Timeless (From The Vault)

Speak Now (Taylor's Version) | 2023

“Timeless (Taylor’s Version) [From The Vault]” is a song recorded by Taylor for her album Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) [2023], which is a re-recording of her 2010 album Speak Now. She wrote it alone in 2009, narrating the story of an age old couple from the girl’s point of view. Presumed to be about her grandparents, Marjorie and Robert Finlay, Taylor emphasizes on the passion and certainty of fate surrounding their relationship.
This marks the second time Taylor mentions and details parts of her grandparents’ lives. She first introduced her grandmother on evermore’s “marjorie,” while paying tribute to her paternal grandfather Archie Dean Swift on folklore’s “epiphany.” The lyric video for “Timeless” contains several photos and videos of her maternal grandparents, either together or on their own in different points of their lives.
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Background

Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) marks the third in a series of albums that have seen Taylor re-recording her Big Machine catalog as an alternative for fans to listen to old albums that will not put money in the pockets of parties who purchased the masters to those records along with the label as a whole. Previous re-recordings were Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and RED (Taylor’s Version), both released in 2021.

“Timeless” used to be one of Taylor’s many unreleased songs, although it had never been in rotation. Taylor revealed the full track list for Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) on June 5, including “Timeless”.

Lyrical Theme

On “Timeless,” Taylor stumbles into an antique shop and creates a whole universe from the vintage photos of strangers she finds. The lyric video consists largely of a lot of photographs of her grandparents Marjorie and Robert, modeling a great love she believes would have happened in any era.

It’s one of her first and finest “Quill Songs,” as she once described her approach to antiquated stories and writing styles inspired by some of her favorite writers, Charlotte Brontë and Emily Dickinson.

Live Performance

“Timeless” received its first live performance acoustically on piano on July 14, 2023, in Denver during one of Taylor’s shows on “The Eras Tour.”

Commercial Performance

Upon the release of Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), “Timeless” debuted and peaked at No. 48 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the week ending July 13, 2023.

Timeless Fan Theory from 2017

“Timeless” used to be one of the fandom’s many possible names for Taylor’s sixth studio album. In August 2017, Taylor was preparing the launch of reputation. But before the announcement, rumors about the possible album name and tracklist spread like wild fire. One of the most plausible ones was that the album would be called Eclipse and the lead single would be titled “Timeless.”

All this stemmed from the fact that there was a solar eclipse happening that week. Taylor had just blacked out her entire social media presence and website, so the theories that something would be happening very soon kind of made sense. And lo and behold, just as the eclipse was about to get underway in the United States on August 21, 2017, Taylor posted a mysterious video to Twitter and Instagram (of a snake, the first hint for reputation). At the same time, her website changed from black, to white, to black again. Almost like…an eclipse. Moreover, even though Taylor’s Tumblr page only showed a blank page, every single color on her theme was somehow related to space. And last but not least, Taylor herself had used space imagery multiple times in 2016, e.g. on golden tattoos.

Along with the Eclipse theory, there were rumors that the lead single (and/or album) would be called “Timeless.” The domain name Timeless.com had been sold for $150,000 in 2015 and was auctioned again in 2016, and the seller of the domain name to “Taylor Swift” was someone from Denmark. The domain name was purchased for an undisclosed amount and was launched in the summer of 2017, with a title saying “Coming soon.”

Meanwhile Taylor’s official website at TaylorSwift.com had been completely blank together with all her social media accounts that were emptied of content in mid August. Some people even suggested that Taylor could have been the victim of a hack. Of course, her profiles had been wiped because the “old Taylor was dead.”

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
Down the block there’s an antique shop
And something in my head said stop
So I walked in
On the counter was a cardbord box
And the sign said, ‘Photos 25 cents each’
Black and white, saw a thirties bride
And school lovers laughing on the porch of their first house
The kinda love that you only find once in a lifetime
The kind you don’t put down

[Pre-Chorus 1]
And that’s when I called you and it’s so hard to explain
But in those photos I saw us instead
And somehow I know that you and I would’ve found each other
In another life, you still would’ve turned my head
Even if we’d met

[Chorus 1]
On a crowded street in 1944
And you were headed off to fight in the war
You still would’ve been mine
We would have been timeless
I would’ve read your love letters every single night
And prayed to God you’d be coming home all right
And you would have been fine
We would’ve been timeless

[Post-Chorus]
‘Cause I believe that we were supposed to find this
So even in a different life
You still would’ve been mine
We would have been timeless

[Verse 2]
I had to smile when it caught my eye
There was one of a teenage couple in the driveway
Holding hands on the way to a dance
And the date on the back said 1958
Which brought me back to the first time I saw you
Time stood still like something in this old shop
I thought about it as I started looking ’round at these precious things time forgot

[Pre-Chorus 2]
That’s when I came upon a book covered in cobwebs
Story of a romance torn apart by fate
Hundreds of years ago they fell in love like we did
And I’d die for you in the same way
If I first saw your face

[Chorus 2]
In the fifteen hundreds
Off in a foreign land
And I was forced to marry another man
You still would’ve been mine
We would have been timeless
I would have read your love letters every single night
And run away and left it all behind
You still would’ve been mine
We would’ve been timeless

[Post-Chorus]
‘Cause I believe that we were supposed to find this
‘Cause even in a different life
You still would’ve been mine
We would have been timeless

[Bridge]
Time breaks down your mind and body
Don’t you let it touch your soul
It was like an age-old classic
The first time that you saw me
The story started when you said hello
In a crowded room a few short years ago
And sometimes there’s no proof, you just know
You’re always gonna be mine
We’re gonna be…

[Final Chorus]
I’m gonna love you when our hair is turning gray
We’ll have a cardbord box of photos of the life we’ve made
And you’ll say,
“Oh my, we really were timeless”
We’re gonna be timeless
Timeless
You still would’ve been mine
We would’ve been…
Even if we met
On a crowded street in 1944
You still would’ve been mine
We would’ve been…

[Outro]
Down the block there’s an antique shop
And something in my head said stop
So I walked in

General Information
ArtistTaylor Swift
AlbumSpeak Now (Taylor’s Version)
ReleasedJuly 7, 2023
Written2009
StudiosRough Customer (Brooklyn, NY)
Electric Lady (New York, NY)
Kitty Committee (London, UK)
GenreCountry
Length5:21
LabelRepublic Records
SongwriterTaylor Swift
ProducersJack Antonoff
Taylor Swift
SPEAK NOW CHRONOLOGY
Foolish OneTimeless
Song Artwork
Live Performance
Lyric Video
Official Audio
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Marjorie Finlay

Robert Finlay