When Taylor Swift was being tormented by everyone and their mother back in the day for not speaking up about her political preferences, I was defending her with everything I had. (circa 2012: a Twitter account with like 300 followers – a flop). It should be a thing that artists shouldn’t be required to speak up about anything despite having a massive platform. It’s just not what they signed up for. If they do, great. If they don’t, that’s great too.
However, Tay-tay succumbed to the pressure but at the same time (as seen on her new documentary Miss Americana: available now on Netflix) she did it because she felt that she could be of big help. Sure enough, Swift has become a prominent famous person in certain political moments. In the 2018 mid-term election, she endorsed two Democratic candidates in Tennessee – one for the House of Representatives and the other one for the Senate. While her influence was only victorious for one of the two, there was a clear reaction from her now-famous letter.
With the release of her new documentary, Swift explores the moments where she decided to speak out. And, coinciding with the film comes a new song about how the future depends on the young people. That’s right. You and I. Unless you are old, then just I.
It’s kind of catchy. Not the best song ever. Perfect as a soundtrack for a film like hers. The real, important thing here though is that it is lyrically inspirational and controversial. It has a lot of interesting references to today’s political climate.
Just the beginning of the song with phrases like, ‘the moment you heard the news, you’re screaming inside and frozen in time,’ references the time when Donald Trump was elected to the presidency in 2016. ‘The game was rigged, the ref got trick,’ she sings.
She touches on gun violence: ‘you go to class, scared / wondering where the best hiding spot would be / And the big bad man and his big bad clan / their hands are stained with red.’
And on the pre-chorus she warns: ‘They aren’t gonna help us / Too busy helping themselves / They aren’t gonna change this / We gotta do it ourselves.’
Finally, she declares on the chorus of the song that ‘only one thing can save us … only the young.’
Listen to it below and go watch Miss Americana on Netflix.