‘Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)’ has Swifties emo, mixed about ‘Better Than Revenge’

Swifties are speaking now and forever holding their truth.

Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” is here after much anticipation and the superstar’s fans are eating it up. The album is the latest in Swift’s venture to reclaim the rights to her vast discography. Originally released in 2010 as the singer’s third LP, it is also the third album Swift has rerecorded as “Taylor’s Version,” following the massively popular revisions of “Red” and “Fearless” in 2021.

“It’s here. It’s yours, it’s mine, it’s ours,” Swift wrote in an Instagram post celebrating the new release. “It’s an album I wrote alone about the whims, fantasies, heartaches, dramas and tragedies I lived out as a young woman between 18 and 20.

“I remember making tracklist after tracklist, obsessing over the right way to tell the story. I had to be ruthless with my choices, and I left behind some songs I am still unfailingly proud of now.”

The new edition features six never-before-released tracks “from the vault,” which include features from Fall Out Boy and Paramore’s Hayley Williams, who will be opening for Swift on her newly expanded Eras tour. Another notable amendment involves lyrics Swift changed in the song “Better Than Revenge.” In the track’s 2010 iteration she sings, “She’s better known for the things that she does on the mattress.” In the new version, she changes the line to, “He was a moth to the flame, she was holding the matches.”

The update comes after the original lyrics were criticized for having misogynistic undertones.

The “You Belong With Me” artist has previously spoken out about the head space she was in when she wrote “Better Than Revenge.”

“I was 18 when I wrote that,” she told the Guardian in 2014. “That’s the age you are when you think someone can actually take your boyfriend. Then you grow up and realize no one [can] take someone from you if they don’t want to leave.”

Changes, additions, omissions — Swift’s fans are commenting on it all and highlighting their favorite aspects of the re-recording on social media.

”West Side Story” star Rachel Zegler related to the album’s emotional nature and noted how it correlated to her current circumstances.

“amazing how taylor swift knew that i was all alone in my new apartment in a big city and that i am crying about how i wish i had never grown up,” Zegler tweeted.

Podcaster Ellie Schnitt reflected on the loaded song “Dear John” and the short-lived romance between Swift and guitarist John Mayer, on which many fans believe the song was based.

“totally get that taylor swift is okay and doesn’t want us to harass j*hn m*yer but what she fails to understand is that I do not care WHO you are, if you’re 32 dating a 19 year old your ass is grass in my eyes and you should know if I ever see you it’s on sight,” she tweeted.

Other fans reacted in varying ways to the changes in “Better Than Revenge.”

“the new better than revenge lyric is better than the old one and most of you are just holding on to it so you can feel different + y’all’s obsession with it is weird,” @mylovespiral tweeted.

User @mssageinabottle concurred, tweeting “i gotta say i like the new better than revenge line better than the old one.”

Some viewed the revision as a missed opportunity for Swift to own her past lyrics and let her words stand as relics of her former self.

“using better than revenge to make some kind of grand feminist statement feels a little too much… looking back at it and admitting it was what you once were not what you are now would be so much more graceful,” one defender of the past version tweeted.

Another Twitter user affirmed that approach, writing, “im just gonna say this once and only once! i AM sad that taylor didn’t use this opportunity to keep the original lyrics for better than revenge as a way to vocalize that she does not hold those same beliefs anymore. kind of how hayley williams talks about misery business now.”

Others felt that Swift paradoxically added value to the previous version of “Better Than Revenge” through her lyrical manipulation.

“and you’re all forgetting the whole point of her doing these projects was to take away value from the originals. changing them does not do that, it just creates 2 different songs and now the originals holds the same value it always has,” wrote one Twitter user.

Here’s a sampling of some more online fan reactions to “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)”:

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