WATCH: Taylor Swift Performs 'New Year's Day' For Jimmy Fallon
Taylor Swift’s performance of “New Year’s Day” – from her new album Reputation – was an emotional thing for Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon on Monday.
Swift, sitting at a piano, sang the song, which includes the lyrics: “You squeeze my hand three times in the back of the taxi / I can tell that it’s gonna be a long road / I’ll be there if you’re the toast of the town, babe / Or if you strike out and you’re crawling home.”
At the top of Monday’s show, Fallon spoke about the recent loss of his mother. He recalled that when he was a child, “she would squeeze my hand three times and say, ‘I love you,’ and I would squeeze back, ‘I love you, too.’ And… last week I was in the hospital and I grabbed her and squeezed, ‘I love you.’”
The “squeeze my hand three times” line in Swift’s song didn’t go unnoticed by Fallon, who rushed in at the end of the song to give the singer a tearful embrace.
Tonight Show producer Mike DiCenzo explained on Twitter how Swift ended up on Fallon’s first show back since the death of his mom. “She was not scheduled to do our show today. But we wanted something special for this first show back, so we asked her on a complete whim, since she had been in town doing SNL. She said yes with zero hesitation,” he shared.
“I could see Jimmy silhouetted at his desk dabbing his eyes with a tissue. We all lost it. It was a beautiful coincidence in a beautiful performance. ‘Hold on to your memories, they will hold on to you,’ Taylor sang.”
DiCenzo added: “That hug between Jimmy and Taylor after the song was 100% real emotion. Whatever you think of Taylor, she did something beautiful for Jimmy and our show today, and we're forever grateful.”
Watch the performance below: