All the Hidden References in Taylor Swift's New Song 'Call It What You Want'

2 weeks ago
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Taylor Swift did something unexpected last night: She released a new song from her album Reputation titled “Call It What You Want.” Granted, the actual release isn’t a shock—she’s been dropping songs periodically for months now—but the song itself is a surprise. It’s the first slow jam she’s released from Reputation, and you know what that means: lyrics galore. “Call It What You Want” is stuffed with interesting, heartbreaking lines that fans have been unpacking for the past few hours. It’s clearly a love song about her boyfriend of one year, Joe Alwyn, but the words run deeper than that. There are so many references to Swift’s own previous work in “Call It What You Want” that are making Swifties feel things. Here are all the ones we’ve found so far:

1. The “Love Story” parallels. The theory fans had yesterday after Swift dropped the teaser holds up. “Call It What You Want” flips the script on “Love Story” completely: Eight years ago she needed saving—now she doesn’t. She still wants her Romeo, though, just on her own terms.

2. She starts singing exactly 13 seconds into the song. Thirteen, as everyone knows by now, is Swift’s lucky number. There’s no way this is a coincidence.

3. The “daydream” reference. On “Call It What You Want,” Swift sings, “My baby’s fit like a daydream.” On “Blank Space,” of course, she says, “Darling, I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream.”

4. “Brand new” gets a shout-out too. There’s a lyric in one of Swift’s best deep cuts, “Innocent,” in which she says, “Today is never too late to be brand new.” Isn’t it ironic that she sings, “Loves me like I’m brand new” on “Call It What You Want”?

5. The “castle” from “New Romantics” has finally crumbled. Swift’s haters take the shape of a castle both in “New Romantics” and “Call It What You Want.” She built a castle made of “bricks” thrown at her in “New Romantics,” but she says it’s now destroyed in “Call It What You Want.” Hmmm, does this mean she’s finally blocking out the haters?

6. She’s also very into storms. If you remember, Swift laments on her 2014 song “Clean,” “[I] hung my head, as I lost the war, and the sky turned black like a perfect storm.” Now she says, “All my flowers grew back as thorns, windows boarded up after the storm.”

7. There’s a second royals metaphor. One of the themes on Reputation is falling from grace. Swift is making a commentary about how she was once seen as a golden child, of sorts, but her public squabbles with celebrities have tarnished her pristine image. “I don’t like your kingdom keys, they once belonged to me,” she sings on “Look What You Made Me Do.” The “kingdom” is clearly a reference to the life and reputation she once had. She employs a similar tactic in “Call It What You Want.” “They took my crown, but it’s all right,” she sings. If that’s any indication, Swift really DGAF about what people think about her anymore.

8. Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes. Swift has no qualms about owning up to her romantic missteps in songs. “Once upon a time, a few mistakes ago,” she sings at the top of 2012’s “I Knew You Were Trouble.” Now, she croons “I make the same mistakes every time.” Girl, same.

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