Taylor Swift has gotten more mileage out of tunes about her ex-boyfriends than Gloria Gaynor. Before she went pop, jokes about Swift’s songs practically wrote themselves. How could a girl that young have had more breakups than a whole juke joint full of rambling bluesmen, and managed to churn that into tunes?
In a recent interview for GQ Magazine, Ryan Adams got to talk to Taylor Swift, the woman whose 1989 album he completely covered and reimagined — to much critical acclaim. Just about the time Swift was finishing up her tour behind that album, here came Ryan Adams with his take on the whole thing. The best part about his release: it’s actually on Spotify.
The conversation between the entertainers quickly revealed yet another breakup story behind one of Swift’s pop songs. The story was unearthed when Ryan Adams asked Taylor Swift if any of her songs had ever come to her in a dream. Several songs and parts of songs have popularly been dream-induced material, including “Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones and “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Swift admitted that “All You Had To Do Was Stay” came to her in a dream about an ex.
“I had a dream that my ex showed up at my door, knocked on my door, and I opened it up, and I was about ready to launch into the perfect thing to say,” she told Adams. “And instead, all that would come out of my mouth was that high-pitched chorus of people singing, ‘Stay.’”
True to form for most dreams, it was pretty bizarre at the time.
“You go to say something else, and it’s just like ‘Stay, stay, stay,’” Swift recounted. “And I woke up and I was like, ‘Oh, that was mortifying, but that’s kind of a cool vocal part.'”
In the interview, Swift and Adams got to compare notes on what each was saying in a song like “Stay.”
Swift said, “My version of it is like, ‘All you had to do was stay. Sorry about it. I don’t miss you. And now you’re back.'”
Ryan adams, who did his version after an actual divorce, said he was implying, “All you had to do was stay. You broke my heart. That’s all you had to do.”
— E! Online (@eonline) October 20, 2015