Tag Archives: songs

Is Taylor Swift who we Thought she was? [Part 1]

17 May

Considering recent events I would be remiss not to address the whole 1975 guy and Taylor “dating” so I’m just going to briefly pause the Taylor Swift’s Gay Moments series to talk about it. I have the next 2 posts all ready to go when we resume.

But before I get into that let me give you a history of my exposure to Taylor Swift:

It’s hazy (excuse the pun) when I became a fan of Taylor Swift. I just vaguely remember her being there. She sort of snuck into my life through hearing her singles at the grocery store, or on the radio on the way home from work. I wasn’t really her target audience- I was a bit older than her, just a peripheral country music fan, and I don’t like dudes.

More and more I was hitting repeat on my ipod on her songs. I especially like what I consider her red marker songs. All the ones with anger and bitterness and revenge as the main themes. I don’t know what that says about me, but my insurance only covers 3 counseling sessions per year, so I guess I’ll have to wait to find out. Anyway, I was especially moved by You’re not Sorry, Mean, and Should’ve Said no. I listened to those over and over (no literally, as the song was ending I would push that left side of the circle and play it again) in the car to and from my IVF appointments.

Sidenote: I had to drive 2.5hr from my college town to Kansas City to get paps, blood tests, and hormones as an egg donor. Each session was 3 or 4 months, and the appointments would start out every 3 weeks or something like that, but as it got closer to harvest the appointments could be as many as 3x a week. I was doing a LOT of driving! And Taylor was with me the whole time.

So I have a lot of sentimental attachment to Taylor’s songs. I did not really know anything about Taylor the person, or even marketer. I was a college student with a job so I legit didn’t have that much time to check it out. Also, I couldn’t afford like a TV package with good channels (this was before streaming was mainstream), had a purple Razor, no data (this was before iphones), and I was on Myspace (hated) Facebook, so you had to proactively search people, they didn’t just fall into your feed. Also, it was during the Limewire and Frostwire days (I wasn’t fancy enough to be able to engage with Apple except for my little ipod) so getting music was a whole ordeal.

When Taylor didn’t have Red on Spotify, I really lost track of her, except for hearing the ubiquitous songs out and about. I knew nothing of her personas, eras, fashion, friends, or concerts. I was working and studying (and poor) most of the times, OK? I sort of heard scuttle about her dating constantly, but didn’t know the specifics. Just heard the misogynous comments around school or in the media.

When I saw the rainbows, butterflies, and adorable aesthetic of the Lover era I re-engaged more than ever. That was my jam. The Me! video (not song) is SO ME. It’s everything I ever loved and I wanted EVERY interview, behind the scenes video, and easter egg decoding. I never even knew the easter eggs were a thing before that.

In searching for content I saw these Kaylor compilation videos on YouTube. Before that moment I had not heard of Kaylor, did not know who Karlie Kloss was, didn’t even know what “shipping” was and was completely oblivious of stanning and fan culture. Boy, did I get an introduction! I clicked on the video because Taylor and a model looked very pretty on the cover. As I watched I was agog. As a lesbian, I knew THE LOOK and the way these two looked at each other, the body language, the chemistry–was undeniable. Nobody told me about Kaylor, I had never read about this, but I could see it. After that I found two very interesting podcasts: Taylor Talk and TayDar. I loved the song analysis, and was very curious to find out about everything I had missed over the years (hint: everything but the popular songs). I got on Tumblr, went to Reddit, and Googled a lot of power-points. I was down the rabbit hole.

Then I became obsessed, as you’ve seen. Part 2 we’ll discuss what’s happening now.

Taylor Swift’s Gay Moments: Reputation ~ Links to each song’s post

3 Mar

The songs on Reputation are packed with meaning, and there are many rabbit holes to go down. As such, this post would be too long if I included each song as I did with Debut, Fearless, Speak Now, Red, and 1989. Pretty much every track on Reputation has queer content. There could probably be an argument made for LWYMMD and TIWWCHNT, especially the video and live performances, but neither really have lyrics conducive to this particular analysis. All the rest of the songs are included. Here are the links to each gay Reputation moment:

…Ready For it?

Golden age of Hollywood and bearding

Heterosexual marriage with frequent same sex interactions outside of the marriage

I didn’t include End Game because having features muddies the water about who contributed what. It’s probably Taylor being gay on main again, but I can’t rule out that Ed or Future added to the lyrics.

