Tag Archives: celebrity

Kelsea Ballerini and Taylor Swift are Legends

28 Jan

Here’s another song in Kelsea’s catalog where I think she is talking about Taylor, and purposely inserting certain words, themes, and images to reference Taylor. You decide:

Legends

We were golden, we were fire, we were magic

Is Kelsea intentionally using key words from Taylor’s songs?

Taylor modifies how she sees love from passionate, burning red, to golden like daylight. She wants to step out of the woods into the warmth of daylight.

Deep blue, but you painted me golden

The fire is a spark, or a comforting light in the darkness. It’s both warming and dangerous (if not controlled). Taylor also sees fire in a negative light, as being outed, burning the room down. And fire turning to ashes is like a relationship that ends, enkindling both people.

It seems Kelsea is alluding to comforting and warming, as she Wedges “fire” between golden and magic.

Magic is Taylor’s realization of what attraction and love feel like (vs. comp-het). Magic is also the disappearing act her and her sapphic lover are able to pull off thanks to heteronormativity [best friends!].

Yeah and they all knew our names all over town

Taylor and Kelsea are both big names in Nashville.

They have both toured the world and topped the music charts.

Taylor’s description of Nashville:

To Taylor, Nashville has become limiting and artificial, entrapping her in a disingenuous image. Kelsea moved to Nashville as a teen because she had seen Taylor do it. Kelsea wanted to emulate Taylor’s career, and was excited to be in a place where it could happen. So many eager hopefuls travel to Nashville, seat of country music, to make it in the industry.

We had it made in the middle of the madness

A music star has a crazy schedule.

“Celebrity” could be a chaotic life.

Sapphic affairs might cause a stir.

Madness could be rebelling against social norms.

We were neon in a gray cloud

Taylor uses bright color to describe sapphic love (vs. the black and white of straight love):

Taylor is chronically sad and depressed (in part due to being closeted):

Both cheating and sapphic love put Taylor’s relationships in a gray area:

The clouds might signify Taylor pining for Karlie, or trying to get her back:

But Kelsea says they were colorful and gay in the midst of Taylor’s depression, in a confusing situation, and when Taylor’s head is still in the Kaylor clouds.

Yeah, we wrote our own story

They paved their own way because what other two (country) music stars are in a sapphic relationship?

They each literally wrote their story in their songs.

Full of blood sweat and heartbeats

Full of blood?

Is it talking about working toward careers: blood, sweat, and tears? But there were no tears, so the heartbeats are a reprieve from that? The heartbeats signal excitement and passion.

Or is it talking sexy time (pitter patter of the heart then getting sweaty) under a blood moon?

They might have had their affair during the month of a lunar eclipse.

Or the blood moon may signal an infrequent and intermittent affair (twice a year).

Additionally, it could be some October as the full moon that month is called Blood-Moon due to hunting season.

Can we use the moon to pin down the time frame the Taylor and Kelsea might have had a fling?

Months of blood moons:

Based on the Delicate cover and Taylor’s response to it:

and the towels pic:

I think their affair could have happened at least in 2018. March-May 2018 seems more than friends, possibly. Due to the on/off Kelsea’s discography alludes to it could have also been intermittent in years prior or after this too.

Counterfeit:

Taylor wants to resolve Kaylor, but she is anxiously waiting for things to align. While Taylor waits for the perfect timing with Karlie there’s a glitch and she gets with Kelsea.

Beating hearts/heartBEAT:

We didn’t do it for the fame or the glory

Kelsea is contrasting the very public Kaylor to KelSwift. Karlie and the models might have been hired as PR to eliminate the boy-crazy image Taylor hated. Taylor needed a best friend to take away mention of men. Karlie signed on to play the BFF to get more exposure and recognition to bolster her own career.

And Kaylor accidently fell in love.

But Kelsea and Taylor are not together for PR or careers. There was never money exchanged between the two.

They came together more organically.

But we went down in history

Yeah we were legends

That sounds a lot like a closeted sapphic relationship! There are rumors, but no pictures.

It also sounds a lot like the premise of the folklore album.

But notice Kelsea is talking in past tense.

Loving you baby it was Heaven

Another past tense line.

In Cruel Summer, Taylor describes her relationship with (I’m pretty sure) Karlie. The relationship is delicate and fragile for many reasons: Taylor feels conflicted because society taught her that sapphic love is sinful, and she brings up religious figures to show her concern. The relationship is also fickle because Kaylor started out friends with benefits, no strings attached, and Taylor and Karlie caught stronger feelings on antithetical timelines. Thirdly, the Kaylor relationship feels precarious because Karlie can’t commit fully–partially because she had a long-term boyfriend/beard.

