Tag Archives: song

Cardigan by Taylor Swift: My Analysis (out of my Folklore = Plausible deniability post)

30 Jul

I thought I might do a redundant post of each song from my bigger post, in order to give readers a more bite sized chunk.

 

Cardigan

Things start happening in this song.  The lyrics seem to tell of Taylor’s real life, as I can pick out actual moments from pictures given the lyrics here.  But Taylor, herself, confuses the issue and introduces plausible deniability.  She says in a chat there are 3 songs that describe a ‘high school love triangle’ in different perspectives.  Each is supposed to be from one of the 3 people in this love triangle.  I think Taylor Swift does this for a few reasons:  This creates an alternate universe where the song descriptions may or may not be real life.  Fans can’t automatically attribute these stories to Taylor’s personal life.  It discourages the wild theories and guessing who each song is about in real life, because, after all, these are just characters in a story.  Secondly, this storytelling narrative saves Taylor from any real life lawsuits.  She can tell real events, but obfuscate them by mixing names, places, and facts with fiction.  Taylor tells us that the narrator in Folklore is unreliable.  So nobody can pinpoint any breaking of non-disclosure agreements.  For instance, the names of these 3 people are the children from Ryan Renolds’ and Blake Lively’s actual kid’s names. But I suspect these “characters” are a real people and events, buried in a story.

This particular song is the one that’s supposedly from Betty’s (a.k.a Karlie according to “Betty” later in the album).  But I question that because the voice (voice in the writing sense, not the singing, that’s obviously Swift) in this story sounds an awful lot like Taylor herself.

Except “heartbeat on the highline” is where I heard Karlie’s work loft is located?  The song talks about in cars and downtown bars. Which makes it not a high school song anymore. Sounds more like the time period after “Delicate” in NY.And draw stars around my scars is definitely bringing up when Karlie drew gold stars on Taylor’s collar bone and wrist.

When you’re young assume you know nothing…  I knew everything when I was young.”  It’s a very gay line that describes having awareness of sexuality at a young age, but other people saying you’re too young to know, it’s just a phase, wait until you are older to decide.  Taylor is telling us she had an inkling when she was just a kid that she was gay (bi?  I think lesbian without knowing all the details, but think if she comes out it’ll be softer like pan, or bi.).

Folklore = plausible deniability

24 Jul

Here, I have tried to analyze what and who each track of Folklore is about.  Which is complex because it’s not in a linear order.  Names are obscured.  Facts may be reality or story.  The narrator is unreliable.  And this whole thing is going to be from a Kaylor perspective, because that’s how the songs, and Taylor Swifts catalog as a whole makes the best sense to me.  I’ll show you what I mean.

 

1. The One.

Folklore opens with The One which I think is an introduction to what is happening throughout the album.  This song sets the tone for the remaining songs.  Taylor is telling us she is going through memories of all her past relationships and looking at them closely to see what could have been.  Folklore is going to explore what would have happened if Taylor Swift had her dreams come true in every relationship. She sings, “never leavin’ well enough alone” sets it up to show Taylor is still pondering about past relationships and wondering what her life would be like now if they had worked out.  I don’t think this song features any one relationship in particular, but it’s a thought experiment of what if what Swift wanted at the time came true.  “If one thing had been different would everything be different?  Today.”

Features Diana argon movie tag line, about the roaring 20s.  Also they dated when Tay was in her younger 20s. And in this song she sings of digging up the grave, which was in the “Look What You Made Me Do” music video for to symbolize death of a relationship.

Also may feature Joe or other guys-what if Tay had been straight?

Each song profiles different relationships throughout Taylor’s 30 years.  And is a ‘what if’ & thought experiment, which is why it seems like a lot of break up/negative stuff.

 

2. Cardigan

Things start happening in this song.  The lyrics seem to tell of Taylor’s real life, as I can pick out actual moments from pictures given the lyrics here.  But Taylor, herself, confuses the issue and introduces plausible deniability.  She says in a chat there are 3 songs that describe a ‘high school love triangle’ in different perspectives.  Each is supposed to be from one of the 3 people in this love triangle.  I think Taylor Swift does this for a few reasons:  This creates an alternate universe where the song descriptions may or may not be real life.  Fans can’t automatically attribute these stories to Taylor’s personal life.  It discourages the wild theories and guessing who each song is about in real life, because, after all, these are just characters in a story.  Secondly, this storytelling narrative saves Taylor from any real life lawsuits.  She can tell real events, but obfuscate them by mixing names, places, and facts with fiction.  Taylor tells us that the narrator in Folklore is unreliable.  So nobody can pinpoint any breaking of non-disclosure agreements.  For instance, the names of these 3 people are the children from Ryan Renolds’ and Blake Lively’s actual kid’s names. But I suspect these “characters” are a real people and events, buried in a story.

This particular song is the one that’s supposedly from Betty’s (a.k.a Karlie according to “Betty” later in the album).  But I question that because the voice (voice in the writing sense, not the singing, that’s obviously Swift) in this story sounds an awful lot like Taylor herself.

Except “heartbeat on the highline” is where I heard Karlie’s work loft is located?  The song talks about in cars and downtown bars. Which makes it not a high school song anymore. Sounds more like the time period after “Delicate” in NY.And draw stars around my scars is definitely bringing up when Karlie drew gold stars on Taylor’s collar bone and wrist. 

When you’re young assume you know nothing…  I knew everything when I was young.”  It’s a very gay line that describes having awareness of sexuality at a young age, but other people saying you’re too young to know, it’s just a phase, wait until you are older to decide.  Taylor is telling us she had an inkling when she was just a kid that she was gay (bi?  I think lesbian without knowing all the details, but think if she comes out it’ll be softer like pan, or bi.).

 

3. The Last Great American Dynasty

This story tells of a brazen gal who married for money, had lavish parties, and was criticized wildly for being unladylike.  

It speaks to Taylor’s Rhode Island house, which she purchased after this real life person.

It also relates to the parties Taylor herself had in her twenties.  She had lots of friends, spent a lot of money, did a big thing on Independence Day every year.  And the media criticized her for spending the money, having a clique, and enjoying her success–especially as a female.  There are parallels in this gal’s life with Taylor’s.

I think the song also speaks of Karlie in a couple places.  Like the unhappy marriage for money/power.  “Her fault his heart gave out.” Might be indicating that Karlie will be blamed if things go sour for Jared Kushner.  And the bitch friends from New York, might be fellow models that Karlie knows.

4.  Exile

To me, this song seems more generic then the others on the album.  Are there hints who it might be about?  Is there a fictional story inter-weaved?  I didn’t really hear either.  But I do think this song serves a purpose for Taylor’s real life story.  Which is another parallel of these fictional characters Taylor says are in Folklore.  Taylor’s own real life is set up in the way this album is:  There is truth buried deep for her and trusted confidants only.  Then, there is the more public, but superficial narrative that she shares with everyone.  Taylor is “dating” Joe Alwin.  But like the ‘teenage love triangle’ it’s just a ruse, or distraction from Taylor’s actual personal life–as a queer person that has gone from one same sex relationship to the next. 

Back to the purpose of this song:  It’s generic because it’s seeding a “break up” with Taylor’s fake boyfriend.   

 

–> EDIT:  ALTERNATE (BETTER THEORY)

 

 

Exile (take 2)

I changed my mind about the meaning of Exile.  Instead of the break up song that I originally thought it was, I think it’s more along the lines of The Archer and Mirrorball.  I think it might be more about Karlie coming out of the closet sooner (and with less fear/reluctance) than Taylor.  1Taylor sings, “And it took you five whole minutes, To pack us up and leave me with it.”  Is she talking about the burden?  The secret?  Stress and fear of coming out?  Taylor continues, “Holdin’ all this love out here in the hall.”  The person in the hall is in limbo.  They aren’t in either room.  They left the location Taylor is in, but they haven’t gone ahead and gone to the next location.  The person in the hall waits for both of them to go.

This thought is confirmed when Taylor says, “Now I’m in exile, seein’ you OUT.  Taylor is alone but she can see Karlie with more freedom, less fear than she herself has.  But Taylor remembers, “I think I’ve seen this film before, and I didn’t like the ending.”  Film has been a theme throughout Folklore.  Maybe it’s that gay movie again, where all the queer characters end in tragedy.  It could be more observation:  Ellen was initially ruined when she came out.  Other celebrities as well.  Basically, Taylor is saying her fears of coming out are overriding her loneliness of being left behind.

Later in the song, Taylor says, “so I’m leaving out the side door.”  So Taylor wants to leave the closet, but her reluctance and hesitation make her want to do it indirectly–out the side door, instead of a more direct route.

At this point, he (Karlie’s stand in for this track) sings to Taylor:  “So step right OUT.”  This second person is encouraging Taylor to just do it, come out.  They are telling her that the only thing holding her back is her own fears.  He/Karlie continues, “All this time, we walked a very thin line.”  I think it means that their life was never easy as a couple.  They always had to be cautious, beard, hide, go underground.  How much worse could it be by coming out?

The reason I felt like this song was more of a coming out of the closet song, rather than a break up song is the number of times, “signs” are mentioned.  It’s repeated over and over, by both, in layers, repeated and emphasized.  I think Taylor wanted this listeners of this track to really hear the message of this part.  She wants us to remember this part of the song (the story) in particular.  “So many signs, so many signs, You didn’t even see the signs.”  And I think the signs she refers to are ALL the hints over her whole catalog of music, in the lyrics, music videos, Easter eggs, the interviews, the write-ups, what she’s worn.  Who Taylor hangs out with and how much.  ALL THE SIGNS TAYLOR HAS GIVEN HER AUDIENCE THAT SHE IS QUEER AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN.

 

 

 

5.  My Tears Ricochet.

Not every song on Folklore describes a romantic relationship.  I think this song is about Taylor leaving the music label (BMR) that initially signed her.  She sings, “I could have gone anywhere. Just not home.” which is how she initially thought of her label.  Scott B. had been a paternal figure, but also controlling.  He made many decisions about her music that Taylor disagreed with.  And when she left, it wasn’t on good terms.  She was angry and he was mean.  “Wishing I’d stayed.” is a lyric that shows Scott B. liked making money off of Taylor, but refused to have a more collaborative partnership with her, wanting to control her every move.  “Stolen lullabies” is of course, mentioning the masters Scott B. sold to Taylor’s nemesis, Scooter Braun.  And remember how at the time Taylor said there were tears (“Tears Ricochet?!) in her eyes every time Scooter’s name came up.  “Cursing my name, wishing I’d stayed.” reiterates how Scott wasn’t ready to let go of Taylor, the cash cow, and he’s holding her music catalog hostage.

