Music Monday: Taylor Swift’s “Safe & Sound”

I’ve got to level with you: the reason I chose this song from The Hunger Games soundtrack wasn’t because I was in love with this version. I’m actually utterly enamored of a cover by Halia Meguid, which can be found and downloaded from her tumblr, but tumblr is a tricky beast and I could not, for the life of me, get this post to imbed here in WordPress so that you could click play without having to leave my blog.

So you can listen to Halia’s version, no worries. But I had to ask myself: is the original all that bad? I mean, Taylor Swift is a super-easy target to make fun of, but I shouldn’t overlook the original just because people might think I have a secret cache of her music hidden on my iTunes. Spoiler alert: I don’t. I really, really don’t.

Resigned, I pulled up the video on YouTube and was surprised by two things: 1) this song also features The Civil Wars, which — if you remember Barton Hollow — made me extremely happy, and 2) the video for this song is wonderfully evocative and haunting, which is exactly how I imagined this song in my head. With only a teeny-tiny shout-out to The Hunger Games, the video itself tells a story set in Appalachia that feels just right, and it can mean whatever you want it to. It’s not often videos match what’s in my head, but this works beautifully.

Today you get two songs for the price of one: the original, and a lovely, haunting cover of it. I think my preference is still for the cover because it’s so much softer and sweeter, yet the original has some lovely harmonies that really speak to me.

Enjoy.

Like it? Love it? Hate it? Sound off below!

Reminder: Music Monday is about the music, not the videos. Videos are just the medium I’m using to share the music, and some videos aren’t actually videos at all. Enjoy the songs, but if YouTube forces you to watch some sort of advertisement before you can get to the music, please be patient.

3 thoughts on “Music Monday: Taylor Swift’s “Safe & Sound”

  1. I enjoy Taylor Swift’s music more than a grown woman should and I actually just watched the video for “Safe & Sound” the other day. I enjoy the original more than the cover because there is something so fragile and vulnerable in Swift’s voice. She really does not sound like herself here. I love the video as well and I was absolutely convinced that it must have been shot in Southwest Virginia because the landscape looks so familiar. I googled it and the video was filmed in Tennessee. I love that it was actually filmed in Appalachia. It’s a peeve of mine that so many movies try to pass Romania off as Appalachia to save money.

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    1. I can see your point out Taylor Swift’s voice. I think part of my problem is that I heard the Swift version, like, once before I heard the cover, so it was the cover that imprinted on me.

      There are a lot of areas in TN and VA that look super-similar! I think it’s one of the reasons I did not get homesick (too much) while at Hollins. What part of TN was it filmed in?

      And same here: Romania and Appalachia do NOT look alike. I hated Cold Mountain (the film) for that reason.

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      1. Granted, I freely admit that my taste in music is usually tacky and unsophisticated. The video was filmed in Watertown, TN. I can’t decide which annoyed me more about Cold Mountain–trying to pass Romania off as Appalachia or Nicole Kidman’s atrocious attempt to do a Southern accent.

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