During KelSwift, Taylor is still apprehensive about her sexuality, especially in a public forum. Now Taylor treats Kelsea like Karlie treated her at first. She doesn’t want to be serious, and is just looking for a fun fling. Kelsea, however, has strong feelings for Taylor, just like the strong feelings Taylor had/has for Karlie. Taylor has been on both sides of the equation between Kaylor (pining/wanting more) and KelSwift (distracted/non-committal).

What everyone wondered we’d never question/Close our eyes and took on the world together

This line is more strong evidence that this is a different (gay) type of relationship. Why would other people wonder about this couple? Why does the pair need to take on the world?

I think “take on the world” is also talking about their music careers. Kelsea and Taylor and both striving to get their music out to the world.

Do you remember?

We were crazy

Tragic and epic and so amazing

Interesting choice of words…

I’ll always wear the crown that you gave me

The crown. We talked about how Taylor has at least 3 songs that mention a crown specifically in the Homecoming Queen analysis.

Out of Kelsea, her husband, and Taylor who was the first to move to Nashville, and who got signed first?

Kelsea’s husband was signed after she had already been signed for a year.

https://www.seventeen.com/celebrity/music/news/a29259/all-it-took-was-a-tweet-to-make-kelsea-ballerini-an-instant-star/

We will always stay lost in forever

And they’ll remember

We were legends

Like we were written down in permanent marker

KelSwift leaves an indelible mark on Nashville and music. And the couple will always have good memories of their relationship. This line also might be a call back to an early Taylor Swift performance in Nashville:

Kelsea uses “permanent marker” possibly to contrast the word “paint” that Taylor often uses in her own songs. Paint can be RE-painted, or covered up easily. Permanent marker is more difficult to remove or modify.

Not even the brightest sun could ever fade

In Peace, Karlie tells Taylor she is sunshine/fire/friend, and would take away Taylor’s depression and die for her:

To Kelsea, sunshine is Karlie. She is saying even Karlie at her brightest, can’t take away the memories of KelSwift.

Come whichever hell or high water

Taylor thinks fiery hell would be getting outed in a gay relationship:

And the water is Taylor’s team putting out the fire with their damage control:

Kelsea is saying KelSwift could survive despite the closeting (for fear of fire/hell) and the PR damage control (water/flood) that also comes with bearding. Kelsea is also in the industry so she knows how important it is to be descreet. She even wrote a song about keeping secrets, If You Go Down (I’m Going Down Too). Kelsea is commenting that Taylor wouldn’t be outed with her. And Kelsea is saying she already knows the industry and the PR damage control doesn’t bother her.

It was always me and you either way

Hey we wrote our own story

Full of blood sweat and heartbeats

We didn’t do it for the fame or the glory

We just did it for you and me

And that’s why we were legends

I’m not the only one who noticed similarities between Kelsea and Taylor in this song.  Unlike the hater that wrote the following article, I don’t think Kelsea is doing a cheap remake of Taylor’s work. I think Kelsea is intentionally referencing Taylor in order to furtively tell the audience who the subject of this song is–Taylor.

Dancing with our Hands Tied- Chains and Restraints [Part R]

17 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?

Dancing with our hands tied, hands tied

We’ve discussed how Taylor construes “dance” to mean having no inhibitions. She talks about how children are willing to dance without shame in Fifteen. The word is used to show the elation, relief, and liberation of being herself, as in the song, Long Live (Question…  [Part 17]).  Slightly adjacent to being in an uninhibited, unflappable mode relating to her queerness (NOT her default state of anxiety and fear) Taylor uses “dance” to express allegiance and belonging. When she dances in Welcome to New York it shows that Taylor found people that accept her and “Dance” is used to show affiliation with these urban queers. Same with Beautiful Ghosts. She “dances” or unites with these other gay people because that’s who she is, and they integrate her into their chosen family (Question…  [Part 17]).  The preponderance of “dancing” in Taylor’s catalog is relaxation and ease with her innate sexuality.  

Dancing with our Hands Tied, however, is not completely free.  With that phrase, Taylor is not only describing the physical representation of her and her lover’s arms and hands tangled and intertwined.  She is telling us despite the dancing, there were always handcuffs, chains, restraints, hemming-in of their relationship.  And with her own relationship to her (queer) self.

