Long Live (Taylor Swift song)

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"Long Live"
Song by Taylor Swift
from the album Speak Now
ReleasedSeptember 12, 2010 (2010-09-12)
  • Taylor Swift
Music video
"Long Live" on YouTube

"Long Live" is a song written and recorded by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift for her third studio album Speak Now (2010). The original version of the song was written by Swift and produced by Swift and Nathan Chapman, and serves as the closing track on Speak Now. On the strength of digital downloads following the album's release, the song charted at number 85 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.[1]

Background and composition[edit]

The song's lyrics celebrate moments of triumph[2] in the narrator's life, including collecting awards and being crowned (prom) kings and queens, and indirectly bring into question what others will remember of those times later on. Dave Heaton of PopMatters described "Long Live" as an "anthem of defiance", similar to Fearless album-ender "Change".[2] In an explanation of the song's meaning on her website, Swift called the song a "love song... written to my team".[3]

Musically, "Long Live" is an anthemic[2] power ballad with influences of country and rock music, particularly arena rock. A repeating guitar riff carries the song, while the chorus features a strong drum beat. According to the digital sheet music published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, "Long Live" was composed in the key of G Major and set in common 4
time to a "moderate" tempo of 92 BPM.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

"Long Live" received mixed to positive reviews from critics. Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone found the song to be heavy-handed but effective: "Speak Now peaks with 'Long Live,' a ridiculously over-the-top prom anthem with all the epic girl-group swoon of the Ronettes or the Shirelles, plus a guitar lick from Def Leppard's 'Hysteria' ... Yet when Swift sings it, damn if you don't believe every word."[5] In About.com's review of Speak Now, Bill Lamb referred to "Long Live" as "perhaps the most powerful song [on the album]", noting its effectiveness as an album closer, and listed it as #5 on its top five album tracks.[6] Comparing the song favorably to "Change" from Fearless, PopMatters editor Dave Heaton felt the song was somewhat generic, but that the ambiguity of its subject matter strengthens its appeal as an anthem. "It’s an anthem of defiance," he wrote, "where the defiant ones are gaining their energy from memories and story-making."[2]

Others were less receptive to the song. In her review for HitFix, Melinda Newman labelled "Long Live", along with "Enchanted", as "throwaways" compared to the sharper lyricism of other tracks, and suggesting these two suffer the most from "going on a minute or two too long".[7]

Music video[edit]

A music video for the single version of the song was filmed. The video is made to appear as if Swift and Fernandes are performing the song at the same time while connected via satellite, with Fernandes recording the song in Brazil while Swift performs the song during a show in the United States. Fernandes commented that "the idea for the video is for it to look like I'm here in Brazil participating in a Taylor Swift show in the United States." For that, several big screens showing Swift performing in a concert were used in the studio where Fernandes' scenes were filmed. Fernandes' parts of the video were filmed in one hour. The video was directed by Eduardo Levy.[8] Two days before the video's release, Fernandes stated that the video would debut in the Brazilian TV show Fantastico on Rede Globo.[9]

Live performances[edit]

Swift first performed "Long Live" on a performance at the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Allure of the Sea in January, 2011.

Swift also included the song as part of the regular setlist of the Speak Now World Tour, performing it on every tour date as the last song before the encore.

"Long Live" was also performed on selected dates during The Red Tour, The 1989 World Tour and Reputation Stadium Tour. On the Red Tour, an acoustic version of the song was played by Swift while she sat on red stool with her guitar in an intimate moment with her fans. Swift played the song also in an acoustic version on the last date of The 1989 World Tour, in Melbourne, Australia. On the Reputation Stadium Tour, Swift performed this song from the piano along with a mashup of "New Year's Day".

Paula Fernandes version[edit]

"Long Live"
Taylor Swift - Long Live (feat. Paula Fernandes).png
Promotional single by Taylor Swift featuring Paula Fernandes
from the album Speak Now World Tour – Live
ReleasedMarch 1, 2012 (2012-03-01)
GenrePop rock
  • Taylor Swift
  • Paula Fernandes[a]
  • Nathan Chapman
  • Swift

In 2012, a new version of the song was released as a single from the Brazilian edition of Swift's live album Speak Now World Tour – Live (2011),[10] featuring additional Portuguese verses written and performed by Brazilian recording artist Paula Fernandes. This release was a local hit, breaking into the top 5 on Billboard Brazil's Brasil Hot 100 Airplay chart.[11]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Tidal.[12]

  • Taylor Swift – vocals, songwriter, producer, acoustic guitar
  • Nathan Chapman – producer, acoustic guitar, piano, digital piano, banjo, bass guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, organ, synthesizer
  • Bryan Sutton – acoustic guitar
  • Amos Heller – bass guitar
  • Tim Marks – bass guitar
  • Tommy Sims – bass guitar
  • John Gardner – drums
  • Nick Buda – drums
  • Shannon Forrest – drums
  • Grant Mickelson – electric guitar
  • Mike Meadows – electric guitar
  • Paul Sidoti – electric guitar
  • Rob Hajacos – fiddle
  • Tim Lauer – piano, Hammond B3
  • Al Wilson – percussion
  • Eric Darken – percussion
  • Smith Curry – steel guitar
  • Paula Fernandes – featured vocals, songwriter (Brazilian Edition)

Track listing[edit]

Digital Download[13]
  1. "Long Live" (feat. Paula Fernandes) - 5:15
  2. Long Live (music video) - 5:19

Chart performance[edit]

Original version[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[1] 85
US Country Digital Song Sales (Billboard)[14] 13

Single version featuring Paula Fernandes[edit]

Chart (2012) Peak
Brazil (Brasil Hot 100 Airplay)[11] 5


  1. ^ Fernandes provided additional lyrics for the single release of "Long Live".


  1. ^ a b "Taylor Swift Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Heaton, Dave (Nov 29, 2010). "Taylor Swift: Speak Now". PopMatters. Spin Media. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  3. ^ "Long Live by Taylor Swift". Songfacts. Tone Media. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Taylor Swift "Long Live" Sheet Music in G Major (transposable)". Musicnotes.com. Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  5. ^ Sheffield, Rob (Oct 26, 2010). "Speak Now | Album Review". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  6. ^ Lamb, Bill. "Review of Speak Now Album by Taylor Swift". About.com. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  7. ^ Newman, Melinda (Oct 22, 2010). "Review: Taylor Swift takes on John Mayer and Taylor Lautner on 'Speak Now'". HitFix. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  8. ^ "Exclusivo: uma espiadinha nos bastidores da gravação do clipe de Paula Fernandes". Dec 18, 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-01-08.
  9. ^ "Lançamento do clipe de 'Long Live' será domingo, no Fantástico!".
  10. ^ "iTunes - Música - Long Live (feat. Paula Fernandes) - Single de Taylor Swift". iTunes Store (Brazil). Apple Inc. Archived from the original on April 24, 2012. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Chart Search". Billboard Brasil Hot 100 Airplay for Taylor Swift. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  12. ^ "Try the TIDAL Web Player". listen.tidal.com. Retrieved 2019-07-03.
  13. ^ "Long Live (feat. Paula Fernandes) - Single by Taylor Swift & Paula Fernandes". Apple, Inc. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  14. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Country Digital Song Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved March 12, 2021.

External links[edit]