Tag Archives: WLW

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

2 Dec

Taylor wins the pronoun game.  I’m not even going to try to untangle the speaker/recipient/changing characters in this song.  It was written so convoluted that I haven’t even seen a satisfactory answer to this yet.  Instead, I took lyric snippets from other songs featuring the same word, to get a feeling about Taylor’s sentiment and even subject. Don’t get overwhelmed with the length of this post.  The word I’m trying to point-out from Question… lyrics is highlighted. 

It’s just a question

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

P.S. 

The person with half moon eyes is anxious.

Eyes:

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

Dorthea

cowboy like me

gold rush

Gorgeous

london boy

I think he knows

so it goes

Exile

coney island

Ivy

call it what you want

cruel summer

Happiness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Devil = evil 

roll the dice = take a chance

Angels = good and pure

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

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

Breakable = fragile, delicate, if you will.

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

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

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

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

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

Question… Desire to Touch Women is Taylor Swift’s Real Nemeses [Part 8]

1 Dec

Taylor wins the pronoun game.  I’m not even going to try to untangle the speaker/recipient/changing characters in this song.  It was written so convoluted that I haven’t even seen a satisfactory answer to this yet.  Instead, I took lyric snippets from other songs featuring the same word, to get a feeling about Taylor’s sentiment and even ascertain the subject. Don’t get overwhelmed with the length of this post.  The word I’m trying to point-out from Question… lyrics is highlighted. 

When she said it was too much

Do you wish you could still touch her?

Touch:

sparks fly

Treacherous

state of grace

I Almost Do

Marjorie

You are in Love

Red

Gorgeous

It’s Nice to have a Friend

ready for it

end game

Delicate

gold rush

don’t blame me

Death by a Thousand Cuts

champagne problems

Ivy

Touch is trepidation. 

In Sparks Fly, Taylor can’t get too close to this person, or they might feel her attraction.  She is a house of cards, trying to remain unseen so the structure doesn’t topple and bely her true feelings.  Touch is a boundary Taylor won’t allow herself to cross.  In Treacherous, Taylor is confronted with the same situation and she’s no longer sure if it’s a choice.  She gets so close to the person, yet does not touch.  It’s not real if they don’t actually touch.  This path is reckless and fraught, but Taylor finds herself liking it.  In State of Grace, Taylor is still battling these feelings.  She realizes wanting touch like this has changed who she thought she was-she’ll never be the same. 

There is a slight double meaning in I Almost Do.  Sure, Taylor is talking about rekindling a romance after a break up.  But under the surface, Taylor is now dreaming of touching this woman.  She is one step closer to crossing her boundaries.  She almost does.  We talked about how the depths signify Taylor’s fears of losing control and the unknown, in Marjory.  Touch fits with the song narrative perfectly.  For once you let go of all your fears and ghosts.  You knew what it was.  Taylor can’t deny it any longer, this desire to touch women is proof her best friend is actually romantic love and sexual attraction.  Wishing you had never found out in Red, builds on this idea.  Now that Taylor knows she’s gay, she feels more for her love interest.  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.  Despite Taylor’s great fear, and her negative feelings about being out of control, she can’t let go of this red, passionate love. 

Taylor needs that real love, but it makes her angry.  I’m so furious that you make me feel this way, in Gorgeous is that same pull from Red.  Taylor doesn’t like losing control, but here she is captivated by this gorgeous woman.  Taylor dares to dream of her future with a woman in It’s Nice to have a Friend.  She has trouble crossing the boundary into queerness, but in that song the female best friend dares to touch her romantically and it sends Taylor’s thoughts to a future wedding.  She is coming around to the idea that, though gay love is not traditional or fully accepted, she might be able to be happy anyway.  Ready for It…  the opener of Reputation shows a new bravado about the situation.  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 WLW love forever, and at night all the touching that Taylor needs can take place in private.  

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 has fear and anxiety this person will leave her, they’ll chose someone else (a man?) over her.  And the thought of that makes Taylor miserable.  Taylor is so obsessed about keeping this new found love that she compares it to drug addiction.  Don’t Blame Me has Taylor, high on her lover’s touch, begging on her knees, and giving up grace to touch her.  Touch is forbidden and dangerous, but now touch is now a desperate need of Taylor’s.

But then there are political complications.  In Death by a Thousand Cuts Taylor describes how her and her lover’s paper thin plans were ruined by Trump.  Her lover gave up on her like a bad drug despite touching every part of Taylor.  

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.  WLW 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… Fighting Drama, Queer Love is a Fight, the Masters & Kaylor are the Fight of her Life [Part 7]

30 Nov

Taylor wins the pronoun game.  I’m not even going to try to untangle the speaker/recipient/changing characters in this song.  It was written so convoluted that I haven’t even seen a satisfactory answer to this yet.  Instead, I took lyric snippets from other songs featuring the same word, to get a feeling about Taylor’s sentiment and even song-subject. Don’t get overwhelmed with the length of this post.  The word I’m trying to point-out from Question… lyrics is highlighted. 

