Taylor Swift. A musical prodigy. One of the most recognized artists and most followed accounts on Instagram in the world. Just like Miley Cyrus, she was a weird kid.
They both begged their parents to get them into the entertainment industry.
And it worked. Because she had the musical genius and hard work to back it up.
But what makes her songs such a success? Obviously, she writes her own music (which many artists don’t) and does a great job at it. But let’s examine her lyrics. My theory is that one of the big reasons her songs are such a hit is because they often talk about timeless, common, biological themes that most girls have to go through.
I recently watched a documentary about her early years and I discovered that a lot of record labels rejected her. But one day, a man got smart and played her song (Teardrops On My Guitar) to a woman to test if it would be a hit. And the woman immediately got it. She broke down crying because she could relate.
Today, we will be dissecting some of her lyrics, showing how they relate from an evolutionary biological perspective, and giving you some advice on how you can use this to improve your dating life. The insights I mention I have got from the book Mate: Become the Man Women Want, which dives deeply into the decades of scientific research done on attraction to give advice to men.
I will order the songs on a chronological timeline to show the progression as she gets older. So let’s get started.
Teardrops on My Guitar
Drew looks at me, I fake a smile so he won’t see
That I want and I’m needing everything that we should be
I’ll bet she’s beautiful, that girl he talks about,
And she’s got everything that I have to live without.Drew talks to me, I laugh ’cause it’s just so funny
That I can’t even see anyone when he’s with me
He says he’s so in love, he’s finally got it right,
I wonder if he knows he’s all I think about at night
- Realize girls are also competing in a mating market with each other. They value a man that can make them laugh and they value a great relationship with an awesome guy (which are in short supply).
- Find out how you can become that man. Take some comedy classes. Learn how to be more funny. Improve your other attractive traits.
- Realize a girl values the right type of man to the point where she might even think about him every night. By becoming this man, you let her be the one chasing.
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 doDrew walks by me, can he tell that I can’t breathe?
And there he goes, so perfectly,
The kind of flawless I wish I could be
She better hold him tight, give him all her love
Look in those beautiful eyes and know she’s lucky ’causeSo I drive home alone.
As I turn out the light
I’ll put his picture down
And maybe get some sleep tonight.
- Realize girls get friend-zoned too. I’m willing to guess that not every girl cries like this at night. But a lot can relate on some level.
- Realize that even some of the hottest girls have insecurities because they compare themselves to someone who is “flawless.” Show appreciation when she’s feeling vulnerable (and not when she’s bombarded with compliments from other guys) and you will turn out ahead.
You Belong With Me
This is and always will be one of my favorite songs by her. The melody and lyrics work so well together. Anyhow, let’s dive in.
You’re on the phone with your girlfriend
She’s upset, she’s going off about something that you said
‘Cause she doesn’t get your humor like I do.I’m in the room, it’s a typical Tuesday night.
I’m listening to the kind of music she doesn’t like.
And she’ll never know your story like I do.
But she wears short skirts
I wear t-shirts
She’s cheer captain
And I’m on the bleachers
Dreaming about the day when you wake up and find
That what you’re looking for has been here the whole time.
The takeaway: Realize that mating market competition is in effect for both genders. If you are a guy being friendzoned, realize girls experience this too. There is a mating value competition at play. Also realize that high school has a small “fishbowl” mating market. If it doesn’t work out, have faith that the world will get bigger as you age and your life can turn around. Taylor’s a great example.
If you could see
That I’m the one
Who understands you.
Been here all along.
So, why can’t you see
You belong with me,
Walk in the streets with you in your worn out jeans
I can’t help thinking this is how it ought to be.
Laughing on a park bench thinking to myself,
“Hey, isn’t this easy?”
Taylor believes she connects and understands him so much more than his girlfriend and is frustrated that he cannot see this. One of the reasons that this song was possibly such a hit was because so many girls related.
You say you’re fine I know you better than that.
Hey, what you doing with a girl like that?
Oh, I remember you driving to my house
In the middle of the night.
I’m the one who makes you laugh
When you know you’re ’bout to cry.
I know your favorite songs,
And you tell me about your dreams.
Think I know where you belong,
Think I know it’s with me.
Standing by and waiting at your backdoor.
All this time how could you not know, baby?
Taylor knows this guy inside and out. She is a little outraged that he would be with a girl that does not understand him as well at all.
