Have You Noticed This Problem With Taylor Swift's Songs Before?

Photo: Jason LaVeris/Getty Images.
Taylor Swift writes most of her own lyrics. She has since she was in high school. Her girl-next-door attitude, combined with the relatable subjects of her songs, have long been the driving force of her fandom.

She's had crushes and been crushed. She's broken hearts and been broken-hearted. She's dated and regretted. One thing she hasn't done, though, unlike the evil Kanye West, is write songs about OTHER people.

Also, she would never write about people without telling them. That would be wrong. That would make her a hypocrite. Swift is neither nor. Right?

Well, actually, I have some bad news.

Swift has hard-core shaded people for years, in songs that have earned her Grammys. It's kind of what she's built her brand on. Yes, many singers, especially those who write their own material like she does, will use real-life inspiration for their lyrics. But Swift has landed in hot water for literally using people as relationship punch lines in her songs. Sound familiar? And every time, only one person seems to come out on top — Swift.

I'm not ready to deem Swift the Hypocrite of the Year, but we thought it would be interesting to revisit a few of the times Swift herself was guilty of calling out people in her songs.
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Video via YouTube.
"Dear John"
Dear John, I see it all now that you're gone.
Don't you think I was too young
To be messed with?


John Mayer was the not-so-subtle subject of Swift's 2010 song. He revealed how upset he was at being the punching bag of her lyrics, and being dragged into the press because of it.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Mayer said, "I never got an e-mail. I never got a phone call." He continued, "I was really caught off-guard, and it really humiliated me at a time when I'd already been dressed down. I mean, how would you feel if, at the lowest you've ever been, someone kicked you even lower?"

Mayer went on, "I will say as a songwriter that I think it's kind of cheap songwriting. I know she's the biggest thing in the world, and I'm not trying to sink anybody's ship, but I think it's abusing your talent to rub your hands together and go, 'Wait till he gets a load of this!' That's bullshit."
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Video via YouTube.
"Bad Blood"
Cause baby, now we've got bad blood.
You know it used to be mad love,
So take a look what you've done
Cause baby, now we've got bad blood, hey!
Now we've got problems,
And I don't think we can solve 'em.
You made a really deep cut,
And baby, now we've got bad blood, hey!

Essentially the whole chorus is directed toward fellow pop star Katy Perry. Apparently, Perry stole Swift's backup dancers during her tour, creating an irreparable divide between the two. In September 2014, Perry tweeted, "Beware the Regina George in sheep's clothing."
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Video via YouTube.
"Better Than Revenge"
She's not a saint
And she's not what you think.
She's an actress, whoa
She's better known
For the things that she does
On the mattress, whoa.

Swift used to date Joe Jonas (before her best friend Gigi Hadid did as well), and then he started dating actress Camilla Belle. As a result, Swift released the song "Better Than Revenge" basically as...revenge. Swift told The Guardian that the lyrics may have been a bit immature. “I was 18 when I wrote that,” she said. “That’s the age you are when you think someone can actually take your boyfriend. Then you grow up and realize no one take someone from you if they don’t want to leave [sic].”

Following the release of the damning Snapchat video of Swift, Belle was quick to tweet a quote that includes the line, "No need for revenge."
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Video via YouTube.
"We Are Never Getting Back Together"
And you would hide away and find your peace of mind
With some indie record that's much cooler than mine.


In addition to including lyrics hinting at her ex who is often out of the spotlight (hiding away, you could say), Swift even featured an actor who looked eerily similar to Jake Gyllenhaal as the male lead in her video.
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Video via YouTube.
"Mean"
You, with your words like knives
And swords and weapons that you use against me.
You, have knocked me off my feet again,
Got me feeling like a nothing
You, with your voice like nails
On a chalk board, calling me out when I'm wounded.
You, picking on the weaker man.


In an interview with The Daily Beast in October of 2012, Swift said "I wrote a song called 'Mean' about a critic who hated me."
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Video via YouTube.
"Back to December"
I'm so glad you made time to see me.
How's life, tell me how's your family?
I haven't seen them in a while,
You've been good, busier then ever
We small talk, work and the weather
Your guard is up and I know why.


In an interview with MTV, Swift opened up about the inspiration behind the song, which many fans think was written about Taylor Lautner. The singer shared her thoughts about using real people as subjects in her lyrics.

"Well, I've always sort of written songs about situations in life, things that needed to be said," she admitted. "I write songs about people who deserve to have songs written about them, and whatever they need to hear, whatever is the right thing to say to that person, ends up being said."

She continued, "I've never felt the need to apologize in a song before. But in the last two years I've experienced a lot, [including] a lot of different kinds of learning lessons. And sometimes you learn a lesson too late and at that point you need to apologize because you were careless."
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Video via YouTube.
"Style"
'Cause we never go out of style
We never go out of style
You got that long hair, slicked back, white T-shirt.


The description is without a doubt of Harry Styles. The two had a very brief romance that was fueled by paparazzi coverage. Swift still had enough material to write a hit song about him, though.
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Video via YouTube.
"Picture to Burn"
State the obvious, I didn't get my perfect fantasy.
I realize you love yourself more than you could ever love me,
So go and tell your friends that I'm obsessive and crazy.
[Album version:] That's fine I'll tell mine that you're gay!
[Music video version:] That's fine you won't mind if I say.

One of Swift's early songs was about a high school crush who denied her. The song was controversial upon its release for including a line in which Swift threatens to spread rumors that the guy is "gay." In an interview with the Daily Mail, Chelsea Alford, a former friend and the current wife of the guy Swift is singing about, said that they were both initially "shocked" when they heard the song.

She added, "We know other people she wrote songs about. That first record was a game, like, 'Okay, which one is this about? Okay, did they even date? No? That's weird.' There were other songs on there about people that we talked about more probably, like 'Tears on My Guitar,' about the guy she never dated, we were like, 'That's a little odd.'"
9 of 9
Video via YouTube.
"Innocent"
It's okay, life is a tough crowd.
Thirty-two and still growin' up now.
Who you are is not what you did,
You're still an innocent.


Swift even called out West in one of her songs from 2010. Did West say anything? Nope.

Chew on that.
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