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This Is Really Happening

Unreleased | Country Strong (Britni Hoover Album) | 2007

“This Is Really Happening” is one of Taylor’s early unreleased songs, co-written by her and Blu Sanders while she was signed with Sony. The song was sold to country music artist Britni Hoover, who recorded it for her 2007 album, Country Strong.

Background

Blu Sanders has a first hand account of writing the song with a young Taylor. He recalled the writing session for “This Is Really Happening” as follows:

«If I remember correctly, she came in with the first couple of lines which I thought were some pretty heavy lyrics for a 14-year-old. I was a bit intimidated, frankly. Guy in mid-thirties with confident teenage co-writer. People like to bash young, successful artists. Attribute it to their label, marketing, the target market, but Taylor was the real deal. I know first-hand that the girl, at a young age, before her first record ever came out, was more driven and focused than I’ve probably ever been. When I was 15, I was kicking the soccer ball around, not writing songs!»

Blu Sanders
Despite their differences in age, they soon found a winning formula with which to work together. Taylor offered the first few lyrics of the track, while Blu began to experiment with some alternative tunings and the pair also collaborated on suitable melodies until eventually the framework of a song came together. However, Taylor knew what she wanted in some regards from the outset. “I remember throwing chorus ideas to her and she was certainly not afraid to say ‘No’ to things she didn’t like,” Blu explained.

When the track took shape, it was called “Is This Really Happening” and became an ode to a love affair that seemed almost too good to be true. “It’s about being in a relationship or a moment with someone, and it’s amazing, and you sort of have to pinch yourself and wonder if it could be as good as it seems,” Blu added.

Remaining a Demo Track

However, while Blu connected instantly to Taylor as a writer, he wasn’t sure how to relate the teenage optimism that flowed through her work. “The challenge in writing with someone else is making [the lyrics] mean something to two different people with completely different lives,” he revealed. “I’m a jaded 30-something. If I had to guess, I’d say a teenager has more of those than I do. Maybe I need to rethink my approach!”

Despite spending several hours on the track, “This Is Really Happening” was never recorded by Taylor in the studio with a band – instead it seemed destined to remain an acoustic demo forever. The irony was that, just like the song Taylor had been picturing, the love affair was more of a fantasy than a reality and never really got off the ground.

“I still think the songs stands up on its own,” Blu declared. “I love the lyrics and I love the melody and I actually thought it was going to make her first album. But then I’d be [speaking to you] from my beach house, instead of my brother’s air mattress, if it did.”

Eventually, “This Is Really Happening” was sold to country singer Britni Hoover and released on her album Country Strong (2007).

Source: “Taylor Swift: The Rise Of The Nashville Teen” by Chloe Govan (Omnibus Press, 2012)

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
Beneath the chandelier of stars and atmosphere
Tangled like the roots on the ground, the windows opened up
The wind is blowing and we’re both not making a sound
It’s like I’m melting on into you
Give me a reason why we should ever move and

[Chorus]
Tell me you’ll never leave me
And I’m not crazy and this is really happening
That this is really happening

[Verse 2]
Could this be better?
You write me letters, though you see me every day
You tend to treat me like my name is up in lights
It really blows me away
Lock me up in a dark room and I still can’t take my eyes off you

[Chorus]
Tell me you’ll never leave me
And I’m not crazy and this is really happening
That this is really happening

[Bridge]
All those kisses up against your car
For all those wishes on planes we thought were stars
Memories like photographs
Oh, baby, here we are
Tell me you’ll never leave me and I’m not crazy and this is really happening
Oh, oh, baby

[Chorus]
Tell me you’ll always need me
That I drive you crazy and this is really happening
Oh, that this is really happening
Tell me you’ll always need me (Need me, tell me, baby)
That I drive you crazy (Oh)
That this is really happening

General Information
StatusUnreleased
Leaked2007
Written2003
GenreCountry
Length3:31
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Blu Sanders
Sold toBritni Hoover
Song Artwork
Britni Hoover Audio
Taylor's Leaked Demo