The takeaway: Note that this is a pop song. Not every real life high school situation is as crazy as you hear about in the songs and movies. The girl who understands the man well doesn’t always lose the battle. If you look at the music video, Taylor ends up winning at the end by improving her style and showing herself in a new light. This shocks the guy into thinking of her in a new way, effectively pushing her out of the friend zone.
So I sneak out to the garden to see you.
We keep quiet ’cause we’re dead if they knew
So close your eyes,
Escape this town for a little while.
‘Cause you were Romeo, I was a scarlet letter,
And my daddy said, “Stay away from Juliet.”
But you were everything to me,
I was begging you, “Please don’t go.”
And I said…
Romeo, take me somewhere we can be alone.
I’ll be waiting; all that’s left to do is run.
You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess.
It’s a love story, baby, just say “Yes”.
Romeo, save me. They’re trying to tell me how to feel.
This love is difficult but it’s real.
Don’t be afraid, we’ll make it out of this mess.
It’s a love story, baby, just say “Yes”.
Ever wonder why Disney princess movies like Frozen or Snow White do so well and made so much money?
(Image via GIPHY)
Well, my theory is that one of the reasons is that little girls are wired genetically to love romantic love stories with princesses.
Why? Because the romance is a way for a woman to assess if a man will truly commit to her. One of the biggest dangers for our female ancestors was a husband that abandons you. The chances of a baby’s survival drop dramatically when a father leaves.
Therefore, women have used romance to test to see is if a man is faithful and loyal. They value extra attention or effort spent on a specific woman that expends precious energy because it shows the man is giving special treatment and commitment. Animals do this too. Peacocks show off their feathers to prove their genetic health because it’s near impossible to fake since it requires so much energy to create all the colors.
Of course, it’s still a tough world. Despite all those genetic, unconscious behaviors to help ladies, I still see a lot of Baby Mamas with absent fathers.
Anyhow, the point is that there is a ton of romantic references here, even to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Women eat up that romantic love stuff.
The takeaway: Give extra energy and energy in ways that show a girl that you are doing more for her than other girls. This shows commitment. Examples include surprising her with special flowers or taking extra time to get to know her interests and organizing a unique date based on those interests.
I got tired of waiting
Wondering if you were ever coming around.
My faith in you was fading
When I met you on the outskirts of town.
And I said…
Romeo, save me. I’ve been feeling so alone.
I keep waiting for you, but you never come.
Is this in my head? I don’t know what to think.
He knelt to the ground and pulled out a ring and said…
Marry me, Juliet, you’ll never have to be alone.
I love you, and that’s all I really know.
I talked to your dad – go pick out a white dress
It’s a love story, baby, just say “Yes”.
This is important. Girls, from an early age, are biologically wired to start dreaming about marriage. Little girls are already planning their dream weddings. Taylor wrote this song at only 19 and it was a major hit among girls. It might seem like a young age to talk about marriage but realize this:
Culturally, women are now able to marry a lot later (even into their 30s and 40s) as they get their careers in order. But for thousands of years, women married before 21. We are still genetically wired for that time and women still hit their peak fertility around their mid 20s.
Also, note the emphasis on being “tired of waiting.” A common genetic theme among women (and girly pop songs) is that this question: “Is he going to be ‘the one’ who actually commits or just another player who leaves me?” This is a common theme because they have to deal with this issue all the time and failure to get this right spelled doom for thousands of ancestors in their pursuit of producing and raising children that survive.
How can you use this to improve your life?
- Realize that women fantasize and care about marriage more than men. Take extra effort around wedding and proposal time.
- Really showcase that you are a loyal man that can commit.
Of all the girls tossing rocks at your window
I’ll be the one waiting there even when it’s cold.
Boy, you might have me believing
I don’t always have to be alone.
These lyrics remind us that females are also in a mating competition with other females. The social proof from all the “girls tossing rocks” shows that a lot of more women desire and chase this man compared to the average guy. This raises his perceived value due to his scarcity.
There’s also a reference to the female twinge of wishing for a relationship rather than being single all the time.
‘Cause I can’t help it if you look like an angel,
Can’t help it if I wanna kiss you in the rain…
Can’t help it if there’s no one else.
Mmm, I can’t help myself.
As shown in these lyrics, she can’t help but feel attracted.
