Question… Cognizance Illuminated [Part 3]

25 Nov

Taylor wins the pronoun game.  I’m not even going to try to untangle the speaker/recipient/changing characters in this song.  It was written so convoluted that I haven’t even seen a satisfactory answer to this yet.  Instead, I took lyric snippets from other songs featuring the same word, to get a feeling about Taylor’s sentiment and even subject. Don’t get overwhelmed with the length of this post.  The word I’m trying to point-out from Question… lyrics is highlighted. 

We had one thing going on

I swear that it was something ’cause I don’t remember who I was

Before you painted all my nights a color I’ve searched for since


Again, there’s so, so many so I picked ones I thought were more pertinent.  Here’s the others:  the best day, I’m only me when I’m with you.

dear john

John Mayer was an abusive mind-fuck that left Taylor feeling destabilized.  He brings her up only to shove her down.  She uses “paint” as a way to describe him controlling the situation.

everything has changed

Dancing with our Hands Tied

paper rings

the 1

Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince

coney island


Taylor seems to regard the word “paint” as something that washes over her, changing emotions entirely. Creating a vibe. An emotional washing over of an entire situation. She is painted sad, she is painted happy. When she paints artistically, the same emotional change colors her creative works. Walls and murals represent overall emotional states (depression/love). Her songwriting conveys deep feelings.

The songs that have “paint” show that Taylor’s world lit up when she really felt love (instead of comp-het).  Someone opened her eyes in Everything has Changed and she felt passionate/invigorated, less depressed, more open than she had prior to that moment.  Taylor confirms this sentiment in Dancing with our Hands Tied when she describes being deeply depressed until this new, real love paints her golden. 

Though in The 1, Taylor offhandedly mentions her and her love never painted by the numbers.  She’s framing their relationship as “different” “weird” which shows society’s sentiment about homosexual love, as well as her own internal homophobia and fear of being outed.  BUT something awoke in Taylor, even if she’s afraid of it.  In Paper rings, painting is mentioned, but immediately prior to that Taylor says they went from friends to this and she has dirty dreams about this former friend, turned lover. The painted wall is showing the feelings that arose from this new love. Taylor says she jumped into the relationship even though it made her blue.  She’s sad because the couple represents a stigmatized form of love and they had to hide it from society.  Also because Karlie had a commitment to a guy (beard/arrangement) so Taylor had to share.  “I’m with you even if it makes me blue” has the double meaning that Taylor is still going to beard with Joe in order to obscure this secret love–and that makes her depressed. 

Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince tells how and says how Taylor sort of came full circle (and obviously with far less toxicity than JM) going from recipient to perpetrator of turning the sky from blue to gray. Now it’s her girlfriend that she makes sad by hiding.  She hurts her lovers ultimately because of her fear of being an out WLW.  Even so, in Peace, Karlie doubles down on her love and level of commitment.  Karlie says she will warm Taylor’s heart to cast off Taylor’s waves of depression.  Karlie brings up Taylor’s authentic love for her too–shown by the butterfly mural that was commissioned during Lover promo.  The love Karlie feels is not for show, even though Kaylor has many, many complications Karlie would sit in the trenches with Taylor, give her a child and she would even die for Taylor.


I’d lie

out of the woods



paper rings

tolerate it

In the song, I’d lie, Taylor is indifferent to the boy.  When he talks she is daydreaming, counting the colors in his eyes, which she notices looks like his father’s eyes.  She also notices his sister is beautiful.  And what would Taylor lie about?  “If you asked me if I loved him…  I’d lie”  She would say yes, she loved HIM, even though she has eyes for his sister. 

Taylor overtly recognized real love (vs. comp-het) in Out of the Woods when she says “the rest of the world was black and white but we were in screaming color.”  It speaks again, to her having an awakening because of this novel love she felt for this new type of person (a woman).  Taylor further conveys this new knowledge that she’s queer in Me! When she describes herself as not like the others and mentions the rainbow of colors (pride flag, LGBTQQAA all represented).  After her gay-awakening, Taylor sees the world with new eyes.  The blue is brighter and more unique in Delicate. 

Paper Rings, despite it’s high-pop cheery tone, is Taylor coming back down to Earth.  Jumping into this same sex relationship brings complications.  There is hiding, which causes fights.  There are beards for each and the necessary closeting makes both partners depressed.  The wall is blue, like their moods.  More so, parents and the industry don’t like it.  For these authority figures it’s reduced sales, a less palatable persona– a problem.  Taylor says her love should be celebrated–she is seeing the world in screaming color, but these people with power over her just tolerate it.

Everything I just wrote about paint and color was summed up neatly in Taylor’s two lines:

I swear that it was something ’cause I don’t remember who I was

Before you painted all my nights a color I’ve searched for since

Finally enlightened about the gay part of herself the world became more vivid to her.

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