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What’s up with Taylor Swift?

Sam Stryker | Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Taylor Swift, thank you for ruining my senior year.

Just when I thought our midwestern paradise of a campus was safe, the “country” star has reemerged on the quintessential Notre Dame playlist, all thanks to her new single, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”

Some things in the life of a Notre Dame student are just routine – the North Face and Sperry uniform, Football Saturdays, Finny’s on Wednesdays and dreadful weather. Well, add the latest Taylor Swift track bleating about her “unfortunate” love life being on heavy rotation to the list. It would seem whatever the latest T-Swift jam is, it gives the Notre Dame Victory March a run for its money in terms of plays on campus.

They say lightning never strikes the same place twice. Unfortunately, Taylor Swift never got the memo. Hell hath no fury like a Nashville pixie scorned, apparently.

Taylor’s new song is about – surprise – her frustration with a former flame. Never one to not beat a dead horse, this is familiar territory for Taylor – think “Back to December” or “The Story of Us,” both dealing with the difficult waters following a relationship gone awry.

For the next semester, I know I can count on hearing Taylor’s depressing lyrical story about her ex-boyfriend several times each evening. It’s not so much that I dislike the song, as it is actually quite catchy. But I know this song will be beaten to death, resurrected, and beaten to death all over again, a musical zombie courtesy of the gaggle of Swift-crazed students at this University.

I’ll give it to her, Taylor is nothing if not consistent. Unfortunately, her consistency has infected Notre Dame students, male and female alike, like a pandemic – a Black Plague of griping country-pop music, if you will.  

Listen, Taylor, we get it – life is tough when you’re tall, skinny, rich, blonde, famous and have dated a who’s-who of Hollywood hunks. Unfortunately, her message doesn’t really resonate with me, and I’m not so sure why it does with so many students here. I don’t know any fellow classmates who have encountered problems dating a Kennedy or Twilight star, all while shuffling between sellout concerts and award shows.

Even when Swift does focus on the sunny side of life, it always seems to be about boys. I mean, where would she be without “Love Story” or “Our Song”? When it comes to her music, Taylor is like a chameleon who can only alternate between two colors – always about her love life, either singing a sad or happy tune. Show some versatility, girl.

Taylor’s lack of lyrical creativity is frustrating on several levels. First of all, there is no denying the girl is talented. She is gorgeous and has a voice to match. It would be great if she could show some range in what she sings about – family, fun, whatever. I mean, if Rihanna can create a smash hit singing about umbrellas, I think Taylor Swift can come up with something, anything to sing about aside from her dating life. She really is holding herself back, and it’s unfortunate to watch.

But more important and slightly more troubling, Taylor is being quite the hypocrite and a bad influence to boot singing about all this dating nonsense. For someone who supposedly despises the paparazzi and has engaged in legal wrangling with the tabloids, Swift seems awfully eager to air her dirty laundry and hang her exes out to dry. 

While it may seem like her music may be therapeutic or empowering, Taylor is publicly painting the men in her life as the scoundrel and herself as the victim. Last time I checked, I haven’t heard Taylor Lautner or Joe Jonas singing about Taylor being a villainess – what gives her the right to do so to them?

Not only is that catty, but it also sets a bad example for her army of young fans, who are receiving the message over and over from Swift to fall in love, then drag their former Prince Charming through the mud once he has served his purpose. This is not quite the message we want from America’s sweetheart. 

So Taylor, I just wanted to formally thank you. Just when I thought it was safe to go out at night, your new song came out. If it’s a love story, you probably should just have said no.


Contact Sam Stryker at sstryke1@nd.edu

The views in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Observer.