This time, it’s personal.
More so than Taylor Swift’s other songs that are personal — about the men who routinely walk in and out of her life — her new song “Soon You’ll Get Better” is a plea for her mother to get a clean bill of health.
Her mother Andrea was diagnosed with cancer in 2015, went through treatment, and earlier this year Swift shared the news that the cancer is back. “Both of my parents have had cancer, and my mom is now fighting her battle with it again,” she told Elle in March. “It’s taught me that there are real problems and then there’s everything else. My mom’s cancer is a real problem. I used to be so anxious about daily ups and downs. I give all of my worry, stress, and prayers to real problems now.
And it should be noted that this 2019 ballad is something of a bittersweet prequel to her “The Best Day.” It was released a decade ago, but again, it’s an open-hearted ode to her mother. Only the tables were turned back then, and the tune was about how her mom was by her side when she needed her most.
The new song doesn’t have as much Dixie Chicks as I was hoping, though. I’m still glad they’re on the song, but I was imagining something with a little more of their fiddle/banjo/twang/sass influence. Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire and Emily Robison are basically just helping back Swift on the chorus of soon, You’ll get better soon/’Cause you have to. And they’re there for her in the bridge as well, which is where the perspective of the song shifts a little. And I hate to make this all about me, but who am I supposed to talk to? What am I supposed to do if there’s no you?
Reportedly when Swift has been singing the song during album release shows, it has not been easy and her emotions have gotten the best of her. In her YouTube live stream from New York City, she admitted that “Soon You’ll Get Better” was the most difficult song to write. Obviously.
“We as a family decided to put this on the album. It’s something I’m so proud of,” she said. “It’s hard to emotionally deal with that song.”
The Dixie Chicks shared the song on social media, and said they loved being a part of the project.