 

6. Mirror Ball.

Breaking in a million pieces is an indication of the fears Taylor Swift has about coming out of the closet.  The line, “I can change everything about me to fit in” shows life in the closet (hiding queerness)–reflecting back what you think people want, because you are afraid to show your true self. 

“Hush when no one is around…Shining just for you.” It’s a secret.  The shining happens when nobody else is looking. Taylor is spinning and shining for Karlie only.  

The verse about calling off the circus (the Trump administration), the disco burning down (the closet disappearing from around them and their relationship), and sending the rodeo clowns home (the Kushners out of power of the Trump White House and also being out from under Scott and Scooter’s stipulations on the masters) shows how everything is about to change for the better.

“I know they say the end is near.” I am pretty sure Taylor is speaking to Karlie here, about how they are each almost finished with their bearding contracts.  They will soon be rid of their fake relationships (Jared and Joe) so they can be together. 

“I’m still a believer [in real love?] I don’t know why.”  And with that, the song ends on a high note:  Taylor is on her tallest tiptoes because Karlie Kloss is a lot taller at 6’2″.

 

7. Seven

The companion song to “It’s nice to have a friend” (if you recall “Something gave you the nerve to touch my hand” which is decidedly not a childhood unromantic thing to do).  Taylor describes a very Sapphic relationship with a young PA neighbor in her elementary years.  “Your braids like a pattern” emphasizes the femaleness of this friend Taylor says she loved then, and still loves now.  The line in the song that says, “or hide in the closet” is not an accident.  Taylor is an honest writer and a woman of 30–she knows what that phrase means.  And she used in intentionally.  In telling this childhood story, she’s saying that her queerness is nothing new.  She has had it in her the whole time.  And she’s just now alluding it to her fans, and the public.

Also, each person’s story is not the central position of my song analysis, but I’d be remiss not to mention Taylor also alludes the the fact this girl-neighbor may have been in an abusive household.  It sounds like her father wasn’t a good guy, so that’s a central premise of the song as well as the childhood love component.

 

8.  August.

This song is supposedly the perspective of the 3rd person in the ‘high school love triangle’ of Betty & James and this person.  Who is it? If anyone. Is this just a generic song to round out the love triangle? 

I’m not sure who it’s supposed to be about, though it does brings up someone’s 1st (female) sexual experience with, “whispers of Are you sure?’ ‘Never have I ever before.'”  “And I can see us twisted in bedsheets.”  This section reminds me of Reputation’s, “…Ready for It?” and “Dress” which are also pretty sexy songs.

But it talks about this 3rd wheel feeling like James was never hers.  And it’s not during high school, because “August slipped away like a bottle of wine.”

Main message in this song, “you were never mine.”  That line is repeated 4 times during the short song.

 

9. This is Me Trying.

Takes place after “The Archer.” In that one it goes, “Combat, I’m ready for combat” like she’s ready for a fight.  This will not be easy.  She continues, “I say I don’t want that, but what if I do?” This speaks of hesitation.  Taylor fears this announcement.  But also, she wants it.  She’s preparing.  The next line is, “Cause cruelty wins in the movies.” And I think that is telling how every gay movie ends badly.  The queers don’t get that happy ending, just sadness and tragedy.  The last line in this verse:  “I’ve got a hundred thrown-out speeches I almost said to you.”  And she means the fans.  The public.  Taylor Swift is afraid, but wants to come out.  She had many false starts, but she continues to head in the direction.  Think about the Archer’s line, “Help me hold onto you.” and when Taylor sings this song at concerts and says who could leave me, who could stay, you could stay.” And she points at the crowd on the YOU could stay.  This confirms The Archer is addressing the fans.

In this part B of that song, she sings, “I don’t quite know what to say, but I’m here in your doorway.” Taylor is taking to us, her fans. Proof?  “Pouring my heart out to a stranger.” She speaks of trying to come out, but also keep her career. “They told me all of my cages are mental.” It won’t be as scary as she has always feared.  Taylor just has to get out of her head–out of her own way.  She talks about lashing out in past songs. “And my words shoot to kill when I’m mad, I have a lot of regrets about that.”  She’s saying two things here:  1) In telling these stories about break ups with boys, and in laying down Easter eggs as encouragement to analyze her artwork, Taylor has created a monster.  She did it out of fear and anger, but now fans eagerly comb through her songs looking for the real people they might be about.  So now, that she wants to present the more authentic version of herself, it seems like she was disingenuous before.  Which wasn’t her intention.  She is reminding the fans about how much she cares about what we think about her.  2) I think she wants to come out carefully so as not to hurt or anger anyone else, especially anyone who was previously or who is currently in her personal life.

 

10. Illicit Affairs.

Maybe “break up of Karlie’s marriage” bc she was cheating w/Taylor.  But please, show me the marriage certificate.  Show me an actual marriage record for Karlie and Jared.  She is a model and went to a wedding photo shoot.  He is in a long term relationship with a man named Mike.  He needs a woman to seal his dirty deals.  She was in a long time contract to be his fake girlfriend, and because of Trump’s election, she couldn’t extricate from that cleanly.  Taylor can’t be super mad or upset, because she has also been having fake boyfriends for years.  “Look at this godforsaken mess you made me.. .  Look at this idiotic fool that you made me”  It’s a problem.  It’s a complication.

