Did Dashboard Confessional inspire this Taylor Swift lyric?


On Friday, Taylor Swift surprise-dropped her eighth studio album, folklore, which sent fans into a delighted frenzy.

Since the 16 new songs were released at midnight, Swifties have been parsing lyrics for romantic subtext, stoking the flames of those old Karlie Kloss rumors, and wondering if Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds’ third child is named Betty

folklore leaves much to digest, unpack, and savor, but I, for one, can’t fully focus on doing that, because I can’t stop thinking about a single lyric on Track 6, “mirrorball,” that’s straight out of a Dashboard Confessional song.

Anyone who knows me knows I’ve been a hardcore, unwavering Dashboard fan since the early 2000s. This explains why I received the following text from my friend and fellow good music lover, Caitlin Healey, on Friday afternoon. Healy explained that when listening to “mirrorball” she couldn’t help but think of a lyric from Dashboard’s 2006 song, “Stolen.” And as someone whose eighth grade MySpace song was “Stolen,” I feel Caitlin came to the right place for this discussion. 

Did Dashboard Confessional inspire this Taylor Swift lyric? Let's review.

Image: screenshot / nicole gallucci

For those who need a refresher, in “mirrorball,” Swift sings, “You’ll find me on my tallest tiptoes / Spinning in my highest heels, love / Shining just for you.” And in “Stolen,” Dashboard’s Chris Carrabba famously sings, “I watch you spin around in your highest heels.”

I was born to do many things in this life, and you’d better believe that opening my laptop on a Saturday to do a deep dive on Taylor Swift and Dashboard Confessional is one of them. So let us embark on this rewarding journey together.

When I first listened to folklore on Friday morning before work I was absolutely enchanted. The return to Swift’s “All Too Well”-esque sound mesmerized me, and when I got to “mirrorball” I instantly knew it would be a favorite.

The intro reminded me a bit of an Alvvays song, and when I heard the little “highest heels” alliteration another sense of familiarity washed over me. As Caitlin’s text pointed out, that familiarity was from “Stolen,” and after doing some digging I am now 99.99999999 percent confident that the “mirrorball” lyric was inspired by Dashboard Confessional.

Taylor’s relationship to Dashboard Confessional

For those who don’t know, Swift is a huge Dashboard Confessional fan and is genuine pals with Chris Carrabba. She even booked the Dashboard singer to give a surprise performance at her childhood best friend Abigail’s 25th birthday party back in 2015, where the three were seen singing along with Paramore’s Hayley Williams (!) to “Hands Down.”

In 2015, before Swift wiped her social accounts clean, she also tweeted about “SCREAMING” Dashboard lyrics in a van. And around that time, Vulture created a “Taylor Swift or Dashboard Confessional Lyric?” quiz. (Sadly, the post is full of dead links.) 

In 2018, Swift got even more vocal…

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