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Dancing with our Hands Tied- I would have kissed you in a crowded room [Part M]

11 Jan

Logistical Info:

Remember we’re looking at words in the lyrics of Question… to try to decipher who and what and when.

We’ve almost gone through the entire song, pulling lyrics containing the same words to get a sort of consensus or feeling about Taylor’s intention.

Now that we’re toward the end of Question… lyrics, we need to address the central part of the song: Kiss in a crowded room. And the kiss really brings to mind Dancing with our Hands Tied and maybe Kissgate.

We will analyze Dancing with our Hands Tied to see if it parallels Question….

Except this particular line within Dancing with our Hands Tied got a bit long because I really don’t know for sure and there was no solid direction to take the analysis. I will go into it in detail in this post so the guesses don’t overwhelm the analysis of the song as a whole.

And I’ll spell out my conclusions from this post in the full analysis of Dancing with our Hands Tied. But that post was getting very long and I was afraid nobody would read it. So to make things even more confusing each line in DWOHT is going to be its OWN post. But then I’ll do a main DWOHT post with just links to each different post. It’s a whole big thing.

Then we’ll get back to the end of Question

Was that explanation as confusing as trying to guess who Taylor’s songs are about?

I’d kiss you as the lights went out

This lyric is the big connection to Question…!  Taylor is talking about what she would have done (“I’d”).  In her regretful imaginary re-do of the situation, Taylor says she would calmly and happily kiss this woman that she privately loves–in front of everybody (instead of reacting negatively). 

Her secret lover introduces conflict into Taylor’s self-identity.  She’s running smoothly along, being super-straight, dating boys, but then…  She has this attraction to a woman, which clashes with her perception of herself, and with her persona (Question…  [Part 13]).  “He looks up, grinning like the devil” is the culmination of Taylor’s fears.  Someone or something is undermining Taylor’s brand-image and the heaven inside this relationship.  It might be Karlie’s beard/husband, and/or the public scrutiny and judgment about sapphic love or all of that.  Whoever it is, the exposure terrifies Taylor and causes an anxiety-spiral.

This lyric is the same regretful sentiment that’s in the song, Betty.  James/Taylor is remorseful about flying off the handle in that crucial public moment and to rectify it wants to kiss Betty/her female lover in front of her stupid friends (the media, fans, & public) (Question…  [Part 17]).  It’s a recurring thought how Taylor wishes she would have kissed her woman out in the open.  Betty continues “If you kiss me will it be just like I dreamed it?” The regret in these re-do fantasies, tells the audience that this is not how Taylor acted in the crucial moment.  She is contrasting what she wished she would have done with what actually occurred.

I think this moment has a similar vibe to New Years Day. Lights don’t necessarily go out at 12:01 AM on New Years, but  the midnight kiss is the culmination of the celebration. Taylor wants to be able to kiss her secret female lover at the party (“I want your midnights”).  Instead, they clean up the mess the next day when everyone else is asleep or hungover in order to keep their affair on the down-low. Due to closeting, Taylor and her girlfriend never get to have that special moment (like all the other couples) at the peak of the festivities.

Lights go out can also indicate an emergency.  Instances of lights suddenly turning off include:  A power-outage due to a storm or a blackout during war (both scenarios are discussed in other songs regarding this same topic).  Taylor is comparing kissing her lover in public to some emergent situation. 

The lights turning off might also be saying Taylor’s name in lights (The Lucky One), switched off because of this kissing.  Her fame turned off because of this gay moment (this was what Taylor feared would happen in that fraught moment). 

Finally, the lights going out might show the love going dark and cold as a result of Taylor’s gay-panic.

Taylor wishes she could just kiss her secret sapphic lover in public.