Did you wish you’d put up more of a fight? (Oh)

Fight:

So many, so many…  It’s a pretty crucial and central piece of Taylor’s writing.

call it what you want

Me

Only the Young

Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince

paper rings

Afterglow

false god

Madwoman

my tears ricochet

Ivy

Evermore

Hoax

Emotions devolve with each mention of “fight.”  Taylor begins fighting other people.  In Call it What you Want Taylor’s reputation is bad due to Snakegate.  But there’s a lot of hope because Taylor’s baby loves her for who she is and sticks by her side despite the drama.  

In Me! Taylor acknowledges that she makes it all about her, which causes fights with her lover.  But she never wants the lover to leave her, she does care.

Taylor’s love life is linked to politics, because her lover’s beard is linked to the Trump clan.  When the U.S. becomes hyper-polarized and everything is politicized, Taylor can’t let her image be tainted by Republican evil.  Only the Young captures the fear of evil reigning, and Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince clearly ties political happenings to fights with her lover.  Not wanting to get caught up in bad politics hurts the WLW relationship because Karlie has ties to the Ku$hners, either contractually or for convenience/status/money. And Taylor is afraid because people are whispering, she’s a bad bad girl. They suspect she’s gay, and especially in this political environment, that is terrifying to her.

Paper Rings, Afterglow, and False God show Taylor’s emotional trajectory regarding the fights with her lover.  Paper Rings is upbeat and hopeful.  In Afterglow, Taylor takes responsibility for her part in the fighting.  She jumps to conclusions and gets paranoid.  And in False God, Taylor is dejected.  She is in hell when her and her love fight.

The Lover era is tainted by the master’s heist.  Taylor is angry at $cooter and $cott for stealing her lullabies.  Throughout the Lover album, Taylor still seems wistful about Kaylor.  She wants to lure Karlie back to her.  Taylor still loves her despite all the “fights and flaws.”  There is a distinct change in tone from Lover to the folklore era.  Taylor realizes or suspects something about her lover.  Madwoman and My Tears Ricochet are mostly lashing out at $cott and $cooter, but there are snippets about a lover’s betrayal in there too.

Madwoman

This is Karlie on $cooter’s yacht after the master’s heist.

My Tears Ricochet

I don’t know how involved the Ku$hners and/or Karlie were in the Master’s Heist. I don’t know if Taylor knows for sure, or just suspects foul play and betrayal by Karlie. In It’s Time to Go, Taylor was pretty explicit mention twin and crook who was caught. She knew fans would piece together that she was talking about Karlie. Yet, an album later, in Happiness Taylor mentions all the relationship troubles went both ways. Two people are to blame for the demise.

Ivy alludes to the fight of her life.  Taylor is talking about both the masters and Kaylor.  Evermore asks what she was fighting for, because ultimately she was double-crossed by this lover that she was so set on fixing things with.  Hoax is one of the saddest, most hopeless songs in all of Taylor’s catalog, and mentions her winless fight.  She is re-recording the masters, but she lost the girl.

Question… Can the Ultra-Famous have Reeaal Friends? [Part 5]

27 Nov

Taylor wins the pronoun game.  I’m not even going to try to untangle the speaker/recipient/changing characters in this song.  It was written so convoluted that I haven’t even seen a satisfactory answer to this yet.  Instead, I took lyric snippets from other songs featuring the same word, to get a feeling about Taylor’s sentiment and even the song’s subject(s). Don’t get overwhelmed with the length of this post.  The word I’m trying to point-out from Question… lyrics is highlighted.  

Miss Americana showed me that Taylor is pretty isolated, and lonely much of the time. In the documentary I came away with the impression that the people around Taylor are mostly superficial. Brendan was distracted, for instance. Abigale is still Taylor’s friend, but things were stilted. They are in different places in life. Abigale has a family and Taylor’s super-fame is not relatable. They had little to talk about. Tree, Taylor’s publicist seemed like the most genuine, interested person, but she’s on the pay-role. The other people on Taylor’s team seemed harsh and judgmental. Their focus was the brand making money, not Taylor the person who has actual thoughts and feelings. Taylor’s love interest was seldom shown. It was weirdly secret, and when Taylor won her Grammy’s she had nobody to share her happy moment with. Taylor’s mom was the only person that was there for Taylor, the person. And I think Taylor’s super-celebrity status makes her alone in the world. Her idea of friends conveys this:

And every single one of your friends was making fun of you

Friends:

Dorothea

blank space

You need to calm down

paper rings

london boy

Lover

champagne problems

tis the damn season

the last great American dynasty

Archer

This is why we can’t have nice things

Closure

Taylor talks about 5 categories of friends, with many people overlapping in the categories over time.  There are famous friends, other queers, peripheral friends, betrayers, and a friend who became her lover.

There are strategic friends.  “You got shiny friends since you left town.” The friends are new, dazzling, and elevate status.  What Dorthea does not say is that the friends have a lot in common, are good listeners, or loyal.  I get the impression from the passing remarks that these relationships could be superficial or to be in a certain scene.   The friendships are for publicity, to get in a door, or just thrust together because they are in the same business.  In the highly satirical song, Blank Space, she casually says “let’s be friends.”  There is nothing real or authentic about it.  It’s not a friendship based on trust or mutual interests, it’s mutually beneficial.  Taylor is describing entering into a contract for the benefit of the media and general public, not a genuine connection.  

