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文/愛麗絲

今年7月,美國創作歌手泰勒絲(Taylor Swift)於Instagram驚喜宣布推出第八張專輯《美麗傳說》(folklore),距離上一張專輯《情人》(Lover)發行,相隔不到一年。

而這並不是在2020年,她帶給大家唯一的驚喜。

12月10日,她在三十一歲生日前,宣布《美麗傳說》的姊妹作品——第九張專輯《恆久傳說》(evermore)將正式發行。

I’m elated to tell you that my 9th studio album, and folklore’s sister record, will be out tonight at midnight eastern. It’s called evermore. To put it plainly, we just couldn’t stop writing songs. To try and put it more poetically, it feels like we were standing on the edge of the folklorian woods and had a choice: to turn and go back or to travel further into the forest of this music. We chose to wander deeper in.

一如泰勒絲所言,她並未止步,而是轉身走入森林探索更多創作能量。新專輯《恆久傳說》如一本美麗詩集,每首歌用精煉文字譜曲,而這些歌曲彷彿也呼應著許多書籍中的情節、氛圍,是值得深入閱讀的精彩故事。

Life was a willow and it bent right to your wind
Head on the pillow, I could feel you sneakin’ in
As if you were a mythical thing
Like you were a trophy or a champion ring
And there was one prize I’d cheat to win——〈willow〉

首支主打歌曲〈willow〉講述一首初萌芽的戀曲,像柳樹隨風輕拂搖擺,在原本的日常生活掀起波瀾。而三浦紫苑的《沒有愛的世界》中,描寫身為西餐館學徒的男主角,愛上立志成為植物學家的女主角,兩人該如何從專注於料理、植物研究的宅男宅女,走向彼此呢?

沒有腦沒有神經的植物,並不需要愛,只要有光和水,就可以好好活著。和光靠食物絕對無法滿足的人類比起來,「生存」的意義截然不同。

一如書中所寫,和植物不同,愛是人類生存所需、相較光合作用更複雜一百萬倍的運作,原先只專注於自己熱愛領域的兩人,隨故事進展,逐漸學會敞開心胸愛人、走出舒適圈,共譜一首俏皮戀曲。

Because I dropped your hand while dancing
Left you out there standing
Crestfallen on the landing
Champagne problems
Your mom’s ring in your pocket
My picture in your wallet
Your heart was glass, I dropped it
Champagne problems——〈champagne problems〉

〈champagne problems〉裡,是一對沒有共識的戀人,最終在求婚被拒下走向分離,而在曲末,女主角溫柔地祝福對方,未來遇到更適合他的女子,攜手走向紅毯的另一端。正如《俗女養成記》裡的陳嘉玲和江顯榮,交往四年論及婚嫁,但因對婚後生活缺乏共識分手,江顯榮最後也確實找到結婚對象,當他們坐在陳嘉玲老家門口聊著,彼此說好的「輕輕放下」,正是最好的祝福。

But I don’t like a gold rush, gold rush
I don’t like anticipatin’ my face in a red flush
I don’t like that anyone would die to feel your touch
Everybody wants you
Everybody wonders what it would be like to love you——〈gold rush〉

愛上太搶手的對象,有時像淘金,彷彿所有人都在和你競逐同一個目標。〈gold rush〉所唱的獨佔慾望,像《佔有》書中描繪的,兩對身處不同時代的戀人,各自體現不同意義的「佔有」——而這也是愛情裡必然的存在。

We could call it even
You could call me “babe” for the weekend
​’Tis the damn season, write this down
I’m stayin’ at my parents’ house
And the road not taken looks real good now
Time flies, messy as the mud on your truck tires
Now I’m missing your smile, hear me out
We could just ride around
And the road not taken looks real good now
And it always leads to you and my hometown——〈​’tis the damn season〉