Enter this song.  It sets up a “real” love triangle.  This shows Karlie “cheating” on Jared with Taylor.  “But they lie and they lie and they lie” is a line that talks about how the relationship is a lie, their position in the White House is a lie, and the way the Kushners make money is a lie.  It’s all fake.  But Swift clarifies, “Tell your friends you’re out for a run [which is a very visible part of Karlie’s social media] You’ll be flushed when you return.” Taylor is spelling out the her and Karlie have sex. 

But in the end, Taylor conveys over and over she will stick with it.  This is not a breakup of Kaylor.  On the contrary, Taylor can only be herself when she’s with Karlie.  Their whole situation is a mess, but she really loves Karlie and no one else does it for her:

“You showed me colors [in screaming color!] I can’t see with anyone else” 

“You taught me a secret language I can’t speak with anyone else.”

“And you know damn well for you I would ruin myself a million little times.”

 

11. Invisible String.

It’s important that this is the song that follows “Illicit Affairs.”  This track shows all is well with Kaylor.  Despite everything, Taylor believes Karlie is her soulmate. And I think this song is about Karlie, because green is mentioned. Karlie has green eyes. Bad blood is also mentioned though obscured, lyrically. That’s a music video Karlie was in. “Looked like an American” references the interview with a handful of VS Angels where Karlie says Taylor is an American girl.

“Pulled me out of all the wrong arms into that dive bar.” Perhaps the one from Delicate? My biggest hint that this song is about Karlie is “one single thread of gold tied me to you.” Gold.  Color of Leos and fire and sunshine.  The color associated with Karlie.  And I know they’re still happy and together because “Hell was my journey [the journey she’s remembering across the songs in this album] but it brought me to heaven.” And she talks of Karlie being the Lover album’s muse by singing, “Gave me the blues then purple pink skies.”

As a side note Taylor explains that those previous people in her life that made her mad enough to write songs–she’s over that.  Now she sends their children gifts.

I love this song and how romantic a thought that these two people were always meant for each other.  Every failed relationship, every fork in the road–led them on the path right to each other.

 

12. Mad Woman.

Chapter 2 of The Man.  “Cause you took everything [her masters] from me.  Watching you climb over people like me [other singers] The MASTER [not an accidental word] of spin.” Then Taylor goes low and says, “has a couple of side flings good wives always know.”  She knows she can away with calling him out because she has already explained to the audience that Folklore is just stories.  Scooter Braun cheats on his wife. And Taylor said it.  But maybe she didn’t because remember our unreliable narrator.

 

13. Epiphany.

In My opinion, a little disjointed of a song. I think it’s about PTSD. 1st regarding war. Apparently about Swift’s veteran grandfather.  Then sickness, probably Covid. The song would be better if there was a 3rd trauma. Or if it covered 1 trauma at greater depth.

 

14. Betty.

This is the song that unlocks the ‘high school love triangle’ angle of the album.  It’s from James’ perspective, and we know that because the person telling this song is invited into a car by name.

But I spy inconsistencies.  “Betty, one time I was riding my skateboard when I passed your house it’s like I can’t breathe.”  This might sound like a stereotype, and I apologize.  But I’ve known teenage guys, and the ones I have had contact with don’t have the emotional maturity to go breathless about a girl.  The ones I know might think a girl is cute, or have a crush, or want sex, but I’ve never known them at a teen age to get like, no breath about it.  That seems very female to me.  But I’m female, so it’s difficult to go outside my own perspective–just as it was probably difficult for Taylor.  And at the end, James put on Betty’s cardigan.  Does a guy wear his girlfriend’s sweater?  

Taylor was named after James Taylor.  And Karlie Elizabeth (Betty is a nickname for Elizabeth) Kloss is the other female in this story, Betty.  And Taylor mentions the cobblestones, streetlight, and also the garden of the romantic Lover album.  Hello, “Cruel Summer” fame “sneaking through your garden gate just to seal my fate” then Karlie Kloss sells her condo, and featured in the real estate ad is a garden?  And there’s pictures of Taylor going in and out of a garden gate in that same neighborhood.  

So yeah, there’s some high school kids mixed in this song.  And age of 17.  A gym and a school dance.  But that’s just the unreliable narrator again.  Taylor even confirms that she’s James in the “Cardigan” music video–she puts on that cardigan at the end.  And has a knowing look.  Yup, I’m James.  

 

15. Peace.

From perspective of Karlie Kloss. “I’m a fire…” Remember she’s a Leo, a fire sign. And she goes on to say she’ll keep Taylor’s heart warm. “People think loves for show, but I’d die for you in secret.” Is this Karlie acknowledging the fans on social media who troll her for trying to ‘use Taylor ‘s career to succeed’? Who accuse her of queer-baiting Kaylors to get fans? When, in fact, Karlie deeply loves Taylor in private. In the song, Karlie remembers how Taylor had the butterfly angel wing (that look a lot like ones Karlie walked in one time at a show) mural commissioned in the Lover Era, by saying “you paint dreamscapes on the wall.” It might also mean The Lover music video and Taylor’s art in general, which often (secretly) portrays their love. “Family I chose” is a very gay line, “Now that I see your brother as my brother.” Taylor has a brother, who would be newly related to Karlie if there was a marriage.