Then there are other queers.  Taylor feels their commonalities.  They are physically around where she lives, and in the industry.  They share similar experiences and struggles.  Though Welcome to New York doesn’t specifically say “friends” it has a similar tone to the rest of these songs.  

Welcome to New York

These people escaped their small towns and the homophobia so rife in them.  Many of them were estranged from family and had no one when they came to New York looking for a better life.  They put that angst, and the pain of being bullied for being gay, away and lived more authentically.  These people came together, and are coexisting in the same space, but Taylor doesn’t mention being especially close to any of them.  She is doing her own thing, and they are going about their business too.  They nervously and excitedly walk through the village realizing there are people like them.  They search for love–a unique experience given their childhood isolation and trauma.  And Taylor is right there with them, feeling the difference in acceptance between Nashville and New York.  In You Need to Calm Down, these friends are explicitly named as part of the queer community.  The homophobes are comin’ at them like a missile.  And Taylor is on the inside of the gay trailor-park, the same as the queer friends.  Though she isn’t close to any one person in this community, she gets it.  Taylor is one of the queers.

There are other people that are around during the important relationship.  In a lot of the songs, friends are relegated to the background, while Taylor and her Lover are centered in the lyrics.  In Paper Rings the friends were high the first night they met.  It’s like Taylor barely notices the friends because her love “blurs her periphery”-they are just inebriated people that can crash in the living room.  The friends are just there in songs like London Boy.  Champagne problems reiterate that the friends are fickle, not evergreen.  If something goes wrong, the friends aren’t there cheering.  Much like this song, Question…

The fourth category are betrayers.  I get major frenemies vibes from most of these songs, actually.  In Tis the Damn Season Taylor talks about so-called friends just there to gossip.  Last Great American Dynasty uses bitch-pack, a moniker that may be a bit sarcastic, but isn’t a super-nice way to describe actual friends.  The Archer says all her enemies started out as friends.  In This is Why we Can’t Have Nice Things, Taylor reminds the audience that she isn’t that great at picking out authentic friends.  She aligned with people who later turned on her, and threw her under the bus.  She makes a point to toast her real friends, but in the same breath mentions the people she can actually depend on-her mama and her baby(lover).  

Finally, there is Karlie.  Her lover and her went from friends to this.  She keeps writing pages about their epic love story.  And after the final break-up being friends again would iron it out so nice.  But Taylor doesn’t want that.

Question… Closeting Leads to Fall Out [Part 4]

26 Nov

Taylor wins the pronoun game.  I’m not even going to try to untangle the speaker/recipient/changing characters in this song.  It was written so convoluted that I haven’t even seen a satisfactory answer to this yet.  Instead, I took lyric snippets from other songs featuring the same word, to get a feeling about Taylor’s sentiment and possibly ascertain the subject. Don’t get overwhelmed with the length of this post.  The word I’m trying to point-out from Question… lyrics is highlighted. 

But one thing after another f—ing situation

Circumstances, miscommunications

Miscommunication:

The story of us

Miscommunication is negative in both Taylor’s songs that feature the word.  She loses mutuality in these relationships, there’s misunderstandings causing real and imagined slights.  It causes tumult for the couple.  Even though there is still love, things break down. There is also a LOT of this during the Kaylor relationship, as told by The Great War, and other songs.

And I have to say, by the way

I just may like some explanations

Can I ask you a question?

Question:

Marjory

coney island

Marjory has a tricky bridge with a double-subject.  Yes, throughout the song Taylor is talking about her beloved Grandmother [this song means a lot to me because of that].  But this part that I highlighted not only is talking about actual swimming with Grandma, it also speaks to someone tall (Karlie) pushing Taylor to let go of control and swim in this new water (public-WLW).  Taylor hates and fears it (the actual deep water her Grandmother urges her to swim to, where she can’t touch the ground, and the metaphorical unknown, “falling feels like flying til the bone crush” depth where she has no control. She complains because Taylor has always micromanaged her brand and image.

Further, Taylor indicates the I gave you everything, what more could I have given sentiment alluded to in many other songs.  She says she should have had an open, honest discussion with Karlie, instead of playing games (Cornelia Street), giving the silent treatment (Afterglow), and losing communication.  Taylor should have kept the receipts, because now with the husband and child and connection to Trump, Karlie is completely dead to her (gross metaphor, but apt in the song about Taylor’s deceased Grandma). 

And in Coney Island Taylor is regretful about this.  She says when the sun sets (Karlie leaves) it gets cold and depressing.  In that song, too she is asking questions to Karlie after she already left for a heterosexual life.  Karlie didn’t like being private only, or being on the backburner to Taylor’s career, but put up with it politely for a long time.  Until she couldn’t take it anymore and finally gave up, “putting the sea between you and me.”

Did you ever have someone kiss you in a crowded room?