A large portion of attraction is unconscious. It’s not a choice; it’s a pre-programmed, complex genetic reaction to what her ancestors found attractive. The book Mate: Become the Man Women Want (affiliate link) goes into great detail on how you can improve this naturally (and it’s more than just looks and money). Understanding this is crucial because so many guys try to convince a girl logically that he’s attractive when he should be going the other way.
I could give you fifty reasons
Why I should be the one you choose.
All those other girls –
Well, they’re beautiful
But would they write a song for you?
This is a reference to female mating competition and differentiation. She is cleverly choosing to display her other attractive traits (song writing) rather than compete with other girls on the same plane (how pretty she is) because it’s much tougher. Its interesting to note how you can stand out by being different. Men can do this too.
You were in college working part time waiting tables
Left a small town, never looked back
I was a flight risk with a fear of fallin’
Wondering why we bother with love if it never lasts
This song is so old yet I still hear it play constantly. Anyhow, the last line is what’s important. The first few lines set up another romantic story, and I have talked about why that’s important.
Flash forward and we’re taking on the world together,
And there’s a drawer of my things at your place.
You learn my secrets and you figure out why I’m guarded,
You say we’ll never make my parents’ mistakes.But we got bills to pay,
We got nothing figured out,
When it was hard to take,
Yes, yes, this is what I thought about.Do you remember all the city lights on the water?
You saw me start to believe for the first time
You made a rebel of a careless man’s careful daughter
You are the best thing that’s ever been mine.And I remember that fight
As everything was slipping right out of our hands
I ran out crying and you followed me out into the street
Braced myself for the “Goodbye.”
‘Cause that’s all I’ve ever known
Then you took me by surprise
You said, “I’ll never leave you alone.”
- Some women can have a biased view of the world because of their past memories. Just because you or anyone else was abandoned, forgotten, or bullied in the past does not mean it will always be this way in the future.
- A common theme of commitment shows up once again. Make sure you show those traits. (The book says that in short-term relationships and hook-ups, you should show fatherly and commitment traits but be open and honest with your intentions from the start to improve how attractive you are but keep everything honest.)
Back to December
I am not sure if she wrote this about her own life or as a story depiction (like Mine). However, it has some common female themes worth mentioning.
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 than ever,
We small talk, work and the weather,
Your guard is up and I know why.
Because the last time you saw me
Is still burned in the back of your mind.
You gave me roses and I left them there to die.
So this is me swallowing my pride,
Standing in front of you saying, “I’m sorry for that night,”
And I go back to December all the time.
It turns out freedom ain’t nothing but missing you.
Wishing I’d realized what I had when you were mine.
I’d go back to December, turn around and make it all right.
I go back to December all the time.
These days I haven’t been sleeping,
Staying up, playing back myself leavin’.
When your birthday passed and I didn’t call.
And I think about summer, all the beautiful times,
I watched you laughing from the passenger side.
Realized I loved you in the fall.
And then the cold came, the dark days when fear crept into my mind
You gave me all your love and all I gave you was “Goodbye”.
I miss your tanned skin, your sweet smile,
So good to me, so right
And how you held me in your arms that September night
The first time you ever saw me cry.
Maybe this is wishful thinking,
Probably mindless dreaming,
But if we loved again, I swear I’d love you right.
I go back to December all the time.
All the time.
This is a sad, mopey song that puts me in a sad mood so I do not like playing it. Having said that, it has a catchy melody. Here’s what’s important:
1) The Work and Weather Small Talk
If you have ever wondered how to keep a conversation going and prevent it from fizzling out, this is a good illustration. Even someone as famous as Taylor Swift still mentions how she begins a meeting with someone she has not met in a while with small talk about work and the weather.
Now, some people will tell you not to do this because it is boring. But according to the book Mate’s counterpart podcast, The Mating Grounds, you should start there. A good conversationalist tries to find something interesting about another person, listens intently, and finds common ground.
Almost everyone ends up talking about the weather or work first because they are topics that everyone has to deal with. We are all affected by the weather. Nowadays, the weather is viewed as more boring thanks to technological advancements that keep us safer. But for most of human history, the weather was a interesting and important topic because getting caught in a natural disaster meant death for yourself, your family, and your career. You wanted to prepare your farm if you knew a tornado or hurricane was coming.
2) The Love Story Theme
Do you realize that you can talk about anything in a song? Yet how come most songs end up coming back to a love story?
