Taylor Swift's reputation tour kicked off in early May. Here, her animatronic snake (just go with it) diaries about the experience.
Update (August 8, 2018 at 4:20 p.m.):
I have it on good authority that "Don't Blame Me" wasn't written for 50 Shades Darker. Forgive me! I love to gossip.
Original story follows.
I have a scoop for you! It comes by way of the rep room, the backstage area where Taylor meets her fans before and after the shows. That's where, sometimes, she shares little tidbits about her songwriting process. And no, before you ask, I don't fit in the rep room! I am massive and also, kind of a diva! If you want me to sit in a room meeting fans, I need the room to be at maximum 55 degrees Fahrenheit and I need to have dead mice to eat.
Kidding! I don't eat mice; I'm an animatronic snake. I don't even have a semi colon.
In the rep room, though, Taylor allegedly told a fan that she wrote "Don't Blame Me," the low-key hit of the tour, for 50 Shades Darker. She ended up providing the track "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" (dueting with Zayn, duh) and saving "Don't Blame Me" for reputation. The song does ring of 50 Shades madness, actually, if you listen closely. "Don't Blame Me" presents the the same idea that "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" does — that love has made someone go crazy. "IDWLF" has the lyric "Baby, baby, I feel crazy," while "DBM" has "love made me crazy/if it doesn't, you ain't doing it right." Same idea, different song. (“DBM” is the better song, depending on your perspective. I was never a Zayn fan, although a colleague of mine did work on One Direction's Where We Are Tour.)
The surprise song at the Pittsburgh tour was a doozy, too. Have you heard "A Place in this World"? Phew. It's an intense song, especially if you're going through an existential crisis. I want to remind everyone that Mercury is currently in retrograde, which means that you will feel all sorts of confused. As for me, I've been surviving this retrograde by journaling — welcome to my personal brand of retrograde survival.
"A Place in this World" is exactly as it sounds: Taylor's version of "Corner of the Sky." It's an early one, from Taylor's eponymous debut album, which dropped in 2006 (!). Incidentally, 12 years later, the song still applies to Taylor's career. The chorus rings: "I'm just a girl, tryin' to find a place in this world." Taylor promises, "I'll be strong/I'll be wrong/Oh, but life goes on." It's a pledge to keep trying, despite our own failures and disappointments. None of us are infallible! I was rude to Sylvia, one of the other working serpents, last week! I hadn't slept much, but that's no excuse. (Just slather on some eye cream and call it a day, okay?) Watch Taylor sing "A Place In This World," below.
"Some of you are so young, you weren't even born when I wrote this song," Taylor told the crowd. She wrote it when she was living in Pennsylvania but travelling to Nashville, searching for a record label that would sign her. "This is a song I wrote about not knowing if it was ever gonna work out," she added. Spoiler: I'm pretty sure everything worked out.
This weekend, we're in Atlanta! The Georgia humidity is going to make my scales gleam. ;)
Hope you're surviving Mercury in retrograde, babysnakes.