Crowded:

Dress

The story of us

Taylor is saying she’s like a duck in these two songs: Calm, palatable, relatable, suitable for the crowd/public, but there is a lot of anxiety, stress, and secrets going on underneath the surface. Taylor has a WLW lover (disguised as best friend) right there in the limelight with her. Secret moments in a crowd/public convey the closeted aspect of her WLW relationships.  The are in plain sight, but protected in a magical cloak of friendship thanks to heteronormativity.  And Story of Us has the same feel.  Taylor is standing in public with a happy face but her lover, soon to be ex is estranged due to the misunderstandings caused by closeting breaking them down.  Question’s kiss in a crowded room talks about the Betty-type aspect of going public with this secret love, and the consequences, both positive and negative of that. Despite troubles caused by the veneer of perfect, all-American good girl, best friend to fans brand-image, these secret, female loves stay with Taylor forever, like a tattoo. She needs to have them in her life, but must chose between them and closeting for fame/legacy.

Question… Cognizants Illuminated [Part 3]

25 Nov

Taylor wins the pronoun game.  I’m not even going to try to untangle the speaker/recipient/changing characters in this song.  It was written so convoluted that I haven’t even seen a satisfactory answer to this yet.  Instead, I took lyric snippets from other songs featuring the same word, to get a feeling about Taylor’s sentiment and even subject. Don’t get overwhelmed with the length of this post.  The word I’m trying to point-out from Question… lyrics is highlighted. 

We had one thing going on

I swear that it was something ’cause I don’t remember who I was

Before you painted all my nights a color I’ve searched for since

Paint:

Again, there’s so, so many so I picked ones I thought were more pertinent.  Here’s the others:  the best day, I’m only me when I’m with you.

dear john

John Mayer was an abusive mind-fuck that left Taylor feeling destabilized.  He brings her up only to shove her down.  She uses “paint” as a way to describe him controlling the situation.

everything has changed

Dancing with our Hands Tied

paper rings

the 1

Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince

coney island

Peace

Taylor seems to regard the word “paint” as something that washes over her, changing emotions entirely. Creating a vibe. An emotional washing over of an entire situation. She is painted sad, she is painted happy. When she paints artistically, the same emotional change colors her creative works. Walls and murals represent overall emotional states (depression/love). Her songwriting conveys deep feelings.

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, less depressed, more open than she had prior to that moment.  Taylor confirms this sentiment in Dancing with our Hands Tied when she describes being deeply depressed until this new, real love paints her golden. 

Though in The 1, Taylor offhandedly mentions her and her love never painted by the numbers.  She’s framing their relationship as “different” “weird” which shows society’s sentiment about homosexual love, as well as her own internal homophobia and fear of being outed.  BUT something awoke in Taylor, even if she’s afraid of it.  In Paper rings, painting is mentioned, but immediately prior to that Taylor says they went from friends to this and she has dirty dreams about this former friend, turned lover. The painted wall is showing the feelings that arose from this new love. Taylor says she jumped into the relationship even though it made her blue.  She’s sad because the couple represents a stigmatized form of love and they had to hide it from society.  Also because Karlie had a commitment to a guy (beard/arrangement) so Taylor had to share.  “I’m with you even if it makes me blue” has the double meaning that Taylor is still going to beard with Joe in order to obscure this secret love–and that makes her depressed. 

Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince tells how and says how Taylor sort of came full circle (and obviously with far less toxicity than JM) going from recipient to perpetrator of turning the sky from blue to gray. Now it’s her girlfriend that she makes sad by hiding.  She hurts her lovers ultimately because of her fear of being an out WLW.  Even so, in Peace, Karlie doubles down on her love and level of commitment.  Karlie says she will warm Taylor’s heart to cast off Taylor’s waves of depression.  Karlie brings up Taylor’s authentic love for her too–shown by the butterfly mural that was commissioned during Lover promo.  The love Karlie feels is not for show, even though Kaylor has many, many complications Karlie would sit in the trenches with Taylor, give her a child and she would even die for Taylor.

Color:

I’d lie

out of the woods

Me!

Delicate

paper rings

tolerate it

In the song, I’d lie, Taylor is indifferent to the boy.  When he talks she is daydreaming, counting the colors in his eyes, which she notices looks like his father’s eyes.  She also notices his sister is beautiful.  And what would Taylor lie about?  “If you asked me if I loved him…  I’d lie”  She would say yes, she loved HIM, even though she has eyes for his sister. 

Taylor overtly recognized real love (vs. comp-het) in Out of the Woods when she says “the rest of the world was black and white but we were in screaming color.”  It speaks again, to her having an awakening because of this novel love she felt for this new type of person (a woman).  Taylor further conveys this new knowledge that she’s queer in Me! When she describes herself as not like the others and mentions the rainbow of colors (pride flag, LGBTQQAA all represented).  After her gay-awakening, Taylor sees the world with new eyes.  The blue is brighter and more unique in Delicate. 

Paper Rings, despite it’s high-pop cheery tone, is Taylor coming back down to Earth.  Jumping into this same sex relationship brings complications.  There is hiding, which causes fights.  There are beards for each and the necessary closeting makes both partners depressed.  The wall is blue, like their moods.  More so, parents and the industry don’t like it.  For these authority figures it’s reduced sales, a less palatable persona– a problem.  Taylor says her love should be celebrated–she is seeing the world in screaming color, but these people with power over her just tolerate it.

Everything I just wrote about paint and color was summed up neatly in Taylor’s two lines:

I swear that it was something ’cause I don’t remember who I was

Before you painted all my nights a color I’ve searched for since

Finally enlightened about the gay part of herself the world became more vivid to her.

