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Taylor Swift: ‘Hunger Games’ Songs Were ‘Like a Vacation’

Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Although Taylor Swift‘s songwriting stock-in-trade has been penning confessional songs about her own past, the superstar entertainer’s latest tunes, ‘Safe & Sound’ and ‘Eyes Open,’ were written for a fictional character from the future, Katniss Everdeen, lead character of the highly-anticipated film, ‘The Hunger Games.’ The exercise was a nice change of pace for the 22-year-old.

“Slipping into her mind was such a wonderful break,” Taylor tells Rolling Stone. “It’s pretty intense writing about my own life, my own struggles. It was almost like a vacation to get to write from someone else’s perspective.”

‘The Hunger Games’ soundtrack, produced by Oscar winner T Bone Burnett, also features contributions from Miranda Lambert and her Pistol Annies cohorts (‘Run Daddy Run’), Secret Sisters (‘Tomorrow Will Be Kinder’), Maroon 5, Arcade Fire and more.

‘Safe & Sound,’ the melancholy first single from the soundtrack, was recorded by Taylor with her pals, Grammy-winning duo the Civil Wars. The tune was penned during a spontaneous two-hour writing session at the producer’s home studio last fall. (Watch the ‘Safe & Sound’ video below.)

“The Civil Wars had a show that night in L.A.,” recalls Taylor. “So they raced right over to T Bone’s house. There’s so many things he could’ve done production-wise to make that song bigger sonically than it is, but I think that would have possibly been a mistake. For him to have left the song as a lullaby is brilliant.”

‘The Hunger Games’ soundtrack will be released March 20. ‘The Hunger Games’ stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth in the post-apocalyptic tale of a reality-TV competition in which participants are chosen to fight each other to the death. The film, based on the novel by Suzanne Collins, opens in theaters March 23.

Watch Taylor Swift & the Civil Wars’ ‘Safe and Sound’ Video

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