Taylor Swift + the Dixie Chicks’ ‘Soon You’ll Get Better’ Is Stunningly Personal [LISTEN]
Taylor Swift dropped her new album, Lover, on Friday (Aug. 16), and a Dixie Chicks collaboration is among the project's 18 songs. Press play above to hear "Soon You'll Get Better," a hushed wish from Swift backed by harmonies from the country trio.
Lover's 12th song, "Soon You'll Get Better" is reportedly about Swift's mother Andrea's battle with cancer, a theory that's supported by the song's mentions of doctor's offices, orange pill bottles and illusions to the possibility of death. “There was a relapse that happened,” Swift told Vogue in a recent interview. “It’s something that my family is going through.”
"The buttons of my coat were tangled in my hair / In doctor's office lighting, I didn't tell you I was scared / That was the first time we were there," Swift sings atop an acoustic guitar to open "Soon You'll Get Better." The song finds the singer recounting her mother's optimism and her own tactics of avoidance: "You make the best of a bad year / I just pretend it isn't real."
"And I hate to make this all about me, but who am I supposed to talk to / What am I supposed to do if there's no you?" Swift confesses in the song's bridge. "This won't go back to normal, if it ever was / It's been years of hoping, and I keep saying it because / 'Cause I have to."
Rumors of a Swift / Dixie Chicks collaboration have been swirling since Swift released her "Me!" music video in late April. The clip features a painting of the Dixie Chicks among a wall filled with paintings of baby chickens wearing sunglasses -- a nod to the song's like "There's a lot of cool chicks out there" -- which many of Swift's fans took to be an "Easter egg" hinting that the country trio would appear on her new album.
Swift continued to drop hints that potentially pointed to a collaboration with the Chicks, while the Dixie Chicks themselves have been in the studio, working on new music with producer Jack Antonoff, a frequent Swift co-conspirator. The clues leading to a Swift / Dixie Chicks team-up trailed off in the lead-up to Lover's release, but a leaked track listing reported the collaboration before Swift's official announcement confirmed it.
Swift is a professed Dixie Chicks fan. During her 1989 World Tour, Swift even invited Maines to be her special guest at a show in Los Angeles, Calif. Together, they sang the Chicks' hit "Goodbye Earl."
"If not for this woman and her band, I would not have known that you could be quirky, be fun, be yourself, be outspoken and brave and real," Swift said that night. "I wouldn't have, when I was, you know, 9 years old, gotten my first CD. I wouldn't have dreamed the things that I dreamed, and I wouldn't be standing on this stage today."
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