The Story Behind ‘Castles Crumbling’ By Taylor Swift and Hayley Williams

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Taylor Swift and Hayley Williams came together to create the triumph that is “Castles Crumbling.”

On July 7, Swift’s Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) debuted. The re-recorded album also features previously unreleased tracks, including this collaboration. The track was co-produced by Jack Antonoff and Swift. Its runtime is 5:06. Swift wrote the song by herself between the ages of 18 and 20 for the record. At the time of its release in 2010, this track didn’t make the cut. She later decided to invite Hayley and Fall Out Boy for collaborations on the songs.

“Since Speak Now was all about my songwriting, I decided to go to the artists who I feel influenced me most powerfully as a lyricist at that time and ask them to sing on the album. They’re so cool and generous for agreeing to support my version of Speak Now. I recorded this album when I was 32 (and still growing up, now),” Swift wrote.

Hayley Williams on ‘Castles Crumbling’ and Taylor Swift Friendship

“I was super impressed by the storytelling in it,” Williams told Coup De Main of the track. “It’s about an experience that both of us shared growing up in the public eye.” She added that she was “thankful” to know someone in a similar position to her in the music industry that could relate.

She added, “I just felt very honored to get to sing about that feeling… I just really love it. I can’t believe I got to be a part of it.”

Prior to the song’s premiere, Williams shared an Instagram post about the album.

“Taylor was the first industry friend I ever made and hung out with outside of work things. When Speak Now dropped, I bought my friend’s record (as you do!) and listened to the whole thing in my first car, sitting still in the driveway. It’s my favorite Taylor Swift album for so many reasons,” she wrote.


“I wish I could go back to this moment at my 21st birthday and tell her one day she’ll legitimately own Speak Now and we’ll get to sing together on one of the songs,” she added.

On the actual day of the record’s release, Williams showed off her newly dyed hair in a similar shade of purple to the album’s cover.

Taylor Swift and Hayley Williams Before ‘Castles Crumbling’

Paramore acted as the support act for select United States shows on The Eras Tour. It was later announced that they will open up for Swift during the European leg of the world tour. On March 17, during the Glendale, Arizona show, Williams addressed the crowd and spoke candidly about her friendship with Swift.


Williams encountered Andrea, Swift’s mother, who proposed a meeting between them. Mama Swift shared her daughter’s phone number, considering their similar ages and involvement in the music scene in Nashville. Initially, Williams was quite timid and hesitant to initiate contact, earning the label of the “shyest freak.” However, it wasn’t long after the notorious incident at the 2009 MTV VMAs, where Kanye West interrupted Swift’s acceptance speech, that Williams finally reached out to her.

“I did not text her until a certain VMA scandal,” she said. “That was the first time that I felt like, ‘I have to reach out because this person is really cool and did not deserve that.'”

Jacklyn is the Editor In Chief of Stage Right Secrets. Jacklyn's photography and articles can also be found on The Recording Academy's GRAMMYPro, GRAMMYU, PopCrush, Taste of Country, among other outlets. Besides press Jacklyn is a "Jack of All Trades" working various jobs at local concerts and touring.