The Taylor Swift Lyric Guessing Game for 1989 began in earnest Monday, when Swift talked to Rolling Stone about her new song “Bad Blood,” which addresses an unidentified female celebrity who stabbed her in the back. The Internet zeroed in on Katy Perry as the target, and Perry subsequently tweeted a shade-filled response (“Watch out for Regina George in sheep’s clothing”).
We don’t know the actual lyrics to “Bad Blood” yet, so it’s currently anyone’s guess if there will be call-outs to kitty cats, green hair and all-denim VMA ensembles. Assuming it contains classic Swift songwriting, the lyrics are going to get hyper-specific. Like, even people who don’t know the actual situation (so, all of us) are going to be able to puzzle it out. Despite what Swift says — she notes she doesn’t want guessing games about “Bad Blood,” merely people to relate their own experiences to it — it doesn’t seem like a super-likely response given the specific directions she often puts into her tunes. They’re practically a public roadmap to who pissed her off when and why.
What will the subject of “Bad Blood” be in store for on 1989? Below, some of Swift’s best one-person-specific lyrics. We’re not talking the generic fun of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”; rather, her confessional words about a very specific someone that pepper some of her best songs. Remember, it’s not just the exes: She saved her harshest lyric for an actress.
5. “I stare at the phone/ He still hasn’t called/ And then you feel so low/ You can’t feel nothing at all/ And you flashback to/ When we said forever and always.” -“Forever and Always”
Allegedly about: Joe Jonas, who, you may have heard, broke up with her on the phone.
4. “I miss your tan skin/ Your sweet smile/ So good to me/ So right.” -“Back to December”
Allegedly about: Werewolf Taylor Lautner, who gets to walk off with praise.
3. “You called me up again/ Just to break me like a promise/ So casually cruel/ In the name of being honest.” -“All Too Well”
Allegedly about: Too-adult-to-be-here Jake Gyllenhaal.
2. “Don’t you think 19’s too young to be messed with/ The girl in the dress cried the whole way home.” -“Dear John”
Allegedly about: Too-adult-to-be-here John Mayer.
1. “She’s not a saint/ And she’s not what you think/ She’s an actress, whoa/ She’s better known/ For the things that she does/ On the mattress, whoa.” -“Better Than Revenge”
Allegedly about: Camilla Belle (who dated Jonas after Swift)