Lyrical Laughs

Friday, December 13, 2013

Taylor Swift's Midlife Crisis (in my mind)

Now that my youngest has returned home from college for winter break, I can go back to listening to Taylor Swift in my car without guilt. So I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Taylor Swift is really in her mid fifties, possibly dealing with her own midlife crisis - and you don't even know she is writing about it.

Seriously,  have you listened to her music? If you have a teen or tween, it goes without saying that you've been exposed to Swift's poetic way of celebrating being young and dumping boyfriends. But there is a side to this lyrical talent I recently tapped into that leaves me doubting she is just this 20-something, inexperienced female (except for the dumping boyfriends thing). I mean, the girl has depth beyond her years - and right up to mine.

Here's the thing. You can take just about any Taylor Swift song and turn it into a tune about paying bills, parenthood, or menopause. Even if, by some fluke, I am wrong about the age thing, you can't deny her innate ability to connect with multi-generational audiences so that people my age have to buy her music, often under the guise of getting it for our kids. 

Pay close attention here.

Taylor's version:
Dear John, I see it all now that you're gone
Don't you think I was too young to be messed with
The girl in the dress cried the whole night long

Paying bills:
Dear oil bill, my checkbook just froze from this chill
Don't hold your breath until way past the net ten
I'll leave you til then by my fiber pills

Taylor's version:
He's the reason for the teardrops on my guitar
The only thing that keeps me wishing on a wishing star
He's the song in the car I keep singing -
don't know why I do

They're the reason for the lost keys and sofa stains
They're only children but I swear they're making me insane
They have fights in the car while I'm driving -
don't know how I do

Taylor's version:
I don't know about you,
but I'm feeling 22
Everything will be all right if
you keep me next to you

Menopause (last year):
I don't know about you,
but I'm feeling 52
Every hot flash makes me crazy
Why did I come in this room?

Menopause (this year):
I don't care what you think,
'Cause I'm feeling 53
Everything is fine with Depends
and Gingko next to me

Now are you getting the subliminal messages I'm sure the more mature generation is meant to grasp? Guaranteed you will never listen to another Taylor Swift song the same. I would like to personally thank her mother... who I have a sneaking suspicion is her co-writer.

Next time we'll work on Carrie Underwood.

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