“Picture to Burn” by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift’s “Picture to Burn” is centered on the resentment the singer feels for an ex-lover after a bad breakup. This resentment probably stems from the fact that this guy may have initiated the breakup and worse, hooked up with a friend of hers afterwards.
Written while Taylor was much younger, she begins by concluding that she was deprived of the fantasy love story she always pictured because, well, the subject here was not committed to loving her that long. She also makes mention of the concept that usually takes place during breakups in high school – deliberately embarrassing an ex to make oneself look good.
The singer further clears the air in the chorus on how much she currently hates the thought of her ex-boyfriend and wishes to do away with him completely. She uses his old truck as a reference to all the things she was not allowed to do, while emphasizing that he broke her heart and wasted her precious time. The titular ‘Picture’ signifies that he’s now one of the many memories she has to get rid of.
The second verse gets even more intense as Taylor expresses her anger and desire for revenge. She plans to retaliate by possibly dating one of his friends to make him jealous, while cautioning him not to apologize for his own good. Basically, Taylor keeps stressing on the fact that she’s cancelled all possibilities of being with this guy and burnt all the bridges behind her.
“Picture to Burn” is based on a real experience in Taylor’s life
Although Taylor has not specifically named the one who inspired this track, she has admitted that it was about a particular guy she “almost dated” in high school. Apparently, she penned down those lyrics because she always felt bothered by his cockiness. Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports that the track’s lyrics are about Jordan Alford, her classmate from Hendersonville High School.
According to Chelsea Alford, Jordan and Taylor dated during freshman year, before he moved on to date and later marry her (Chelsea). She figured the song was about Jordan especially because he always possessed big old trucks, as was mentioned in the song.
Facts about “Picture to Burn”
This is another Taylor Swift masterpiece which was written by the singer and her songwriter friend, Liz Rose.
Like most of Taylor’s songs, “Picture Burn” was released by Big Machine Records on February 3, 2008, with support from Republic Records.
This track was the fourth solo from her debut studio album, and was produced by Nathan Chapman, who worked on most of the tracks on the album.
While speaking to Great American Country, Taylor disclosed that she was inspired by a guy she nearly dated way back in high school. According to her, the song summarized how she managed her emotion during that time.
After some public backlash, Swift was forced to change some lyrics of the song. The original had a line which says:
The above was later changed to the below:
Despite its controversies, the track performed exceptional well in many countries across the world. The song was number one in Canada, and peaked at number 3 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs in the United States.
Aside these achievements, the track peaked at number 28 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
In the US, the RIAA has twice certified this track platinum, whereas in Canada it is certified gold.
“Picture To Burn” earned Taylor an award at the SESAC Nashville Music Awards in 2008.