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Taylor Swift's New Album Features a Song About Her Mom's Cancer Diagnosis

Taylor Swift first revealed to the world that her mom, Andrea, had been diagnosed with cancer back in 2015, and earlier this year she announced her cancer had returned. Swift explores the emotions of watching a loved one go through cancer, from denial to fear to hope, in her new song, “Soon You’ll Get Better.”

“Soon You’ll Get Better” includes background vocals and instrumentation by the Dixie Chicks, and is part of Swift’s new album, “Lover,” which dropped on Friday. In the song’s emotional lyrics, she describes the lights at the doctors office and praying to “holy orange bottles,” likely referencing her mom’s treatment. She also discusses how difficult it is to have a loved one going through cancer treatment and the emotions she feels about what might happen next.

In an interview for YouTube Live before the album release, Swift explained that the song was hard to write as well as sing.

“That was really, really hard to write, and it was just a family decision whether to even put it on the album,” Swift said. “We as a family decided to put this on the album, and it’s something I’m so proud of, but it’s just really hard. I can’t sing it. It’s hard to just emotionally deal with that song. You’ll understand what I mean in a couple hours.”

Back in 2015, Swift revealed her mom’s cancer diagnosis via a Tumblr post, explaining that for Christmas that year, she asked her mom to make one of her gifts to her be a trip to the doctor’s office to get screened for health issues, “just to ease some worries of mine,” Swift wrote.

Although Andrea had no red flags and felt fine, she discovered she had cancer. Swift has not said what kind of cancer she has. Swift wrote:

She wanted you to know because your parents may be too busy juggling everything they’ve got going on to go to the doctor, and maybe you reminding them to go get checked for cancer could possibly lead to an early diagnosis and an easier battle. Or peace of mind in knowing that they’re healthy and there’s nothing to worry about. She wanted you to know why she may not be at as many shows this tour. She’s got an important battle to fight.

In March, Swift wrote an essay for Elle magazine sharing 30 things she learned before turning 30. One was that she learned how to handle serious illness in her family. She said both of her parents have had cancer, and her mom is fighting her battle for the second time.

“It’s taught me that there are real problems and then there’s everything else,” Swift wrote. “My mom’s cancer is a real problem. I used to be so anxious about daily ups and downs. I give all of my worry, stress and prayers to real problems now.”

You can read the full lyrics for “Soon You’ll Get Better” below:

The buttons of my coat were tangled in my hair
In doctor’s office lighting, I didn’t tell you I was scared
That was the first time we were there
Holy orange bottles, each night I pray to you
Desperate people find faith, so now I pray to Jesus too
And I say to you

Ooh-ah, soon you’ll get better
Ooh-ah, soon you’ll get better
Ooh-ah, you’ll get better soon
‘Cause you have to

I know delusion when I see it in the mirror
You like the nicer nurses, you make the best of a bad deal
I just pretend it isn’t real
I’ll paint the kitchen neon
I’ll brighten up the sky
I know I’ll never get it
There’s not a day that I won’t try
And I say to you

Ooh-ah, soon you’ll get better
Ooh-ah, soon you’ll get better
Ooh-ah, you’ll get better soon
‘Cause you have to

And I hate to make this all about me
But who am I supposed to talk to?
What am I supposed to do
If there’s no you?
This won’t go back to normal, if it ever was
It’s been years of hoping
And I keep saying it because
‘Cause I have to

Ooh-ah, soon you’ll get better
Ooh-ah, soon you’ll get better
Ooh-ah, you’ll get better soon
‘Cause you have to

And listen to the song here:

If you’re struggling to cope with a loved one’s cancer, these Mighty stories might give you some ideas of how you can help:

Image via Creative Commons/palendromist