The “robbers in the East” might be talking about the Kushners she’s tied to. And the white house that stopped their coming out plans in the Lover Era. And “Clowns to the West” might be Scott B. and Scooter giving Taylor so much trouble with her music catalog. And of course KimYe in LA, who are constantly stirring up trouble for Taylor.

But Karlie emphasizes “I’d give you my sunshine.” That Leo sun again. “The Devils in the details.” Makes me think of DWOHT a kiss gate song where they were outed by someone “grinnin’ like a devil.” It was at that point, Karlie and Taylor hid safely in the closet, ramped up the bearding, and each complicated her individual life, and their relationship. The details she speaks of might be ending the bearding contracts and being together for real without violating any non-disclosure agreements or creating political enemies.

This song is Karlie assuring the audience that she’s suffering also, but she is genuine and she wants to have a real, meaningful, authentic, loving relationship with Taylor.  And it’s going to come back out in the public as soon as those details get sorted out.

 

16. Hoax.

“My only one”  The first song, The One told us Taylor was looking back at her choices.  now she says the subject of this last song is “my ONLY one”.  I think even more than being about 1 person this song is the bookend that shows bittersweet of what her life DID turn out as after all these choices, endings, breakups… This is the conclusion to the album.  

“Smoking gun” is the clue that unlocks a mystery.  When Taylor is with Karlie, it’s impossible NOT to see their love.  And they got caught kissing.  Karlie outs Taylor because their love is evident.

“My eclipsed Sun.”  The sun again symbolizes Karlie, but also Daylight where Taylor can come out and be openly queer.  Taylor is saying that she is still in shade, because she’s afraid to come out of the closet.  And also Karlie is eclipsed under the shadow of the fake Kushner marriage, and is also partially in the shadows since Kaylor has a hidden, closeted relationship.

“Your faithless loves the only hoax I believe in.” Faithless, because Karlie is cheating on her “husband”. “Your sleight of hand” is Karlie acting like her marriage to a man is real–when it isn’t.

“My best laid plan” is Taylor’s Lover era where she was going to come out. But circumstances prevented it.

She’s also telling that her situation is bittersweet because to be authentic to herself, Taylor has some hard choices that she must follow through with.  

“Don’t want no other shade of blue but you, no other sadness in the world would do.”  Taylor, despite all the sadness and complication of all the bearding and closeting and being gay.  She would choose Karlie because it’s authentic and true, but it has taken a toll.

 

+++Addition+++

I finally got The Lakes, and as such needed to add my analysis to the main post. And you really can’t without discussing Hoax too. They’re companion songs, yin and yang, can’t have one without the other.

Hoax

I’m glad Taylor released an additional song, because I think this one is too negative and depressing to end an album.  It is melancholy and Taylor sounds a little defeated in it.  She basically says she’s sad, but nothing else will work, she is going to live with the sadness because her heart is taken with this person.  It’s a little bit, ‘victim of domestic abuse’ a mentality.  “This has frozen my ground”–pay attention, this becomes important later.  The piano and strings are beautiful, but the lyrics are just so dreary.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good song–I just wish Taylor was happy, and the subject was not hurting her.

The Lakes: 

The first sounds remind me of when a movie shows a record player.  A litter antiquated and slightly degraded.  I think this song is chock full of poetry references, but let me be honest–that is not where my interests lie, so I didn’t take the time to do a true analysis.  The musical backing sounds much more optimistic than the prior couple of songs on the album (Peace and Hoax).  And Taylor makes sure to indicate she wants to leave her life for this dreamscape–but not without her muse.  “A red rose grew up out of ice frozen grounds…” is a good symbol for the barren loneliness and horribleness that Taylor’s relationship with her lover grew out of.  Things were bad and cold and icy, but from that stemmed (pun!) a beautiful red flower (glitch rose, Klossy?). 

Since it follows the depression of hoax, it shows Taylor has come through all of that negativity, that’s not where the story ends (a break up and toxicity) afterall.  It’s a more optimistic closer–thank goodness.  Also, Taylor is known to start the next album from the last song of the previous so this gives the listener a hint maybe the next album will be from some English chateaux where Taylor is holed up with her lover, doing what she does best–writing.

To reiterate, Folklore is an album that allows Taylor to tell all the stories she was afraid to share before.  And since she mixed in other characters, and told us the narrator is unreliable it’s a reclamation of her own narrative.  This album allows Taylor plausible deniability. 

 

Tough Anthem Song

20 Jul

I was naive, just wanted to please

I had that big dream, [softer, in the background] You embodied it

I didn’t have that opportun-ity,

kept get-ting dragged down

My fault, grades weren’t my only prior-ity

I was left hanging, my-life rearranging

Needed fam-iliar-ity

I came with baggage, you had it too

I realized too late your un-cer-tain-ty.

I was a buffer, no a-type-ah replace-ment

You left me absolutely nobody.

 

When I look in the mirror it

reflects my innermost spirit

spit the word “no” I won’t hear it

my motivations don’t fear it

 

Your harsh words made my skin thicker

Your head games made my mind quicker

Moved away from you– made my heart richer

Your cold shoulder showed I’m the vic-tor

You’re working that much harder, [softer, in the background] who’s the loser now?