Well, first off, I am glad that some artists like Macklemore are talking about other topics (like Mopeds and Thrift Stores) because it is getting old. But let’s explore why they keep popping (and why they will continue to).
Because it’s fresh and new for every new generation. There are babies being born all the time and these are common emotional, pressing themes that are in the front of women’s minds as they grow older.
This song talks about a woman declining a man’s love for her and abandoning him. This man has gone on to have a family with another woman and continued with his life. The woman regrets her decision and the song is filled with this sadness. This is a topic older women can relate to and there plenty of them.
Another huge song that made millions off this theme was Someone like You by Adele.
3) The Emphasis on the Small Details
Notice the emphasis on details. Most men glaze over details when it comes to anything romantic.
Taylor uses words like “tanned skin”, “September night”, “birthday passed and I didn’t call.” Women care about the small details that make the experience even better. These lyrics are not even that detailed or emotional as they can be.
A better illustration of this would be Erotica books. The female porn industry is very small compared to the male porn industry. Why? Because females prefer emotions and the experiences building up to an event to the visual aspect, so they read Erotica books instead. 50 Shades of Grey, one of the top books in this genre, sold over 125 million copies. It’s clear that women care more about the feelings and small details.
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
I remember when we broke up the first time
Saying, “This is it, I’ve had enough,” ’cause like
We hadn’t seen each other in a month
When you said you needed space. (What?)
Then you come around again and say
“Baby, I miss you and I swear I’m gonna change, trust me.”
Remember how that lasted for a day?
I say, “I hate you,” we break up, you call me, “I love you.”
Ooh, we called it off again last night
But ooh, this time I’m telling you, I’m telling you
We are never ever ever getting back together,
Ooh, you called me up again tonight
But ooh, this time I’m telling you, I’m telling you
I used to think that we were forever ever
And I used to say, “Never say never…”
Uggg… so he calls me up and he’s like, “I still love you,”
And I’m like… “I just… I mean this is exhausting, you know, like,
We are never getting back together. Like, ever”
This music video got over 400 million views. I am guessing a lot of girls could relate. The theme is straightforward. But why does this happen? How come girls keep breaking up and getting back together with equally ignorant guys?
I cannot tell you. Perhaps it deals with complicated human dynamics. Or maybe it’s simpler. Maybe guys are just very persuasive yet choose bad partners. And they continue on a cycle of poor relationships until it exhausts the girl.
Take a look at the phrases I bolded. It’s important to note that the guy keeps calling back and promising that he will change. And it seems like he never does.
Also, note what Taylor’s body language is like when she says “I love you” in the music video. It’s a clear example of feminine energy and idealism. They really care about love and finding that perfect partner. I know I have mentioned it many times but it is worth emphasizing as it keeps coming up.
- Persistence can pay often, but only if you execute on what you promise to.
- Girls really idealize true love. They hope and believe in it to a point of sometimes deluding themselves and making poor decisions with men who talk the talk but do not walk the walk.
The Story of Us
I used to think one day we’d tell the story of us,
How we met and the sparks flew instantly,
and people would say, “They’re the lucky ones.”
I used to know my place was the spot next to you,
Now I’m searching the room for an empty seat,
‘Cause lately I don’t even know what page you’re on.
Taylor is expressing her interest in finding the one she marries and “lives happily ever after” with once again. As you can see, most women emphasize a long-term relationship over other dating objectives. That’s why she writes so many songs about this and women listen to so many songs about this.
She’s really great at infusing stories into her songs. This time, she is talking about a relationship that she was expecting to work out and potentially turn into that marriage but ended up ending abruptly.
Oh, a simple complication,
Miscommunications lead to fall-out.
So many things that I wish you knew,
So many walls up I can’t break through.
Now I’m standing alone in a crowded room and we’re not speaking,
And I’m dying to know is it killing you like it’s killing me, yeah?
I don’t know what to say, since the twist of fate when it all broke down,
And the story of us looks a lot like a tragedy now.
How’d we end up this way?
See me nervously pulling at my clothes and trying to look busy,
And you’re doing your best to avoid me.
I’m starting to think one day I’ll tell the story of us,
How I was losing my mind when I saw you here,
But you held your pride like you should’ve held me.
Oh, I’m scared to see the ending,
Why are we pretending this is nothing?
