Taylor Swift Brings Out Aaron Dessner for Surprise Song, “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve,” in Nashville

Taylor Swift completed a three-night stint in Nashville this weekend (May 5-7), exciting her hometown fans to no end with her grandiose Eras Tour.

Videos by American Songwriter

The final of the three nights (May 7) got off to a bit of a rocky start with rain delaying Swift for four hours. Her set runs three and a half hours and is on a strict time schedule, so there was speculation she would cancel the show altogether, leaving some 70,000 Swifites out in the rain without hearing a single note.

But Swift, ever so generous to her fans, decided to stick it out and come on as soon as the National Weather Service cleared her to do so. And to make up for the crowd’s lengthy wait, she gifted them a surprise song they have long been begging for: “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve.”

Swift adds something new to her Eras Tour set each night with a “surprise song” section. The mini-set sees her play two songs acoustically—one on guitar and one on the piano—dusting off old fan favorites and newer hits not already in the set.

For the Sunday show in Nashville, Swift chose “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” from the 3 am edition of Midnights. It’s a tough loss for the Swifites not in attendance (as Swift has said she will try not to repeat any surprise songs), but the icing on the cake for those weathering the rain in Nashville.

Swift brought out the song’s producer, The National’s Aaron Dessner, to help her perform it. Swift and Dessner started working together in 2020 during the production of folklore. They have been collaborating ever since, giving Swift’s music an indie edge.

“Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” is a slow-building track that ends by erupting into a heart-wrenching chorus about losing oneself in a relationship. God rest my soul, I miss who I used to be / The tomb won’t close, stained glass windows in my mind / I regret you all the time, she sings.

Though Swift performed the song acoustically during the show, she managed to bottle up all the frenetic energy present in the recorded version of the track.

Check out the performance, below.

Photo by John Shearer/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

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