Song of the Day #1,673: ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ – Taylor Swift

taylor_swift_redOK, this is a little more interesting.

Coming in at #6 on Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop poll of the best singles of 2012 is Taylor Swift with ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.’ Of course I’ve actually heard this song, unlike the first four I’ve posted.

Compared to what’s come so far, Swift’s ditty is a masterpiece. But that’s not saying much.

While I admit this song is eminently catchy (almost in ‘Call Me Maybe’s league in that regard), I actively dislike it.

I’m turned way off by the talky Valley Girl cadences of the verses. All the “like, ever” stuff rubs me the wrong way. If I want to hear middle school girls talking I’ll go to a middle school.

And I truly hate the “indie record that’s much cooler than mine” line — the gall of this woman to be bothered that her ex would seek solace in somebody else’s music!

Red has several very good songs on it, but this is not one of them.

I remember when we broke up, the first time
Saying, “This is it, I’ve had enough,” cause like
We hadn’t seen each other in a month
When you said you needed space. What?
Then you come around again and say
“Baby, I miss you and I swear I’m gonna change; trust me”
Remember how that lasted for a day?
I say, “I hate you,” we break up, you call me, “I love you”

Ooh we called it off again last night
But ooh, this time I’m telling you, I’m telling you

We are never ever ever getting back together
We are never ever ever getting back together
You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me
But we are never ever ever ever getting back together

Like ever

I’m really gonna miss you picking fights and me
Falling for it screaming that I’m right and you
Would hide away and find your piece of mind
With some indie record that’s much cooler than mine

Ooh, you called me up again tonight
But ooh, this time I’m telling you, I’m telling you


Ooh, ooh, ooh, oh!

I used to think that we were forever ever
And I used to say, “Never say never”
Huh, so he calls me up and he’s like, “I still love you”
And I’m like, “I just, I mean this is exhausting, you know
Like, we are never getting back together, like ever”

[Hook] x2

20 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,673: ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ – Taylor Swift

  1. Dana says:

    I couldn’t disagree with you more on this one. I find this song quite addictive, and not in a bad way. Given swift’s sorted history with men, I find this more playful generic take on her life to be fun and refreshing. And is it really so out of character to hear someone barely out of high school sounding like this? And I find the very line you hate to be witty and probably anecdotal for her.

    Again, couldn’t disagree with you more.

  2. Andrea Katz says:

    I can’t agree with Clay more and disagree with you more, 🙂 I loathe this song!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Maddie says:

    whoa, loathe XD I’ll stay out of this mostly except to say that I agree with my dad (shocker :P) and that the whole song seems to be Taylor’s way of telling people not to take everything she does so seriously, and just to enjoy being young and ridiculous while you can. The valley girl speak is a tool to convey that she just wants to be goofy and not worry about anything for a while.

    As for the Indie line, I do think it is witty. Not that she is suggesting that her ex can’t find solace in other people’s music, but mocking the idea that when they are in a fight he would go listen to records with similar messages that she shares, rather than try to figure out what is going on in her head…. (just my interpretation anyway)

    I totally lied when I said I was staying out of this… oops 😛

  4. Amy says:

    Have to agree with Dana and Maddie (and the Village Voice) on this one. The song is sharp, witty, playful, and likely an anthem for many a young woman (but not nearly so young as middle school age) who has finally gotten to her breaking point – and wants to shout from the roof tops that it’s done, like, for good!

    As for the “indie record that’s much cooler than mine” line, I see it as Swift, once again, quoting her critics and being self-deprecating within her lyrics. She knows she’s a pop star, sells out stadiums, has hundreds of thousands of screaming tween fans, and she knows that there are those (probably this ex included) who are likely to discount her music on that fact alone. The little know record with indie cred is somehow “cooler” just because it is so much less known. I love the line.

    This song is simultaneously angry and celebratory – what a winning combination!

  5. Maddie says:

    Yes, exactly that (the justification for why that line is so great)! I couldn’t think of how to phrase it properly, so I just justified it within context of the song, but it is so wonderful for all those reasons.

  6. Clay says:

    I see that line as yet another example of Swift playing her favorite role — the victim.

    She is not only one of the best-selling artists on the planet, but her music is critically acclaimed as well. She placed two singles near the top of this poll of hundreds of music critics — a better showing than any indie band.

    But somehow she always paints herself as the underdog and the aggrieved party. And that carries over to the phony “Oh my God, is this really happening?!?” face that she puts on every time she wins an award or gets a standing ovation (even when it’s the hundredth award and thousandth standing ovation).

    Basically, I think Swift spends a lot of time getting in her own way. She is a very talented songwriter in need of a better muse.