Question… Good Girl or Wrong Choices? [Part 2]

24 Nov

Taylor wins the pronoun game.  I’m not even going to try to untangle the speaker/recipient/changing characters in this song.  It was written so convoluted that I haven’t even seen a satisfactory answer to this yet.  Instead, I took lyric snippets from other songs featuring the same word, to get a feeling about Taylor’s sentiment and even subject. Don’t get overwhelmed with the length of this post.  The word I’m trying to point-out from Question… lyrics is highlighted.  

Good girl, sad boy, big city, wrong choices

We will look at good girl, city, wrong, and choices in other songs.

Good girl:

Style

Sad, Beautiful, Tragic

Good girl speaks of innocence and socially acceptable passive femininity.

Big city:

There’s a long, long list of songs that mention “city” so I chose ones that I thought went with the vibe of Question…  Here’s the others just for consistency:  The Lucky One, Never Grow Up, The Last Great American Dynasty, Holy Ground, I almost do, Mine, mean.

Cornelia st

false god

King of my Heart

In these songs “city” is NYC.  Screaming your name is many ads and campaigns that feature the subject of Cornelia Street (Karlie).  Taylor says, “I’m New York City” the place Karlie calls home.  Taylor is saying she is Karlie’s home.  Finally, in King of my Heart Taylor reveals that her and Karlie have a private relationship inside her room, because the boys never took her where Karlie does (same, girl).  Taylor’s priorities changes from men/money to sexing Karlie in private.

Wrong (Choices):

Here’s a couple that I thought were more loosely related:  long story short, only the young.  End Game for Choices (but I think it’s the Ed Shereen part).

Wonderland

state of grace

tolerate it

new years day

Evermore

Betty

The trend in all these “wrongs” is a stigmatized type of love.  Loving in shades of wrong.  Took a wrong turn.  Staying when it’s wrong.  Something went awry in Taylor’s world.  And Taylor is a wealthy, white, cis(I’m guessing), female in America.  Loving some dude, any dude is not socially unacceptable.  I would say it’s welcome and expected.  The love that is “tolerated” the love that ruins relationships (Betty) because it has to be hidden, is WLW love.  The hiding brings complications. They must both beard. But Taylor gets a sense she’s been betrayed when she sees Karlie “dance” with him. As told in Betty. And to try to salvage Kaylor, Taylor keeps writing letters to come out, but fear wins out and she throws them into the fire.

Good girl, sad boy, big city, wrong choices

Taylor wants to remain appropriately feminine to the public. Hiding her authentic self makes her depressed, makes her lover sad, and is destructive to the relationship = sad boy. Big city is the setting and personification of the Kaylor love story. Wrong choices indicates a desire to love and really feel it rather than be palatable, but also the stigma of gay love. It is “wrong” to the majority and Taylor fears that more than she fears losing her true loves. She can’t bring herself to come out.

Fletcher’s Song, Kelsea Ballerini’s Verse. Taylor Swift is the Ex Kelsea is (actually/additionally) Talking About

19 Nov

Fletcher Better Version (Remix)

[Verse 2: Kelsea Ballerini, Kelsea Ballerini & FLETCHER]

I was there on the side of your stages

I grew up for our difference in ages

Never thought we were subject to changes, yeah

And I did my best to fix it

‘Til death ’cause then I meant it

Your next girl is gonna get you reinvented and not pretendin’

“‘Til death cause I meant it” is a red herring or double-meaning or 2nd person being addressed–whichever you like. 

This post will say why:

[side-note: I have whole other posts planned on why Taylor might be “Becky” and a double meaning for that song could be addressing Kelsea’s dalliance (and Fletcher’s thirst) for Taylor. Also, we need to talk about Snow on the Beach in its entirety.]

Pertinent Taylor lyrics:

Happiness.  Interestingly has parts in the same vein as this song of Fletcher’s about growing from a relationship, and the next person getting the benefit of those lessons.

“I haven’t met the new me yet”  

Your next girl is gonna get you reinvented 

Snow on the Beach.  We will talk about this song, but in it’s own post or this very long post will be too, too long.  But the line that comes into play against Kelsea’s verse in Fletcher’s remix:

“Fake it til you make it”

and not pretendin’

Let’s talk about the timeline referenced in Kelsea’s verse. The beside stages different ages part:

Ages and Years the Players Moved to TN/Nashville and got signed:

Kelsea

Kelsea’s Ex-husband

Suspected dalliance and Kelsea’s recent song-muse

To sum up birthdays and age differences:

Morgan Evans’ b-day is 4/25/85 (8yr difference from Kelesa)

Taylor’s b-day is 12/13/1989 (4yr difference from Kelsea)

Kelsea’s b-day is 9/12/93

Let’s talk about proximity since beside stages puts Kelsea close to the song’s subject:

Moved closer to Nashville and got a foot in the door of the industry:

Taylor was first of these 3, getting there in 2002 at age 13-

Taylor gets signed at a younger age and earlier year than the other two, 17 in 2006-

Morgan got a toe into Nashville in 2007.  He lived in Australia, so it took longer for him to break into TN-

Morgan was born in Australia and lived there until 2015-

Morgan gets signed last of these 3 in 2017-

Kelsea moved to Nashville in 2008, after Taylor was there, but before Morgan moved to the U.S.-

When they got to TN, how old they were compared to Kelsea’s age:

Taylor came to Nashville as a songwriter in 2004 at age 14 (Kelsea was 11)

Morgan flew to Nashville (from Australia where he lived) to record a single in 2007 at age 22 (Kelsea was 14)  

Kelsea moved to Nashville to write songs in 2008 at age 15.

