Taylor Swift Performed At A Bar When She Was 13, And Other Fun Facts To Celebrate Her Birthday

For Swifties, this year has been the gift that keeps on giving. Words cannot describe the sheer power that this woman holds, and after witnessing the power of her dedicated fanbase throughout this amazing year, we completely understand why. Talented musical artist Taylor Swift is a household name that rings familiar to fans and non-fans alike. You’ve definitely heard at least one of her songs, and if you’re even a casual fan of music, you probably sang your heart out to “You Belong With Me” during your last karaoke night. Did we guess the wrong song? Maybe it was “Love Song” or “Blank Space”. Anyway…

In honor of her birthday season (hello Sagittarius season), here are some amazing biographical facts that you might not have known about the music star. But if you’re a die-hard Swiftie, we’re sure you know most of them already. Want to challenge yourself? Take a look at some little-known Taylor Swift fun facts below.

Taylor Swift Grew Up On A Christmas Tree Farm

Photo: Eva Rinaldi / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

Turns out, Taylor’s life has always been a fairy tale. She grew up surrounded by Christmas trees. Taylor says that “it was an actual Christmas tree farm. We had, like, 15 acres. It was really fun as a kid. I also spent my summers at the Jersey Shore, on the bay in Stone Harbor. I walked everywhere barefoot. It was just the most amazing, magical way to grow up.”Source: Philly Mag

She Comes From A Theater Background

Photo: Eva Rinaldi / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

Taylor Swift always belonged on a stage, but in the beginning, she was performing something totally different. Acting was her early passion, and Taylor said, “I started out with community theater, like local theater. I loved being on stage. I loved telling a story through words and music. I actually ended up going to auditions in New York for Broadway stuff.”She may not have stuck with acting, but her theater roots totally influenced her musical style: “What I ended up coming back to is, I always was just so obsessed with the storytelling in country music.”

Source: NPR

Her Song ‘All You Had To Do Was Stay’ Was Inspired By A Nightmare

Taylor’s songs are known for being extremely personal, but she isn’t just inspired by her real life experiences. The song “All You Had to Do Was Stay” on 1989 was inspired by a memorable and melodic nightmare.

Taylor said: “In the dream, my ex had come to the door to beg for me to talk to him or whatever, and I opened up the door and I went to go say, ‘Hi,’ or ‘What are you doing here?’ or something—something normal—but all that came out was this high-pitched singing that said, ‘Stay!’ It was almost operatic. So I wrote this song, and I used that sound in the song…In pop, it’s fun to play around with little weird noises like that.”Source: TIME

She Wrote Her Own Monologue For ‘SNL’, And Was The First To Do So

Video: YouTube

SNL writers create the monologues for all the hosts, but when it was Taylor’s turn to be on the legendary show, she made a mark all her own. She wrote her monologue herself,  called “My Monologue Song,” and it’s filled with references to her public image, from her high-profile breakups to her Kanye fiasco.
Source: Phactual

She Has A Lot Of Bankers In Her Family

Taylor’s father is a stockbroker for Merrill Lynch, following in the tradition of a long line of money makers. He’s a descendant of three generations of bank presidents, so the Swifts have been managing money since the nineteenth century.Source: Salon

She Helped Write A Song That Was Used In Lena Dunham’s Wedding

Photo: David Shankbone / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

As a bonus track on 1989,  Swift co-wrote a song with Lena Dunham’s boyfriend, Jack Antonoff of the band fun. and Bleachers. Lena and Taylor are very close, and Dunham says of her future with Jack:

“If we ever do get married, there’s no f*cking way Taylor is not playing that song.”

Source: Rolling Stone

Two Of Her Biggest Role Models Are Mariska Hargitay And Ina Garten

Photo: Joella Marano / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

When it comes to female role models, Taylor looks to other industries for inspiration. Two women that she looks up to are Mariska Hargitay from Law and Order: SVU and Ina Garten, the star of the cooking show Barefoot Contessa.

