Taylor Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down” Is the Clapback Anthem You Never Knew You Needed

Aramide Tinubu
Taylor Swift
Photo: Shutterstock.

She’s back, and she’s delivering some epic bops for the lovers. The meaning behind Taylor Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down” lyrics are iconic. The song is her second single from her forthcoming album, Lover which is set to drop on Aug. 23. Though the record is set to have a much more romantic tone than what we saw during Swift’s Reputation era, the Red songstress is still speaking her mind. After years of being silent about her political views–Swift has taken a stand to speak out for the LGBTQ community and for women. In an era where we’ve also had to deal with bullying–especially online trolling, Swift has decided to take haters to task.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the singer/songwriter spoke up about how much social media has not only impacted our society but her as an individual. She said,

Our priorities can get messed up existing in a society that puts a currency on curating the way people see your life. Social media has given people a way to express their art. I use it to connect with fans. But on the downside you feel like there are 3 trillion new invisible hoops that you have to jump through, and you feel like you’ll never be able to jump through them all correctly. I—along with a lot of my friends and fans—am trying to figure out how to navigate living my life and not just curating what I want people to think living my life is. I’m not always able to maintain a balance, and I think that’s important for everyone to know about. We’re always learning, and that’s something that I also had to learn—that I’ve got to be brave enough to learn. Learning in public is so humiliating sometimes…. Do I feel more balanced in my life than I ever have before? Um, probably yeah. But is that permanent? No. And I think being okay with that has put me in a bit of a better position.

As of late, Swift has really put her money where her mouth is. She’s made peace with Katy Perry after a long-standing feud, and she’s shown that she’s ready to be a forthright ally when it comes to supporting LGBTQ rights.

So let’s get into the epic clapback that is “You Need to Calm Down.” The lyrics are sassy and bold:

You are somebody that I don’t know

But you’re takin’ shots at me like it’s Patrón

And I’m just like damn it’s 7 A.M.

Say it in the street, that’s a knock-out

But you say it in a Tweet, that’s a cop-out

And I’m just like, “Hey, are you okay?”


And I ain’t tryna mess with your self-expression

But I’ve learned a lesson that stressin’ and obsessin’ ’bout somebody else is no fun

And snakes and stones never broke my bones

If you recall during her feud with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, Swift’s social media platforms were flooded with snake emojis, a symbol she incorporated during her Reputation era.

So oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh

You need to calm down, you’re being too loud

And I’m just like oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh (Oh)

You need to just stop, like can you just not step on my gown?

You need to calm down

Verse 2

You are somebody that we don’t know

But you’re comin’ at my friends like a missile

Why are you mad when you could be GLAAD? (You could be GLAAD)

By referring GLAAD–the LGBTQ advocacy organization that promotes equality and acceptance, Swift is proving she’s no longer going to be silent about injustice.

So when can we expect visuals for “You Need to Calm Down?”

On her Instagram Live, Swift announced that the video would drop, Monday, June 17 on Good Morning America. She explained, “I wanted you to hear the song first, then see the video. Because the video is very worth the wait. There’s a lot going on in the video so I wanted that to be a separate discovery.”

Are you ready?