This bejeweled dress also looks like chains, shackling Taylor Swift into her public image. With the money she makes from her brand, comes the forced closeting and bearding and straightwashing. “Where’s that man who threw blankets over my barbed wire?” in Tolerate It [a song about people not accepting Taylor’s sexuality] shows how the TS brand hides Taylor’s barbed wire (rough edges, sexuality) by propping a man next to her. The song is telling us Taylor beards to hide her sexuality. Invisible String reiterates how Taylor the brand looks beautiful dripping in jewels, but Taylor the person is restrained by these same gems. “Something wrapped all of my past mistakes in barbed wire/Chains around my demons…”

Taylor loves, but in secret.  Taylor uses dancing in Cowboy Like Me to misrepresent her sexuality to the rich folks. She dances with this other queer person to look outwardly romantic and mollify homophobic reactions (Question…  [Part 17]).  This is Taylor’s personal life:  She feels she has to dance and spin on her tiptoes, al-la Mirrorball, showing her audience, the media, and the general public everything they want to see.  The closet stifles Taylor, but also makes her feel safe, per Clean and Lavender Haze. It’s no accident the gold mirrorball dress also has the jewel/chains. She is shining for others, but the mirrorball mentality also keeps her tied up in that image.

The specific event of Kissgate hurt Kaylor because Taylor defaulted to brand damage control instead of opening up and coming out.  All the anxiety kills the partnership.  The half moon eyes in Question… are the combination of anxieties constantly tugging Taylor and any sapphic lover apart.  

Not sticking up for your (sapphic) love out of fear of social rejection is a common theme in so many of Taylor’s songs because it’s the primary problem in Taylor’s real life (Question…  [Part 14]). Her actions and inactions cause her partner to be relegated to the back of the closet.  And all the hiding, and secrets, and lies are hurting their love.  Which is why in Betty, Taylor wants to rectify the situation by publicly kissing Betty/this woman she loves (Question…  [Part 17]).  

Taylor’s early romances ended nearly the same as her current romance has ended.  She has always felt regretful about her situation and wishes the lover would show up below her window.  But there are just too many secrets, lies, miscommunications, and accusations complicating things.  For example, Betty, a highly autobiographical allegory for Taylor’s real life, shows a common conflict of closeting and bearding.  James (aka Taylor) was nowhere to be found, because she hates the crowds (creates a spectacle wherever she goes).  But she saw Betty dance with HIM, which James/Taylor misconstrued as legitimate. It’s just like reality where bearding is sometimes pulled off too well, creating jealousy and mistrust. 

In both Betty and in Taylor’s real dating life, a chain of negative reactions follows the act of bearding and the relationship between the female lovers suffers.  So after being pushed away by Taylor’s closeting, instead of throwing pebbles at Taylor’s window, the girlfriend actually leaves (Question…  [Part 14]).   Then, there is just sadness about what will never be. 

In the case of Kissgate and Kaylor, I think Taylor wanted to go to The Lakes and be a private couple, just the two of them.  But I suspect Karlie felt obligated to be with Jo$h, and still wanted to be with Taylor, as attested by Ivy.  There is a back and fourth in that song. Taylor is anxious at the impending doom of Karlie’s wedding (among other things) and Karlie answers, trying to assuage Taylor’s fear of the Ku$hners burning the house down. These lines (starting from “How’s one to know” are from Karlie’s perspective:

Karlie lived and died for her affair with Taylor despite an upcoming deadline with Jo$h. Taylor gets afraid and tells Karlie to just go to the guy, but Karlie asks Taylor to sit with her, drinking Jo$h’s wine, and wait and see what Kaylor can be. Karlie, further says all of this is under Taylor’s control. Karlie’s pain is in Taylor’s freezing hands, but she wants to hold on to Taylor. Even though Karlie has made a commitment that is soon to start, she says Taylor impacted her and she can’t pretend their love isn’t centered in her life. Karlie didn’t choose to fall in love with Taylor, and she acknowledges that falling in love with Taylor is messing up the future that she had long ago planned, but it happened. Karlie is covered in the invasive, inconvenient ivy of Taylor’s love. Taylor couldn’t go along with continuing an affair with a married Karlie because of distress about losing control, apprehension about the unknown, and antipathy of those political associations (Question…  [Part 10]). 

Because each of their hands are tied due to bearding, Kaylor had to stop “dancing” despite truly loving one another. Taylor’s break-up with her lover kills her.  And Karlie is dead to Taylor now that she has a child and a (diabolical) husband.  Karlie politely lived with being hidden and put on the back burner, until she didn’t (Question…  [Part 10]).  She eventually left the deprivation of the closet which erased her.  Karlie went ahead and “married” the guy or more accurately, commissioned this heteronormative life (Question…  [Part 9]). 

