Though Taylor Swift recently had a chaotic several days as her battle with Big Machine Label Group rages on, she nevertheless closed out last week on a high note — literally. Swift released “Beautiful Ghosts,” the song that she wrote for the upcoming Cats soundtrack. And yes, it’s absolutely stunning.
The song was created for the character of Victoria after it was decided that the movie should include at least one original song, and it’s safe to say the songwriting duo of Swift and Broadway legend Andrew Lloyd Webber nailed it. “There was an ambition and an aspiration to have an original song in the movie,” Swift said in a “Beautiful Ghosts” featurette posted to the film’s Instagram account. “Just very much this understanding of, like, let’s write the best song we can.”
But writing a song for the musical was even more challenging because, as Swift said, “You can’t write a modern lyric for Cats.” And since poet T.S. Eliot, whose work provided the basis for the songs Webber wrote in the original 1981 musical, is long dead, Swift took the reins. “If you can’t get T.S. Eliot, get T.S,” she said. “I’m here for you.”
This isn’t the first time Swift’s come through with an incredible song for a film soundtrack; it’s happened six other times as well. Let’s check out all the other tracks the Lover songstress has written for movies. After all, she’s certainly no rookie.
“I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” from Fifty Shades Darker (2016)
Cats isn’t the first big film Swift’s written a song for. In 2016, she dropped “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” with Zayn for the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack. Between the song’s sexy lyrics, Zayn’s impeccable falsetto, and Swift’s breathy vocals, the track was all that fans of both artists and the popular movie franchise could’ve asked for. And yes, the music video is just as sultry and provocative as the track itself, but who’s complaining?
“Sweeter Than Fiction” from One Chance (2013)
Several years before hopping on the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack, Swift wrote “Sweeter Than Fiction” for the British Film One Chance, a rom-com that was based on Britain’s Got Talent singer Paul Potts. The track can only be described as a bubblegum bop, and Swift told Taste of Country that she wrote it because she was so inspired by the love Potts’ wife had for him. “That was the story that hit me and really affected me,” she said. “I wanted to tell a story musically from that perspective.” It’s a song we should all keep on deck for the bad days because — trust us — it’s an instant mood-booster.
“Eyes Open” from The Hunger Games (2012)
One thing that Swifties will never forget is the pop star’s contribution to The Hunger Games soundtrack — and that’s because she wrote two songs for the album. Among them was “Eyes Open,” an alternative rock track about Katniss Everdeen and the importance of keeping a watchful eye in the Capitol, where she was constantly in danger. Although the song wasn’t included in the actual film, it was released as a radio single for everyone to enjoy, whether they watched the movie or not.
“Safe and Sound” ft. The Civil Wars from The Hunger Games (2012)
Swift also wrote “Safe and Sound” with The Civil Wars for The Hunger Games soundtrack. Unlike “Eyes Open,” this track includes more folk elements and, thematically, it’s a tribute from Katniss to some of her allies in the film, such as Rue and Peeta. The corresponding video is just as pretty and haunting as the song itself, showing Swift wandering through a cemetery in a long white dress before stumbling upon a mockingjay pin.
“Today Was A Fairytale” from Valentine’s Day (2010)
“Today Was a Fairytale” was special for a lot of reasons — first, because Swift was actually in Garry Marshalle’s rom-com Valentine’s Day, and second, because it sounded just like it could fit on her early albums. It makes sense why; it was actually written in 2008. After shelving it for a while and realizing it didn’t have a place on her LP, Swift offered it up to the soundtrack’s producers. And now that nearly a whole decade has passed, we can confidently say that we’re so glad she did. This is a song that simply needed to be heard.
“Crazier” from Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009)
Like “Today Was a Fairytale,” “Crazier” was not written specifically for Hannah Montana: The Movie. Instead, it was a song that Swift held onto until she could determine its fate. Then, when producers came to the then-country star asking for a country love song (the kind she was a total pro at writing), she happily turned it over. Oh yeah, and she got a movie cameo out of it, too.