I’d tell you I miss you but I don’t know how,
I’ve never heard silence quite this loud.
Some type of miscommunication and situation lead to the relationship ending. They still bump into each other from time to time and it’s killing her that they are not talking. And she’s sad it did not work out. She ends the verse with “Next chapter” signifying that reality is that their relationship has ended.
This is made to be vague and potentially interpreted in many ways by a listener. One example is this: a girl has a sexual encounter with a boy. The girl wants more romantically, but the boy does not. After the one night stand, interactions get awkward when they meet. The girl is a bit let down and the boy avoids her.
What Taylor more likely went through (based on the line mentioning pride) is some sort of miscommunication caused by her constant traveling that offended him, which ruined the relationship.
This is looking like a contest,
Of who can act like they care less,
But I liked it better when you were on my side.
The battle’s in your hands now,
But I would lay my armor down
If you said you’d rather love than fight.
So many things that you wish I knew,
But the story of us might be ending soon.
Both sides seem to be acting like they could care less about the past relationship. But Taylor cares a lot about it deep down, though she’s hiding it. Notice the emphasis on “love.” Women really emphasis long-term relationships and the theme of “finding true love” is common throughout pop songs.
I Knew You Were Trouble
This one was a huge hit when it came out. I cannot help but say that the background guitar combined with the melody was so on point. Anyhow, let’s get into it.
[Music video spoken part:]
It just all comes back. But he never does.
I think part of me knew the second I saw him that this would happen.
It’s not really anything he said or anything he did,
It was the feeling that came along with it.
And the crazy thing is I don’t know if I’m ever gonna feel that way again.
But I don’t know if I should.
I knew his world moved too fast and burned too bright.
But I just thought, how can the devil be pulling you toward someone who looks so much like an angel when he smiles at you?
As you can see by just the title or just the intro, the song is about getting into a relationship with a man that she knew was trouble. This is a very common, timeless theme among women. Why do women go after men who they logically know would be a horrible fit (and will possibly abandon them or hurt them)?
Well, it’s because it’s their genetics that influence their behavior against conscious reasoning.
Based on the music video, it seemed like this man had enough universally attractive male traits to override his moderately unattractive traits. At least for a short time. These traits seemed to be: popularity (fame), wealth (resources), fashion and style, confidence, and we’ll talk about the others later on.
The reason I say “moderately” is because of this lesson in the book Mate:
Some universally attractive traits will attract some women some of the time. But universally unattractive traits will repel all women all of the time.
By this definition, being an unkind douchebag is not always unattractive, but having horrible hygiene that you smell like garbage is always repulsive.
Once upon a time a few mistakes ago
I was in your sights, you got me alone
You found me, you found me, you found me
I guess you didn’t care, and I guess I liked that
And when I fell hard you took a step back
Without me, without me, without me
And he’s long gone when he’s next to me
And I realize the blame is on me
‘Cause I knew you were trouble when you walked in
So shame on me now
Flew me to places I’d never been
Taylor goes into detail here. She mentions that:
- She’s made a few mistakes in the dating scene (which are more focused on choosing the wrong long-term partner compared to a guy’s dating mistakes).
- She was attracted to an attitude of not caring too much. This can be considered a subsection of (or related area to) confidence: the ability to not be too spineless or put a girl on a pedestal by worshiping her or being over-reactive.
- He used his wealth to fly her to incredible places, winning her over with the glamour.
- When she fell in love with him, he moved away.
- She admits that it is her fault, not his. Because she went after the “bad boy” that she knew would treat her wrong and abandon her.
- Realize women make mistakes in dating too. They are trying to succeed in this world just like you.
- Win-lose relationships where one party is hurt can come back to bite you. This song does not go into detail about why but the book Mate does.
- Get some of the attractive traits that the man in this song has, but remove the unattractive traits as well. By doing so, you become the ultimate attractive male. You have none of the bad stuff (unkind behavior, emotional volatility, unpredictable nature, deceitful abandonment) and attract all the women.
- Wealth can dazzle but it does not guarantee dating success. The book goes into more detail on this, but a quick summary is that there are many rich men who still suck with girls because their other attractive traits are not up to par.
No apologies. He’ll never see you cry,
Pretends he doesn’t know that he’s the reason why.
You’re drowning, you’re drowning, you’re drowning.
