OFFSTAGE: May the Odds Be Forever in Taylor Swift’s Favor

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

Friday (March 23) is the big day for most diehard fans of The Hunger Games. But to the music-loving diehard fans, Tuesday (March 20) is the really big day. Because it’s the day the film’s soundtrack The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond will be released. And Taylor Swift has two songs on the album, “Safe & Sound” and “Eyes Open.”

Swift wrote “Safe & Sound” with the Civil Wars, the alt-country duo, at producer T Bone Burnett‘s house. “The Civil Wars had a show that night in L.A. So they raced right over to T Bone’s house,” she told Rolling Stone. “There’s so many things he could’ve done production-wise to make that song bigger sonically than it is, but I think that would have possibly been a mistake. For him to have left the song as a lullaby is brilliant.”

As for “Eyes Open,” Swift played the sweet ballad of innocence over the weekend at her show in Auckland, New Zealand. “I was lucky enough to have two songs on that soundtrack, so I’m really excited about that,” she told the crowd.

Swift also told Rolling Stone that to get ready to write for the film, she read the first book of the Suzanne Collins trilogy in about two days. “I thought it would be an action-adventure type of thing, but it’s so much more emotional than that,” she said. (She’s right. From the way Katniss volunteers as tribute for her little sister Primrose in the Games, to the deep bond that grows between her and Peeta, this movie is full of emotions good and bad.) And she added, “There’s a huge amount of sadness.”

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