 

You bruise me, you’ll never bust me

my mindset is such a tough one

Ignore the hate I’m so scrappy

Eat shit, I’m gonna be happy

 

all that sacrifice

and several rolls of the dice

Got me livin’ my best life

not exactly no more strife

but most of the days are mostly nice

 

 

 

Disaster Song

19 Mar

Trump is a loser

I never wanted him

Hillary thought we should choose her

sexism is ultimately why she lost the prelim

 

so many mistakes, ineptitude

obvious personality disorder-narcissistic

the dude can’t read, we are screwed

worse than that he’s fascistic

 

Trump pretended the pandemic wasn’t happening

he doesn’t understand basic economics

America’s reputation blackening

closer and closer to using atomics

 

Now here we are, all alone

coronavirus threatening

everyone barricaded in their home

U.S. will have our reckoning

 

And as we hide from this disease

our businesses must close the doors

republicans blame the Chinese

it won’t stop the multiplication of corpse

 

Big Fish Small Pond

5 Feb

oh what a success!

that higher degree

you lowered yourself

came back to the town

living on past memories

 

big fish small pond

you sparkle like a diamond

taste of fame and smugness spawned

 

so you were born silver and blue

titled yourself royalty

make speeches and appearances

big for your britches

nobody cares except your own vanity

 

big fish small pond

a new era has dawned

all your modesty gone

 

everybody knows you

at least they think they do

love and hate the fishbowl

you relish that attention

resent and shun it too

 

big fish small pond

all your devotees fond

do they know that they were conned?

 

you impressed me

I wanted to appease you

and have you as a role model too

I worked very hard

you can’t dispute that

 

but you have a secret

can’t show that side of you

you’re actually terrified

but will never let on

your ego might get bruised

 

you’re self absorbed

everything’s about you

on my scary day

locked me in the bathroom

told me to keep yours confidential

 

put yourself on a pedestal

all that self aggrandizing

calling everyone losers

saying ‘play the game’

the town doesn’t know that part of you

 

big fish small pond

but pomposity beyond

a professional = non

 

invited me in

I saw the breakdown

now you cheat and scheme

not who I thought you were

awfully disappointing

 

big fish small pond

though I left and did abscond

I won’t be shamed I will respond

 

you only liked when I admired you

turned against me when I saw inside

stomped on me when I was low

could have tried to mentor though

my behavior wasn’t any worse than yours

 

your true character is ugly

you have your issues too:

you’re a bully

and conniving

and mean-spirited

gossipy

judgmental

it’s what you do

so go ahead and talk shit

you know I know the truth

Monkey Pencil Song

28 Jan
Got in a bike accident
Tore my private parts real bad
Your friend arrived from afar
 guilted to go out to eat
Sat upon that wood bench
But like a monkey still I pinch
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Hold so tight
Even when [beat] it isn’t right
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Grasp and clutch
Even though [beat] it isn’t much
[syncopated] Like monkey  [half beat] on that pencil
My loyalty [beat] is so prehensile!
Your work Halloween party
Bathroom in your bosses’ house
Tried to stick your hand up my skirt
I resisted- not in here
Found out you had bet your friends
You could slide home base with ease
But like a monkey still I squeeze
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Hold so tight
Even when [beat] it isn’t right
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Grasp and clutch
Even though [beat] it isn’t much
[syncopated] Like monkey  [half beat] on that pencil
My loyalty [beat] is so prehensile!
Over 6 years of dating
both working the same bad job
You Listened to mean girl lies
You relished ambushing me
And threw me under the bus
You talked about them so Much
But like a monkey still I clutch
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Hold so tight
Even when [beat] it isn’t right
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Grasp and clutch
Even though [beat] it isn’t much
[syncopated] Like monkey  [half beat] on that pencil
My loyalty [beat] is so prehensile!
[Outside in the frozen cold
Scraping my frosty windshield
You surprised me before work
Brought my favorite coffee
Drank the warmth and felt so snug
And like a monkey still I hug]
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Hold so tight
Especially when it all goes right
[beat] [growl-shout] Monkey pencil Monkey pencil
Grasp and clutch
Especially when the loves so much
[syncopated] Like monkey  [half beat] on that pencil
My happiness [beat] is so prehensile!

Rebound Temperament (a Rap)

21 Oct

[A.]  Your cold shoulder

[B.]  before you judge, please make an attempt

[B.]  should acquaint prior to displaying contempt

[A.]  the vibe you transmit–couldn’t be colder

 

[A.]  My motto?  Work hard, be industrious

[B.]  somehow you see a girl–malicious

[B.]  in kind, you exacerbate–you’re vicious

[A.]  My time?  I spend it being constructive

 

[A.]  Seriously, can’t you see my seat?

[B.]  I’m up front and center

[B.]  where everyone exits and enters

[A.]  let me do work and chill to my beats

 

Chorus:

It’s not me–it’s you

if you’re discerning the averse, check your own mood

I’m a mirror, an echo, a rendering of your attitude

note to you–you’re not even in my universe

it’s not me–it’s you

 

[A.]  Have we ever even had a conversation?

[B.]  unprovoked glowers, frowns, and scowles–full of hate

[B.]  filthy slow walk, to pick a fight, intimidate

[A.]  eradicate the aggression and frustration

 

bridge:

your cold shoulder

the vibe you put off, couldn’t be. . .  more frigid!

 

[A.]  Don’t underestimate my intelligence, I observed–

[B.]  body language, your side-eye.  My expression blank

[B.]  understand, I know the game, and let’s be frank

[A.]  you’re not worth my time; my morale?  Preserved.

