At Monday’s Grammy Awards, Taylor Swift won the award for Best Pop Vocal Album for 1989, and promptly thanked James Taylor.
While accepting the award via phone, she said,
Is James Taylor there? Can you tell James Taylor I love him? Can somebody who knows James Taylor tell him I love him?
James Taylor was not at the Grammys, but he did give Taylor a special shoutout on his Facebook page.
While Taylor may be James’ most famous fan, she certainly isn’t alone in her admiration of the legendary musician.
Thanks to our parents, grandparents and friends who have great taste in music, many of us are still familiar with classics like “Country Road” and “You’ve Got a Friend.” We grew up falling asleep to the soothing guitar notes of “Sweet Baby James.” “Fire & Rain” brought us to tears in the car crash scene in “Remember the Titans.”
James Taylor’s music defined many of our childhoods. And most of us probablydidn’t even realizeSweet Baby James, Taylor’s well-known second album, came out in 1970.
And there’s a reason his songs transcend generations:There is nothing a James Taylor song can’t fix.
When you’re missing your parents: “Sweet Baby James”
There’s a song that they sing when they take to the highway,
A song that they sing when they take to the sea,
A song that they sing of their home in the sky,
Maybe you can believe it if it helps you to sleep,
But singing works just fine for me.
It doesn’t matter how old you are or how far you live from home, missing your parents is bound to happen. Sometimes, a phone call or FaceTime doesn’t cut it, and you just have to have a good old-fashioned cry. Turn on “Sweet Baby James,” and mourn the times your mom would make you dinner and tuck you in bed.
When you’re feeling homesick: “Country Road”
I guess my feet know where they want me to go
Walking on a country road
Even if you aren’t from the country, this song inspires feelings of comfort, nostalgia and longing. You’ll be looking up flights on Skyscanner within a minute of listening.
When you lose someone close to you: “Fire & Rain”
I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I’d see you again
James Taylor wrote this song after his then-girlfriend, Suzanne, tragically died in a plane crash on the way to one of his concerts. He didn’t know she was coming, but his friends wanted to fly her out to surprise him.
When things go wrong and you need a feel-good song: “Blossom”
Blossom, smile some sunshine down my way lately, I’ve been lonesome.
Blossom, it’s been much too long a day, seems my dreams have frozen, melt my cares away.
I’m actually not sure what “Blossom” is technically about, but my best friend’s mom danced to it with her dad at her wedding, so I’m going to assume it’s a feel-good song that’ll “melt [your] cares away.”
When your friend moves across the country: “You’ve Got a Friend”
You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running, oh yeah baby, to see you again
You can’t listen to this and not think about how lucky you are to have good friends, even if you no longer live in the same place. Call them and tell them how much they’re appreciated.
When you’re in a fight with your boyfriend: “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)”
You were better to me than I was to myself
For me, there’s you and there ain’t nobody else
I wanna stop and thank you baby
I just wanna stop and thank you baby, oh yes
OK, this might not be relevant for every fight, but when he does thosesmall things that irritate you, put on some James Taylor. Some annoyances just aren’t worth getting mad over.
When you lose your job: “Never Die Young”
(Let other hearts be broken, let other dreams run dry)
but our golden ones sail on, sail on to another land beneath another sky, beneath another sky.
Hold them up, hold them up, hold them up, hold them up, hold them up, hold them up…
(Hold them up, don’t let them fall)
Losing your job sucks. Everyone knows that. But it also isn’t the end of the world. Let James Taylor’s words inspire you to update your resume and start job hunting again.
When you need a vacation: “Carolina In My Mind”
In my mind I’m gone to Carolina
Can’t you see the sunshine?
Can’t you just feel the moonshine?
And, ain’t it just like a friend of mine
To hit me from behind?
Yes, I’m gone to Carolina in my mind
I’m biased: I would listen to this on my Walkman on 7-hour trips my family would make to South Carolina every summer growing up. Still, close your eyes and pretend you’re somewhere that isn’t your frigid office.
When everyone is irritating you: “Shower the People”
Things are gonna work out fine if you only will do as I say, just
shower the people you love with love, show them the way you feel.
Things are gonna be much better if you only will.
Deep breaths, deep breaths. Kill them with kindness.
James Taylor just makes everything better.