Now both Taylor and Karlie are dead inside, cold lifeless hands reaching out (“do you wish you could still touch her?”) grieving for the living.

Dancing with our Hands Tied- Dance is Uninhibited Associations [Part Q]

15 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?

If I could dance with you again

This is a regretful thought after the fact. Taylor and her lover have stopped dancing.  It’s the literal dancing of Kissgate, but “Dance” is also being unbothered and happy-go-lucky in her queerness. It’s a state Taylor enters only with this specific person per Holy Ground (Question…  [Part 17]).  In other songs, Taylor uses the word, “dance” to show intimacy between two people.  In Dancing with our Hands Tied, Taylor is telling her ex-girlfriend what she would do if they could resume dancing.

Taylor knows she left her lover hanging, and it’s her fault both of them are depressed.  Even though this is the central person in Taylor’s life she never acknowledges them publicly.  Taylor uses “universe” in other songs to show how far away she seems to the lover. 

Fear causes Taylor’s priorities to be misaligned.  Her lover feels neglected, lonely, awkward, forgotten, and depressed when Taylor does her celebrity thing (and the closeting that goes with it).  Taylor’s closeting relegated her lover to the background.  Since that is her gay-panic default behavior, the lovers aren’t surprised, but it ruins the relationships nonetheless.  

Taylor can’t let go of her soulmate–she’s a hostage to her feelings.  Despite her anxiety about gay-stigma, she does love this woman. 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.  Taylor never makes her secret sapphic love her centerfold, thus her lover is a flight risk. 

Even with the threat of losing her beloved, it always comes back to Taylor’s career (Question…  [Part 9]).  The shades of gray surrounding Taylor speak to a situation so complex it has to be deciphered with nuance (Question… [Part 13]).  Taylor had confusion, indecision, and doubt, letting her fear drive her actions.  She fears for her image and how being LGBT might jeopardize business, so Taylor pushes her lover away, despite wanting to hold onto her.  It puts their relationship in this gray area too.

And she loses these relationships to internalized homophobia and the closet time and time again (Question…  [Part 10]).  During the break-ups Taylor is emotionally raw.  She oscillates between sadness, reminiscing, empathy, and anger.  Drinking and getting drunk mark Taylor’s journey of grief after the split (Question… [Part 11]).  Without her lover, Taylor is in the gray of sadness, loneliness, and isolation (Question…  [Part 13]). 

That’s why Taylor is thinking about what she would have done if she could do the whole thing again.

Dancing with our Hands Tied- Smoke is Worry [Part P]

14 Jan

Logistics:

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.

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?

And I had a bad feeling

Taylor is chronically anxious about a lot of things.   Primarily, (and in her words) her house (physical embodiment of her sensibilities) is haunted (gay) (Question…[Part 6].  Taylor feels torn between her “aberrant” sexuality and being seen as the ideal woman, or at least politically correct.  It’s a struggle for Taylor to be authentic to who she is, but also appeal to a wide swath of people to maintain her fame (Question… [Part 12]).  She’s gay, rattled, and drunk, yet she projects hyper-femininity and confidence to be palatable to the masses.   Throughout Taylor’s life her sexuality caused her to hide, panic, and scheme. 

The middle of the night is a time for Taylor to ruminate and contemplate why she is in cages.  Taylor is a super-star. Her every move is published for the world to judge. A primary problem is that Taylor has to retract central parts of her branding if she wants to be open about her sexuality.  If she sticks to the tenants of the Taylor Swift brand, Taylor, the individual, must closet and beard (Question…  [Part 6]).  She has strife about this difficult choice, because Taylor worries that her sexuality will accelerate her losing everyone and everything.  

But Taylor already loses her important romances.  This is part of the reason why, even at the early stages of a relationship, Taylor is terrified to lose the love.  She senses it’s fickle and fears it could go away at any time (Question…  [Part 11]).  Taylor has suffered loss and loneliness with at least Emily, Dianna, and Karlie.  Emily was out of the band suddenly and Taylor felt sorry.  A fake article about Swiftgron went viral and Dianna erased her blog and tattoo then Taylor was only seen with her one more time.  Karlie’s timeline is complicated, but the last four albums tell us they couldn’t get on the same page about how to proceed with their relationship.  For instance, Call It What You Want 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. 

Yet, in Cruel Summer Taylor still paid a man to be her beard. Taylor’s lifelong defense mechanism is closeting so when she sees a shiny toy, this bad boy with a price, she bought it.  