Now I heard you moved on from whispers on the street
A new notch in your belt is all I’ll ever be
And now I see, now I see, now I see
He was long gone when he met me
And I realize the joke is on me, yeah!
I knew you were trouble when you walked in
So shame on me now
And the saddest fear comes creeping in
That you never loved me or her, or anyone, or anything, yeah
A common timeless theme through music appears again. This time, the lyrics talk about being tricked by a player who was only looking casual, short-term fun and an ego boost. This is a common feature of many (but not all) men. You just have to look at Male pop songs (like Want to Want Me or Talk Dirty with Me by Jason Derulo) to see it.
Why are men like this? Genetically, they are made to spread their sperm as far and as wide as possible, as illustrated by Genghis Khan, who had so many children that 1 in 200 men living today are descended from him. This was so that the “winners” with the best traits could pass them on fast. Therefore, men have evolved these tendencies and still have them even though we now have monogamous (one husband, one wife) cultures.
The takeaway: Ladies (and men) should seek people who are after the same relationship goals. Therefore, if you are a lady looking for a long-term relationship or marriage, find men looking for the same thing. Believe it or not, they are out there (an example is Ed Sheeran or many of the classmates I have met who have married their high school sweetheart).
You come and pick me up, no headlights
A long drive,
Could end in burning flames or paradise
The last line is what matters here. She is referring to what most females think of as the ultimate dating success: marriage. Attractive women can have lots of sexual relationships if they want to. But that is usually not what they want.
They want a long term partner because they have few eggs over their lifetime, while males have millions of sperm that they can use to fertilize thousands more eggs.
For most men, having sex could be considered “paradise”, but for most woman having sex could be considered “burning flames” if it ends without a great long-term partner that does not end in marriage. Note: I used the word “most” because not all women are like this. Some are looking for more casual encounters.
- Find girls who want what you do. Seek girls who want short-term relationships if that’s what you are after so there is no-misalignment or misery. The same process applies for girls who want long-term relationships: look for guys who want the same. They are out there.
- Understand the difference of values for women and men to gain an advantage in the dating scene. Understand that women care less for sex since they can get it easier. They care more about finding a guy who is actually cool, fun to be around, a great potential partner, etc. Even if you are looking for hook-ups, by displaying these traits, you can come out ahead.
I should just tell you to leave ’cause I
Know exactly where it leads but I
Watch us go ’round and ’round each time
This is a common (and timeless) example of a women who logically knows a guy is not a good fit but biologically cannot resist his universal attractive traits (whether it’s popularity, willpower, wealth, emotional intelligence, etc.). She knows the relationship will not end how she wants it to but ends up following the same behavior over and over.
The lyrics are made to be somewhat vague, so it could also mean that their lifestyles just are not a match but they keep trying.
So it goes
He can’t keep his wild eyes on the road
Again, Taylor makes this intentionally vague. But more than likely, it refers to the common practice of a young male who can’t stop looking at other hot girls that pass by while he is with his girlfriend (or partner).
Women unconsciously assess a man’s loyalty because of their genes. Their ancestors succeeded and passed on these traits because those who weren’t lost their partner as a potential father and caretaker because he left. Studies of hunter-gatherer groups found that an absentee father doubled chances of child survival and success.
The takeaway: Women notice this stuff. When you are on a date, have some decency and respect. Also, realize how much women care about loyalty. If you can show that you are loyal, you will get bonus points.
I say, “I heard, oh, that you’ve been out and about with some other girl, some other girl.”
He says, “What you’ve heard is true but I
Can’t stop thinking about you,” and I…
I said, “I’ve been there, too, a few times.“
Taylor confronts him about rumors that he has been fooling around (or at least dating) another girl, not a uncommon behavior for a young man in his prime.
This man returns with a common timeless behavior of men: owning up to it, but saying that “you are all I care about though.” Sometimes this lie works, but sometimes girls are skeptical of it because they know guys lie about this to get sex. They are genetically evolved to be biased for jealousy for partner protection.
This part comes from interviews where she explains this line: Taylor has matured over the years, and realized that it’s not always the guy’s fault. She fools around and acts immaturely too as a young lady. She admits that she has done the same thing before.
The takeaway: It may be better to always be honest rather than lie. If you want a polyamorous open relationship, you will win out in the long term by being honest with everyone about it. Girls are savvy to lies. And if not, it can come back to bite you.
