OFFSTAGE: Taylor Swift Rewrites Sugarland’s “Baby Girl,” on Her Arm

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

I don’t know why she didn’t think of this one sooner. Of all the lyrics Taylor Swift has been scrawling all over her left arm — from her shoulder to her wrist — on her current tour, the one she chose for Sunday (June 12) night’s CMA Music Festival show was just so her. Well, it was so Sugarland. But it really does suit Swift well. It was a line from their debut hit, “Baby Girl.” So Swift had “Remember me in ribbons and curls, love your baby girl.” It was a killer song in 2004 and is still such a potent idea. One about how all the hopefulness in a young singer — who might get so rich one day — will never change the fact that she will still always be her mom and dad’s baby girl. And for Swift, who has made that song come true since she moved to Nashville as a teenager, it makes so much sense. Because no matter how fabulous her dress is, no matter how flawless her eyeliner is, no matter how cascading her curls are, Swift looks so good in lyrics. Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles apparently agrees, too. After finding out Taylor had written the lyrics on her arm, she said, “Much like tattoos, the body is not only a canvas but also a billboard for what’s in our hearts. She clearly knows this. I love that she relates to that song! She has realized and is living that dream! Play on, lady!” (Thanks to David B. from Pittsburgh, my Twitter follower, for being the very first one to decipher Swift’s arm lyrics.)

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.