The night of Kissgate, Taylor went on a Kaylor-liking spree online, signaling some pre-gaming had occurred even before the 1975 concert.  Taylor drinks to calm her anxiety, and anything too gay makes her especially anxious.  She correlates the overwhelming feelings of Sapphic love with drunkeness.  Being drunk is cathartic and freeing, allowing inhibitions to be lowered.  But it can also make your head spin, cause you to go rougue, and can make you throw up (the blurple color shows she’s gay inside) on the street (Question…  [Part 11]).  The night Taylor is talking about in Question…  she was “on something” is both liquor and the high of gay love (Question…  [Part 11]).  

Taylor can’t stand the heat, is constantly afraid of impending fire, and the invisible smoke hangs over her.  The smoke (hint of a fire) is unrealized events that Taylor fears.  The heat of the fire is every time Taylor is overtly gay and too many people notice.  The (anticipated) fire is getting burned by coming out or worse, being outed. The water rushing in is damage control by Taylor’s PR team. 

The rain is Taylor’s own overcorrections when things look too queer.  It’s rain, a naturally occurring more passive event (vs. firefighting, a planned, aggressive action). Taylor uses rain to describe herself putting out the gay fire to show it’s compulsory and imposed when she yields to her team’s straight-washing. It makes her feel safe, yet contrite.  

Taylor suffers because she loves the gal, but also knows how “out(ed)” celebrities lose their fame and die all alone.

Dancing with our Hands Tied- Taylor wishes she would have embraced her lover despite the fire [Part N]

12 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?

Swaying as the room burned down

Taylor continues the fantasy of what she wished she would have done in her regretful re-do of the situation:  Taylor would have kept dancing (other songs told us this means uninhibited/free and romantically affiliated with her lover) (Question…  [Part 17]).  Taylor, despite fears of her career going up in flames, would have embraced her lover openly, indifferent to everyone looking.

This has been a lifelong struggle for Taylor, and she sings way back in 2008 that it’s bothering her.  Taylor feels lonely at her new apartment in Fifteen.  When Taylor is saying never grow up, it’s interesting she brings up being burned and scarred by love as her primary concern.  Does Taylor wish she never grew up, because when she was little (seven and prior) she didn’t know she was gay?  She was just her, no stigma, and she wishes she could go back to that?  In the song, Taylor spirals into the anxious thought that everything she has will be gone at some point.  Taylor fears that her sexuality will accelerate her losing everyone and everything (Question…  [Part 10]).

The Archer further substantiates that Taylor has struggled with her sexuality long-term, and she closets to cope.  “The room is on fire, invisible smoke” is talking about that struggle.  The fire is the worst outcome–It’s getting burned by coming out or worse, being outed (Question…  [Part 16]).  The smoke is a whiff of what could happen–it precedes fire.  She has to be very, very sneaky about hiding the gay-affair, or he (a husband, prying eyes, the media) will burn their house of love down. 

The kiss in a crowded room was an important, life-changing event.  But it’s not the only event where Taylor was nearly or partially outed (a fire) and she panicked and shut it down to salvage her image and career. This feared fire is talking about getting outed in any scenario, Taylor just uses this specific example for Dancing with our Hands Tied and Question… because a specific story makes for better writing than talking in generalities.  This sentiment is bigger than any single moment in time.  

When Taylor is caught kissing a woman, her fears come to fruition.  She imagines the worst outcome, and is anxious, but the consequences are all in her mind so far. That’s the smoke.  A prelude to the actual bad event.  It’s Taylor’s anxieties and fears.  Taylor can’t stand the heat, is constantly afraid of the impending fire, and the invisible smoke (ruminations of the worst case scenarios) hangs over her (Question…  [Part 16]).  Every time Taylor is gay on main and too many people notice– the smoke becomes perceptible.  

When there’s only smoke, there is time to quell any fire.  That’s the damage control by Taylor’s PR team and Taylor’s own overcorrections when things look too queer.  She wants to keep her fans and fame, but the recompense hurts her relationship with the woman.  When Taylor pushes her straightness by lying and amping up the bearding, her lover is hurt by the closeting.  For instance, Karlie stares at Joe like he’s an understudy, knowing that she would fight (Bad Blood) for Taylor. A million lies and many chances are breaking the branches that this relationship so carefully balances on.  All the closeting and hiding chips away at the love.  Taylor’s smoke ruins her most important romantic relationships every time.  Recently, Karlie suggests in Ivy that Kaylor take a risk and stay together.  Even with the “husband” in the picture (“drink my husband’s wine” = Jo$h’s wine). 

