Kara David dissects Taylor Swift song for its storytelling

Published January 28, 2021, 7:14 PM

by John Legaspi

Swiftie spotted! ICYDK, the Filipina journalist has a series of writing and reporting vlogs on Youtube

With years of experience in the field, Kara David is among the many journalists aspiring writers and reporters would love to learn from. Who can blame them? She has a solid work ethic, has bagged a Peabody Award, and has numerous great documentaries under her belt. 

Now if you’re one of those who would like to sit-in on a Kara Journalism Class, well, you’re in luck. The Filipina journalist has been sharing her tips and knowledge about writing and media, from drafting standuppers for television to her scriptwriting secrets, on her YouTube account.

In her latest vlog, Kara goes deep on storytelling and uses pop star Taylor Swift’s “Champagne Problems” as an example. A track included from her latest album Evermore, Taylor tells a story of two lovers following different paths. Unlike her past songs that reflect her deep cuts, “Champange Problems” is purely fictional describing it as, “the one where longtime college sweethearts had very different plans for the same night, one to end it, and one who brought a ring.”

Apart from its melody and lyrics, what Kara loved most about the song is its storytelling structure. According to her vlog, her favorite formula for storytelling is a present-past-future chronology, just like in the song. She even used it on her documentary Minsan Sa Isang Taon

“It was written in exactly the same way the song started, pero (but in) future version na,” she says, “Pareho ‘yung past at ‘yung future, medyo tinuweak lang ng konti (The past and future are the same, the end is just tweaked a little).”

In order for this kind of storytelling to work, Kara says, the intro and extro need to come to a full circle. “Kung saan ka nagsimula, dun ka din magtatapos (Where you start is where you end),” Kara says. “‘Yun nga lang mas level up na pag extro na (The difference is, the extra has to be a level up).”

Watch how she analyzed the song here.