The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

“1989 (Taylor’s Version)”


Eight years, nine months and 13 days after the original release of the pop album “1989,” Taylor Swift’s global fanbase is buzzing with excitement. To many, these seemingly random numbers may appear to be a strange cause for celebration, but Swift’s dedicated fans know the significance of these numbers all too well.

Swift, born on Dec. 13, 1989, has referenced the numbers 13 and 89 throughout her entire career in both clear and subtle ways. From release dates to upcoming projects, Swift has embedded a large amount of symbolism within her work, leading her determined fans to decode her hidden messages.

In 2019, the master recordings of Swift’s first six albums were sold, resulting in her losing the rights to her musical catalog. However, Swift owns the musical compositions themselves, so in an effort to regain ownership over her discography, she decided to re-record her first six albums and dub them with the moniker “Taylor’s Version.” Each revised album includes extra “vault tracks” that were written at the time but were not included in the original collection release.

Swift’s final U.S. Eras Tour date landed on the ninth day of the eighth month, leading to rumors that she would be announcing “her version” of the best-selling album “1989” during the show.

As Aug. 9 arrived and Swift prepared to take the stage for the final Los Angeles show, tens of thousands of Swift’s fans poured into SoFi Stadium, filling each chair with friendship bracelets, symbolic outfits and merchandise. Fans filled the space with a powerful sense of anticipation as they hoped their intricate theories were true.

Sarah Segil ’25, who was at the concert, said she appreciates Swift’s calculated arrangements and how her hints unravel through time.

“I love how the puzzle [pieces] always fall together,” Segil said. “Sometimes it falls into place before [the actual announcement], and everybody figures it out, like this time. There [are] other times where, at the drop of the hat, something happens and then people look back and see all this long-term planning that went into everything.”

Swift included many additional signs that an album confirmation was approaching throughout her performance by repeatedly appearing in blue outfits, the signature color of “1989.”

Segil said the fans’ cheering increased with every new costume.

“In the Taylor [Swift] world, everybody comes up with these crazy theories about numbers and when stuff is gonna happen, and it was really cool to see [all the theories] be right,” Segil said.

After months of speculation and cryptic clues, the suspense was lifted when Swift confirmed the news of her fourth re-release in front of the sold-out crowd.

“There’s something that I’ve been planning for a really, really, really ridiculously, embarrassingly long time, and instead of telling you about it, I think I’ll just sort of show you,” Swift said as the “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” cover art appeared on the large screen.

Segil said it was amazing to witness the crowd’s reaction in-person.

“Being there during the announcement was an incredible experience,” Segil said. “Everybody went ballistic. Everybody was screaming. There [are] pretty big speakers,but you could hear the crowd over her.”

Eva Goldrich ’25 said sheis looking forward to hearing the revised music and continuing to support Swift’s career.

“I was very shocked and excited to hear about the announcement because 1989 is one of my favorite albums,” Goldrich said.

Segil said the atmosphere and energy in the room was unique and uplifting, making it a moment to remember.
“The show is just so insane,” Segil said.”There’s no other concert that compares in pure volume but also the culture around it,it’s just so positive. I think it’s very symbolic and powerful how she’s reclaiming her own name and her own music.”


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