In four months Taylor Swift will release her second re-recorded album, Red (Taylor’s Version), which arrives months after her first, Fearless (Taylor’s Version), topped the album charts. As the wait continues, we’ve now learned it will contain a rare song from the singer’s catalog.
The track is “Ronan,” and it was previously released as an exclusive iTunes song. It concerns a four-year-old boy named Ronan Thompson who died from cancer. Ronan’s mother Maya is credited as a co-writer on the song, and it was inspired by her blog Rockstar Ronan and written from her perspective. In a new blog post, she shared a portion of a letter Taylor recently sent her.
“I’ve recently completed the re-recording of my 4th album, ‘Red’,” Swift wrote to her. “It’s really exceeded my expectations in so many ways, and one of those ways is that I thought it would be appropriate to add ‘Ronan’ to this album. ‘Red’ was an album of heartbreak and healing, of rage and rawness, of tragedy and trauma, and of the loss of an imagined future alongside someone.” She added, “I wrote Ronan while I was making ‘Red’ and discovered your story as you so honestly and devastatingly told it. My genuine hope is that you’ll agree with me that this song should be included on this album. As my co-writer and the rightful owner of this story in its entirety, your opinion and approval of this idea really matters to me, and I’ll honor your wishes here.”
In the same blog plot, Maya also revealed that she gave Taylor permission to include the song on the album. She also shared her feelings about the singer’s request. “Taylor has anchored you to this world so you will never be lost, and now she has ensured you will forever be safe in a new, permanent home,” she wrote. “She is once again giving a voice to the often voiceless, bereaved parents of the world as well as childhood cancer which deserves so much more funding than it gets.”