Female musician performing on stage, wearing a sparkling, sleeveless dress and playing a pink acoust...


Why Are Swifties Obsessed With July 9?

It all comes back to one “Last Kiss.”

by Carson Mlnarik

In the Taylor Swift fandom, July 9 counts as a major holiday. In the midst of cruel summers and Cancer season, fans celebrate this specific date — which Swift mentions on 2010’s Speak Now and its 2023 Taylor’s Version re-release — as “Last Kiss” Day, or an occasion that not only highlights one of the singer’s most overlooked B-sides, but also illustrates the deep connection listeners have formed with her music.

Swift penned “Last Kiss” — which falls in the seminal 13th spot of the Speak Now track list — entirely by herself. Over a sparse production of delicate acoustics, she processes a breakup by recounting specific moments: a whispered “I love you” at 1:58 a.m., a handshake with her father, and “that July 9, the beat of your heart.” Whether the day marked a final meeting, the start of a relationship, or a special night is unclear. But considering how the singer’s sophomore album Fearless built “the first kiss” up to mythic proportions, this track is significant in that it finds the then-19-year-old discovering that there could be a last one.

While the “Fortnight” singer never directly revealed the song’s inspiration, fans have suspected that it’s a moment of closure after her relationship with Joe Jonas, whom she dated in 2008. Indeed, a hidden message in the original LP’s liner notes spelled out “Forever and always” — another track in her discography inspired by Jonas — and “Last Kiss” has a precise 27-second intro, apparently referencing the length of the phone call they broke up over. Swift would later admit in the prologue for Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), which dropped in July 2023, that “in [her mind, it’s] the saddest song I’ve ever written.”

Nevertheless, the lore of a nearly two-decades-old relationship isn’t why fans latched onto the date. Candid lyrical confessions like “I’ll watch your life in pictures like I used to watch you sleep” and “You can plan for a change in weather and time / But I never planned on you changin’ your mind,” as well as Swift’s soft, breathy delivery have clearly resonated with a generation of listeners processing their own breakups.

The Tortured Poets Department songwriter seems to understand and appreciate the significance fans attribute to the otherwise ordinary day — at her Eras Tour stop in Kansas City, Mo. on July 8, 2023, the singer performed the track ahead of the unofficial holiday. (“It’s time to play ‘Last Kiss’ and cry,” she told fans.) And with another show scheduled for July 9, 2024 in Zürich, Switzerland, it’s almost a given that Swifties will be treated to an extra-special celebration once more.