    • Amy says:

      Hate the face, but don’t see what it has to do with this line. And I don’t understand your last line at all. If she’s a talented songwriter, clearly her muse is just fine. Maybe she just needs better advice from her “handlers” to quit pulling faces at awards shows! 🙂

  7. Maddie says:

    While I agree that her “Oh my God, is this really happening?!?” face is silly, I don’t see this line playing into that. This is more of a line mocking the hipster tendency to like something more just because it is less known. She isn’t stupid, she clearly knows and owns up to how successful she is. This line isn’t a complaint or a self-deprecation as much as it is a nod to her loyal fans who refuse to stop listening to her records just because there are “cooler” aka less known records

  8. Clay says:

    What I mean is that she has a gift for melody and lyrics but she needs better subject matter.

  9. Dana says:

    Clay, how many multimillionaire rap artists continue to churn out song after song, album after album exploiting a state of poverty, anger, violence, etc that isn’t (or at least shouldn’t be) part of their actual daily existence? How many heavy metal bands continue to exploit the us against the world out of the mainstream fire while making millions from actually being so cleverly commercial and packaged? Are you really condemning swift at 22 and on her 4th album for extending some of the heartache and innocent themes that created her success and clearly continues to work with her legions of fans? I think you are applying a standard and expectation on swift that you would not necessarily demand of others.

  10. Amy says:

    Excellent point, Dana, especially considering that she is still, as Maddie pointed out, very much living that life. If she were married with a couple of kids and still writing about the boy who broke her heart, then you would have a point. Instead, she’s in her early 20’s, loves the idea of being in love, allows herself to fall hard and fast for the newest boy she thinks might be “the one,” and then, yes, when he inevitably is not, she writes about it.

    I suppose she could write about politics or the rain forest or fame or some such other thing, but instead she writes about family and relationships, because that is what she cares about (and, yes, likely because that has also earned her legions of fans),

    • Clay says:

      Because I’m such a fan of rap and heavy metal! 🙂

      • Clay says:

        It isn’t the relationship thing that bothers me as much as the victim thing. Plenty of people write almost exclusively about relationships.

        • Dana says:

          Well,couldn’t any failed relationship song be described as a “victim” song? The line in question is about being the “victim” of a failed relationship far more than it is about bemoaning her lack of appreciation by critics or the indie hipster crowd. And, but for the rather brilliant song “Mean” from her last album that slapped down an actual critic and poetically described how even a highly successful 20 yr old could be impacted by criticism, I don’t see Swift spending much time at all playing the music victim.

  11. Maddie says:

    I can also site a couple songs (Back to December and I Knew You Were Trouble) in which Taylor makes herself the offender. And then countless others which have nothing to do with anyone being the victim.

  12. Clay says:

    I agree about ‘Back to December.’ That’s a nice change of pace where she is the guilty party and (not coincidentally) I think it’s one of her most powerful songs.

    ‘I Knew You Were Trouble,’ though, once again has her as the aggrieved party. Sure, she says the blame is on her, but that’s only because she fell for this heartless cad who made her another notch on his belt.

    • Maddie says:

      But she in that song she is responding to the:“maybe you just like being taken advantage of.” comment. In this case, she fully owns up to that fact. That isn’t to say that is always the case. But in this case, she knew how terrible the person was (the common speculation is that this is another song about John Mayer). Even in “Dear John” she starts to realize that “maybe it’s me and my blind optimism to blame.” It seems like that song is her full realization that, at least in this particular relationship, she was the one to blame. That doesn’t mean Mayer isn’t a terrible person for the way he treated her, just that she had enough hints that she should have know about it.

  13. Clay says:

    Dana, I don’t think a failed relationship song equals a victim song at all. Elvis Costello has written dozens of songs about love gone bad but they are rarely so black and white.

    Swift has written so many variations of the “shame on you for taking advantage of me” song that my reaction has become “maybe you just like being taken advantage of.”

    I don’t want her to sing about the rain forest. But how about a song about an alcoholic uncle, or some autistic kid she met? I’d count two songs about growing up (‘The Best Day’ and ‘Never Grow Up’) among her very best work, in part because they tackle different subject matter.

    I’d like her to write a song with lyrics so opaque that I don’t know what the hell she’s singing about. Costello has made a career writing those, too!

    • Dana says:

      I’m working up a theory on you: Right behind overtly political songs, you tend not to like overtly literal autobiographical songs😄

  14. Clay says:

    There might be something to that.

    Many of my favorite songwriters (Randy Newman, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Ben Folds, Aimee Mann, to name a few) write character sketches of other people most of the time. I find those sorts of songs fascinating.

    On the other hand, Eminem has made a career out of airing his personal dirty laundry in song. But he does it with a mix of guilt and anger that I find fascinating.

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