Pity Party or Perseverance, Taylor Swift – Look What You Made Me Do

Taylor Swift has a new album, ‘reputation’, available for pre-order on iTunes.

taylor swift

by Walter Price

 

I can safely assume at this point in Taylor Swift’s career she can do whatever however she wants. And I’ve been a fan of her business acumen and upward trajectory ever since I first got her press packet back in the early 2000’s. Sure back then she was a young teenager but the packet was impressive, and she must have started to understand the importance of getting things done right from early on.

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This is now and there isn’t nary a soul that hasn’t heard her name, her music, or nearly as famous, her public dalliances. And those dalliances and relationships are why we’re on this page today. Taylor’s new single, “Look At What You Made Me Do” is a well-written pop song. No mystery there., but is it a pity party or is it an ode to perseverance?

Yes, the media has already been going sloppy wild with all the questions surrounding the track. “Is it about Kanye, Katy, Kim, Oompa Loompas?!” What about, “Who gives a shit?” The last being my first reaction. When I listened to the song way too many times, mesmerized by the mixed messages the single seemingly thrusts upon us all (in an attractive Right Said Fred beat), I had questions.

 

I don’t like your little games
Don’t like your tilted stage
The role you made me play
Of the fool, no, I don’t like you
I don’t like your perfect crime
How you laugh when you lie
You said the gun was mine
Isn’t cool, no, I don’t like you (oh)

 

Fine, I don’t like a ton of things people have done to me or others over my swell lifetime. But am I whining about it? Don’t answer that, please. “Tilted stage” is almost clearly a dig at Mr. West, but is this dude worth homage, good or bad? Easy one, not at all. My mama always warned me, “If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.” Which is silly come to think of it, but when you go on and on about a problem someone will claim victory….and more often than not, it won’t be you. Sorry.

 

But I got smarter, I got harder in the nick of time
Honey, I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time
I’ve got a list of names and yours is in red, underlined
I check it once, then I check it twice (oh)

 

Okie Dokie, this what you’re supposed to do. Learn from life’s twists and turns and grow stronger. Life 101. But if you’re persevering here, why keep a vindictive list? Sounds like you have a lot more of life learning to go. And seriously kids, holding on to hostilities could possibly make you an alcoholic. So skip the list of any color and let bygones be bygones. Peace sign.

 

I don’t like your kingdom keys
They once belonged to me
You asked me for a place to sleep
Locked me out and threw a feast (what?)
The world moves on, another day, another drama, drama
But not for me, not for me, all I think about is karma
And then the world moves on, but one thing’s for sure
Maybe I got mine, but you’ll all get yours

 

Again, way too many mixed messages here. So much ‘hatred’ brewing in these here lyrics. “The world moves on, another day, another drama, drama, But not for me, not for me, all I think about is karma”. What’s not for you? Drama? Isn’t this set of words the pure definition of continuing pop ‘drama’? And to end it with “Maybe I got mine, but you’ll all get yours” sounds like a threat and a few sour grapes. I get it though. Being hurt and the alleged culprit(s) seemingly rubbing their beaks in your misery is painful. If you keep a grudge going, they win, you lose. Unless you’re a good songwriter, then you’re grumpy but rich. I’m starting to figure this out.

 

I don’t trust nobody and nobody trusts me
I’ll be the actress starring in your bad dreams
I don’t trust nobody and nobody trusts me
I’ll be the actress starring in your bad dreams
I don’t trust nobody and nobody trusts me
I’ll be the actress starring in your bad dreams
I don’t trust nobody and nobody trusts me
I’ll be the actress starring in your bad dreams
(Ooh, look what you made me do
Look what you made me do
Look what you just made me do
Look what you just made me
Ooh, look what you made me do
Look what you made me do
Look what you just made me
“I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now
“Why? Oh, ’cause she’s dead!” (Oh)

 

Uh, are you trying to trick us, Taylor? Not only is this verse sad, angry, gruesome, and ultimately not very true (allegedly) but you have to, at some point, realize that only you control your own destiny. Don’t trust me, trust William Shakespeare as he once said, “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”…#truth

Unfortunately, I still have no idea if this song is a pity party or an empowering song of perseverance. Maybe it’s both. I do know this song wasn’t written for my demographic, but I can’t escape its presence and the confusing messages the catchy single lays out. Let’s all be more like Joan Jett when she protested, “I don’t give a damn ’bout my reputation, You’re living in the past it’s a new generation, A girl can do what she wants to do and that’s, What I’m gonna do, An’ I don’t give a damn ‘ bout my bad reputation”…pure girl-power.

I’d advise that if you’re smart enough to learn from your past, so be it and leave the drama not drama aside. But that doesn’t sell pop songs, now does it.

 

TAYLOR SWIFT

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