I think “Brave” is about Taylor Swift

3 Nov

The song was written by Bareilles and Jack Antonoff from the band fun., as the singer was inspired from the struggles that a close friend dealt with in regard to coming out as gay.  in 2011.[4] Antonoff described the song “as a real civil rights anthem at a time when there are no civil rights anthems and there’s a giant need for civil rights anthems.” [1]

Brave Lyrics:

You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up
Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
And they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down
By the enemy
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

Innocence, your history of silence
Won’t do you any good
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
See you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you

According to Bareilles, she wrote “Brave” to a friend who was struggling with coming out as an adult.  She said it was such an intimate story. Also, Bareilles says the song has a connection to Taylor Swift’s frequent producer, Jack Antonoff!  She added in the interview that he is known for all the incredible advocacy work he does in the gay community. [1]

I feel like this group of singers were all in the studio around the same time, touring, and being in festivals together.  I think Colbie Caillat and Sara Barellies have worked together and been in the business simultaneously so they probably know one another.  Jack Antonoff is in the mix, (bisexual) Jason Mraz was around at that time.  Maybe there was a posse’ of LGBT artists in this point in time.  And Taylor Swift was around…  Is there a connection between these artists, and maybe inspiration for songs?  I wanna say at least casually there must have been familiarity if not a group.

Preceding this, Taylor wrote a song believed to be about Emily Poe’s sudden departure from the middle of her tour.

Breathe” is a song by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, featuring American singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat. It was written by Swift and Caillat, produced by Nathan Chapman and Swift, it is the seventh track from Swift’s second studio album, Fearless (2008) [4]

Colbie: “It can relate to anyone, anything.”

Taylor: “It does, it’s never specific as to why, that’s my favorite thing about it, it doesn’t talk about why or who’s fault it was because sometimes the hardest time of when you say goodbye it’s nobodies fault. It just has to stop.”

According to Swift, “Breathe” is about having to depart from a someone, however, not blaming anyone.[1] Swift believed the scenario was one of the most difficult goodbyes, “when it’s nobody’s fault. It just has to end.”[2] Swift explained, “It was total therapy because I came in and I was like look, ‘One of my best friends, I’m gonna have to not see anymore and it’s not gonna be part of what I do. It’s the hardest thing to go through. It’s crazy listening to the song because you would think it’s about a relationship and it’s really about losing a friend and having a fallout.”[2] [4]

In 2008, Emily and Taylor performed together for the last time before Tay released her second studio album, Fearless. Emily says she was booted from Swift’s tour without an explanation, but there were rumors it was because Swift’s managers were afraid of their relationship ruining the singer’s fast-growing reputation [3]

Breathe Lyrics:

I see your face in my mind as I drive away,
‘Cause none of us thought it was gonna end that way
People are people,
And sometimes we change our minds
But it’s killing me to see you go after all this time
Music starts playin’ like the end of a sad movie,
It’s the kinda ending you don’t really wanna see
‘Cause it’s tragedy and it’ll only bring you down,
Now I don’t know what to be without you around
And we know it’s never simple,
Never easy
Never a clean break, no one here to save me
You’re the only thing I know like the back of my hand,
And I can’t,
Breathe,
Without you,
But I have to,
Breathe,
Without you,
But I have to
Never wanted this, never wanna see you hurt
Every little bump in the road I tried to swerve
People are people,
And sometimes it doesn’t work out,
Nothing we say is gonna save us from the fall out
And we know it’s never simple,
Never easy
Never a clean break, no one here to save me
You’re the only thing I know like the back of my hand,
And I can’t,
Breathe,
Without you,
But I have to,
Breathe,
Without you,
But I have to
It’s two am
Feelin’ like I just lost a friend
Hope you know it’s not easy,
Easy for me
It’s two am
Feelin’ like I just lost a friend
Hope you know this ain’t easy,
Easy for me
And we know it’s never simple,
Never easy
Never a clean break, no one here to save me
I can’t,
Breathe,
Without you,
But I have to,
Breathe,
Without you,
But I have to
Breathe,
Without you,
But I have to
Sorry (oh) sorry
Sorry sorry
Sorry sorry
Years later this happened:

…Speaking of “sisterhood,” you’ve been one of Taylor Swift’s many surprise guests on tour when you two duetted on “Brave” in 2013. [1]

Before she invited Bareilles to the stage taylor said:

“There’s a song that came out a few months ago, and I listened to it every time I had a bad self esteem day — which is a lot,” she continued. “This song is so beautifully written, it’s so original. It’s something I’ve listened to hundreds and thousands of times...” [2]

In the interview, it’s telling how Sara answers the following question:

Regarding “Brave,” you once said in a webisode, “It’s important to be brave because by doing that you also give others permission to do the same.” How do you react, then, to people in the limelight who are hesitant to come out but could potentially inspire so many people if they did?
(Sigh) That’s a really hard thing to speak to. Honestly, I understand both sides of it. Everyone is on their path, and I really believe that, at the end of the day, people are doing the best they can with what they’ve got. Not everyone is comfortable enough to step into a leadership position and you can’t really judge them for that.
I would love to see everyone step into this holy space of carrying the torch of bravery – it’s just not everyone’s role. If you make someone feel bad because they’re not (out), isn’t that similar to punishing them because they’re quote-end quote “different” in the first place? All of that is a form of judgment. I would rather hope that everyone’s doing the best they can and that eventually people feel safe to be exactly who they are. It’s just so hard. You can’t know what’s going on behind the scenes – why someone is as complicated as they are – and I just wouldn’t want to judge someone’s experience. [1]

 

[1] https://pridesource.com/article/73598-2/

[3] https://babe.net/2018/02/15/taylor-swift-is-gay-and-i-have-evidence-for-days-34274

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breathe_(Taylor_Swift_song)

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