah

[Chorus]
But can you feel this magic in the air?
It must have been the way you kissed me
Fell in love when I saw you standing there
It must have been the way
Today was a fairytale
It must have been the way
Today was a fairytale

[Bridge]
Time slows down whenever you’re around
I can feel my heart
It’s beating in my chest
Did you feel it?
I can’t put this down

[Chorus Breakdown]
But can you feel this magic in the air?
It must have been the way you kissed me
Fell in love when I saw you standing there
It must have been the way

[Final Chorus]
But can you feel this magic in the air?
It must have been the way you kissed me
Fell in love when I saw you standing there
It must have been the way
Today was a fairytale
It must have been the way
Today was a fairytale

[Outro]
Oh, oh, yeah, oh-oh
Today was a fairytale

General Information
AlbumFearless (Taylor’s Version)
ReleasedJanuary 19, 2010
Re-ReleasedApril 9, 2021
Written2009
GenreCountry Pop
Length4:01
LabelsBig Machine Records
Republic Records
SongwriterTaylor Swift
ProducerNathan Chapman (original)
Christopher Rowe
Taylor Swift
FEARLESS CHRONOLOGY
The Other Side Of The DoorToday Was A FairytaleYou All Over Me
Single Certification
Single Artwork
Live Performance
Lyric Video
Official Audio
Original Audio