 

Chorus:

It’s not me–it’s you

if you’re discerning the adverse, check your own mood

I’m a mirror, an echo, a rendering of your attitude

not to you–you’re not even in my universe

it’s not me–it’s you

 

[A.]  Reserved, waiting for sincerity, no sinister message to transmit

[B.]  you, with bitchy plans, talking shit…  Efforts to degrade

[B.]  are just wasted time–the negativity, overplayed

[A.]  my planet–You’re just not in my orbit

 

Chorus:

It’s not me–it’s you

if you’re discerning the averse, check your own mood

I’m a mirror, an echo, a rendering of your attitude

note to you–you’re not even in my universe

it’s not me–it’s you

 

Chorus:

It’s not me–it’s you

if you’re discerning the averse, check your own mood

I’m a mirror, an echo, a rendering of your attitude

note to you–you’re not even in my universe

it’s not me–it’s you

 

bridge:

your cold shoulder

the vibe you put off, couldn’t be. . .  more frigid!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Rainbows and Butterflies Obsession

21 Sep

But first, real quick: Ummm, when did WordPress become so user UNfriendly? Drafts are gone? I’m now having trouble uploading pictures. The auto-save didn’t work. I wrote this entire thing and it glitched at “publish” so irritating! It’s like the Myspace days, save your work elsewhere, lest lose it. Any tips?

 

And the topic at hand:

I am obsessed with Taylor Swift.  I have always liked her song-writing, and incorporation of personal details in lyrics (see so many blog posts that used her songs).  When I was driving almost 3 hours one way for all my IVF donor appointments, I must have listened to “Mean” and “Your Not Sorry” a billion times.  Her writing really touched my heart.  But I went away from her when Red came out–and was NOT available on Spotify.  Because how was I going to listen to the album without streaming?  That is also how I lost track of Adele also, who I think is super-talented and a wondrous singer.  But if you don’t allow streaming, I don’t have motivation to dig around.  And a lot was happening in Taylor Swift’s life and career at that time.  But once you’re out of the loop, it’s hard to get back in.  So I missed Red, 1989, and any Reputation stuff save for the music itself on the latter album.  I missed the dating, the clique, the feuds (except what was ubiquitous in pop-culture), and thus pretty much everything.

Brandi Carlile was my jam since, oh, 2010.  And I wish her music and everything still resonated with me now, as it had before.  I want to love it.  I wish I was still really into it.  I feel Brandi is an earnest person, with a good track record, and genuine concern about making the world better.  Her rock and folk albums were inspired, and even superseded some of The Indigo Girls’ work for me.  I like her (I guess her persona, because she makes you feel like you know her).  Her concerts are THE BEST.  And her actual singing is unmatched.  When she popped up on Zac Brown Band’s backing-vocals yesterday (listening to Spotify at work), I immediately knew it was her.

I am just not excited about this Americana direction she’s taking, dabbling in country, pandering to bullying, ect… to get Grammys.  I dutifully listen to the music she’s collaborating on, and really, really try to be a great fan.  But it’s not organically happening for me.  I can appreciate the work, I like it ok.  But my fandom is not what it used to be–and that’s disappointing.  It’s not over.  And I hope Brandi’s next album will feature the twins more, still have those notes she can hit like no other, and reignite the spark for me again.

And this post is not about how there can only be one female artist.  Not at all.  No trading is going on here.  I like them all and have a place in my heart for all of them.  There obviously, can (and needs to be) ALL the women in music.  They can all be successful, it’s important to support that, and help it grow.  I’m just illustrating that there was kind of a hole there (in my fandom?)… Which is when butterflies were bandied about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love color, love flowers, butterflies, tye dye, kittens, glitter, and unicorns, all of those things.  Always have.  It’s nothing to do with anything, just what aesthetic I’m naturally drawn to, and what incites passion and enthusiasm in me.  So when the “Me” video came out, it was my LIFE.  It was as if Taylor Swift made a video specifically for me.  Even better that little clues (Easter eggs) were throughout.  I also watched Pop-Up Video and loved all the trivia and facts and behind-the-scenes.  Same thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So just like that I was hooked back in, trying to find the meanings and read the clues.  And when super-gay “You Need to Calm Down” came on to the scene–I was floored.  It was fun, it was bright. . .  It painted Taylor (we’re on a first name basis) as at least an advocate and at most, was a coming out party for bisexual.  And that led to Kaylor.  Which is an easy word to describe a possible love between Taylor and Karlie Kloss.

PS-I don’t know what shipper means, and I don’t really care for it (I’m not 12), but that is the language used amongst Swifties, a group I’m too old to be in.  Which needs to change.  I should not be excluded just because I’m in my 30’s and can’t get on to the cool lingo.  Taylor Swift is an artist I’ve followed for a long time, I’m interested in, and who’s music/career I’m really into right now.  So I’m taking age out of it and being a super-fan (but leaving out the parts not applicable to me).

