Hey, Taylor Swift: Shakespeare Want His Story Back

It started at the gym. For some reason, my hip-hop rockin’ gym music turned soft and played Taylor Swift’s Love Story the other day. If you know anything about the song Love Story, you know it stays in your head—forever—but the longer it stayed in my head, the more I thought about it. The more I thought about it, the more I realized Taylor Swift never went to high school. And if she did, she got through on looks alone.

I’m not bashing Taylor Swift, per se. She seems like a nice person, and I like her fashion style. However, the song Love Story is a sad reminder of cultural idiocy, and it irritated me to the point of actual wrath. Wanna hear some of the lyrics? Sure you do.

See you make your way through the crowd
And say, “Hello,” Little did I know…
That you were Romeo, you were throwing pebbles,
And my daddy said, “Stay away from Juliet”
And I was crying on the staircase
Begging you, “Please don’t go…”

Okay, so we have the basic plotline. She is Juliet; her beau is Romeo. We know how this turns out, but apparently, Taylor Swift does not. At the end of the song, the star-crossed lovers end up happily ever after. They get married, with Daddy’s blessing. The last line of the song is, “We were both young when I first saaaaaaw you,” when the last line should actually be, “Then we killed ourselves in the family toooo-ooomb …” There is furthermore an allusion to the Scarlet Letter: “cause you were Romeo—I was a scarlet letter.” Is she trying to say she was an adulterous? Because that’s cool, if that’s what she’s trying to say; however, I’m pretty sure that’s not what she’s trying to say.

It isn’t all Taylor’s fault. Like I said, maybe she didn’t go to high school, so maybe she’s not aware that Romeo and Juliet represent one of the most tragic love stories in the history of literature. Maybe she doesn’t know that being Hester Prynne isn’t a good thing. But what about the adults who said, “Yeah, that song has some strong lyrics. Let’s record it and put it on the radio.” Then, there were the award nominations and through-the-roof album sales. Who’s to blame for all that? Well, I guess we are. Not me personally, since I can’t stand Taylor Swift’s music, but in a way I feel responsible, because it took me this long to write a blog post about it.

Ms. Swift is not the only guilty party. Cultural confusion apparently afflicts many modern musicians. Recently, Maroon 5 came out with a catchy tune called “Moves like Jagger.” The chorus goes (barf):

I don’t need to try to control you
Look into my eyes and I’ll own you
With them moves like Jagger
I’ve got the moves like Jagger

I don’t dislike lead singer Adam Levine. He seems like an okay dude, but I wonder, Mr. Levine, have you ever seen the moves of Mick Jagger? Personally, when he’s on stage, I worry he’s on the cusp of seizure. That’s just my opinion, but formulate your own by watching this video.

The Mick Jagger confusion continues with Ke$ha (yes, the idiot uses a dollar sign in her name). It’s bad enough that the woman can’t actually sing; she has to bastardize the American language in the process. In her song “Tik Tok,” not only does she make asinine allusions to P. Diddy and Jack Daniel’s, but she says:

And now, the dudes are lining up cause they hear we got swagger
But we kick em to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger.

Honey. Sweetheart. I know you’re young, but if you saw a guy who looked like Mick Jagger (even young Mick Jagger), you’d probably be running for the door.

What happened to good song lyrics? What happened to sensible artists? It wouldn’t be such a big deal; I can turn off the radio and listen to my own CDs. But these people—the ones I’ve mentioned above—are the ones selling albums. They’re the ones nominated for awards. They’re the ones “kids” listen to, and “kids” are losing brain cells in the process. And KIDS are supposed to be OUR FUTURE! <Scream of terror!>

I’m sick of having Taylor Swift in my head. I’m sick of listening to the radio. I didn’t want to be mean today, but I couldn’t help it. Being mean is sometimes the only way to make people wake up and stop listening to the crap they’re being fed. For your own sake, go buy a CD by an artist you would never hear on the radio. Give a newbie a chance. You might strike gold.

14 thoughts on “Hey, Taylor Swift: Shakespeare Want His Story Back

  1. while you make very valid points, and I for one dislike pretty much all so called “popular” club music, one thing you need to keep in mind is that most of these half wits are just puppets paid to dance and the record company is writing their songs for them based on their studies of what trendy. I remember once there was an invertview with Brittany Spears about one of her songs, and her statment was something like “what I think the song means is…” which makes it so obvious that the singer didnt write it or else they would certainly know what the lyrics meant. I guess thats why I listen to hard rock and metal, they at least play the instruments so that shows they have at least some talent.

