Taylor Swift Decoded: A look Into “reputation”

Photo by Alea Tobin

Though Taylor Swift wrapped up her iconic “reputation” tour in November, Netflix has just released a documentary that will allow you to experience the magic of the concert, or relive it all over again if you were lucky enough to attend in person. With a crazy stage set up, talented backup dancers and pyrotechnics, you would be surprised at how much of a spectacle her show really is!

Aside from the aesthetically-pleasing part of the tour, Swift’s hand-written songs are worth taking a closer look at. Fans across the world love her ability to tell a story through lyrics, many of which are tied to certain moments or even people in her life. So let’s try to “decode” some of the songs from her latest album:

Look What You Made Me Do

This was Swift’s first single for “reputation” that shook the world. The lyrics, along with the insane music video, gives the audience hints as to who or what the song is about. The song immediately starts with a creepy melody and the lyrics “I don’t like your little game, don’t like your tilted stage.” It is strongly implied that the lyrics are directed toward rapper Kanye West, who had a tilted stage during his “Saint Pablo” tour. The jab stems from the two’s ongoing feud, which started at the 2009 MTV VMA’s where he interrupted her as she accepted her award on stage. The song also seems to take hits at her past exes and friendship feuds. The lyric describing how the old Swift “is dead” shows people that she is done playing the nice girl, thanks to all of the people that have wronged her.

Photo by Alea Tobin

Getaway Car

In the first verse of this upbeat song, Swift sings “The ties were black, the lies were white and shades of grey in candlelight, I wanted to leave him I needed a reason.” The lyrics “shades of grey” points to the MET Gala’s futuristic theme in 2016 where many celebrities wore gray/silver outfits. “I wanted to leave him” points to Calvin Harris, whom Taylor was supposedly dating at the time. As many of her fans know, Swift was actually seen leaving the MET Gala with Tom Hiddleston, who seemed to be her “getaway car” away from Harris. It’s no wonder that, in the chorus of the song, she sings “Think about the place where you first MET me,” considering so much happened that night!

Dress

While it’s ultimately clear most of Swift’s love songs are centered around her current boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, a specific lyric in this song directly points to it being about him. Not only did Swift meet Tom Hiddleston the night of the Met Gala in 2016, she met Alwyn that night, too! “Flashback when you met me, your buzzcut and my hair bleached.” Google any picture from that night, and you see her iconic bleached hair, as well as his shaved head.

Delicate

This song depicts how vulnerable and “delicate” a relationship can be, especially when it’s in the spotlight. The lyrics “My reputation’s never been worse, so he must like me for me” spells it all out.  With all the Kim Kardashian/Kanye West drama going on, it seemed like the entire world was against Swift. In this sweet song, she sings about hoping for a relationship to last, despite her fragile reputation in the media.

Photo by Alea Tobin

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Swift takes another hit at the “Kimye” drama with this fun and upbeat song that closes her concert. The lyric “Friends don’t try to trick you, get you on the phone and mind-twist you” correlates to when Swift claimed that she never confirmed Kanye West’s lyric about her in his song “Famous.” After this claim, the couple responded with a sneaky, secretly-recorded phone call between the two talking about the song itself. Swift sings about having to tell all of this drama to her mom, friends and boyfriend. One of the best parts of the song is when she sings, “And forgiveness is a nice thing to do … ” Which is then interrupted by a large laugh from Swift as she cackles “I can’t even say it with a straight face.”

Now that you know more about the true meaning behind Taylor’s songs, log onto Netflix and experience them in this entertaining  film! Leave a comment below if you have any other theories on what these songs could be about!

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