 

A lot of things made sense to me about Taylor being with Karlie.  Especially when you see the looks, body language, and intimacy between them on YouTube.  I feel like I have insider information about the difference between what friendships look like vs more.   I also know about the coming out process.  And when the lyrics of her songs are dissected in a different way–it makes so much more sense.  I am impressed by how coded Taylor intentionally or unintentionally made her lyrics and videos and media.  Like, how detailed could such a busy person get?!  Color me impressed!  That’s my very favorite thing about Taylor’s work.  Also interesting:  The LGBT community has used codes (handkerchiefs, ear piercings, etc, etc) forever to remain secret at large but still identify each other.  Which un-ironically(?) can describe Taylor Swift’s whole thing.  And what’s it called? double entrande’ ? Karlie has a computer coding school for girls, I think?  Codes, all the codes!  So now I guess I’m obsessed with accumulating irrefutable evidence of their relationship ie, I guess “outing” Taylor.

 

 

 

 

 

Which isn’t cool, and something I, personally, hate.  But I’m not doing in a blackmail way or smarmy, or anything.  More in a–knowing the REAL inspiration behind songs lets you in on the secret and allows more authentic enjoyment of the material.  It’s a little like my obsession with Disappeared (Jaycee Lee Dugard, The McStays, Maura Murry, etc, etc…) and wondering what ever happened to that person. . .  I always think about scenarios, make theories, and comb the internet for clues.  But this is a little brighter, because it’s about a true, hidden love-not disappearance and death.  But same combing for clues, making theories.

(Another blog post about that later–it’s kinda it’s own thing)

I was super into every Lover video, lyric, and Easter egg.  And thrust back into Taylor’s world-though I have a daunting amount of research to catch up on just so I know what’s going on.  There is a lot of media attention, romance stories, break-ups, friendships, characters–it’s worse than studying Chaucer.

Even more exciting-is that Taylor Swift is known to stalk her fans, get to know them via social media, then INVITE THEM TO HER HOUSE TO MEET HER.  Instant fantasy.  You know how I always want to meet them.  Hopefully the tone of this blog, and any criticisms of Taylor’s work doesn’t preclude me from that.  I thought about erasing any trace of negativity just in case.  But the integrity of the blog comes first.  Any my authenticity is always primary.  Over time, feelings can evolve, as Taylor herself knows all about.  Those were my opinions with information I had at the time, so they stay.

What I’ve learned since I wrote (especially my Reputation review) then is that the album is OK as a stand-alone.  But what really expands the experience and gives it depth are the background stories, music videos, and especially the Easter eggs.  Which is why Reputation got kind of a mediocre review from me at first (which has changed with my Kaylor knowledge) and is waaaay better now.  That’s why the Kaylor truth is so important for Taylor Swift to share, and also why it’s important for me not to go erase the past.  That’s me and my story, and just like Taylor’s works, plays a part in future works.

So that’s what is happening with Me! (see what I did there>) and why I have been inspired to write (more, still not enough-time gets away) again.  And to especially make some songs.

The Song-Writer’s Conundrum

11 Sep

what’s highly personal to me

doesn’t mean the same thing to you

the song is released *

it can be misconstrued

 

bridge:

twisted up ~ contorted

you took my words

and mis-reported

 

Chorus:

the song-writer’s conundrum:

show the world my most inner thoughts

people will take it as they want

now I feel so dumb

:  To share my lines or just stay mum?

 

I can be mean

it happens–that’s fine

but this incident? *

was just not one of those times

 

bridge:

twisted up ~ contorted

you took my words

and mis-reported

 

as the sentiment turned

things got out of my control

the tone turned hateful

I didn’t wanna go–down that rabbit hole!

 

bridge:

twisted up ~ contorted

you took my words

and mis-reported

 

Chorus:

the song-writer’s conundrum:

show the world my most inner thoughts

people will take it as they want

now I feel so dumb

:  To share my lines or just stay mum?

 

I didn’t stop it–I could have tried

just sat there, frozen *

it made me feel ugly inside

like my own words had lied

 

bridge:

twisted up ~ contorted

you took my words

and mis-reported

 

chorus (abridged):

now I feel so dumb

:  To share my lines or just stay mum?

 

bridge:

twisted up ~ contorted

you took my words

and mis-reported

Donna: You Make Me Wanna…

31 Aug

you mean well

and you cannot tell

but you’re awkward

 

I know I’m not proficient in social situations

my brain takes detail-vacations

thinking of all the small things

meanwhile I am just standing there

so busy thinking, that I’m checked out–unaware

 

but you have no idea

so I didn’t take it wrong

saved this story for a song

and recounted the memory to everyone

about the time you said inappropriate things to me at work

not to be a jerk

you think your tips are helpful

and you don’t know any better

an old lady can’t identify with a trend-setter…

you have no idea my haircut is so me!

 

you suggested sunscreen for my head

you didn’t notice my face turn red

couldn’t tell I was embarrassed by your comments

you showed genuine concern

that my bald spot would burn

maybe you thought I didn’t know how to be feminine and pleasing

 

I laughed later

didn’t think you were being a hater

I figured you just thought your hints were inspirational

what an odd-ball

saying rude things without the where-with-all!

I know you don’t realize

 

and I laughed again

when you said my hair was finally growing in

another day when you crept up to my cubicle

I accepted you for what you are

a little kooky, a lot bizarre

but after many comments

my patience was fully spent

I’m ignoring your opinion, take your ten cent.

And put it in your own pocket

an opinion for a different girl, another day

it’s not that I don’t know what you’re getting at-

I should hide my hair and get a hat

until I grow my locks and learn to be a proper girl

but Donna, I just don’t care

that I don’t meet old fashioned standards and you. don’t. like my. hair!