By Annie Reuter
Taylor Swift made an unscheduled appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Monday night (Nov. 13). Fallon’s first day back after a week off to grieve his mother’s death was an emotional one and Swift helped spread the healing.
At the start of the show, Fallon told a touching story from his childhood, in which his mother squeezed his hand three times to say I love you. So, when Swift performed the poignant “New Year’s Day” which coincidentally featured the lyric, “Squeeze my hand three times in the back of the taxi,” Fallon and his staff got a little emotional.
Tonight Show writer and producer Mike DiCenzo shared some background about Swift’s last-minute performance and thanked the singer for her thoughtfulness.
“She was not scheduled to do our show today,” he wrote on Twitter. “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.”
Referring to the line in the song about hand-squeezing, he added, “I nearly gasped. Tears. I think everyone in the audience started sobbing. 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.”
Later in the song, Swift sang another line that struck a chord: “Hold on to your memories, they will hold on to you.”
“That hug between Jimmy and Taylor after the song was 100 percent real emotion,” he said. “Whatever you think of Taylor, she did something beautiful for Jimmy and our show today, and we’re forever grateful.” DiCenzo tweeted.
Watch Taylor Swift perform “New Years Day” below: