I feel rather self-conscious about writing another post about Taylor Swift, but I discovered her latest song, "Mine," last week (it's only been #1 for nine weeks now, ha ha), and I just really admire the writing in that song. In the course of two verses, three choruses, and a bridge, Swift manages to tell an entire story that conveys plot, backstory, character, and theme. Oh, and it's pretty catchy to sing along to.
In terms of plot, there's nothing especially original about the song - girl meets boy, girl gets boy, girl nearly loses boy, girl keeps boy. But there's an economy to what Swift includes in the story that keeps only the details needed to move the story along to its conclusion. Although she doesn't specifically say what the demons in the backstory are, she gives us enough that we can guess ("Brace myself for the goodbye, cause it's all I've ever known") what are her "parents' mistakes."
Ok, maybe the main reason I like the song is the line in the chorus, "You made a rebel of a careless man's careful daughter." I just think that phrase is put together so well. It has the antithesis thing going for it, but it also seems to me to capture a real sense of the character who is narrating the story. And there's nothing wasted in it - every word contributes.
If only I could write that well....