Morgan didn’t move to the U.S./Nashville until 2015 at age 30 (Kelsea was 22)

In the verse, Kelsea is figuratively and literally looking up to the person on the stage. She is younger than them and they are more established in the industry than she is in the timeline of the verse.

Age of getting signed:

Taylor got signed in 2006 at age 17 (Kelsea was 13)

Kelsea was signed in 2012 at age 19.

Morgan was signed in 2017 at age 32. (Kelsea was 24 and had already been signed for 5 years)

So the verse already doesn’t really work with Morgan. He’s actually getting fame in another country when Kelsea is not yet in the business. Then, when he does break into Nashville, it’s after Kelsea.

When did Kelsea meet them:

Kelsea (who had been signed for 4 years already) met Morgan (who would be signed the next year) for the first time when she flew to Morgan’s country, Australia in 2016 

She was 23 when they met (hardly “growing up”).

Was Kelsea beside Morgan’s stages?  It looks like she was in TN and he was in…  Australia.

So we established Kelsea was in the U.S., not Australia.  She got signed prior to Morgan.  They did not meet until she was 23, when he was yet unsigned, and she had already been signed for 4 years.

I was there on the side of your stages

I grew up for our difference in ages

These lines are vague enough that they don’t say exact ages/years/people.  But I interpret the sentiment of those lines as Kelsea looked up to this older, more established and famous person when she was young.  Then she grew into a more personal relationship with that person.

Enter Taylor Swift.

Kelsea “met” Taylor (as a fan) in 2008.  Taylor was 19 and Kelsea was 15.

Taylor mentions Kelsea’s song in a Tweet in 2015.  Taylor was 26 and Kelsea was 22.

That same year (2015)

KELSEA BALLERINI PERFORMS WITH TAYLOR SWIFT IN NASHVILLE OVER THE WEEKEND

By Samantha Dawn Mutschler / September 29, 2015

Taylor Swift performed in Nashville as a part of her 1989 Tour this past weekend and she brought out a very special guest. Kelsea Ballerini performed her number 1 song “Love Me Like You Mean It” with Swift for thousands of screaming fans. It was a huge moment for women in Country music with both women performing the first debut song from a woman to hit number 1 in 9 years!

Ballerini continues to wow audiences of all ages with her music, recently being named one of People’s “One’s to Watch”. It was a special moment for her, stating on her instagram:

Ballerini met Swift about 8 years ago at a meet and greet at one of Swift’s concerts, as time has flown by the success of both of these women have blossomed.

In 2017 Kelsea crossed over from fan to friend.  Taylor was 28 and Kelsea was 24

You see the evolution.  Kelsea looked up to Taylor as a child, even moving to Nashville because she was inspired by Taylor.  Kelsea was a fan.  Then took a very familiar path to music stardom.  Taylor noticed Kelsea as an artist and her Tweet boosted Kelsea’s followers and chart numbers.  Kelsea was invited to perform with Taylor, more equal in status than a fan, but Taylor was still more of a mentor.  Then Taylor invited Kelsea into her personal life.  I think that better matches the lyrics in Fletcher’s song.

Never thought we were subject to changes, yeah

This is maybe the most important line in the verse because it’s a multiple meaning and references other work (Kelsea’s most recent GAY album).

In the context of divorce with Morgan, Kelsea is saying they grew apart (yawn).

Subject to Changes is the title of Kelsea’s most recent album.

Subject to changes in the context of the album is Kelsea realizing she likes women.

Taylor

is not the only one who can write for

plausible deniability.

Maroon (Part 1): Flex that Vocab [The Rosetta Stone of Taylor Swift]

30 Oct

Rather than try to figure out the pronouns or subject I thought the simplest way to start to decode this song was probably just looking up words. I mean, you know the general meaning of maroon or rubies, but I don’t know a lot of the symbolism or religious meanings and things like that. Here we go!

When the morning came we were cleaning incense off your vinyl shelf

‘Cause we lost track of time again

Laughing with my feet in your lap, like you were my closest friend

How’d we end up on the floor anyway?

You say, “Your roommate’s cheap-ass screw top Rosé”, that’s how

It looks like a lot of people think rose is a “girly” drink. Can we STOP gendering drinks?! Anyone can enjoy any wine (or not) and anyone can drink whiskey. I personally enjoy either depending on the occasion.

Something a bit more compelling to me is the season. Rose is a summer wine. And Taylor sings about seasons a lot. August.

I see you every day now

And I chose you

The one I was dancin’ with in New York

No shoes, looked up

At the sky and it was

The burgundy on my t-shirt when you splashed your wine onto me

As a color, burgundy is red/brown–near maroon.

The name is from France–Paris.

There is a red/purple wine from France called Burgundy.