But Taylor is afraid of being out.  In Delicate Taylor also says she doesn’t wanna share, and the politics of it would hurt Taylor’s image.  Consequently, Cardigan talks about how Taylor’s secret lover finally “ran like water” “steppin’ on the last train” because of Taylor’s stipulations (must be private, and it’s me or him) (Question…  [Part 16]).

Which brings us back to Daylight:  “clearing the air I breathed in the smoke.”  The smoke Taylor breathes in when trying to clear the air is Taylor holding onto imagined negative outcomes.  She is hypervigilant about running damage control and overcorrecting any even slightly gay situation.  The pain of picking closeting over the love of her life, time and time again, makes Taylor feel asphyxiated (Question…  [Part 16]).  

Dancing with our Hands Tied- The Mess You Wanted because We’re Gravity [Part L]

9 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’m a mess, but I’m the mess that you wanted

This lyric is Taylor reminding her sapphic lover that they knowingly signed up for this. Taylor is saying she comes with a lot of baggage: Internal homophobia, anxiety, brand-pressures, media scrutiny, etc… Taylor’s feminine loves know the deal before they enter a situationship with her.  They know there will be bearding and closeting.  Everyone knows sapphic love with an A+ list celebrity is delicate, possibly short-lived. 

Karlie came into Taylor’s life at a low point and offered emotional and physical love, gaining Taylor’s trust.  There was mutual adoration and devotion for every part of the other–in private.  All the sadness, all the drama of 2016, was rectified and regaled to the background by the intense romance these two shared.  The stars in Cardigan symbolize positivity, warmth, and love.  The scars are still there, but those positive feelings were able to supersede the pain (Question…  [Part 15]).  

Oh, ’cause it’s gravity

Oh, keeping you with me

Comparing this love to gravity reminds me of “All we are is skin and bone” in Treacherous.  Taylor is saying this love is natural and inescapable.  Just like the body systems that comprise us as humans lead to innate physiological outcomes (Question…  [Part 13]).  Taylor has desire and passion for this love interest that is beyond her control, even if she’s afraid of it.  

The use of “gravity” in the song is also like, This Love, which describes the tides dictating if the love interest is here or gone.  The word “swept” is an example of a force, like this love affair, that is stronger than individual choices (Question…  [Part 13]).  In the same way gravity is non-negotiable physics. 

There is an unseen exertion on these two women and they are pulled together (whether or not that works for them).  This woman makes Taylor feel like she’s coming undone because she has this strong attraction, but knows it will cause her trouble.  Their love is forbidden and dangerous (Question…  [Part 15]).  No matter how much strife their love causes in each of their lives, the force cannot be avoided.

Dancing with our Hands Tied- Avalanche of Chemistry [Part K]

8 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?

Oh, through an avalanche?

An avalanche is a sudden onslaught/deluge of an overwhelming amount of snow sliding down a mountain.  Once the motion stops, the snow settles like concrete, suffocating anything underneath. An avalanche is extremely destructive, often leveling an entire slab of ecosystem and leaving no survivors.  

The use of “avalanche” to describe dancing with a woman in public demonstrates the authenticity of Taylor’s alarm.  She wants to be regarded as the ‘good girl’ and remain a famous pop-star.  She is distressed that her sexuality will leave an empty slab, leveling her career and suffocating her and everyone around her.  Taylor can’t let herself go rogue, and come out of the closet for fear of losing everything.  

She dances around it, and tells white lies to protect herself from this abominable outcome.  But as will be the case throughout her love life, the deceit along with overthinking and assumptions crush every relationship.  The avalanche didn’t raze her career, it pulverized Taylor’s sapphic relationships instead (Question… [Part 4]).

And say, say that we got it

This lover came into Taylor’s life and offered emotional and physical love, gaining Taylor’s trust.  There was mutual devotion for every part of the other–in private.  All Taylor’s sadness was rectified and regaled to the background by the intense romance these two shared.  The stars around scars in Cardigan symbolize positivity, warmth, and love.  The scars are still there, but those positive feelings were able to supersede the pain (Question…  [Part 15]).  It’s not just Taylor and her lover that notice their compatibility.  Their love is palpable, noticeable by most.  Their friends, the media, and YouTube viewers can see their undeniable chemistry.

