Taylor Swift quietly changed the lyrics of a re-recorded ‘Speak Now’ track — and fans aren’t happy

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Photo credit: Jana Zills / CC from 2.0

Taylor Swift has quietly rewritten potentially controversial lyrics into a track on her newly released CD Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) Reissue – Stimulating conversations about the long-term implications of changing existing art so as not to offend contemporary audiences.

Quite a few die-hard Swifties took to social media to celebrate the debut of Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)the third re-recorded album from the Republic Records-signed artist.

In that tidal wave of overwrought posts — “Don’t tell me you don’t like Taylor Swift because I don’t care, let me listen and talk in peace now!” exclaimed one fanatic — certain attentive listeners recognized the initially noted lyrical twist and turn pivot.

When “Better Than Revenge” was released as the tenth title in 2010 Speak Nowthe relevant part of its chorus was written and recorded as “She’s better known for the things she does/On the mattress, woah“, according to the song and lyrics displayed on Genius.

Now, however, the same portion of the 2023 version of the work – of which Swift is the sole songwriter – has been written and listed as “She’s an actress, woah/He was a moth to the flame“, it says again in the title and in the lyrics database.

At the time of writing, Taylor Swift, who is touring as part of her record-breaking Eras tour, appears not to have addressed the lyrics change on social media or in a formal statement. But as already mentioned, the fans participate with all kinds of tweets.

“Taylor Swift if he doesn’t put the mattress line into action better than revenge (Taylor’s version) should be a crime,” one Swiftie tweeted.

“Okay, but Taylor’s quick change of her iconic lyrics in revenge was a mistake… I said what I said,” echoed another angry supporter.

While the exact reasons for the change are unclear — Swift was 33 at the time, and of course around 20 years old Speak Now became available – it must be said that the singer-songwriter is no stranger to adapting her work.

The Pennsylvania native reportedly edited the music video for “Anti-Hero” in a somewhat astounding way in October 2022 in response to “fatphobia” allegations. Though Swift may have chosen to revamp Better Than Revenge of his own accord, it doesn’t take the imagination to identify a multitude of older music releases that might be vulnerable to mob-induced censorship.

At a time when profit-seeking IP owners are acting irresponsibly Change Given the novel’s text, it goes without saying that the music industry must vigorously resist both calls for retroactive changes and any profit-driven urge to desecrate art.