Taylor Swift had always wanted to write a song to honor the military service of a man who died a few months before her ninth birthday.
Archie Dean Swift Jr., who served as a medic in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, never got to see his granddaughter achieve a level of success and popularity few have, but his commitment to his country stuck with her. Swift honored her grandfather's service at the Battle of Guadalcanal with the single “Epiphany” in 2020.
“He died when I was very young, but my dad would always tell this story that the only thing that his dad would ever say about the war was when somebody would ask him, ‘Why do you have such a positive outlook on life?'” Swift told Entertainment Weekly in a 2020 interview. “My grandfather would reply, ‘Well, I'm not supposed to be here. I shouldn't be here.'”
Written during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, “Epiphany” explores the similar emotions experienced by soldiers during war and health-care workers on the front lines of the worst health emergency they have ever seen.
Swift, who co-wrote the 4½-minute hymn with producer and musician Adam Dessner, conceived of the song after watching documentaries about doctors and nurses treating COVID patients.
“I wrote it about health-care workers who are putting themselves at risk more than anyone else and don't have a choice,” Swift said in an interview with Rolling Stone.
The inspiration for…