Song of the Day #4,092: ‘The Man’ – Taylor Swift

Continuing my countdown of the songs on Taylor Swift’s Lover.

12. ‘Lover’ – The title track and fourth single. I like the sound of this song a lot better than the lyrics. The verses have a really cool ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’ quality. But I have a hard time taking the word “lover” seriously — it conjures up images of Will Ferrell and Rachel Dratch in a hot tub. And “we could leave the Christmas lights up til January” — who doesn’t do that? Still, very solid song.

11. ‘I Think He Knows’ – A fun love song with a killer chorus. I like the nifty bridge as well.

10. ‘The Man’ – This one is a lot of fun and makes an excellent point about the double standard for female artists (and women in general). It’s a pop-fueled take on Beyonce’s ‘If I Were a Boy’ but from a cultural perspective. Smart, funny lyrics and a sound that owes a lot to Swift’s pals the Haim sisters.

[Verse 1]
I would be complex, I would be cool
They’d say I played the field before I found someone to commit to
And that would be okay for me to do
Every conquest I had made would make me more of a boss to you

[Pre-Chorus]
I’d be a fearless leader
I’d be an alpha type
When everyone believes ya
What’s that like?

[Chorus]
I’m so sick of running as fast as I can
Wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was a man
And I’m so sick of them coming at me again
‘Cause if I was a man, then I’d be the man
I’d be the man
I’d be the man

[Verse 2]
They’d say I hustled, put in the work
They wouldn’t shake their heads and question how much of this I deserve
What I was wearing, if I was rude
Could all be separated from my good ideas and power moves

[Pre-Chorus]
And they would toast to me, oh, let the players play
I’d be just like Leo in Saint-Tropez

[Chorus]
I’m so sick of running as fast as I can
Wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was a man
And I’m so sick of them coming at me again
‘Cause if I was a man, then I’d be the man
I’d be the man
I’d be the man

[Bridge]
What’s it like to brag about raking in dollars
And getting bitches and models?
And it’s all good if you’re bad
And it’s okay if you’re mad
If I was out flashing my dollars
I’d be a bitch, not a baller
They’d paint me out to be bad
So, it’s okay that I’m mad

[Chorus]
I’m so sick of running as fast as I can
Wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was a man (You know that)
And I’m so sick of them coming at me again (Coming at me again)
‘Cause if I was a man (If I was a man)
Then I’d be the man (Then I’d be the man)
I’m so sick of running as fast as I can (As fast as I can)
Wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was a man (Hey)
And I’m so sick of them coming at me again (Coming at me again)
‘Cause if I was a man (If I was a man), then I’d be the man
I’d be the man
I’d be the man (Oh)
I’d be the man (Yeah)
I’d be the man (I’d be the man)

[Outro]
If I was a man, then I’d be the man

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,092: ‘The Man’ – Taylor Swift

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Good song with good lyrics, though I must confess that I am personally less drawn to this electronic pop sound than I am to a more organic, acoustic or grittier sound.

  2. Amy says:

    While I agree with the placement of two of these songs, I must differ on the album’s titular song. And I have good company in doing so! 🙂

    “Huge shoutout today to @taylorswift13 on the SUPERB new single LOVER.” When a song so exquisitely written becomes a record so gorgeously crafted I feel such a deep sense of gratitude for the ‘art’ of making music.” – Keith Urban

    What Keith and I recognize is that the lyrics in this song are just right for the sentiment Taylor is expressing. The point isn’t whether lots of “people” leave their Christmas lights up until January; it’s about who gets to make that call. Along with whether to invite your friends to crash in the living room. It’s evident that this is the first relationship the singer has been in where she and another (her lover) are making those decisions jointly, and that’s a big freaking deal. It reminds me a bit of that wonderful moment in St. Elmo’s Fire when Mae Whitman’s poor little rich girl character talks about making and eating a peanut butter sandwich and how it was the best thing she ever ate because she bought it and made it all on her own.

    This is a grown up song about a grown up relationship. With the simplest lyric – “And at every table, I’ll save you a seat” – Swift indicates how deeply she wants this relationship, just three summers old, to last the twenty+ years she sometimes feels she has already known her love/r. There isn’t a false lyric here.

    This song would easily be in my top five off the album.

    As for “The Man,” it has grown on me quite a bit, and I agree with your Haim comparison. I find that I like the chorus less than the verses, but I like those a lot, so it all balances out in the end.

    A quick glance at the remaining songs lets me know that this and Afterglow are the only two about which we’d differ belonging in the top 10. I guess I’d swap these two out for Miss Americana and False God, though I do appreciate both of those songs for what you’ll certainly discuss in the next few days.

  3. Maddie says:

    I didn’t really think about the Haim influence until you pointed it out, but I totally can hear that now. I find this album so exciting because I feel like Taylor is leaning into being an enthusiastic fan of life and music, so that becomes infectious. Looking forward to the rest of your ranking and I’m stewing over mine in my head as I read these. Guess it’s time for another several Lover listen-throughs.

    I definitely agree with my mom and Keith Urban about the lyrics to Lover. Archer and Lover are definitely the best of the singles that were released (even though Cruel Summer should have absolutely been a single).

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