I think it would make a lot of sense to do a call back to wine in Paris, so this is probably less about the color burgundy, and more about a memory that took place with the person she’s talking to in the song.

And how the blood rushed into my cheeks, so scarlet, it was

Taylor might be talking about scarlet in the sense of passion. Blood rushing into your cheeks because you’re turned on.

This one doesn’t seem likely, but we do need to remember it for later because there’s that line in another Midnights song that talks about blood-soaked dress.

Scarlet is a very loaded word. And Taylor knows all about that bc she used the word in that context in New Romantics: We show off our different scarlet letters/Trust me, mine is better.

The stigmatizing meaning of scarlet could also tie to the scarlet as passion meaning–if the love is socially unacceptable (gay). Her cheeks are flushing scarlet with passion for a woman which would be “bad” and get her labeled a stigmatizing letter. The one she talks about in New Romantics. Thirdly, this could be an Illicit Affairs situation where the scarlet letter is actually A. Which still works because Karlie is supposed to be with Jo$h.

The mark you saw on my collarbone, the rust that grew between telephones

I don’t think Taylor intended it, but I think it’s a neat coincidence that rust is so aligned with photography, and the subject of this song is a model.

Rust forms when metal is exposed to oxygen and moisture of a long period of time, and weakens the mass of the metal to the point it no longer provides support for the structure. It’s a great metaphor for a relationship that is deteriorating from lack of communication over time. That relationship also weakens because the people in it are no longer on the same page. Assumptions are made, worries creep in, because they’re no longer talking. The structure of their love is weakened even if both people still love each other.

I’m pretty sure this definition wasn’t intended either, but it’s kind of cool Rust is used in programming language, when Karlie’s pet-business is Koding with Klossy.

The lips I used to call home, so scarlet, it was maroon

Here is passion again that goes with a scarlet meaning. But maroon also depth and darkness. Taylor could mean deep passion, true love. She could also mean passion, but it’s dark because there are negative things mixed with this passionate love (closeting and cheating).

Creativity–like Taylor uses in her songs.

Is Taylor using maroon like a danger signal because of the problems that occur due to this socially unacceptable passion. Or as more of an Ivy situation where he (Jo$h) will burn the house down if he knew?

Tongue = kissing?

Fire = Leo and Sagittarius sun signs? Or burning passion? Or burning the witches, as talked about in I Did Something Bad?

delusion of attachment = stuff? her career? her fame? True love takes priority over Earthly items and pride?

wisdom of discernment = let’s define discernment:

Given the context of the song and rust that grew between telephones, discernment could mean ascertaining whether Karlie is genuine and good, or if she’s “a false prophet” just in it for selfish purposes. Afterglow is really evoked with this meaning:

In that song, Taylor admits she jumped to the wrong conclusion (probably because they weren’t routinely talking-rust, you know). Taylor assumed Karlie did something terrible that hurt her. But she was wrong. Taylor made incorrect assumptions. It was all in her head, and she’s regretful at her accusations. Could Maroon be talking about the Afterglow situation?

The Buddhist monks, who learn to appreciate spiritual growth over capitalistic concerns, wear maroon. MADE OF BURGUNDY. And represent fearlessness on the path to enlightenment. Which includes valuing love and trusting the vetted, good people. You need to trust more (The Great War, which may also be talking about this very situation).

Other interesting meanings of maroon that still tie into the mistrust that led to the Afterglow situation is fool and abandon. Is Taylor admitting in this song that she acted foolish in jumping to conclusions that Karlie was intentionally hurting her? And is she accusing Karlie of marooning her, or just feeling marooned (abandoned with no hope of rescue) because of that fallout Taylor caused?

When the silence came, we were shaking blind and hazy

How the hell did we lose sight of us again?

Sobbin’ with your head in your hands

Ain’t that the way shit always ends?

You were standing hollow-eyed in the hallway

In Peace, Taylor says she’s always going to closet when the gay rumors get too loud. But in the remainder of the song Karlie refutes these initial lines by TS and tells Taylor how much she truly loves her and will do anything for her:

In Exile, Taylor and Karlie are having a conversation. They are saying this has happened 2, 3, 100 times. The Kaylor relationship has always been precarious, balancing on breaking branches. Taylor tells Karlie she just can’t come out, she’s too scared, but she’ll come out the side door (Lavender haze).

But Karlie says she can’t cry for Taylor, Taylor has to muster up the courage and come out herself. Karlie says they’ve always walked a very thin line so it’ll be fine to leave the closet. Taylor is still too afraid to lose everything. So Karlie leaves her in the hallway holding all this love. Karlie can’t wait around anymore, or deal with any more foiled coming outs-her biological clock is ticking.

Midnight Rain is written after all of that with Taylor looking back regretfully:

Karlie wanted a comfortable family life, but Taylor couldn’t come out, so Karlie went back to the default (Jo$h). Taylor chose her fame over marrying Karly and having a baby. Taylor “wanted” that pain of closeting and lavender haze…

Carnations you had thought were roses, that’s us

If this is the meaning Taylor was thinking of–motherly love is not what Kaylor was going for. They thought their love was sexy and passionate, but turns out it was love you like a friend/sister/mother. That doesn’t seem quite right in this song. I tried to think of other comparisons between carnations and roses:

Carnations are substantially cheaper than roses. Maybe Taylor is saying you thought we had an extravagant, rich, relationship, but turns out is was superficial and cheap. This could fit. But I wondered if the lifespans of the two flowers were substantially different:

And that can’t be it because carnations actually live longer that roses, but Taylor uses them with a negative connotation in the song.

