- For the lyrics see White Horse (lyrics)
"White Horse" is the title of a song written by Liz Rose and co-written and recorded by Taylor Swift. It is the second official single released from her second studio album, Fearless. It is the seventh official single release of her career. This song is featured in the fifth season premiere of Grey's Anatomy, "Dream a Little Dream of Me".
"White Horse" became the first video ever to debut at #1 on CMT's Top Twenty Countdown. The song won two Grammy Awards for Best Country Song and Best Female Country Vocal Performance.
The song is a mid-tempo ballad backed mostly by piano. It is written in the key of C Major and in 4/4 time. Its female narrator tells of being rejected in a relationship. She uses fairy tale imagery to describe this, especially in the metaphor of her ex-boyfriend being a prince on a white horse, and by saying "I'm not a princess, this ain't a fairy tale" after realizing that the relationship was not what she had expected. "In the song "White Horse", you put everything you have into love and you get your heart broken," Swift tells The Boot. "More people have been able to relate to those songs; the ones that I wrote when I was really going through something terrible."
Swift also says, "To me, “White Horse” is about what, in my opinion, is the most heart-breaking part of a break-up – that moment when you realize that all the dreams you had, all those visions you had of being with this person, all that disappears. Everything after that moment is moving on.. But that initial moment of “Wow, it’s over” is what I wrote “White Horse” about."
According to Country Weekly magazine, Swift says she wrote the song within weeks of writing "Love Story". Swift said the guy from the previous song "reminded [her] a lot of fairy tales and Prince Charming." After she wrote part of the first verse, she placed a call to her friend, co-writer Liz Rose, to help her write the song. Swift and Rose had finished "White Horse" within 45 minutes.
The song has received favorable reviews from music critics. Billboard critic Deborah Evans Price said "The second single from Taylor Swift's top-selling sophomore CD is a beautiful, understated ballad that showcases her skill with a lyric and shines a spotlight on her signature tender, heart-on-her-sleeve vocals". Karlie Justus of The 9513 gave it a "thumbs up" review, calling it "quite a leap for the queen of the OMGeneration. It's a direct rebuttal to her previous single's happy-ever-after ideal, down to shared references of grand staircases, princesses, and fairytale romances... Although Swift has dealt with themes of rejection and loss before, the results have never been this mature or realistic." Country Universe gave the song an A-. reviewer Kevin J. Coyne said, "Swift effectively uses the standard imagery of the prince on a white horse, and there’s just something about the fairy tale not coming true that makes it feel a little more country and a lot more relevant than “Love Story.” It’s worth noting that this is the best that Swift has sounded on record so far, and the understated vocal serves her well."
Hidden message: All I ever wanted was the truth
This was her last video to date to be directed by Trey Fanjoy. As the video begins, Swift is leaning against the wall and crying. In a flashback, her boyfriend (played by actor Stephen Colletti, of Laguna Beach and One Tree Hill fame) has called her, attempting to make amends and begging for a second chance, but she does not respond. The video then presents the couple in a happy teen-aged relationship.
Later, Swift tells a friend (played by actress Teah Spears) how wonderful this boy is and that he is the best thing to have happened to her. Her friend does not share the same enthusiasm, explaining "there's something you should know about him." The explanation was that the young man has been in another relationship for years. Swift then walks to her boyfriend's house to see his girlfriend there; she leaves, horrified while he tries to explain and apologize. In the end, the boy asks for another chance. Showing he left his other girlfriend. After a quick-zoom montage of the couple's relationship, Swift admits that she still loves him, but denies his request; after hanging up before he can argue, she uncontrollably breaks down.
"White Horse" became Swift's third single to miss the top spot, and eventually peaked inside the Top 3 (The others were "Teardrops on My Guitar" which peaked at number two and "Picture to Burn" which peaked at number three), peaked at #2 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs for the week of April 11, 2009, and peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Swift's second Top 20 hit from her sophomore album and 5th Top 20 hit overall. It will be the third official single release for Taylor Swift in New Zealand. The single was certified platinum by the RIAA for shipments of 1 million copies.
|U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs||2|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||13|
|U.S. Billboard Pop 100||23|
|Canadian Radio & Records Country Singles||5|
|Canadian Hot 100||43|
|Australian ARIA Singles||41|
Awards and nominations
“White Horse” has received five awards from five nominations.
|BMI Country Awards||2010||Publisher of the Year||Won|
|BMI Country Awards||2010||Award-Winning Songs||Won|
|Grammy Awards||2010||Best Female Country Vocal Performance||Won|
|Grammy Awards||2010||Best Country Song||Won|
|SESAC Nashville Music Awards||2009||Country Performance Activity Awards||Won|
- Taylor Swift's Song White Horse on Greys Anatomy.
- "The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards Nominees List", Grammy.com, December 2, 2009.
- Conaway, Alanna (2009-06-01). "Story Behind the Song: Love Story—Chapter 2". Country Weekly 16 (16): 21.
- Justus, Karlie (2008-12-05). "Taylor Swift - "White Horse"". The 9513. http://www.the9513.com/taylor-swift-white-horse/. Retrieved 2008-12-07.
- "The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards Nominees List", Grammy.com, December 2, 2009
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- Chart Stats : UK Singles Chart Archive