Jimmy Fallon’s first episode of The Tonight Show after the death of his mother was marked with a moving coincidence, thanks to the lyrics of a new Taylor Swift song.
Addressing the death of his mother Gloria Fallon, who died on November 4 of an undisclosed illness, the late-night host shared an anecdote about a tender tradition between the two:
When we were little, my mum would walk us to the store, me and my sister, and we would hold hands. You know.
And she would squeeze my hand three times and say ‘I love you.’ I would squeeze back, ‘I love you too.’
And last week I was in the hospital, and I grabbed her hand and I squeezed ‘I love you.’ And I knew we were in trouble.
The show rolled on. When it was Swift’s turn to perform, she sang new Reputation cut New Year’s Day.
The track includes the line “you squeeze my hands three times in the back of a taxi.”
According to The Tonight Show producer Mike DiCenzo, the audience caught onto that one. And Fallon did, too.
Taking to Twitter after the show aired, DiCenzo said that “no one had heard” New Year’s Day before the taping.
Suddenly she sings the line, “Squeeze my hand 3 times in the back of the taxi.” 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. “Hold on to your memories, they will hold on to you,” Taylor sang.
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.
So, that’s just lovely.
If you’re inclined to hear Swift perform New Year’s Day in person, you’ll be chuffed to hear she’s bringing her Reputation tour to Australia in the not-too-distant future.