Interesting–some carnations are funeral flowers. So Taylor could just be saying the carnations are the end of Kaylor. Aren’t we learning so much about color and flowers? Thanks, Taylor!

We looked at carnations, so let’s learn about roses:

Secrets! That goes right along with the theme of the song that lack of communication, accusations, mistrust, closeting—all pulled Kaylor apart.

I feel you no matter what, the rubies that I gave up

So ruby comes from Latin for Red, which Maroon is talking about a lot.

Is Taylor just saying that she gave up the scarlet passion, raw emotion, and love in choosing the closet/fame over Karlie?

Perpetually burning fires? Like a Leo’s fire. Or the comfortable home life? Taylor gave up both.

I’m sure that the healing has nothing to do with this song, but we’re learning so I still included it.

Taylor gave up Karlie (the sun). Ruby is gemstone of…the sun?! It has a MAROON aura!!!

I mean, did this exact paragraph inspire the song, or what???

When I lost you

The one I was dancin’ with in New York

No shoes, looked up

At the sky and it was maroon

The burgundy on my t-shirt when you splashed your wine onto me

And how the blood rushed into my cheeks, so scarlet, it was

The mark you saw on my collarbone, the rust that grew between telephones

The lips I used to call home, so scarlet, it was maroon

And I wake with your memory over me

That’s a real fucking legacy that you see (it was maroon)

Taylor mentions her legacy in Anti-Hero:

But I think we can match the vibe of this song a little better. I looked up legacy in relation to career (which Taylor chose over love):

And I wake with your memory over me

That’s a real fucking legacy to leave

The burgundy on my t-shirt when you splashed your wine onto me

And how the blood rushed into my cheeks, so scarlet, it was maroon

The mark you saw on my collarbone, the rust that grew between telephones

The lips I used to call home, so scarlet, it was maroon

It was maroon

It was maroon

So there you have it. Just by searching formal definitions of the words within the lyrics we figured out Taylor is probably talking about the Afterglow problem might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back in a relationship with many odds stacked against them. And what was the Afterglow problem–Karlie’s “one for the money” wedding with Jo$h, perhaps? Maybe but that’s a whoooooole ‘nother post! Anyway, Taylor’s mind thinks of worst case scenarios. Throw closeting and beards and a loud biological clock into the mix and we ascertain that Taylor chose fame over love and Karly chose baby over Taylor. And now Taylor is marooned in her loneliness and regret.

Midnights and the Lover-Era Coming Out Foiled

29 Oct

It is speculated all the rainbows and butterflies and bi-colored wigs were building up to something aside from just “allyship” during the Lover era.

Taylor was crying prior to this announcement.

She answers, “I have a lot of emotions about the whole thing…”

Robin asks what the BIG reveal is:

Taylor announces. . . a song.

Note that both of them seem very tense in their faces.

Robin tries to get her to give the actual BIG announcement a second time:

Taylor deflects:

Robin brings out the big guns and motions to the fans waiting in the rain for a BIG announcement:

It’s a very pointed–tell the REAL announcement:

Taylor downplays the rain and does not announce anything else:

Look closer at the facial expressions and body language [Robin Asks. Taylor Answers]:

You’re going to do your big coming out announcement. mmmmm, probably not.

YOU’RE going to come out in the announcement. Absolutely not.

You did that?! You announced a single. During the NFL draft… This is all you’re getting.

Bringing the suffering and loyalty of the fans into it. This is not going to work on me.

Pride Month 2019:

all the cameos remind me of this moment in (gay) history:

Taylor was really leaning into Pride:

The LAST day of Pride month, June 30, 2019, Taylor sent this message to fans:

This masters heist was a major turning point.

New York Pride Parade. June 30, 2019;

But here’s the thing:

A deleted tick-tock video was saying that the panels in the pride dress did not match Billy’s skin tone, but would have matched Taylor’s. And this theory was substantiated by the designer who did a duo drinking tea! It’s BIG proof.

Taylor couldn’t come out and possibly alienate her fans/the general public/the industry, because she wanted to rerecord her masters in order to devalue the “stolen” ones. So coming out was scrapped last minute.

And we got confusion in the lover era.

The rainbows and light happiness came to a screeching halt.

Sadness was palpable:

London Boy was added to the Lover album last minute.

And UK listeners didn’t think it made regional or cultural sense:

Also, the placement of London Boy on the tracklist is jarring:

Why. the fuck. would anyone place the lightest, most buoyant song immediately next to a song dealing with Cancer and possible, impending death of her mother???!

I marked songs on Lover that I think were placed on the album after the coming out was scrapped.

So what songs on Midnights might have been on the Lover album in the place of those 3-4 out of place songs, or in addition to the tracks?

I need to think about this more, but right away I lean toward Question… and The Great War. But when I analyze each song, I’ll mention the “fits the Lover-era better” songs.