Of Hargitay, Taylor said, “I think she has a beautiful life, and an incredible career, and I think she’s built that for herself. She’s one of the highest paid actresses—actors in general, women or men—on television, and she’s been playing this very strong female character for, what, 15 years now, something like that.” Taylor even named one of her cats after Hargitay’s character on Law and Order!

As for the famous chef Ina Garten, Taylor said, “I really love her business, and how she sticks to who she is, and how people relate to it.”Source: TIME

She Originally Expected To Work In Finance

Photo: Eva Rinaldi / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

Taylor was supposed to carry on the family banking tradition, but clearly she took a more surprising route. Taylor said, “My parents were in finance. They thought I was going to be a stockbroker and go to business school and college.”Source: Wall Street Journal

Faith Hill Motivated Her To Move To Nashville

Photo: Airman 1st Class Jason Neal / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

Taylor begged her parents to take her to Nashville to further her career, but she had some inspiration first. A TV special on Faith Hill told the story of the singer’s success, which had been made possible by her move to Nashville. So the young Taylor followed suit:

“For spring break, we rented a car and drove up and down Music Row, handing my homemade demo CD to the receptionists at all the labels. I’d say, ‘Hey, I’m eleven, and I want a record deal. Call me.'”

Source: Teen Vogue

She Wrote A Novel At The Age Of 15

Photo: jazills / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

While the rest of us were writing Harry Potter fan fiction in junior high, Taylor was writing an actual book. When Taylor was just 14, she wrote a 350-page novel called A Girl Named Girl, about a mother who wants a son but gives birth to a girl.

Her parents apparently still have the book, and they can consider this an official plea to release it.
Source: GQ

She Performed At A Bar When She Was Only 13

Once Taylor knew she wanted to be a musician, she played whatever shows she could get, including one at a shady bar when she was only 13! Taylor recalls that “there was all these like rock-n-roll dudes and like biker guys. And I’m like, ‘This is a song that I wrote about the guy who sits next to me in class.'”

It almost sounds like a comedy skit. But Taylor thinks that she learned a lot at shows like that: “It was learning to talk to a crowd, regardless of whether it was the crowd that’s going to be most susceptible to liking your music.”

Source: CBS

Her Mom Chose A Business-Savvy Name For Her

Taylor is a nice name, but Taylor’s mother had some specific reasoning behind the choice. Worried that Taylor would be judged differently as a woman in the corporate world, she gave her a gender neutral name so that, at least on paper, her gender would not be identifiable. It’s the perfect business card name!Source: Kidz World

She Won A National Poetry Contest In The Fourth Grade

Photo: jazills / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

In fourth grade, Taylor won a national poetry contest with the poem “Monster in My Closet.” It went like this: “There’s a monster in my closet and I don’t know what to do / Have you ever seen him? / Has he ever pounced on you?”

She clearly already had a grip on symbolism and rhyming structure, which would serve her well in her songwriting career.

Source: Taste of Country

Her Music Influences Her Poetry

Photo: Ronald Woan / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

Taylor included a quote from poet Pablo Neruda in the liner notes for Red, saying, “When I read that line, I absolutely connected to it. I felt like my favorite writers have almost musical hooks in their work, whether it’s poetry or a hook at the end of a chapter that makes you want to read the next one.”Source: NPR

She Is Basically A Cat Lady

Photo: Marcin Wichary / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

Taylor has two cats, Olivia Benson and Meredith Grey, and they live the dream life following Taylor around her Manhattan apartment and flying with her on jets. She says that her clothes are covered in cat hair, and her phone is covered in cat stickers.

She’s even tweeted that “it’s a daily struggle for me not to buy more cats.” Godspeed, Taylor.

Source: Petcha

She Loves To Cook Breakfast

After sleepovers with her close group of girlfriends, Taylor loves to cook for everyone in her apartment. Her close friend, model Cara Delevingne, said, “She’s great at cooking breakfast.” Taylor isn’t afraid to brag about it, either. According to her, “I absolutely slay omelets.”Source: Vanity Fair

She Got Her First Guitar Lesson From A Computer Repairman

Photo: dephisticate / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

Taylor’s first musical instrument lesson came from a pretty unusual place. A computer repairman taught her how to play three chords on the guitar, and he must have done a pretty good job! If it weren’t for him, where would Taylor’s teardrops be?Source: IB Times

Her Brother Is Also Really Successful

Video: YouTube

Taylor’s brother, Austin, is a recent graduate of Notre Dame, meaning that Taylor is not the only Swift kid who excels. Since graduation, things have gotten only more exciting for him. He is starring in a thriller called T.I. alongside Pierce Brosnan!Source: Vanity Fair

Many Of Her Family Members Sing, Too

Taylor may not have become a banker, but she followed another family tradition. Her grandmother, Majorie Finlay, was an accomplished opera singer, and even bears a strong resemblance to Taylor. “She was one of my first inspirations,” Taylor said.

“The people around me provided all the inspiration I needed.”

Source: Taste of Country

She’s A Role Model And Takes It Seriously

Photo: GabboT / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

Taylor knows how many young people look up to her, and it’s a huge factor in her decision-making. She waited to drink until she was 21, saying, “If I do something reckless or thoughtless or careless, or I treat someone badly, that doesn’t just affect me; it affects that person…then, if that story gets out, or some 10-year-old sees that I did that in a news article… my actions do have ripples.”Source:US Magazine

She Watches ‘Girls’ (HBO) And Relates To One Specific Character

Photo: Girls / Warner Bros. Television

Much like the four girls of Sex and the City, the women of Lena Dunham’s Girls serve as prototypes for young women everywhere. “I could label all my girlfriends as Shoshannas, Jessas, Marnies or Hannahs,” Taylor said of her friend Dunham’s show.

Taylor admitted to being a Shoshanna through and through, and explained that,  “Shoshanna gets excited about things, she’s really girly. And when she was in a relationship that was very comfortable, she made the decision to get out and go experience new things on her own. And now she’s becoming more sure of herself and taking life head-on, in a way that I can relate to. Even though I’ve never accidentally smoked crack at a warehouse party and run pants-less through Brooklyn.”Source: Rolling Stone

She Has Anxiety About The Future

Photo: Glenn Francis / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Even though she keeps it cool, Taylor is still very young and is very anxious about what is ahead of her. She said she worries about “what my next move should be. What the move after that should be. How I am going to sustain this. How do I evolve… I get so ahead of myself. I’m like, ‘What am I going to be doing at 30?’ But there’s no way to know that! So it’s this endless mind-boggling equation that you’ll never figure out. I over-analyze myself into being a big bag of worries.”

Her goal-oriented nature has gotten her this far, so she has nothing to worry about!

Source: Vogue

She Does Not Trust The Cool Kids

Video: YouTube

Taylor has been through high school just like the rest of us, and she came out with some wise and funny thoughts about what it means to be cool. “All of my favorite people—people I really trust—none of them were cool in their younger years,” she said.

“Because if you know how to be cool in middle school, maybe you have skills you shouldn’t. Maybe you know how to be conniving, like, naturally.”
Source: Vogue

Her Celebrity Friendships Are All Real

Photo: Eva Rinaldi / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

Taylor takes friendship seriously, and she’s got a pretty serious crew. Models like Karlie Kloss and Cara Delevingne, actresses like Emma Stone and Lena Dunham, and musicians like Lorde and Selena Gomez are all super tight with Swift, and they do pretty much everything any normal friend group would do – they have sleepovers, they craft, they eat out.

They just happen to also walk red carpets and appear in music videos together.

Source: Vanity Fair

She Has No Shame About Her Past

Most would be totally humiliated by growing up in the public eye, but Taylor has no regrets about her past decisions. Taylor embraces her past, saying, “I’m not going to sit there and say, ‘Oh, I wish I hadn’t had corkscrew-curly hair and worn cowboy boots and sundresses to awards shows when I was 17; I wish I hadn’t gone through that fairy-tale phase where I just wanted to wear princess dresses to awards shows every single time.’ Because I made those choices. I did that. It was part of me growing up.”

At least she got through middle school before she hit it big.

Source: Elle