But as time goes on, the predicaments outnumber the happy times.  The crescent moon in Ivy shows the passage of time through the changing phases of the moon.  Though there are accumulating detriments to this sapphic relationship, neither woman is ready to break-up. Taylor still loves her girlfriend despite all the “fights and flaws.”  And 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.  The love Karlie feels for Taylor is not for show, and even though Kaylor has many, many dilemmas, Karlie would sit in the trenches with Taylor, give her a child and she would even die for Taylor.  But time has passed and the affair has to adapt.   The moon phases and seasons passing in that song shows the end of this romance is imminent (Question…  [Part 15]).

Dancing with our Hands Tied- PR will Divide us [Part J]

7 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, I loved you in spite of

Taylor is in cages.  She must choose between authentic sapphic love and closeting for her career.

Taylor, Inc. marketed her to be every fan’s bestie. Retracting central parts of her branding to live openly would repel the homophobic fans, but more than that, any fan that had a parasocial relationship with her would become estranged.  In the middle of the night, Taylor agonizes about it-she doesn’t know how to proceed.  And whenever she’s pressured, Taylor defaults to gay-suppression out of panic.  When there is gossip that Taylor is gay (Emily video looking too friendly, fake Swiftgron article, Kissgate, Bettygate, Lavendergate, Glittergate…) instead of just being genuine and coming out, Taylor acquiesces to the PR containment.  She obfuscates, doubles-down on the bearding, and misrepresents the truth (Question…  [Part 6].

Deep fears that the world would divide us

In general, Taylor prioritizes her image over all of her lovers.  The patriarchal, heteronormative world requires Taylor to portray a specific aesthetic in order to be famous, and that excludes queerness.  So, there are two sides of Taylor:  Veneer of (straight, beautiful) perfection, palatable to a wide audience, vs. anxiety, fear, body dysmorphia, queerness (Question…  [Part 12]).  She has a choice: Closet for her career OR authentic love, not both (Question…  [Part 4]).

During Snakegate Taylor’s lover loved her for her.  Sometimes Taylor makes it all about her, but she wants her lover to stay (Question…  [Part 7]).  Taylor takes some responsibility for some of the fighting with her lover.  And says she is in hell when they fight.  

Karlie’s beard/husband and his family are contemptible and have Trump ties.  Karlie “ran with the wolves” (the Ku$hners, her neighbor and sister in-law Ivanka, by extension the Trumps) and is adjacent and complicit to republican evil (Question…  [Part 16]). 

I do think Taylor is using Hillary Clinton’s “still with her” slogan to make fun or mock Karlie’s feeble “I tried” tweet, hence the sarcastic singing voice in that Question… verse.   It could make sense for the song to allude to Karlie’s political hypocrisy since Taylor mentions “fuckin’ politics and gender roles” in the prior verse (Question…  [Part 16]).  And Taylor has described Karlie as “counterfeit” and “faithless” in other songs.  Those are both synonyms of “hypocritical” so it fits.  No matter Karlie’s actual political beliefs, Taylor does not want her brand anywhere near diabolical politics or evil people.  She and Karlie can’t ever be together publicly because Karlie’s associations will tarnish Taylor’s brand (Question…  [Part 16]).  

Taylor also suspects that Karlie might have involvement with the sale of her masters.  $cooter was Karlie’s manager at the time.  And her beard/husband had an association with the firm that helped fund the deal.  And that yacht pic is damning. Did Karlie have something to do with masters heist? 

It’s a question mark. 

“Twin of your dreams/crook who was caught” sounds conclusive, showing at some point Taylor thought she did.

I don’t know if this was ever cleared up between them. I also don’t know what time period The Great War was written about, but in it Taylor says, “And maybe it’s the past that’s talkin’/Tellin’ me to punish you for things you never did.” There’s a chance there was a misunderstanding. I think there was just because I don’t know that Taylor would still sound so heartbroken and low 3-4 albums out, if Karlie had betrayed her on the masters. Wouldn’t she lash out or be angry as she has in the past?

But that song also says something like, that was the night I almost lost you, and I’m almost certain Kaylor has broken up [again, Taylor’s current sadness told me this]. So the timeline of The Great War is up for debate. Also I’m just assuming one primary subject in that song is Kaylor, maybe it’s something/someone else–you guys know my time has been spent on these two songs. I haven’t gotten to TGW in a serious way yet…

In other words, I don’t know if we have enough evidence to make a decision about Karlie’s involvement in the Master’s Heist either way…

But the point is: Taylor is rerecording the masters, but lost her lover due mostly, to external factors.

Dancing with our Hands Tied- Who Could Stay & First Times [Part I]

6 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 knew there was no one in the world who could take it

It always comes back to Taylor’s career, and how her queerness is the antithesis to that success. 

