Taylor Swift is reclaiming what’s hers, and in doing so, making some major changes to her catalogue of music. On Friday, July 7, the singer, 33, released her latest re-record, Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), a rerecording of her 2010 entirely self-written album, and in doing so took the opportunity to change the lyrics of one of her most controversial songs, “Better Than Revenge.”
Written in the throes of teenage romance and heartbreak, “Better Than Revenge” is a scathing breakup ballad rumored, but never confirmed, to be about Joe Jonas and actress Camilla Belle. Jonas and Swift briefly dated in 2008 and split during what Swift has described as a 25-second phone call. In the song, Swift, who was 19 when her third studio album was release, call out her ex’s new girlfriend for taking him “faster than you can say sabotage” But for the past 13 years, one line in particular has stood out, for better or worse: “She’s better known for the things that she does on the mattress.” In Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), that line has been rewritten to: “He was a moth to the flame, she was holding the matches.”
The change, which Swift hasn’t publicly addressed, comes after “Better Than Revenge” has faced criticism for being anti-feminist and has been called out for slut shaming. Addressing the line in 2014, Swift told The Guardian, “I was 18 when I wrote that. 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.”
While rare, this is not the first time Swift has changed the lyrics to one of her songs. The singer’s song “Picture to Burn,” from her debut album, was changed to remove the word “gay,” which was used in a negative context in the original song. Just as that change has sparked plenty of commentary on social media, the change to “Better Than Revenge” has prompted plenty of comments and has mostly been met with mixed reviews.
Swift announced Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) at her Nashville show at Nissan Stadium back in May. Along with re-recordings of the album’s 14 original songs, as well as the two bonus tracks, Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) also features six songs from the vault – “Castles Crumbling” featuring Paramore’s Hayley Williams, “Electric Touch” featuring Fall Out Boy, “When Emma Falls In Love,” “I Can See You,” “Foolish One,” and “Timeless.” Swift debuted the music video for “I Can See You,” featuring Joey King and Taylor Lautner, at her Eras Tour stop in Kansas City Friday night.
Written by: Q1075