Liz Rose Chats About Writing "All Too Well (10 Minute Version)" with Taylor Swift

Liz Rose is nothing short of a songwriting powerhouse. Having written tracks for Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Lee Brice, Little Big Town, Dan + Shay, Zac Brown Band, plus an abundance of others, she’s gone on to win one Country Music Association Award, one Academy of Country Music Award, and two Grammy Awards. Her name might ring a bell as Rose is best known for her work with Taylor Swift on her early projects. Rose has credits on Swift’s eponymous debut, Fearless, and Red.

Most recently, Rose’s name has been added in the history books as “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” broke the record for longest song to reach the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. It was previously held by “American Pie” by Don McLean which has clung to the record since 1972, until Swift came along of course. Speaking of the track, Rose states, “First of all, it just blew my mind that she went back and pulled back all those pieces and put them back in. It was brilliant. I don’t know how she did it but I thought that was pretty amazing to take herself back to that moment.”

Rose recalls the moment they wrote it together. Swift had an inner monologue that continued to pour and pour. “When we wrote it, she came in and she just said, ‘I have all this stream of consciousness,’” Rose tells us. “And she just started singing stuff and we started: what would hit us the hardest is what would go in the song.” When looking at the lyrics that were added to the 10 minute version of the track, Liz tells The Nash News, “Those were things that were in there in her stream of consciousness at the beginning when she started writing it.”

Compared to previous songs Rose had written, “All Too Well” was a completely different animal due to the fast-paced thoughts Swift was having at the time of penning it and because of the heaviness it held. “It was such an emotional song and she had so many brilliant things coming out of her brain all at once. It was not a sit down and look at it and piece it together kind of song,” Rose states. “Taylor sat down with a guitar and just started singing stuff. Then she sat down at the piano and kept singing.”

Although the song was written a decade ago, Rose can vividly remember the day the two of them crafted it as she reminisces, “It was last minute; she just called me and said ‘I’ve got this thing and there’s so much and can you just come help me figure it out.’ It was a great day; it was a really great day. She’s just brilliant. She’s a genius.”

Liz Rose has written other infamous Swift tracks like “You Belong With Me,” “Teardrops On My Guitar,” her debut single from 2006, “Tim McGraw,” and “White Horse” which went on to be both Swift and Rose’s first Grammy win. Rose was also a co-writer on the new vault track from the 2021 re-release of Fearless titled, “We Were Happy.” When the topic of vault tracks is brought up in our conversation, Rose says through a laugh, “Who does that? Only Taylor Swift. It’s so cool; it’s just so great.”

Rose is one of the few who have had the chance to watch Swift evolve as an artist from her teenage years at a close distance. When thinking back to earlier times, Rose brings up a past memory. “I remember when she wrote ‘Our Song’ and we had been writing quite a bit and she came in and said, ‘I’d written this song by myself, can I play it for you?’ and I was like, ‘Absolutely.’ I was just like, oh my god that is so brilliant.” She goes on to add, “You know, I think Taylor has gotten better. And what’s so brilliant about her is that she didn’t have to go off the rails and change everything she did. If you hear a Taylor Swift song now, you can go back and go, she’s doing the same thing she always did. She’s just older and talking about older subjects. She’s grown with her material and she’s perfected it. She doesn’t reinvent herself, she just grows. And I don’t think a lot of artists can do that. They try to outsmart themselves and she’s just trying to get better and evolve and she continues to do it.”

When speaking about Swift, Rose reflects with utmost fervor and a youthful exuberance. As excited as she is for Swift and her work, it’s exciting to hear her talk about it.

She concludes her praises for Swift by saying, “She is a singer-songwriter performing artist icon. You can’t put her in a box. She’s a superstar.” With an endearing sweetness she adds, “And it’s so funny ‘cause I used to call her that when she was like 17, I’d go ‘Hey superstar.’ I’m so proud of her; I’m still in awe of her.”

Check back in later this week for our full interview with Liz Rose.

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