Music star Taylor Swift made a last-minute appearance on the Tonight Show overnight that brought host Jimmy Fallon to tears in an eerie coincidence.
Fallon, who returned to the show Tuesday morning AEST after more than a week’s absence following the unexpected death of his mother, Gloria, opened the show with an emotional anecdote.
“When we were little, my mom would walk us to this store, me and my sister, and we would hold hands, she would squeeze my hand three times and say, ‘I love you,’ and I would squeeze back, ‘I love you, too,’” Fallon recounted.
He said he used the same tender way to communicate with his mother last week when she was hospitalised.
Later in the show, Swift took to the piano to perform the song New Years Day from her newly-released album Reputation with a line that echoed the Fallon’s tearful story.
“You squeeze my hand three times in the back of the taxi,” Swift sang in one verse. “I can tell that it’s gonna be a long road.”
Swift embraced a clearly emotional Fallon after the song, pulling him into a long embrace.
“Thank you, Taylor,” a tearful Fallon said.
Tonight Show producer Mike DiCenzo later shed some light on the circumstance of Swift’s performance and Fallon’s response.
“[Swift] 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 [Saturday Night Live],’” he tweeted. “She said yes with zero hesitation.”
DiCenzo said no one had any idea that Fallon would be sharing his story about squeezing his mother’s hand three times, nor did they make the connection to the lyrics until it happened.
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.
— Mike DiCenzo (@mikedicenzo) November 14, 2017
“Suddenly she sings the line, ‘Squeeze my hand 3 times in the back of the taxi,’” DiCenzo tweeted.
“I nearly gasped. Tears. I think everyone in the audience started sobbing,” he wrote. “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.”