I Did Something Bad

Navigating LGBTQ Rumors

Media + Closeting

Don’t Blame Me

Internalized homophobia

LGBT have higher incidence of drug abuse and addiction



So It Goes…

Femme invisibility


To be her or be with her?

Gendered terms for beautiful


Getaway Car

No Strings Attached/Friends with Benefits but someone falls in love

King Of My Heart

The American Dream privileges (White, cis, middle to upper-class) Male Heterosexuals

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2023/02/27/taylor-swifts-gay-moments-reputation-3/(opens in a new tab)

Dancing With Our Hands Tied

Deep dive

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2023/03/04/taylor-swifts-gay-moments-reputation-dancing-with-our-hands-tied/(opens in a new tab)


The pronoun game

Pining and yearning

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2023/03/01/taylor-swifts-gay-moments-reputation-2/(opens in a new tab)

Call it What you Want

I didn’t do a whole thing on this one, because Karlie’s whole-a$$ name is repeated throughout the song–that’s pretty obviously sapphic.

But also, it’s about personal labels and internalized homophobia and anxiety.

New Year’s Day

Decision to come out in public or keep it on the down-low

https://kit10phish.wordpress.com/2023/02/28/taylor-swifts-gay-moments-reputation-new-years-day/(opens in a new tab)

I Found OUT who “Bad Blood” is really about & the true reason for the Katy Perry/Taylor Swift feud!

11 Feb

I like to spread my posts out so the go up daily, but I AM TOO EXCITED about this! Here’s part 2 that I promised with the Sister Songs post:

You remember Myspace, right? Here’s this in case you don’t (this comes back later)

People thought Katy was alluding to a manufactured feud. I think (based on context) that Katy is talking about: sapphic, closeting, bisexuals/lesbians in the music industry, etc, etc… You’ll see what I mean, I’m about to show you.

Was Katy Perry calling out the fact that Taylor Swift had a young beard (dancers in drag/performing sexuality/gay males)? Instead of coming out of the closet?

Enter Bad Blood:

We know who the song is supposed to be about. But do we know the REAL reason or a manufactured reason to hide the gay of it all? A closeted person cannot call someone out for “outing” them, because, well, that’s the point. Instead Taylor has to use subtext to get her message across to Katy without pouring fuel on the (gay) fire.

Bad Blood

You know it used to be mad love…/…Now we got problems/And I don’t think we can solve ’em/You made a really deep cut…/…I was thinking that you could be trusted/Did you have to ruin/What was shining? Now it’s all rusted/Did you have to hit me/Where I’m weak? Baby, I couldn’t breathe/And rub it in so deep/Salt in the wound like you’re laughing right at me…/…Did you think we’d be fine?/Still got scars on my back from your knife/So don’t think it’s in the past/These kind of wounds they last and they last/Now did you think it all through?/All these things will catch up to you…/…If you live like that, you live with ghosts (ghosts, ghosts)/Band-aids don’t fix bullet holes (hey!)/You say sorry just for show …/…Hm, if you love like that, blood runs cold/’Cause baby, now we got bad blood

I think the bolded portions especially, show my point that Taylor is talking about an ex that outed her

The Feud:


Katy’s Transgressions:

First loud encouragement in song (see my other post for the deets)

Second many cheeky innuendos (pics and quotes above)

Now a more mean-spirited song that may be the the final nail in the coffin that was their friendship

I told you Myspace would come back around 🙂

And here’s your confirmation Bad Blood (the whole feud) is about the time Katy Perry tried to “out” Taylor. The happy meal was NOT random


Taylor’s Gay Moments- Country Music ~ Speak Now (Oct 2010)

7 Feb

Taylor has always been Sapphic Lesbian w/major comp-het: I have interspersed Taylor’s early Myspace post and sus song lyrics:

Speak Now:

The entirety of:


will get its own post.

Sparks Fly-

The way you move is like a full on rainstorm/And I’m a house of cards/You’re the kind of reckless that should send me running/And you stood there in front of me just/Close enough to touch/Close enough to hope you couldn’t see/What I was thinking of…/…Gimme something that’ll haunt me when you’re not around…/…My mind forgets to remind me you’re a bad idea/You touch me once and it’s really something/I’m on my guard for the rest of the world/But with you, I know it’s no good…/…Meet me in the pouring rain/Kiss me on the sidewalk/Take away the pain…/…I run my fingers through your hair/And watch the lights go wild…/…It’s just wrong enough to make it feel right/And lead me up the staircase/Won’t you whisper soft and slow/I’m captivated by you, baby/Like a fireworks show

Back to December-

And realized I loved you in the fall/And then the cold came, the dark days/When fear crept into my mind/You gave me all your love and all I gave you was goodbye


The lingering question kept me up/2 AM, who do you love?/I wonder ’til I’m wide awake/And now I’m pacing back and forth/Wishing you were at my door/I’d open up and you would say, “Hey”/It was enchanting to meet you…/…Please don’t be in love with someone else/Please don’t have somebody waiting on you

Better than Revenge-

Soon she’s gonna find/Stealing other people’s toys on the playground/Won’t make you many friends/She should keep in mind/She should keep in mind/There is nothing I do better than revenge, ha

At first glance, it may seem like men are more prone to competition than women. They can be more risk-tolerant and use more physical aggression toward each other. Their friendships are by and large transactional, and their conflicts are typically straightforward and direct. Women on the other hand often experience emotional depth and complexity in both friendship and competition. If they seem less competitive than men, it’s because they sometimes enact their rivalry drive in more covert and clandestine ways.

Last Kiss-

The words that you whispered for just us to know/You told me you loved me/So why did you go away?…/…I do recall now the smell of the rain…/…Sit on the floor wearing your clothes…/…I’m not much for dancing, but for you, I did/Because I love your handshake, meeting my father…/…You can plan for a change in the weather and time/But I never planned on you changing your mind

Long Live-

Long live the walls we crashed through/While the kingdom lights shined just for me and you/I was screaming, long live all the magic we made/And bring on all the pretenders, one day we will be remembered…/…Of all the years that we stood there on the sidelines/Wishing for right now…/…And the cynics were outraged/Screaming, this is absurd/’Cause for a moment a band of thieves/In ripped-up jeans got to rule the world…/…Long live all the mountains we moved/I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you…/…Promise me this/That you’ll stand by me forever/But if God forbid fate should step in/And force us into a goodbye…/…Long live the walls we crashed through/I had the time of my life with you…/…All the kingdom lights shined just for me and you


Seems like there’s always someone who disapproves/They’ll judge it like they know about me and you/And the verdict comes from those with nothing else to do/The jury’s out, but my choice is you/So don’t you worry your pretty, little mind/People throw rocks at things that shine/And life makes love look hard/The stakes are high, the water’s rough/But this love is ours…/…You never know what people have up their sleeves/Ghosts from your past gonna jump out at me/Lurking in the shadows with their lip gloss smiles/But I don’t care ’cause right now you’re mine…/…And it’s not theirs to speculate/If it’s wrong, and your hands are tough/But they are where mine belong, and/I’ll fight their doubt and give you faith…/…But they can’t take what’s ours/They can’t take what’s ours

Taylor’s Gay Moments- Country Music ~ Fearless (Nov 2008)

6 Feb

Taylor has been alluding to her sexuality the whole time, we just weren’t paying attention. Given the lyrics I think she is Lesbian w/major comp-het: I have interspersed Taylor’s early Myspace post and sus song lyrics:


The entirety of:


This song will get its own post.


Well you stood there with me in the doorway/My hands shake/I’m not usually this way but/You pull me in and I’m a little more brave/It’s the first kiss, it’s flawless, really something, it’s fearless/Cause I don’t know how it gets better than this/You take my hand and drag me head first/Fearless/And I don’t know why/But with you I’d dance in a storm/In my best dress/Fearless


Feeling like there’s nothing to figure out…/…This is life before you know who you’re gonna be…/…When all you wanted/Was to be wanted/Wish you could go back/And tell yourself what you know now

Love Story-

So I sneak out to the garden to see you/We keep quiet, ’cause we’re dead if they knew…/…’Cause you were Romeo, I was a scarlet letter/And my daddy said, “Stay away from Juliet”…/….Romeo, save me, they’re tryna tell me how to feel/This love is difficult, but it’s real/Don’t be afraid, we’ll make it out of this mess…/…Is this in my head? I don’t know what to think

Hey Stephen-

Hey Stephen, I’ve been holding back this feeling/So I’ve got some things to say to you (ha)…/…But I never seen nobody shine the way you do/The way you walk, way you talk, way you say my name/It’s beautiful, wonderful, don’t you ever change/Hey Stephen, why are people always leaving?/I think you and I should stay the same…/…So come on and come out…/…And shine, shine, shine

You Belong with Me-

That what you’re looking for has been here the whole time/If you could see that I’m the one/Who understands you/Been here all along/So, why can’t you see?/You belong with me/Standing by and waiting at your backdoor/All this time how could you not know, baby?

The Way I Loved You-

He says everything I need to hear, and it’s like…/…I feel perfectly fine…/…He respects my space/And never makes me wait/And he calls exactly when he says he will/He’s close to my mother/Talks business with my father/He’s charming and endearing/And I’m comfortable…/…I couldn’t ask for anything better/He can’t see the smile I’m faking/And my heart’s not breaking/‘Cause I’m not feeling anything at all/And you were wild and crazy/Just so frustrating, intoxicating, complicated/Got away by some mistake and now/I miss screaming and fighting and kissing in the rain/It’s 2 a.m. and I’m cursing your name/I’m so in love that I acted insane/And that’s the way I loved you/Breaking down and coming undone/It’s a roller coaster kind of rush/And I never knew I could feel that much/And that’s the way I loved you


Untouchable like a distant diamond sky/I’m reaching out and I just can’t tell you why/I’m caught up in you…/…Untouchable, burning brighter than the sun/And when you’re close, I feel like coming undone

Forever and Always-

Was I out of line?/Did I say something way too honest, made you run and hide…/…Thought I knew you for a minute, now I’m not so sure…/…Here’s to silence, that cuts me to the core/Where is this going?/Thought I knew for a minute, but I don’t anymore

I said, “Leave“, but all I really want is you/To stand outside my window, throwin’ pebbles/Screamin’, “I’m in love with you”…/…And don’t you leave, ’cause I know/All I need is on the other side of the door/Me and my stupid pride are sittin’ here alone…/…I keep goin’ back over things we both said/And I remember the slamming door/And all the things that I misread/Oh, babe, if you know everything/Tell me why you couldn’t see/When I left, I wanted you to chase after me, yeah/I said, “Leave”, but all I really want is you…/…And the conversation with the little white lies…/…And I broke down crying, was she worth this mess?/After everything and that little black dress/After everything I must confess, I need you

Today was a Fairytale-

All that I can say/Is now it’s getting so much clearer/Nothing made sense ’til the time I saw your face/Today was a fairytale

You All Over Me-

I lived, and I learned/And found out what it was to turn around/And see, that we/Were never really meant to be/So I lied, and I cried/And I watched a part of myself die/’Cause no amount of freedom gets you clean

Brandi Carlile’s Broken Horses-My Take

25 Jan

Broken Horses-

Is the best singing on the album. Brandi told Rolling Stone podcast that she didn’t want to look like she was just singing so strongly like this to show off. I say, there should be MORE belting the eff out. And less apologizing for showcasing talent. Show. the fuck. off, Brandi! Jesus the scream-note. Because I love the singing so much and think this is the best song (vocally) on this album, and towards the top in her catalogue, I honestly didn’t attend to the lyrics for the first 100 listens.

Wearing something inside your skin is quite the imagery. Brandi is telling us that leather (tough, of-nature, yet soft, versatile) was passed down from her father to her. And it’s not just something she can take off–the leather inside the skin is deeply ingrained. I don’t know who “you” is in this song. I don’t think it’s the partner referenced in the prior songs. Brandi insinuates this person somehow attacks her. I think the Sunday best means someone in a church, or someone really phony who uses their dress and manner to hide their sinister intentions. Telling that person they had better call their priest shows me maybe it’s someone in the congregation (from her denied-Baptism story?) telling Brandi she doesn’t belong?

Brandi says she has also worn the jester’s bells (funny, silly, clownish, naïve?). And she worshiped at the alter of a puppet-master. I think this means a religious leader had an expectation their congregation would be mindless and under his(?) total control without thought or push-back. Then, Brandi compares religion to a play or show. She says, being a puppet for an authoritarian minister was not fulfilling. Brandi blames this minister for a more superficial, experience. When under this preacher’s guidance, she held back her true words, and the result of that was her children are in the cheap seats (far back, more distractions, not as good, worse) and got a worse big event (religious understanding or experience, going back to reality).

I feel like the book would enlighten me to the meaning of the chorus. [Right now Cool is reading it, while I finish a book I had already started. I’ll read Brandi’s when she’s done]. But Cool did tell me Brandi said she’s not talking about “breaking” a horse to ride here. Tethered in open spaces is feeling tied down, being restrained but seeing huge possibility. If you’re spiritually restrained or holding back your true self in a big, wide world would feel smothering. The horse and the subdued person would both want to escape, run free, be more authentic to their nature.

Right into the barrel of a gun. I’m not sure where the gun comes from . Is someone aggressing? Is it suicide ideology? This could mean, when the person holds back so much that they are missing out that they don’t want to continue on that way. Because life lived in a closed way, isn’t even worth living? Or they’re so frustrated, yet trapped and they don’t know how to gain freedom? Or it could be the cowboy (or captor, person making them feel so trapped) that holds the gun to keep the horse/person within their control. If they escape, run, open up–they will be punished.

Mending up YOUR fences with MY horses runnin’ wild seems like some sort of compromise. Brandi says her inner self is running wild (the horses are untied and galloping through the field) but she’s careful too. She’s fixing the break in the fence that allowed that momentary freedom. She is reigning it back in, checking herself. Brandi helps keep herself tethered by fixing the fence that traps her and makes her so unhappy. Now, it’s not just the person with the gun keeping her (emotions) tied up and hidden, it’s Brandi (the horses) herself capitulating.

The 3rd verse reinforces this. Brandi says she treaded softly (walked on eggshells, tried to “behave”) to get this other person’s praise. This other person doesn’t like Brandi as she is, they want her to be less wild. As such Brandi doesn’t shout loudly or stomp or act out–she whispers through tears and begs sweetly. At the end, Brandi says, enough with this shit, it’s not me. I’m not going to reign it in and be tethered to please you any longer. She says she allowed this for a long time, but it’s not what she wants for her children. She tells this “you” enough.

Like I said, not having read the book, I think I’m at a bit of a disadvantage to analyze the song. But I get the impression “you” isn’t the same you as the romantic partner in the prior songs on the album. I think this may relate to the story I’ve heard Brandi tell in concert, and in many interviews about the pastor who wouldn’t baptize her. That traumatized her and she’s saying she played along and acted “good” for long enough. She wants to be more her authentic self, despite criticism from the church.

Question… The Last Post of the Series and Explanation of Who and What the Song is About [Part 20]

22 Jan

We finished the end of Dancing with our Hands Tied! Parts A-T if you missed it. Do you agree that Taylor is agonizing over an event that almost outed her? And she is regretful that she choose the closet over her lover? With that foundation, let’s look at Question…:

Here’s the lyrics as written so you can get a sense of the story Taylor is telling:

Can I ask you a question?
Did you ever have someone kiss you in a crowded room
And every single one of your friends was
Making fun of you
But fifteen seconds later they were clapping too?
Then what did you do?
Did you leave her house in the middle of the night?
Did you wish you put up more of a fight?
When she said it was too much?
Do you wish you could still touch …her?
It’s just a question

Now I’ll try to analyze them line by line, using what we learned from Dancing with our Hands Tied plus the consensus of word meanings gleaned from other songs in the catalog:

Can I ask you a question?

To me, it seems like both Dancing with our Hands Tied and Question…  Are less about one event or person, and more about Taylor’s overall mentality and what that leads to.  Taylor is acknowledging that her gay-panic and straight-washing sucks.  BUT this song (we’re back at Question…) is a justification of her actions.  

She is asking the listener (her ex-girlfriends, fans, critics, etc…) to empathize with her very specific situation.  In these lyrics, Taylor is calling for us to stand in her shoes (on your tiptoes) and see why she does these seemingly callous things repeatedly.  Question… is a song about Taylor’s phobia of being unabashedly queer and her habitual dread of being outed. 

As I said, I think this applies to every one of Taylor’s sapphic relationships.  For ease of writing and for specificity, I’ll use the muse I’m most familiar with, the most recent known girlfriend, Karlie.   

Did you ever have someone kiss you in a crowded room

The first question Taylor asks (exes, fans, critics) is did you ever find yourself in a situation where you were doing a controversial action in front of everybody?

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 hurts their love.  Which is why in Betty, Taylor wants to rectify the situation by publicly kissing Betty/this woman she loves (Question…  [Part 17]).  

And every single one of your friends was

Making fun of you

Taylor adds details to her first question.  She wants to know if you’ve done something controversial AND if everyone was disdainful towards you about it?

Taylor wants us to know that, yes, she acted ugly as a result of each of these public events that revealed her true nature.  Cruel Summer shows Taylor’s hidden feelings:

Cruel Summer

She hated all the secrets.  She snuck around for love despite the dangerous consequences. And it made her sad that her love wasn’t celebrated.  But she had to. Because everyone was judging her harshly, ready to out her to the world.

But fifteen seconds later they were clapping too?

Then what did you do?

Taylor wants to know what the listener would have done when the rules changed.  She says, turns out, you adjusted in order to tame the controversy, but society evolved.  Instead of jeering this formerly controversial pairing, the majority were cheering.  But what if you  (her ex, the fans, any critics) were still locked in cages of maintaining your status quo?  How would you handle the situation then?

She asks the listeners what they would do in that very specific situation.  Knowing it’s impossible to handle smoothly, Taylor then implies that nobody can judge her harshly for her reactions and behavior.  She says anyone would act just as cagey under her circumstances.

The specific event of Kissgate hurt Kaylor because Taylor defaulted to brand damage control instead of just coming out.  Taylor, the individual, long ago lost her autonomy to Taylor Swift, the brand.  All the anxiety about negative societal reactions kills the sapphic partnership.  And when time passes and the general public is more accepting of queerness, Taylor was already locked into her marketed image.  She has to remain super-straight, or her fans will know she lied a lot of times.  They will feel betrayed by their friend.  The half moon eyes in Question… are the combination of these anxieties constantly tugging Taylor and any sapphic lover apart.  

Taylor talks to a few different subjects in the next lines.  Taylor is asking herself these questions.  She’s asking her girlfriend if any of these outcomes would have changed if either of them had taken different actions.  And she asks the listener to empathize.  

Did you leave your secret love in the middle of the night?  In that situation, do you think you could put up more of a fight?  And what about if your girlfriend was also anxious about it?  Would you press her to continue?  Taylor is saying she had all bad choices here, and anyone would have finished with the same bad outcome as she did.

Did you leave her house in the middle of the night?

According to her catalog, it’s Taylor who blew things out of proportion, and it was Taylor who burned the relationship down. It’s Taylor who pushes Karlie (any girlfriend applies) to run, and to take the last train.  It’s Taylor who jumps off the train and rides off alone.  

Did you wish you put up more of a fight?

Taylor is asking this question to herself and her exes.  She’s also showing her listeners how difficult it was to even do the little pushing back she did. She was marketed not only as boy-crazy, but as everyone’s personal friend, so the news would cause a stir.

The Taylor Swift brand is huge.  There is a lot of money and power behind it.  Look at one example of a business move that conveys the incredible power of TSTM:

Taylor (as face of the brand) had spoken and a Fortune 500 company immediately complied.  In this damage-control situation, after trying and faltering against all that brand-leverage, Taylor asks how would YOU proceed? 

Coming out as any kind of gay would cause backlash, and the employees of TSTM might be subjected to hardship. There is strong motivation to put out fires on behalf of the brand. Their damage control is quick and decisive.  The water of them putting out this fire became a flood that engulfed and overwhelmed everything.  In Clean, Taylor said she screamed so loud when all this water filled her lungs.  This damage control negatively impacts her despite being the face of the brand.

Remembering how the butterflies crumble to dust and Taylor is unhappy and alone in the closet, she had momentary bravery and pushed back against her team’s damage control.  Part of Taylor wants to choose authentic love, and the woman. So she started fighting for her (real) relationship, arguing with her team about downplaying the event that outed her.  She protested against going back into the closet, and tried to stop the torrent, “…but no one heard a thing.”  

Nobody on Taylor’s team listened to Taylor [remember her crying at the table in Miss Americana?] and she submitted, “Hung my head as I lost the war.” The war is Taylor’s conflict with her sexuality (this is bigger than her team).  She momentarily wanted to come out, but TSTM executives thought it would be bad for the brand.  It was just enough friction to trigger the conflict within herself.  As much as Taylor wants to come out and be free to love her soulmate, her fears of losing everything are stronger.  “So I punched a hole in the roof, Let the flood carry away all my pictures of you.”  Taylor’s fear took over in the end.  Clearing the air, she breathed in the smoke, and helped with the cover-up at the expense of her sapphic love.

When she said it was too much?

Here Taylor is telling the listener that the split wasn’t just one-sided.  The partner felt exhausted by the complications and couldn’t deal with it anymore.  

She is asking the listeners/critics what you would do if you lived through this complicated event, and had to deal with the pressure of a whole brand. 

Furthermore, what if the girl you were trying to fight for had a lot of doubts? The girlfriend wasn’t sure that she even wanted to go through more just to make things work–what would you have done?  Taylor is making it evident that she (as individual vs. brand) didn’t have a lot of pull in the matter.  And even if she did, her girlfriend was beaten down by the experience and ready to leave.

Again, the music belies Taylor’s internal struggle.  In Death by a Thousand cuts, Taylor tells how heartbroken she was with the final result:

Do you wish you could still touch …her?

Taylor’s last question shows that she wishes it wasn’t this way.  She still covets the touch of her lover.  Despite her impossible situation, and inability to rectify it in a satisfying way (for all parties involved) Taylor says she truly loved the girl.

Taylor’s most important relationships couldn’t overcome so many stumbling blocks despite both loving each other (Question…  [Part 10]).  There is internal homophobia, career pressures, political considerations, bearding complications, on and on. How many struggles can one relationship survive?   

When Taylor’s default action is covering up her queerness, it causes her to suppress her secret relationship as well. Karlie politely lived with being stifled, her love tamped down (Question…  [Part 10]).  But eventually left the smothering deprivation of the closet.  Karlie “married” the guy or more suitably–commissioned her new heteronormative life (Question…  [Part 9]).  

The break-up kills Taylor.  And Karlie is dead to Taylor now that she has a child and a (diabolical) husband.  Both Taylor and Karlie (this could apply to any and all of Taylor’s sapphic lovers) are dead inside, cold lifeless hands reaching out grieving for the living (“do you wish you could still touch her?”).  Yet, Taylor still prioritizes building a legacy despite repeatedly losing the lover because of it (Question…  [Part 11]).  It’s a pattern she’s repeated over and over.  

It’s just a question

This is a cheeky ending where Taylor feels like the listener agreed with her logic.  She wanted us to know the details of her situation so we could see how she couldn’t do things any other way.  And now that we’ve seen her side of things, she knows we’re on the same page as her.  She was entombed in a lot of ways and that justified her behavior.  It’s the same as Dancing with our Hands Tied: Taylor is broken because her sapphic relationship ended. She’s regretful and wished things would have been different. But she reminds herself, her ex, and her audience in the song how her unique circumstances are to blame. And she ends both songs saying I regret this, but… Taylor has rationalized all her choices which have led to these disheartening outcomes.

Taylor will remain shrouded in the lavender haze because she has more challenging circumstances than many.  But she’s still going to be sad, and share her feelings about it in song.

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- Invisible & Nothing can Stop it [Part G]

4 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?

Picture of your face in an invisible locket

Taylor is telling this girlfriend that her career, ergo her beard, is her first priority. Taylor publicly wears necklaces to show off her heterosexual [bearding] relationships, so this lover will have to settle for an invisible locket.

Taylor keeps her female lovers near her heart, but doesn’t belie that to outsiders. She only feels safe when the sapphic love is a secret.  “Out of time” in Question… could mean the glass closeting was finished due to this kissing in a crowded room.  They would no longer be seen as “friends” in the media and to the public.  She fears everything will be taken away from her if she is discovered to be queer. As Taylor continues to dance around it and beard, the lover gets tired of being invisible.  The relationship gets colder and more distant every time Taylor doesn’t make this crucial person her centerfold.  The girlfriend is demoralized because of all the lies and ruses, and is dispirited when Taylor never says her name from the podium.  Closeting corrodes this secret, sapphic love.  “Out of time” could additionally mean that Taylor faced a pressing decision to come out to her fans and live openly Sapphic with her lover OR continue to closet and beard, but lose the lover.

You said there was nothing in the world that could stop it

What is “it” that cannot be stopped?  Is the “it” something negative approaching? The “YOU said” could imply that Taylor feels the opposite about what her girlfriend is telling her.  Or it could be that Taylor is incredulous 

Many of Taylor’s songs talk about a third person encroaching on Taylor’s love and happiness. The lover could be saying that there is no other option for her than to marry that man.  Between the lure and commitment to the guy and the life he can provide, and the problems and complications constantly caused by bearding and closeting, this lover is a flight risk. The lover is promised to another.  It might be contractual.  She might want a “normal” life instead of a queer one.  It might be a choice of more wealth than Taylor can offer. Taylor had agreed to a friends with benefits situationship, but felt deeper and changed her mind. But her lover is reluctant to get more serious. And Taylor doesn’t agree that her girlfriend has no choice but to marry a man, and wants them to remain together. 

Nonetheless Taylor sneaks in the garden gate and tries to entice her girlfriend to pick her by describing her fantasy of drinking on a private beach together (Question… [Part 11]). Taylor’s perfect outcome would be to go someplace like the lakes, where people are more clever. She wants to steal away with her lover and live a committed long term relationship–in privacy. But if the lover doesn’t choose HIM, will he burn the house down? In Ivy, Taylor says the future of this love affair–her fate is tied to what the guy will do.  This man has a lot of power and money… It’s just one more barrier to their Sapphic love. 

