Taylor Swift You Need To Calm Down
Taylor Swift has gone from the personal pride of her seven-week-old single, “Me!,” and moved on to Pride with a capital P in its just-released followup, “You Need to Calm
Down” (exclamation point only implied this time). It’s in a long line of anti-haters singles from Swift, but this time she’s returning fire not just at her own detractors but dedicating a significant portion of the song to taking on homophobes… very cheerfully, in keeping with all other recent Swift mood signifiers.
The first verse has Swift checking out her own social media mentions: “You are somebody that I don’t know / But you’re takin’ shots at me like it’s Patron / And I’m must like, damn, it’s 7 a.m. / Say it in the street, that’s a knockout / But you say it in a tweet, that’s a cop-out.”
Come verse 2, she’s getting socially conscious in a way that will surprise only anyway who slept through the celebrity news cycle in the first two days of Pride Month, “Why are you mad when you could be GLAAD?” she asks, echoing the last phrase for good measure. “Sunshine on the street at the parade / But you would rather be in the dark ages / Makin’ that sign must’ve taken all night.”
For anyone who wasn’t clear on her intentions from the mere acronyms of the previous verse, she gets more explicit with the “shade never made anybody less gay” line in the pre-chorus. A possible (probable?) Billy Porter mention comes up in a different iteration of the refrain: “Can you just not step on his gown?”