Okay. Embarrassing confession time. (Takes deep breath, straightens spine.) Here goes: I love the Taylor Swift song, "Love Story."
It's not an embarrassing confession for the reasons you might be thinking. I don't believe that commercial success and artistic integrity are mutually exclusive, and I feel that having an eclectic music collection and a willingness to listen to - and like - all genres of music is actually a good thing.
No, It's an embarrassing confession because I can't shake the feeling that dancing around my office to "Love Story" makes be a bad Shakespearean: Romeo and Juliet does not end with the male lead saying "I talked to your Dad/ Go pick out a white dress." Romeo and Juliet get married, sure. They also get dead.
Which is why this Stereogum mashup of "Love Story" with U2's "With or Without You" makes me so happy. It's not just that I also love "With or Without You." I do. I think it's one of the most gut-wrenchingly heartbreaking songs ever. It's that the mashup puts the tragedy back in "Love Story." The creators cut the bit I quoted above, taking away the idea that there's a happy ending to the story Ms. Swift is telling. And they layer it over what we all know is a sad song, a song about being in love with someone and having that not matter, not be the magic force that changes everything. Love. Longing. Tragedy. Shakespearean in scope.