Taylor Swift has axed a controversial song lyric deemed “misogynistic” by fans on her new album Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), a midnight release that includes six new songs and appearances by two guest artists.
The lyric, in the album’s 10th song, “Better than Revenge (Taylor’s Version),” has been changed from, “But she’s better known for the things that she does on the mattress,” to, “He was a moth to the flame, she was holding the matches,” a move that echoes her previous statements that criticizing women for their romantic choices is “deeply sexist.”
Swift herself has not yet said exactly why she changed the lyrics, but the move has stirred plenty of commentary by fans who are split over whether she “deserves some applause” for the move or should have left the original version of the song, since dubbed by social media users the “Misogynistic Version” and “Slut Shaming Version,” alone.
While official numbers and rankings haven’t been released, Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) is destined for the top of the charts if history is to be believed—Fearless (Taylor’s Version) has earned more than three times as many album units as the original since its release, Billboard reported, and Red (Taylor’s Version) earned 3.32 million equivalent album units compared to 390,000 units for Red over the same amount of time.
Taylor Swift launched an effort to re-record her back catalog several years ago after leaving her original label, Big Machine Records. Big Machine still owned the masters of her first six albums, which music manager Scooter Braun then sold to Shamrock Holdings for an estimated $300 million, TIME reported, without giving her the chance to buy them herself. Swift’s feud with Braun is no secret, and she slammed the sale before promising to re-record her original six albums with the masters under her control. The re-releases, all dubbed “Taylor’s Version” have included special guests and never-before-heard songs. Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) was released at midnight Thursday, following Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version). The latest release includes six new songs and features Paramore’s Hailey Williams and Fall Out Boy as featured guests.
Taylor Swift became the first artist in history to claim the top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 song list after the release of her album “Midnights” in October 2022.
The new songs on Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) are “about the whims, fantasies, heartaches, dramas and tragedies I lived out as a young woman between 18 and 20,” Taylor Swift said on Instagram.
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