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Only The Young is a promotional song for the 2020 Taylor Swift documentary Miss Americana. It was released on January 31, 2020.

Meaning and Background

"I wrote it after the midterm elections, when there were so many young people who rallied for their candidate, whether it was a senator or congressman or congresswoman. It was hard to see so many people feel like they had canvassed and done everything and tried so hard. I saw a lot of young people’s hopes dashed. And I found that to be particularly tragic, because young people are the people who feel the worst effects of gun violence, and student loans and trying to figure out how to start their lives and how to pay their bills, and climate change, and are we going to war — all these horrific situations that we find ourselves facing right now. I was really upset about Tennessee going the way that it did, obviously. And so I just wanted to write a song about it. I didn’t know where it would end up. But I did think that it would be better for it to come out at a time that it could maybe hopefully stoke some fires politically and maybe engage younger people to form their own views, break away from the pack, and not feel like they need to vote exactly the same way that people in their town are voting."

- Taylor about Only The Young[1]

"Lyrically, that song has got so many gut punches in it — just really important lines, I feel. As that song was coming together and we were realizing what it was saying, it was a very emotional aura. The energy in the room was really intense. Knowing the way things have been going in the States lately with all these horrible shootings and everything, for her to be saying these things made it all the more powerful. Production-wise, that was a fun one. There’s, like, a kids’ choir, and that’s just my two daughters, stepped up over the top of each other singing harmonies with themselves. I had to do it in a way where they weren’t allowed to know that they were singing on a Taylor Swift song, obviously, because there’s a lot of secrecy involved with all this stuff. So I had to sing the parts in a kid’s voice and then get them to sing over the top. They actually don’t even know that it’s going to be in the documentary yet, so I’m excited for them to hear it"

- Joel Little about Only The Young[2]

Trivia

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
It keeps me awake, the look on your face
The moment you heard the news
You're screaming inside and frozen in time
You did all that you could do
The game was rigged, the ref got tricked
The wrong ones think they’re right
You were outnumbered this time

[Chorus]
But only the young, only the young
Only the young, only the young
Can run
Can run
So run, and run, and run

[Verse 2]
So every day now
You brace for the sound you've only heard on TV
You go to class, scared
Wondering where the best hiding spot would be
And the big bad man and his big bad clan
Their hands are stained with red
Oh, how quickly they forget

[Pre-Chorus]
They aren't gonna help us
Too busy helping themselves
They aren't gonna change this
We gotta do it ourselves
They think that it's over
But it's just begun

[Chorus]
Only one thing can save us
Only the young (Only the young)
Only the young (Only the young)
Only the young (Only the young)
Only the young
Only the young (Only the young)
Only the young (Only the young)
Only the young (Only the young)
Only the young
Only the young (Only the young; Don't say you're too tired to fight)
Only the young (Only the young; It's just a matter of time)
Only the young (Only the young; Up there's the finish line)
Only the young
Can run

[Post-Chorus]
Don't say you're too tired to fight
It's just a matter of time (Can run)
Up there's the finish line (So run, and run, and run)
Don't say you're too tired to fight
It's just a matter of time (So run)
Up there's the finish line (And run, and run, and run)

[Outro]
Only the young
Only the young
Only the young


Videos

References

  1. Taylor Swift on Her Politically Inspired New Song, 'Only the Young' - Variety - https://variety.com/2020/music/news/taylor-swift-political-song-documentary-miss-americana-1203473948/
  2. Taylor Swift on Her Politically Inspired New Song, 'Only the Young' - Variety - https://variety.com/2020/music/news/taylor-swift-political-song-documentary-miss-americana-1203473948/
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