October 26, 2010

Why you gotta be so mean?

I picked up Taylor Swift's new album, SPEAK NOW, yesterday. The song Mean, in which Taylor tackles a particularly harsh critic, caught my eye (ear...?).

I thought this song was a nice reminder that one person's criticism, whether constructive or cruel, doesn't have to matter. Just because one person thinks you're book is boring or that writing is a waste of time doesn't mean it's true.

The song is also a reminder to be careful how we criticize others.

And while it may not be the most productive thing to call your critics pathetic liars (even though you might be thinking it... ;)), it is smart to keep in mind that 'they don't know what they don't know.'

Mean by Taylor Swift



You, with your words like knives and swords and weapons that you use against me
You have knocked me off my feet again, got me feeling like a nothing
You, with your voice like nails on a chalk board, calling me out when I’m wounded
You, picking on the weaker man
Well you can take me down with just one single blow
But you don’t know what you don’t know

Someday I’ll be living in a big ole city
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
Why you gotta be so mean?

You, with your switching sides and your wildfire lies and your humiliation
You have pointed out my flaws again, as if I don’t already see them
I walk with my head down trying to block you out cause I'll never impress you
I just want to feel okay again
I bet you got pushed around
Somebody made you cold
But the cycle ends right now cause you can’t lead me down that road
And you don’t know what you don’t know

Someday I’ll be living in a big old city
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
Why you gotta be so mean?

And I can see you years from now in a bar
Talking over a football game with that same big loud opinion
But nobody’s listening
Washed up and ranting about the same old bitter things
Drunk and grumbling on about how I can’t sing
But all you are is mean
All you are is mean
And a liar
And pathetic
And alone in life and mean and mean and mean and mean

But someday I’ll be living in a big old city
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
Yeah, someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
(Why you gotta be so)
Someday I’ll be living in a big old city
(Why you gotta be so)
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me
(Why you gotta be so)
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
Why you gotta be so mean?

6 comments:

Holly Dodson said...

LOVE!

Funny, we both posted about songs today. lol

Remilda Graystone said...

Interesting post. I agree. I like the lyrics to the song, too. Thanks.

Emy Shin said...

That's a great thing to keep in mind: to be careful when we criticize others. And yes, a person's criticism doesn't have to matter if you don't want it to be.

blametheweatherman said...

I haven't heard this yet, but Lord Voldemort on twitter (ha!) made a comment about how the lyrics themselves were mean. Piqued my interest, but I never got around to looking them up.

It's a wonderful lesson to learn, but exceptionally hard to acquire. Maybe I'll print them out and keep them in mind for later.

In the mean time - GO TAYLOR!

Claire Dawn said...

How did both you and Holly post "Every Writer's Theme Song" music today? I can't wait for this album.

KO said...

very interesting-- and you make great points about criticism.

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