Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Notes on the Music of Taylor Swift

If you ever drive from Los Angeles, California, to Jacksonville, Florida, via Dayton, Ohio, with a 14-year-old girl, be prepared to become quite familiar with the oeuvre of Taylor Swift. (I write as one with experience.) Here are some notes I've developed on Taylor's art.

  • In "Mean," it is easy to mishear the lyrics as "Someday I'll be living in a bagel city." And I guess her song "Welcome to New York" makes me wonder if that is indeed a mishearing.
  • Taylor seems like more of a gangster if you mishear the lyrics to "I Knew You Were Trouble" as "And now you're lying on the cold hard ground." She's not an emotional wreck: she's a cold-blooded killer!
  • You want gangster Taylor Swift? How about mishearing the line "wish I never hung up the phone like I did" from "I Wish You Would" as "wish I never held up a gun like I did"? Thug life, nephew!
  • It seems impossible to me that Taylor didn't follow the lines "I don't know about you / but I'm feeling 22 / ... / You don't know about me" with "but you're feeling 23." How, Taylor?! HOW?!?!?!
  • In "Blank Space" the line "don't say I didn't say I didn't warn ya" makes my head hurt. What am I not supposed to say she didn't do now? (Luckily Taylor's website gives the lyric with a comma after the first "didn't". I checked.)
  • We developed alternate titles for the first several songs on 1989. "Welcome to New York" can also be called "Promotional Consideration Paid by the New York Bureau of Tourism." "Blank Space" can also be called "I'm Crazy; Let's Date!" "Style" can also be called "Fashion-Conscious Woman Seeks Boyfriend." "Out of the Woods" can also be called "From the Little Red Riding Hood Soundtrack." "All You Had to Do Was Stay" can also be called "Dog Obedience School Drop-Out." "Shake It Off" can also be called "Accurate Self Assessment." "I Wish You Would" can also be called "Actually, It's Not All Good, Not At All; I'm Not Sure Why I Just Said It Was." "Bad Blood" can also be called "I Know Every Living Celebrity Under the Age of 30!" "Wildest Dreams" can also be called "I'm Riding a LION, People!" Then we ran out of steam.