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    11 Tiny Details In The Lyrics Of Taylor Swift's New Album That You Definitely Missed

    Wow, is there a lot to dissect here.

    In case you've been living somewhere other than Planet Earth for the past three weeks, you'll be aware that Taylor Swift has released her iconic sixth album, Reputation.

    Steve Jennings / WireImage

    Now that we've all had a chance to listen to it a few thousand times, it's come to my attention that while the songs are legit bangers, there are some really clever lyrics on the album that might have just passed you by. Here are the best.

    1. On the surface, the opening verse of "I Did Something Bad" seems quite simplistic, especially because of the repeated use of one-syllable words rhyming with "E." But look a little deeper and it's actually pretty damn clever.

    A Z Lyrics

    The song opens with a line about "never trusting a narcissist".

    A Z Lyrics

    The dictionary definition of this term, which originates from a tale in Greek mythology where Narcissus falls in love with his own reflection, is a person who has "excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one's physical appearance." Or, in more simplistic terms, a person who is obsessed with themselves.

    The verse then goes on to detail all the ways in which Taylor likes to "play" these people, before ending with the line: "Now all he thinks about is me."

    A Z Lyrics

    In other words, Taylor's games are so effective that she can transform someone once obsessed with themselves into a person obsessed with her.

    2. You might even say this ability resembles some form of ~witchcraft,~ which is interesting given that she builds a metaphor of herself being the victim of witch-hunting as the song goes on.

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    It begins with this line about feeling "flames" on her skin, which at a first glance could refer to ~passion~.

    However, as the song progresses, it's clear that she was pre-empting the flames that were to come with the "burning of all the witches".

    A Z Lyrics

    Witch-hunting was a phenomenon that occurred in the 17th century, when women were searched and accused of even the smallest of wrongdoings before being sentenced to death by burning. The use of this metaphor here is arguably a way of Taylor conveying that she feels "hunted" by the media and public who will persecute her no matter what she does.

    3. There's this clever reference to magic in "So It Goes..."

    A Z Lyrics

    Of course, the lines: "You make everyone disappear and / Cut me into pieces" allude to two of the most well-known magic tricks – the disappearing act and sawing a woman in half. But these lyrics have a dual meaning in a romantic context.

    Taken this way, the lyrics show that Taylor considers the subject of the song so interesting, so all-consuming, that they render everyone else invisible to her. And being "cut into pieces" emotionally could refer to vulnerability she feels around this person.

    4. The "Gatsby" line from "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things" could actually be a lot deeper than we first thought.

    So, you know the line about Taylor "feeling so Gatsby"? Obviously everyone took this as a surface-level reference to the novel The Great Gatsby, whose protagonist was known for throwing ostentatious parties.

    However, at the end of the novel, an innocent Gatsby is framed and murdered for something he didn't do. You might even say that he sacrificed himself and his reputation for the people he loved, only to end up with a bullet in his back regardless.


    And, well, doesn't this sound familiar in the context of Taylor Swift? She maintains that in the situation with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West – which this song also seems to reference – she behaved appropriately, only to be "stabbed in the back" and have her reputation destroyed anyway.

    5. Oh, and while we're on the subject of Gatsby, there's a second reference in "Don't Blame Me."

    Again, another double meaning. Taylor describes her former self as "poison ivy" but now as her lover's "daisy" – which just so happens to be the name of the woman Jay Gatsby is desperately in love with.

    6. There's a vivid – and genius – callback to "Clean" from 1989 in "Call It What You Want".

    Big Machine Records

    While many people have interpreted "Call It What You Want" as a song about Taylor disappearing from public view after her fallout with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, it actually has two very vivid callbacks to "Clean", the final track on 1989.

    "Clean" uses drought and water imagery to convey the end of a relationship with these two lines that refer to flowers dying and a storm beginning.

    And then in "Call It What You Want", we have these lines that appear to pick up exactly where "Clean" left off.

    So the "storm" referred to in this song might not actually be a reference to Kimye at all, but rather learning to fall in love again after the "storm" of a tumultuous relationship and breakup.

    7. Oh and there's also this – arguably even more genius – callback to "You Are In Love" from 1989 in "Dancing With Our Hands Tied".

    Big Machine Records

    Remember the line about "dancing in a snowglobe round and round" from the 1989 bonus track, "You Are In Love"?

    Well, in "Dancing With Our Hands Tied", there's this line in which Taylor asks the subject of the song: "So, baby, can we dance through an avalanche?"

    It goes without saying that snowglobes have whimsical and pretty connotations whereas avalanches are brutal and dangerous, with the ability to cause extreme damage.

    Big Machine Records

    It's arguable, then, that the lyrics shifting from dancing in a snowglobe to dancing through an avalanche could signify Taylor questioning whether the relationship will survive through the bad times as well as the good.

    8. And this idea is also picked up in "New Year's Day", with this line.

    In other words, she'll be there for her lover whether they're experiencing major successes or failures.

    9. There are three – possibly four – clever references to marriage on the album.

    The first comes in Ed Sheeran's verse on "End Game", with the lyric: "Four words on the tip of my tongue, I'll never say it." The logical explanation of the "four words", given the permanency of the rest of the song are: "Will you marry me?"

    The second comes on "King of My Heart", when Taylor asks: "Is this the end of all the endings?" – perhaps a reference to her wondering whether her current relationship is "it" for life, and therefore won't have a messy end.

    The third reference is in "New Year's Day", with the line "You and me forevermore", which is pretty self-explanatory.

    And, finally, some people have questioned whether the line "My name is whatever you decide" in "Don't Blame Me" is a reference to marriage, and the possibility of Taylor changing her name.

    10. If you thought the opening line of "Getaway Car" sounded familiar, you were right.

    "It was the best of times / It was the worst of crimes" is a play on the opening line from Charles Dicken's A Tale of Two Cities: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." In this song, she substitutes "times" with "crimes", in keeping with the theme of criminality throughout the song. This track also has a callback to "Wonderland", the bonus track from 1989, which features the lyric: "Life was never worse but never better."

    11. And, finally, that "Burton to this Taylor" line from "...Ready For It?" is loaded with meaning.

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    Of course, it's a reference to the tumultuous relationship of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. However, a second interpretation developed after a fan discovered the plot of Boom! – a movie starring Taylor and Burton.

    In the movie, Elizabeth Taylor played an "aging, serial-dating millionaire" while Richard Burton played a "younger man who turns up on the island on which she has retired".

    Universal Pictures

    And virtually all of these details are present in the lyrics of "...Ready for It?"


    If the lyric was indeed based on the film, it certainly plays into the theory that the song was told from the perspective of a character – an extension of the serial-dating woman in "Blank Space", perhaps – rather than Taylor's true self.

    All of which proves that Taylor Swift is the queen of songwriting.


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