In many ways, folklore is the Taylor Swift's rawest and chillest piece of work. The singer's cozy eighth studio is a far cry from her perfect homecoming queen “Our Song” days, or even her melodramatic Reputation era. Swift's simplest and most blatant expression of her new, down-to-Earth aesthetic is not her messy buns and lack of cat eye, but a word: Fuck.
Her folklore track “mad woman,” about an eccentric widow seeking revenge on the community that tried to cast her out, marks the first time the singer has dropped an F-bomb in her music (and even does it again in fan-favorite Betty) . She sings: “What do you sing on your drive home? / Do you see my face in the neighbor’s lawn? / Does she smile? / Or does she mouth, ‘Fuck you forever?'”
It came as a shock to many listeners who were used to seeing the PG, sometimes PG-13 Swift, but she apparently feels great about it. In fact, she feels more than great. In a new Entertainment Weekly interview, she said saying it felt “fucking fantastic.”
It wasn't just because of the shock factor, however: It was because like the aesthetic of the album suggests, this was an album in which Swift finally felt she could throw out her "rule book" and do whatever felt natural with this new body of work. "I always had these rules in my head and one of them was, You haven't done this before, so you can't ever do this. 'Well, you've never had an explicit sticker, so you can't ever have an explicit sticker,'" she said. "But that was one of the times where I felt like you need to follow the language and you need to follow the storyline. And if the storyline and the language match up and you end up saying the F-word, just go for it. I wasn't adhering to any of the guidelines that I had placed on myself. I decided to just make what I wanted to make."
She went on to explain that this wasn't just a decision that she felt good about — she knew that the fans would also be "stoked" to see her letting go and following her instincts. "I'm not blaming anyone else for me restricting myself in the past," she continued. "That was all, I guess, making what I want to make. I think my fans could feel that I opened the gate and ran out of the pasture for the first time, which I'm glad they picked up on because they're very intuitive."
It's nice to see the woman with a known fear of not being liked take a chance, be herself, and go with her gut — and see her fans support that choice. Fuck yeah, Taylor.