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The concerns of kids aren’t necessarily juvenile—just their reactions.
Bridging this gap is the trick of pop music; when people sing “Love Me Do” to themselves on their way to a date ten years on the other side of their second divorce, it’s a sign that a young songwriter has got to a universal truth.
Her talent as a songwriter and singer was obvious enough to her parents that they moved their family from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, to Hendersonville, Tennessee, when she was thirteen. It is evidence of her ear that she not only identifies with songs in other genres but performs them, even though Nashville is a musically conservative place.
Change the beat and the instruments around the voice, and her songs could work anywhere.
You could also give a Swift composition like “Our Song” to someone twenty years older and it could work just fine.
This kind of precocious wisdom is embedded in the work of songwriters like Hank Williams, Prince, Elvis Costello, and Randy Newman.
People who aren’t old enough to have lived the songs they’ve written nevertheless know how the song embodying that life should go.“Our Song” was not Swift’s first hit, but it was the first to stop me in my tracks.