怕自己變成鬼,趕緊把稿子寄給編輯,上床昏睡。
我睡得很安穩。
因為我知道,在這樣的時刻,鬼會出現。
永靖會悄悄進入我柏林的房間,在我身邊躺下。——《鬼地方》

〈​’tis the damn season〉裡的主角離家多年,在探親時節返鄉,故鄉的一切既熟悉又陌生,永遠是心上難以抹滅的印記。陳思宏移居柏林多年,在《鬼地方》裡回歸故鄉——他一直想逃離卻仍不斷書寫的彰化永靖,用文字爬梳虛實交錯的記憶。

I wait by the door like I’m just a kid
Use my best colors for your portrait
Lay the table with the fancy shit
And watch you tolerate it
If it’s all in my head, tell me now
Tell me I’ve got it wrong somehow
I know my love should be celebrated
But you tolerate it——〈​tolerate it〉

〈​tolerate it〉唱的是與年長戀人間的拉鋸關係,陳雪的《不是所有親密關係都叫做愛情》則剖析愛情中兩人相處的各種難題,關於依賴、承諾、傷害、距離等,不同面貌的難關其實都能透過兩人的心態、應對調整,重新往同一個方向走去。

Este wasn’t there Tuesday night at Olive Gardеn
At her job or anywhere
Hе reports his missing wife
And I noticed when I passed his house
His truck has got some brand new tires
And his mistress moved in
Sleeps in Este’s bed and everything
No, there ain’t no doubt——〈no body, no crime〉

〈no body, no crime〉裡的Este曾經向朋友透露自己懷疑丈夫的不忠,在她無故失蹤後,友人合理懷疑這是起預謀殺人案,只是苦無證據,副歌裡重複出現的「I think he did it, but I just can’t prove it」正如《控制》裡,在妻子愛咪(Amy)失蹤後,飽受懷疑的丈夫尼克(Nick),但事實的真相又是什麼呢?

In our history, across our great divide
There is a glorious sunrise
Dappled with the flickers of light
From the dress I wore at midnight, leave it all behind
And there is happiness——​〈happiness〉

​〈happiness〉是結束一段感情後學著釋懷,榮獲2018年普立茲小說獎的《分手去旅行》裡,主角則為了躲避前男友的婚宴、擺脫失戀的挫敗感,決定接眾多文學活動邀請,來場環球旅行,笑中帶淚的過程中,是自我療傷,同時重新審視關於「愛」這件事。

It’s never too late to come back to my side
The stars in your eyes shined brighter in Tupelo
And if you’re ever tired of bеing known for who you know
You know that you’ll always know me, Dorothea——〈dorothea〉

〈dorothea〉是離家奮鬥的主角,家鄉的一切從未改變,童年友人像替她牢牢記著這些年來的回憶。《出走,是為了回家》中,曾旅居多地的劉安婷,看似人生勝利組,實則面對過不少挫折、碰撞與焦慮,回到熟悉的台灣創立Teach For Taiwan後,她像活出自己人生一樣用力,改變著台灣的教育環境。

Were you waiting at our old spot
In the tree line
By the gold clock
Did I leave you hanging every single day?
Were you standing in the hallway
With a big cake, happy birthday
Did I paint your bluest skies the darkest grey?
A universe away
And when I got into the accident
The sight that flashed before me was your face
But when I walked up to the podium, I think that I forgot to say your name——〈coney island〉

〈coney island〉中,泰勒絲與國民樂團(The National)主唱麥特.貝南格(Matt Berninger)憶起過往,合唱著感情觸礁的無奈與歉意,像楚影詩集《把各自的哀愁都留下》以詩句勾勒的輪廓,如〈你總是無可避免〉裡「你始終是我無法臨摹的筆畫」,或者〈記事〉中「你是一座擁有身影 但已寂寞的空城」,那些無力挽回的頹頃,都成為語句間的徒然。

Oh, goddamn
My pain fits in the palm of your freezing hand
Taking mine, but it’s been promised to another
Oh, I can’t
Stop you putting roots in my dreamland
My house of stone, your ivy grows
And now I’m covered in you——〈ivy〉