      • Yeah it is kinda creepy to think that some middle aged record company employee is writing songs sung by a 15 year old kid, or that some 25+ year old can’t write a single song.

      • Ewwwwww … “middle aged” made it so much creepier. Now, that’s what I’m going to think about whenever I hear Taylor swift: some beer-belly-rockin’ bald guy singing about wearing a white dress. EW.

  2. Hahaha…“Then we killed ourselves in the family toooo-ooomb …”

    I don’t know if Weird Al is still doing song parodies, but send him that line and ask for a 25% royalty on the song he creates and you will be set for life.

    I suppose you could be happy that Taylor tried to tie her song to Shakespeare and not to the Twilight movies. Imagine working out to THAT…

    It was nice to meet you today, and its good to have you on the team.

    • AH! I used to love Weird Al! He could make a fortune with modern parodies. So much to work with! And you’re right; it could be worse … Thanks for stopping by the blog!!

  3. For the record, I’m pretty sure that all of the artists you mentioned write their own lyrics. While many, many artists simply adopt songs written and produced for them, not the case for those three (although, don’t quote me – I’m not personal friends with any of them…:) )…I think the most important thing you wrote earlier was that “Love Story” gets stuck in your head. Anymore, producers and more concerned with a bangin’ beat or a melody that is addictive than song content. Britney Spears is a perfect example. No one will laud her for her singing ability or the cleverness of her lyrics, but the people who produce her music know what the hell they are doing. If you ignore her and listen to how her music is layered and produced, you can’t really argue with the quality of that parts of her album production (regardless of whether you’re into pop music or not)…And video killed the radio star for sure. Image and gimmick are so huge in the industry now that a pretty face (or body) will eclipse bad lyrics…Oh, the entertainment industry…I have such a love/hate relationship with it!

  4. Taylor did go to high school in Nashville. Headersonville high to be exact.

    Love story is about a guy she liked but her parents didn’t. She just used the names Romeo and Juliet. Of course she knows how the real story turned out, she just wanted to set a happy ending to it.

    • Thanks for the info, Jess! I don’t mean to totally bash the girl. However, when that song sticks in your head for days at a time, it gets to be reeeeeeeeeeal annoying!!

  5. Thank you for acknowledging the fact that Taylor Swift has no literary knowledge! I have heard so many people try to defend her, but her links to Romeo and Juliet are weak, and if she was properly using the term “Scarlet Letter,” she must be knocked up by someone other than her “Romeo.” When this song first played on the radio, my reaction was priceless. My face contorted and I asked my husband, “Is she stupid?” I was shocked that someone could destroy literary history and distort it for many young people. And just because she went to high school does not mean that she learned about Romeo and Juliet, or that she had a proper Shakespeare teacher. One of my brother’s teachers said a comedy was a comedy because the dog in the play was funny. As someone who studied English and Shakespeare, I marched to the high school to teach the teacher a few key elements about Shakespearean literature.

    • I got a lot of heat because of this post. People said Swift was just telling the story in her own way with a happy ending. I stand by my guns. It’s a stupid song, and it confuses kids who are already easily confused. What’s happening to the classics nowadays?? Urg. Thanks for commiserating with me 🙂

      • People get so worked up because a pretty blonde used her daddy’s money to pull strings in Nashville when every record producer listened to her and refused to sign her because they heard her voice? What happened to good music? I’ve read her lyrics, and it’s a shame to call that genius. I wish more people would listen to quality and read the classics. Where would the world be without “Tristram Shandy?” Without that key piece of literature, there would be no fiction. It’s sad that people call Taylor Swift a songwriting genius and Nicholas Sparks a great author. I’m almost ashamed to be a part of today’s culture.

  6. I hear ya on being ashamed. However, I guess we can fight back by not listening to bad music and not reading bad books. We can also give high praise on our blogs to deserving artists in the hope that their influence will spread. We can even BE deserving artists 🙂 Thank you for writing, and I’ll be sure to keep an eye on your well-written and DESERVING blog!!

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