While thousands of Swifties anxiously refresh their emails for tickets to Taylor Swift’s newly extended Eras Tour, their pop idol seems to have surreptitiously swapped a controversial lyric out of one of the most beloved songs on her upcoming re-recorded album, “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version).”
“Better Than Revenge” is Taylor Swift’s bread and butter: she plays the part of the crazy ex-girlfriend tearing into a girl who sabotaged her relationship:
“She’s not a saint and she’s not what you think / She’s an actress, woah / She’s better known for the things that she does / On the mattress, woah”
According to today’s cultural obsession with female solidarity and blind allegiance to meaningless girl-power feminism, heaven forbid any two teenage girls ever disagree about anything or dislike each other. That’s simply too scandalous and misogynistic for the young, impressionable minds streaming Swift’s music.
This isn’t the first time Swift’s lyrics have been scrutinized for transgressing against modern sensitivities. In her angsty 2008 country single “Picture To Burn,” Swift called out her “redneck heartbreak” that left her for one of her friends. The singer proclaims, “So go and tell your friends that I’m obsessive and crazy / That’s fine I’ll tell mine you’re gay!”
While sane people would interpret this lyric as a charming artifact of 2000s humor, others deemed it homophobic. The censored version of “Picture To Burn” replaced the line with, “So, go and tell your friends that I’m obsessive and crazy / That’s fine, you won’t mind if I say / By the way…”
Even Swifties agree that although some of their idol’s old lyrics offend Gen-Z sensitivities, the original versions of these songs are superior.
“feminism girl power WHATEVER i don’t care i just want the original song,” wrote one disgruntled stan.
Another tweeted, “blondie needs to go back to her roots, feminism can take a walk for 4 min.”
“why are people acting like this song has ended feminism and sent us back to the dark ages?” asked another.
If the rumors of this lyric change turn out to be true, Taylor would be following in the footsteps of Disney changing the lyrics to songs in classic princess tales like “The Little Mermaid.” Earlier this year, controversy erupted when news broke that some of the fairytale’s original songs were getting renovated for the 2023 live action adaptation to avoid perpetuating sexist stereotypes.
The 1989 version of “Kiss the Girl” included such horrifying lyrics as, “Yes, you want her / Look at her, you know you do / Possible she want you too, there is one way to ask her / It don’t take a word, not a single word.”
In “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” Ursula advises Ariel that “on land it’s much preferred / For ladies not to say a word / And after all, dear, what is idle prattle for? / Come on, they’re not all that impressed with conversation / True gentlemen avoid it when they can / But they dote and swoon and fawn / On a lady who’s withdrawn / It’s she who holds her tongue who gets a man.”
Composer Alan Menken justified revisions to these lines in an interview with Vanity Fair: “There are some lyric changes in ‘Kiss the Girl’ because people have gotten very sensitive about the idea that [Prince Eric] would, in any way, force himself on [Ariel].”
Menken revealed that “Poor Unfortunate Souls” was reviled for “lines that might make young girls somehow feel that they shouldn’t speak out of turn, even though Ursula is clearly manipulating Ariel to give up her voice.”
Even while acknowledging the nonsensical nature of the objections to these songs and providing the relevant context, Disney preemptively ceded ground to appease a mob of angry feminists that barely exists.
All the whimsy and character is being robbed from these original works in the name of empowering a female audience, despite these songs (including the ones in Taylor Swift’s discography) resonating with women and girls across generations all over the world. This is why we can’t have nice things.
Taylor Swift, go stand in the corner and THINK about what you did.