〈ivy〉裡講述女性出軌的心理掙扎,而在《性、謊言、柏金包》裡,身為人類學家的作者跳脫傳統框架,以科學與實證角度剖析,探討女性情慾、性自主。

You’re a cowboy like me
Perched in the dark
Telling all the rich folks anything they wanna hear
Like it could be love
I could be the way forward
Only if they pay for it——〈cowboy like me〉

〈cowboy like me〉中的男女主角從一支舞開始,個性相似地互相吸引卻又若即若離,關係中的情感矛盾、別人目光裡的自我認同,都像《正常人》中的梅黎安和康諾,是躊躇不前又大膽躁進的青春年少。

And I fell from the pedestal
Right down the rabbit hole
Long story short, it was a bad time
Pushed from the precipice
Climbed right back up the cliff
Long story short, I survived——〈long story short〉

〈long story short〉的輕快節奏裡,主角回首過往荒唐,像《為了好好活著,我們最終走向更壞》中那些年輕女孩們遭逢的傷害,她們用最殘忍的方式成長,生存在這個毫不留情的社會、與彼此之間。

I should’ve asked you questions
I should’ve asked you how to be
Asked you to write it down for me
Should’ve kept every grocery store receipt
‘Cause every scrap of you would be taken from me
Watched as you signed your name Marjorie
All your closets of backlogged dreams
And how you left them all to me——​〈marjorie〉

上一張專輯《美麗傳說》中的〈epiphany〉,是泰勒絲寫給外公的歌曲,而這一首〈marjorie〉則是為了紀念外婆瑪喬麗芬拉(Marjorie Finlay)。瑪喬麗芬拉(Marjorie Finlay)是知名歌劇歌手,更是泰勒絲音樂生涯的啟蒙者。歌曲中對外婆的緬懷與思念,像《阿嬤要我跟你說抱歉》中,相差七十歲的艾莎與外婆,是朋友也是夥伴。外婆病逝後,艾莎為了完成外婆的心願,開始替她送信給曾希望能好好道歉的對象。故事裡以艾莎與外婆堅不可摧的情感為起點,帶讀者展開一趟生死、告別、和解、友情和愛的巡禮。

I know I’m just a wrinkle in your new life
Staying friends would iron it out so nice
Guilty, guilty, reaching out across the sea
That you put between you and me
But it’s fake and it’s oh so unnecessary——〈​closure〉

〈​closure〉中是分手後希望再無瓜葛的兩人,而《學著,好好分》則是台大人氣教授孫中興的分手教科書,不同於愛情社會學的課程精華《學著,好好愛》《學著,好好分》以結束當起點,讓分手後的人生依然美麗。

Gray November
I’ve been down since July
Motion capture
Put me in a bad light
I replay my footsteps on each stepping stone
Trying to find the one where I went wrong
Writing letters
Addressed to the fire

And I was catching my breath
Staring out an open window
Catching my death
And I couldn’t be sure
I had a feeling so peculiar
That this pain would be for
Evermore——〈evermore〉

〈evermore〉無疑是疫情下的代表作,泰勒絲再度與美好冬季樂團(Bon Iver)合作,書寫似乎看不到盡頭的無奈,歌曲之中卻仍懷抱希望。而《擁抱的溫度》,則是《最後14堂星期二的課》作者米奇.艾爾邦(Mitch Albom)於官網連載、提供讀者在疫情期間免費閱讀的故事,時空背景正設定於被疫情肆虐的當下。如今,我們再也不能像從前隨意擁抱彼此,那些人情流動究竟將逐漸變得冷漠疏離,或是依舊保有溫度?

I wanna still have a sharp pen, a thin skin, and an open heart.

泰勒絲曾在紀錄片《美國小姐》(Miss Americana)結尾這樣期許自己,而在創作能量爆發、一年寫出兩張專輯的今年,讀者們更能透過歌曲、類似書籍,一起走進她筆下所描繪的那片廣袤森林。

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