A second option for something that can’t be stopped is Taylor’s lover telling her that having their relationship go public is inevitable.  Taylor was working up to coming out.  She wanted to do it for her lover.  She wrote speeches…  But they ended up in the fire. 

She couldn’t give an adequate reason why she just couldn’t bring herself to do it.  She covered up the relationship and doubled-down on bearding instead. Sapphic love slipped beyond her reaches as a result.  Now Taylor grieves for the living.  The tarnished (stigmatized) touch was the only thing that made Taylor feel and come in from the cold, numbing snow.  Though Taylor was unthawed by this love, and her whole being was impacted, her inaction caused the lover to leave (Question… [Part 8]).

Dancing with our Hands Tied- Awakening & Touching [Part E]

29 Dec

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?

Deep blue, but you painted me golden

Taylor’s realization that she is queer, has always infused anxiety into her.  Even way back in her catalog she had an inkling she felt differently, and she immediately tried to hide it.  The behavior is part of her standard protocol at this point.  Throughout her life Taylor’s fear of her sexuality caused her to hide, panic, scheme, and the result was loss and loneliness. Forcing sexuality into dormancy is distressing.  The torture of burying a crucial part of yourself would cause moroseness.  

Taylor uses the word “color” to convey she had a gay awakening (Question… [Part 3]).  The songs that have “paint” show that Taylor’s world lit up when she really felt love (instead of comp-het).  Someone opened her eyes in Everything has Changed and she felt passionate/invigorated, and more open than she had prior to that moment (Question…  [Part 3]).  The words planet/Saturn.  proclaim how extraordinary this person makes Taylor feel.  Taylor’s love feels enormous and vast to her (Question…  [Part 15]). 

Taylor is illustrating the contrast between this sublime and ethereal state and her previous condition.

Oh, and you held me close

Taylor feels more with women.  One of the first symptoms of queerness is Taylor romantically daydreaming about dancing with girls.  She goes through a trajectory of trepidation, then wonders if it’s a choice at all because desire to touch women feels so innate.  Next, Taylor won’t let herself cross the threshold into queerness, but gets thisclose to touching (so it doesn’t count).  It is all too tempting and she can’t resist, nor can she deny the obvious any longer. Longing to touch women changed who Taylor thought she was (Question… [Part 8]).

Yet, Taylor fears losing control if she touches women.  We talked about how the depths of the water in Marjory signify the unknown.  Taylor has never liked getting in too deep, where her feet can’t touch the ground, and she doesn’t know where she stands. 

But at times, the love and desire is stronger than fear.  You are in Love says, “For once you let go of all your fears and ghosts. . . You knew what it was.”  Taylor can’t quash her feelings any longer, this desire to touch women is proof her gal-pal or best friend is actually romantic love and sexual attraction.  “Wishing you had never found out/that love could be that strong” in Red, builds on this idea.  Now that Taylor knows she’s gay, she is more alive.  It’s out of her control screeching a speeding car to a sudden stop, flying through the free fall, yet she can’t go without it.  She’s blue when this person is gone, gray when she’s all alone.  Taylor is disturbed by the revelation that she needs this red, passionate love, and wishes she didn’t.  “I’m so furious that you make me feel this way,” in Gorgeous is that same magnetic and dangerous pull described in Red.  Taylor doesn’t like losing control, but here she is captivated by this gorgeous woman (Question… [Part 8]).  

Taylor judges the sapphic touching like it’s an addiction, and becomes obsessed with it. Don’t Blame Me has Taylor, high on her lover’s touch, begging on her knees, and giving up grace to touch her.  She’s torn between trepidation of this forbidden and dangerous love and feeling depressed when she doesn’t have it (Question… [Part 8]). 

Despite craving sapphic love Taylor also redoubles the bearding–it’s her safety net.  Ready for It…  the opener of Reputation shows a new bravado about the situation.  In the lyrics Taylor goes from he (the beard) to you (the gal she’s in love with) describing her future plans.  She will keep the beard as a cover for the sapphic love forever, and at night all the touching that Taylor needs can take place in private (Question… [Part 8]).  

Taylor jealously guards her new found love with a woman in End Game, Delicate, and Gold Rush.  Now that she crossed her boundaries and touched a woman, Taylor can’t be without it.  She frets that this person will leave her, they’ll choose someone else (a man?) over her.  And the thought of that makes Taylor miserable (Question… [Part 8]).