Question… EYE Theory (Just Kidding, Really I’m Joking) [Part 9]

2 Dec

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. 

It’s just a question

Half-moon eyes, bad surprise, did you realize?

P.S. 

The person with half moon eyes is anxious.

Eyes:

Probably one of the most used words in her catalog.  Extras:  tolerate it, 

Dorthea

cowboy like me

gold rush

Gorgeous

london boy

I think he knows

so it goes

Exile

coney island

Ivy

call it what you want

cruel summer

Happiness

Eyes are used in 4-5 different ways throughout Taylor’s songs: Celebrity, attraction, bearding, uncertainty, sadness.

Fame:  The eyes full of stars phrasing is describing someone with ambition to be famous and wealthy.  Taylor describes Dorthea (which may just be her younger self) this way.  She also mentions it in Cowboy Like Me when she spots someone like her.  They both want higher status, money, and the spotlight and will tell the rich people anything they want to hear in order to get there.  

Attraction:  Gorgeous and Gold Rush speaks to attraction to women.  Taylor is upset she feels such a magnetic pull towards a woman, because it’s problematic for her public image.  She almost jumps into the ocean blue eyes in Gold Rush.  Simultaneously, Taylor has to hide this strong attraction.  It will not go with her good girl persona, and will not help sales.  Thus, the bearding.

Bearding:  London Boy is satirical.  There is no logistical way for Taylor to travel to all those places in a short time.  She mentions things that would be awful, like being there while his mates watch rugby-English gals agree that nobody wants that.  Taylor says she loves a gray sky and cab ride.  No.  Those are not perks, but downsides of the UK.  So the descriptions of this English dude are in that vein.  She uses child and boy, which are not romantic.  Taylor is saying this person is under her, subservient, lessor.  It’s like a mother, not a lover.  An employee? Also, Taylor is playing the pronoun game hard in London Boy.  She contrasts “he” to “you.”  He is the dude from the UK, that she has control of and YOU is her true love interest.  Taylor tells us the rumors are true (she’s gay).  And I fancy or want YOU is preceded by darling.  Taylor never says, I love you.  She speaks to the audience and says you know I love a London Boy.  The listeners have been told that Taylor loves a London Boy and she doubles-down on that again and again in the song.  She TOLD us she loves a London Boy, but she fancies and wants YOU. 

In I Think he Knows, Taylor continues the pronoun game contrasting he and you.  She tells us she sees YOUR lyrical smile and indigo eyes and wants to drive away with YOU, to mean her same-sex love.  HE just knows about it.  She again says he’s boyish, and tells us she’s an architect drawing up (bearding) plans.  So it Goes talks about the success of the bearding which hides Taylor’s true love.  In public, Taylor and her lover are magicians and illusionists, hiding their truth in plain sight.  And when they are alone there is sex and bliss.  But all the hiding and secrets and lies make the couple breakdown.  It’s hurting their love.  But Taylor is torn:  Her back is against the wall in regards to maintaining her public image–she must beard to be seen as straight and make money.  But she can’t let go of this love–she’s a hostage to her feelings.  There is strife about this difficult choice. 

The lover doesn’t care for it.  She stares at Joe like he’s an understudy, knowing that she would fight (Bad Blood) for Taylor.  These lovers have to walk on eggshells to keep their true love a secret, and it causes strife.  A million lies and many chances, are breaking the branches this relationship so carefully balances on.  All the closeting and hiding chips away at the love.  The lover gets tired of being invisible.  She doesn’t like pretending that she’s not the center of Taylor’s world.  But Taylor continues to closet and beard, never making the lover her centerfold, never saying her name from the podium.  And that makes the sun (= Karlie) go down, little by little Karlie tires of the ruse, and it gets colder and more lonely for both, per Coney Island.

Uncertainty:  The lover is promised to another.  It might be contractual.  She might want a “normal” life instead of a queer one.  It might be a choice of more wealth than Taylor can offer.  Between the lure and commitment to the guy and the life he can provide, and the problems and complications constantly caused by bearding and closeting, this lover is a flight risk.  In Ivy, Taylor says the future of this love affair–her fate is tied to what the guy will do.  If the lover doesn’t chose him, will he burn the house down?  This man has a lot of power and money… It’s just one more barrier to the Sapphic love. In Call It What You Want Taylor tells Karlie (I hear her name in the song and can’t hear anything else) they don’t have to name what they are.  It speaks to Karlie being nervous about calling herself Sapphic.  Taylor urges her to just go with it and don’t worry about labels–she just wants this love.  Problem is, Taylor sees a shiny toy, this bad boy with a price, and she bought it.  She is telling us she paid this man to be her beard in Cruel Summer.  But she already knows it’s hurting her lover and putting cracks in her actual relationship to play pretend. Taylor is separated from her lover, and that kills her.  She wishes the lover would show up below her window.

Devil = evil 

roll the dice = take a chance

Angels = good and pure

Roll their eyes = They judge the devil for taking that chance.  It was wrong.

No rules = the relationship is no strings attached, casual, a friends with benefits situation

Breakable = fragile, delicate, if you will.

Heaven = Taylor feels pure joy at being with this person.

I love you ain’t that the worst thing you ever heard = The lover is conflicted.  She could be back at the Speak Now days that Taylor went through where the gayness is a house of cards that if toppled will messily ruin everything.  The lover can’t acknowledge it, fears it, hides it away.  This line might also be saying the lover doesn’t want to be serious with Taylor.  The lover is just having a fun fling, but really wants to live a heteronormative life with her bf/beard.  She is not ready to be in a serious, monogamous relationship with Taylor.

He looks up, grinning like the devil = someone/something is undermining the heaven in this relationship.  It might be Karlie’s bf/beard, Jo$h.  And/or the public scrutiny and judgment about WLW love.

Sadness: Happiness is the sad culmination of all the stressors breaking the love apart.  Taylor chose to continue bearding and closeting for her career.  The lover chose heteronormativity, money, the man.  And Taylor is heartbroken.

The half moon eyes in Question… are the combination of anxieties constantly tugging Kaylor (any sapphic lover) apart. There is the internal homophobia and questioning, the career pressures, political considerations, bearding complications, on and on. How many struggles can one relationship survive? Then, there is just sadness about what will never be. All the anxiety kills the partnership.

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