I Know Places by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift’s first officially pop album has many hidden gems, but one of them is I Know Places, which was co-written with Ryan Tedder. On a musical standpoint, the percussion section in this song is on point. And the lyrics exactly capture the theme of many books from the past few years, young adult dystopian romances. Although it could apply to almost any dystopian novels you could think of, I think it is particularly apt for two novels, one classic and one new.
The Giver, along with it’s accompanying books Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son, is about a world where people have forgotten some of the most basic elements of human nature. Emotions. Colors. Delight in food. Even the changes in weather. That is, all except one. An old man stores all of the memories of the previous world, as much ugly as beautiful. When it is time to pass them on to Jonah, the next person to bear that burden, the old man and Jonah decide it is time to change. If you haven’t read it yet, I don’t want to give too much away, but you will see that the lyrics of Taylor Swift’s song are fitting. “Love’s a fragile little flame...they are the hunters, we are the foxes and we run. Baby I know places we won’t be found and they’ll be chasing their tails trying to track us down.”
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons is also dystopian, although it may feel a little closer to home. Set in the USA, seemingly not too far into the future, the government has issued five new proclamations, called the Moral Statutes. These dictate the proper family unit (mother, father, children), and prohibit sex before marriage. Seemingly benign at first, the citizens are unruffled, but soon after the exposition, mysterious disappearances have everyone on edge. Ember Miller, who lives with her single mother who had Ember out of wedlock, is taken and put at a concentration camp-like reformatory. Eventually ending up on the run with her old boyfriend who has changed after being drafted, Ember would probably be able to identify with “I Know Places.” “Lights flash and we’ll run for the fences...loose lips sink ships all the damn time...just grab my hand and don’t ever drop it...You know for me it’s always you…”