When we pored over Taylor Swift‘s Red lyrics to compare them to those on her debut album, we never thought to cross-reference her words with songs written by some of her favorite musicians. But maybe we should have, because the Twitter masses have pointed out a similarity between a line on her song “All Too Well” and a lyric from Matt Nathanson‘s 2003 song “I Saw.” Gawker put together a handy round-up of the situation, which begins with the line in question, from Taylor: “And I forget about you long enough to forget why I needed to.”
Here’s the “original” lyric by Nathanson: “And I’ll forget about you long enough to forget why I need to.” Welp, unlike that Carly Rae Jepsen lawsuit, it’s abundantly clear the content here is the same. We’re inclined to brush it off as coincidence, until we remember that Swift is an avowed fan of Nathanson’s (even going so far as scrawling his lyrics on her arms). So is it a case of straight-up plagiarism, or did her fandom cause the words to seep into her subconscious and later emerge during a songwriting session, sort of like Inception? Well, Matt Nathanson made sure to let the world know where he stands on the issue.
Nathanson said on October 24 in a tweet which has since been deleted: “she’s definitely a fan… and now she’s a thief.” Today, he fired off at Taylor’s apparently angry fans:
so far, my favorite thing about today is the wave of @taylorswift13 fans calling me a prick on twitter for writing “i saw” in 2003.
— matt nathanson (@mattnathanson) November 2, 2012
Swift herself has yet to comment on the story.