The Connection Between 1989 (Taylor’s Version) & BBYO

November 7, 2023
Abby Bluestein

Charleston, South Carolina, United States

Class of 2025

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A very hot topic among BBGs and Alephs alike recently is the release of 1989 (Taylor's Version). Some teens around the Order are HUGE Swifties, others just like Taylor Swift’s music, and some only connect with the songs separately. Any way you look at it, Taylor Swift’s amazing songwriting can be interpreted in so many various ways. Oftentimes, these simple, fun lyrics can relate to different things on a much deeper level. They can relate to important aspects of your life; an outstanding topic I can relate her music to is my experiences and time BBYO.

First, in Swift’s massive discography is “Welcome to New York.” This song is all about moving to a new city and experiencing new things. This can easily be compared with all the exciting travels you get to experience during your four or five years in BBYO. Every year, you travel to a new International Convention location, attend a new summer program, and visit friends around the globe. Along with these amazing travels come so many new experiences. Wherever you go, you get to experience different cultures and make new memories, a key part of the theme in “Welcome to New York.” Swift is opening a new chapter in her life, just like your new chapter in BBYO.

Next up is a more personal connection for me, but also for many other teens around the world. I see the song “Wonderland” as a direct representation of a Perlman summer. As Swift’s lyrics state, “We found wonderland, you and I got lost in it, and pretended it could last forever.” This perfectly describes three or six magical weeks at Perlman. It is an experience so many teens find heartwarming and breathtaking, an experience that feels like it will and should last forever. So many people have heard of the Perlman magic, and “Wonderland” perfectly exemplifies this magic as you have found a happy place, a place that fills your whole heart. Finding wonderland is just like finding your experiences and best friends at Perlman. 

The final song that I will be diving into is one of the vault tracks from 1989 (Taylor's Version). This is a song that originally did not make the album, but now we get to listen to it and hear its wonders. This song is titled “Say Don’t Go.” While this song can have many interpretations, and mine certainly is not similar to Swift’s reasons for writing, I believe that it still holds great value. This song displays an ending, one that you do not wish to happen, but it has to. Whether it is the end of a summer program, regional convention, or IC, you will never want to leave your friends. The memories and connections you make with BBYO friends are something that lasts a lifetime. You will always be left longing for one more hug, spirit circle, or rikkud dance party. This is what makes BBYO so special, and even though it is sad, you should smile because it happened and not cry because it is over. Just like Swift says, you will always be left telling your friends, “Say Don’t Go.”

While Taylor Swift’s discography is vast, by looking at just a few of these songs from 1989 (Taylor’s Version), the connections between them and BBYO are both amazing and undeniable.

Abby is a BBG living in Charleston, SC and she loves to dance!

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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