Mother of ‘Ronan’ Reveals How Taylor Swift Surprised Her
Last week, Taylor Swift touched hearts when she performed the song ‘Ronan,’ the proceeds of which will be donated to cancer charities, at the Stand Up to Cancer Telethon. She wrote the song about Ronan Thompson, 3, who died of a neuroblastoma. The tender-hearted singer was inspired to pen the tune after stumbling upon his mother Maya’s intensely personal blog posts about her son’s trials and tribulations with the disease, which claimed his life just days short of his fourth birthday.
Swift debuted the song at the telethon, which marked the first time that Thompson had ever heard it. Swift did give Thompson a heads up that she’d be performing the song.
“She called me a week before to tell me about the song,” Thompson told MTV News. “I was very surprised, to say the least. I heard it for the first time the night it was on TV.”
Swift was considerate and requested permission to perform the song, since the lyrics are direct quotes from Thompson’s blog, which earned the grieving mother a writing credit.
“It’s pretty much the words from my blog,” Thompson said. “Listening to it was very emotional and I was blown away by how she got it. She got it in a way that most people don’t. She took the time to take the intimate parts of things I’d written and put them into the song.”
While Thompson conceded that Swift’s performance struck a nerve and that “it’s hard to hear,” she was moved by the sensitivity with which Swift handled the material. “She did it in such a beautiful way and it touched so many people,” Thompson said. “She got it right to a T. She really took the time to go through each thing I’ve written and she got it 100 percent right.”
When Thompson met Swift at two Phoenix shows in November, the singer was crying, since she was so affected by the blog posts. “She said she’d been reading our story and said she was so inspired by the love I had for Ronan,” Thompson revealed. “I had a moment when I thought, ‘This girl’s too good to be true.’ But she’s not. What you see is what you get. She’s that kind-hearted.”
One listen to ‘Ronan,’ which won’t appear on ‘Red,’ due out Oct. 22, is proof of that fact.