Taylor Swift simply doesn’t rest. With “folklore” and “evermore” both being released last year, you’d think she would be tired. Alas, “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” is released today, which includes re-recordings of her original second album plus six new songs ~from the vault~.
With a discography as massive as Taylor Swift’s, there’s bound to be some hidden Penn State nods you definitely never noticed before. I mean, she’s a Pennsylvania native after all! Let’s dive in.
’22’ — An Ode To Penn State Football
You thought “22” was for your birthday, didn’t you? Think again. This hit single actually captures the feelings of being in Beaver Stadium (if you can remember what that feels like).
“Tonight’s the night that we forget about the deadlines.”
That’s exactly what happens on a Saturday night of football, right? Taylor also describes the many feelings that might be running through your head.
“We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely in the best way // It’s miserable and magical.”
Whether you’re confused because you don’t actually understand football, miserable because it’s too cold, or happy because Penn State is winning, Taylor’s got you covered. Not to mention “22” is a very special number in Penn State football. It’s the only jersey number that Penn State has effectively retired.
‘August’ — Returning To State College
Those first few weeks of August and the last few weeks of summer are incredibly exciting. After being away for months, most people are thrilled to be coming back to State College. Thankfully, Taylor knows exactly how we feel.
“I never needed anything more.”
But wait a minute. Once we get here, we need to go to classes again. And suddenly we realize that we’ve left our summer go to waste.
“August slipped away into a moment in time // ‘Cause it was never mine.”
No, it never really was ours. I suppose we’ll just have to start appreciating the time we do have off.
‘A Place in This World’ — Getting Lost on Campus
The sprawl of campus has become so confusing that it even slipped its way into Taylor Swift’s debut album. It’s probably hard to remember not knowing the layout of Penn State’s campus, but at one point or another, we’ve all gotten lost.
“Don’t know what’s down this road, I’m just walking // Trying to see through the rain coming down.”
Even when it’s not raining, if you don’t know where you’re going, good luck getting there.
‘Love Story’ — Growing Up In An Ohio State Family
As we all know, “Love Story” tells the tale of a young girl who falls in love with another person that their father dislikes. At least, you thought it was that simple.
“My daddy said ‘Stay away from Juliet’ // and I was crying on the staircase // begging you ‘Please don’t go.’”
What if the young girl has actually fallen in love with Penn State and her dad says no because he’s an Ohio State grad? Of course, the happy ending in the song comes when the girl is accepted to Penn State and transforms her entire family into fans.
‘Style’ — Black Shoes, Basic Blues
Some people think this song is about Harry Styles, but we here at Onward State know the truth: It’s clearly about the Nittany Lions’ very traditional, very timeless football uniforms.
“And when we come crashing down, we come back every time // Cause we never go out of style, we never go out of style.”
Penn State football may not always be national championship material (take this past season, for example), but the team has always looked good whether it was winning or losing.
‘You Are In Love’ — Incoming Freshmen Touring Campus For The First Time
The Lion Ambassadors, Lion Scouts, and SMART are back to giving in-person campus tours for the first time since the pandemic began, and potential students are now able to see University Park in all its glory. Even with all the changes that this year has brought, Penn State is surely still capturing high schoolers’ hearts everywhere.
“You can hear it in the silence, silence, you // You can feel it on the way home, way home, you // You can see it with the lights out, lights out, you // You are in love, true love // You are in love.”
‘Long Live’ — The Penn State Experience In A Nutshell
College is supposed to be some of the best four (or five or six, we’re not judging) years of your life, and when you go to Penn State, those years are just that much better. Taylor may not have gone to college because she was busy, you know, carrying the music industry, but she must have been a closet Penn Stater growing up because she nailed these lyrics.
“Long live the walls we crashed through // I had the time of my life, with you // Long, long live the walls we crashed through // All the kingdom lights shined just for me and you // And I was screaming long live all the magic we made.”
No matter how you choose to spend your time as a student at Penn State, it’s something to be proud of, and you’ll be a Penn Stater for life.
As a Pennsylvania native, it’s no surprise that Taylor Swift had so much to say about Penn State! Now, let’s get her to the Bryce Jordan Center, OK?