MusicMusingAndSuch is almost there. Taylor is talking about about her personal life alienating fans. It’s a lot of pressure to be a mainstream artist and household name. Taylor’s real life impacts her celebrity.

Taylor views her sexual orientation as a curse and haunting.  She paces like a ghost, fretful and unable to sleep (Question…  [Part 6]).  She prioritizes public image and her brand so she is not authentic to Taylor, the individual.  Mirrorball describes how Taylor shows every different person what they want to see:  Wearing punishing heels that chafe her skin and leave her feet aching, while shimmering for her audience, the media, the general public…  She shatters and bleeds, but nobody recognizes or cares about the pain, they just discern her sparkle.

The strain must be grueling, but Taylor endures it fearing the end is near.  Taylor’s focus is on building and maintaining her music legacy, though this impedes her love life over and over. 

She will do anything to avoid becoming outdated or worse, scorned (Question…  [Part 11]). The the repeated pattern of behavior that makes Taylor depressed, is hiding her sexuality, and most important relationships. Sparks Fly shows Taylor’s internal thought process. She regards sapphic love as problematic, yet desires a woman’s touch. But in the back of her mind is the reaction of the public–she’s never truly free to love.

But the women Taylor seriously dated got under her skin and will impact her forever. 

Taylor knows it’s unfair to ask anyone to closet with her (“who could stay?”) but desperately wants to hold onto her (“help me hold onto you”). YOU her lover and the fans.

Like it was the first time, first time

There are multiple first times that can apply:  When Taylor felt the difference between comp-het and real sapphic love.  This awakening lacquered her in exhilaration, varnishing over her repression. 

Taylor also remembers the first time she danced with a woman.  Her anxious emotional state was replaced with intense feelings. 

Thirdly, Taylor is talking about feeling conflicted about being uninhibited with her girlfriend in public.  She’s excited to be open, yet losing control makes her panic (Question… [Part 3]).

Dancing with our Hands Tied- Sacred Oasis Threatened by Gossip [Part H]

5 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?

And darling, you had turned my bed into a sacred oasis

Taylor says they went from friends to this and she has dirty dreams about this former friend, turned lover in Paper Rings.  Taylor also reveals that her and Karlie have a private relationship inside her room, in King of my Heart, because the boys never took her where Karlie does [same, girl] (Question…  [Part 2]). 

By definition, an oasis is in the middle of an arid land. Taylor is describing her life as a desert. She’s alone in a harsh environment that lacks necessities, and is dangerous. This person revived Taylor and supplied the love she needed to survive.

End Game describes how the body is gold, the eyes make Taylor drunk on love, and this person has captured her very soul.  

But at the same time Taylor can’t forget all the drama and how her reputation suffered.   Because the couple represents a vilified form of love, Taylor feels she has to conceal the relationship.  Still, Taylor was unable to leave this illicit romance even though closeting is depressing. 

Time and time again Taylor chose her career and the closet over her lovers, and all she’s left with is memories and regrets [Question…  [Part 10]).

People started talking, putting us through our paces

Taylor’s career  is never far from her mind, and she worries how people will judge her.  She has to worry about media scrutiny as well. Taylor knows if she dated a woman (publicly) it would be a big conversation, and there would be a lot of negative reactions.  Even when she’s swept away by the strongest desires for women, Taylor is still worried about public disapproval [Question…  [Part 14]).  

A lot of external quagmires such as Snakegate have pulled Taylor down in addition to her hesitation over her sexuality (Question…  [Part 15]).  She has dealt with frenemies who betrayed her, so Taylor has a difficult time trusting people.  Sadly, Taylor is not really all that close to anyone, except for her mom, and (at times) her baby.  

Taylor’s super-fame is not relatable and it isolates her.  So many of Taylor’s friends (her publicist, Tree, for example) are people on her pay-role, or mutually beneficial superficial work friends.  The other people around Taylor are in the background just getting drunk, high, and laughing.  But these people cannot be counted on (“we’ll never say that word again”). There are queer friends who have the same trauma as Taylor, but because of closeting she can’t truly and openly be too close to them (Question…  [Part 5]).  Taylor’s support system is connected with her brand, so Taylor the person is overlooked.  As a result, Taylor’s romantic relationships suffer.  She is too focused on external opinions and validation, and her lovers are relegated to the back-burner a lot of times.  Taylor uses “universe” to show how far away she seems to her lover in Coney Island (Question…  [Part 15])

Since Taylor just can’t/won’t come out and live openly, and she’s left feeling alone and melancholy.

But career intact (Question… [Part 8]).