dear taylor swift,

I love you. You read my teenage diary and you get it. Your entire Fearless album is my jam. Love it love it. You might be crazy, you might date people just for publicity and then complain that nobody loves you, and you might be sometimes overrated, but you’re also a genius, and I respect that. (Let’s forget that Speak Now happened, because we all do hugely awful things from time to time and we just need to get over them.)

But why, oh why, can you not keep your pronouns straight?

You have problems in tons of your songs, but let’s take your latest and most egregious, “I Knew You Were Trouble,” and break it down:

I Knew You Were Trouble –oh, okay, so the song is in second person, and you are singing TO a boy

Once upon a time, a few mistakes ago
I was in your sights, you got me alone
You found me, you found me, you found me
I guess you didn’t care, and I guess I liked that
And when I fell hard you took a step back
Without me, without me, without me

–woo! a whole verse of second person

And he’s long gone when he’s next to me
And I realize the blame is on me

–and who the fuck is “he?” Oh, it’s the “you” of before?

‘Cause I knew you were trouble when you walked in
So shame on me now
Flew me to places I’d never been
‘Til you put me down, oh
I knew you were trouble when you walked in
So shame on me now
Flew me to places I’d never been
Now I’m lying on the cold hard ground
Oh, oh, trouble, trouble, trouble
Oh, oh, trouble, trouble, trouble

And second person again.

No apologies, he’ll never see you cry
Pretend he doesn’t know that he’s the reason why
You’re drowning, you’re drowning, you’re drowning
Now I heard you moved on from whispers on the street
A new notch in your belt is all I’ll ever be
And now I see, now I see, now I see

Okay, so now “you” is a girl who conceivably was sexing the boy of both “you” and “him.”

He was long gone when he met me
And I realize the joke is on me, yeah!

Aaaaaand Taylor’s the star again.

I knew you were trouble when you walked in
So shame on me now
Flew me to places I’d never been
‘Til you put me down, oh
I knew you were trouble when you walked in
So shame on me now
Flew me to places I’d never been
Now I’m lying on the cold hard ground
Oh, oh, trouble, trouble, trouble
Oh, oh, trouble, trouble, trouble

We already went over this.

And the saddest fear comes creeping in
That you never loved me or her, or anyone, or anything, yeah

Back to second person, singing to a boy who hurt you and previously hurt lots of other girls.

I knew you were trouble when you walked in
So shame on me now
Flew me to places I’d never been
‘Til you put me down, oh
I knew you were trouble when you walked in (you were right there, you were right there)
So shame on me now
Flew me to places I’d never been
Now I’m lying on the cold hard ground
Oh, oh, trouble, trouble, trouble
Oh, oh, trouble, trouble, trouble

I knew you were trouble when you walked in
Trouble, trouble, trouble
I knew you were trouble when you walked in
Trouble, trouble, trouble

Yeah, yeah.

Okay, so the issue is that you can’t change perspective in writing unless you’re being clear about it. And you’re not, Taylor. You’re not. You are talking to a boy and also talking about yourself and also talking to yourself as a floating extraneous, omniscient narrator, all in the same song. This is not a novel with chapter headings and characters. And it’s always your most singable songs, and the mistakes are always completely fixable without changing the musicality or rhythm of the song (HELLO, ALL PERSONAL PRONOUNS ARE ONE SYLLABLE). See: “Forever & Always,” my favorite song on Fearless.

I can’t. I can’t even. Please, Internet, tell me I’m not the only one. Because, Taylor, you’re not the only one who does this, but because you always pick your songs with the best hooks in which to make these errors, it’s so much more awful, because I just keep listening and keep pulling my hair out.

I don’t get it. How do you not hear yourself?

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