On her fourth album, Taylor Swift composed a song called ‘Ronan’, about a real child of the same name who passed away of neuroblastoma at the age of four.
Ronan’s mother, Maya Thompson, is listed as a co-writer for the ballad, which is written from her perspective. After creating a blog tracing her son’s experience with such a terrible disease, Swift took notice and decided not only to record a song, but to donate the proceeds to the Taylor Swift Charitable Fund.
After Swift’s music catalog was sold to Scooter Braun, she asked for Thompson’s permission to rerecord the song for Red: Taylor’s Version.
“I wrote Ronan while I was making Red and discovered your story as you so honestly and devastatingly told it. My genuine hope is that you’ll agree with me that this song should be included on this album. As my co-writer and the rightful owner of this story in its entirety, your opinion and approval of this idea really matters to me, and I’ll honor your wishes here.”
“I just thought it was always going to be a charity single,” Thompson said. “And I know that song is a super hard song, not only just to listen to, but for her to sing. I know she has a really hard time just singing it… I just figured it would always stay kind of in its own little place.”
“The only place Ronan belongs is with Taylor. And just the fact that it was a possibility of him being somewhere else was, as a mom and that’s my child, and that was just, I couldn’t even. It was just unbearable to think about.”