Out of the Woods
Looking at it now
Last December (last December)
We were built to fall apart
Then fall back together (back together)
(Are we out of the woods?!)
Remember when you hit the brakes too soon?
Twenty stitches in the hospital room
When you started cryin’, baby, I did, too
But when the sun came up, I was lookin’ at you
Remember when we couldn’t take the heat
I walked out and said, “I’m settin’ you free,”
But the monsters turned out to be just trees
And when the sun came up, you were lookin’ at me
You were lookin’ at me
You were lookin’ at me,
I remember, oh, I remember
Another reference to theme of getting back together in a relationship after breaking it up (the endless cycle continues). Taylor has talked about the meaning behind this song. It’s about the theme of feeling paranoid about keeping a relationship secret. In the song she mentions how the man could not take it anymore, and they broke off the relationship to be free from the paranoia. But their suspicions that they would be found out turned out to be false.
1) The Details
Once again, notice the details she mentions: “twenty stitches in the hospital room”, “you started crying and I did too”, and “sun came up.” Can you imagine a man talking about that or singing about that? It happens, but maybe not as often.
My theory is that women focus and remember experiences, feelings, and small details more than men. Therefore, take some extra effort to make those small moments special and feel good. You will have an edge over other guys.
2) Female Social Status
At play here is female social status. According to the book Mate, even if a girl thinks you are an attractive mate, she still has to deal with the judgement of her family, friends, and society. If your status is too low or different, it could affect hers. Therefore, she may end up keeping you hidden, rejecting you, or trying to boost your image so she has a better chance of a good impression for her friends and family.
In this song, it could be that Taylor simply does want others knowing of her private relationships. And it could potentially be that she is also a bit embarrassed how others will judge the male she chose.
This is not theory either. You probably already had a sense of this when you were in high school. And I have real life examples. Sandra Bullock, a famous actress, took a lot of backlash when she married Jesse James because he was not the stereotypical image of what they expected her to marry (he had lots of tattoos and drank lots of beer).
Note: Taylor has mentioned in interviews that this song was written as an imaginary depiction of what the media made Taylor Swift into. It’s not actually a model of her life. Having said that, there are some interesting themes in the song.
Oh my God, look at that face
You look like my next mistake
Love’s a game, wanna play?
Grab your passport and my hand
I can make the bad guys good for a weekendSo it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game
You’re the King, baby, I’m your Queen
Find out what you want
Be that girl for a month
Wait, the worst is yet to come, oh noScreaming, crying, perfect storms
I can make all the tables turn
Rose garden filled with thorns
Keep you second guessing like
“Oh my God, who is she?”
I get drunk on jealousy
But you’ll come back each time you leave
‘Cause, darling, I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream
How To Get The Girl
Girls have written songs about what they want in a boy. Yet no one listens. Take some time to read the lyrics. Nicki Minaj wrote Superbass. Meghan Trainor wrote Dear Future Boyfriend. And Taylor wrote this song in 2014.
And what a fitting song to end this article with.
Stand there like a ghost shaking from the rain (rain).
She’ll open up the door and say, “Are you insane (‘ane)?”
Say it’s been a long 6 months
And you were too afraid to tell her what you want.
And that’s how it works.
That’s how you get the girl.
And then you say,“I want you for worse or for better,
I would wait forever and ever,
Broke your heart, I’ll put it back together.
I would wait forever and ever.”
Another theme we see is the classic romantic prince pledge that “he will wait forever for her.” This is another pledge of loyalty and commitment that women value and swoon over. And it works, which is why it’s in many Disney and romantic films.
Remind her how it used to be (yeah, yeah)
With pictures in frames of kisses on cheeks (cheeks)
Tell her how you must have lost your mind. (uh-uh)
When you left her all alone, and never told her why (why).
If you ever wondered why pop songs always sound the same, now you know why. There are timeless themed that are rooted in evolutionary biological behaviors that most men and women go through. Every new generation naturally tends to feel certain emotions. It’s no wonder that most female pop songs have to do with love and “Is this man the faithful Mr.Right?”, while most male pop song has to do “I have lots of money. Are you down tonight?”
Now, I want to hear from you. Think of a popular pop song and look at it from this new lenses. Let me know what insights you can learn from the song that you can use to improve your life. Ask yourself questions like “Why does she sing about this? Why does she care so much about this?”
I’m excited to hear your insights in the comments below.
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