Why Did Taylor Change The Mattress Line
Why Did Taylor Change The Mattress Line -: One of the most hotly debated subjects among Taylor Swift fans and observers prior to the release of ‘Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)’ was whether she would alter a particular line in ‘Better Than Revenge’ that some felt had not aged well since the original version was released in 2010. The theory was accurate: She did modify the verse in question for the 2023 rendition.
For the past 13 years, the phrase “She’s better known for the things that she does on the mattress” has been a particularly memorable insult. In “Better Than Revenge (Taylor’s Version),” the phrase is changed to “He was a moth to the flame, she was holding the matches.”
For its corresponding line, “She’s an actress,” which was at the time assumed to be the real-life occupation of the lady Swift composed the song about, “Matches” is a less perfect rhyme than “mattress.” The replaced statement, however, better reflects her feminist credentials as an adult since she has frequently discussed in the years how women’s dating lives, including her own, shouldn’t be subject to criticism.
Although Swift had not hinted at a change prior to the new “Speak Now” being formally launched Thursday night at midnight ET, the adjustment came as no surprise. Thousands of social media postings and even some lengthy think pieces had been written in the weeks before to the release debating whether or not she should change the sentence, which many now perceive as anti-feminist or “slut shaming.” When Swift penned the song at the age of 19 or 20, many felt that she should have a more progressive view of women’s sexuality than she did at 33. However, some felt that the lyric should be kept exactly as it was written.
As some fans got their early copies of “Speak Now” and uploaded screenshots of the lyric sheet, word of the changed lyric spread quickly Thursday afternoon. Swifties initially appeared to be divided in their opinions on social media, with some worrying that they would have to defy orders and dig out their old Big Machine copies to enjoy the fan favorite the way they remembered it.
Larisha Paul, an essayist for Rolling Stone, expressed this viewpoint in part in a May article in which she stated that “changing the past now or using it to make some grand feminist statement, would not only feel dishonest, but it would also compromise her goal of draining all of the value from her original recordings after they were tossed around and sold without her permission.” The author argued in favor of maintaining the song in its historically accurate form, describing it as “a crucial point in Swift’s complicated journey through coming to an understanding of intersectional feminism.”
However, the majority of Swift fans already knew that the lyrics will be changed. That didn’t stop many of them from making memes about how upset they were over the switch, though, to be fair, most of them appeared to be lighthearted declarations about their devotion to memories rather than critical assessments of the shift. (Scroll down to see some of the funnier GIFs expressing the conflicting emotions of fans.)
Swift composed a lengthy “prologue” for “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version),” but it doesn’t mention “Better Than Revenge,” and the singer hasn’t given any interviews about the third of a planned six re-recordings of her Big Machine catalog.
Although this one took longer to come, Swift hasn’t always changed a lyric she composed when she was a teenager that was later questioned. On her self-titled debut album from 2006, the 16-year-old sang the following line in the song “Picture to Burn”: “So go and tell your friends that I’m obsessive and crazy / That’s fine, I’ll tell mine you’re gay, by the way.” That couplet had been modified to: “…That’s fine, you won’t mind if I say, by the way,” by the time a pop remix was broadcast on the radio and a deluxe version of the record replaced the original. Even though, even now, some of Swift’s LGBTQ admirers claim they thought the original was OK, avoiding the appearance of homophobia made that one much more of a no-brainer.
Swift and her tourmate Hayley Williams from Paramore shares a connection with “Better Than Revenge.” Williams stated in 2018 that her band would no longer perform its biggest song, “Misery Business,” because of a line she had also penned as a teen that had been criticized as being “misogynistic”: “Once a whore, you’re nothing more.” She resumed performing it in 2022 after having a change of heart, albeit she has avoided singing the problematic phrase herself even as the audience does.
Performers have a long history of removing contentious or deemed offensive phrases. A recent example is when Beyonce and Lizzo both reissued their summer albums last year with a word that alludes to physical disability but is commonly used as slang cut out. Black Eyed Peas first released, but later took back, a song using a different slang term for people with mental problems in the title; the reworked song went on to become popular. Elvis Costello made the decision to quit performing “Oliver’s Army,” a song that had a politically satirical use of the N-word, rather than keep singing a self-censored version. However, at a concert this year, he debuted a new version that contained a completely new verse.
One thing is certain as Swift begins to re-record her older albums: In these “Taylor’s Versions,” the topic of being homosexual will first appear in her revamped catalog in “1989’s” “Welcome to New York,” not “Picture to Burn.”
Here are some of Swifties’ funny responses to the stages of sorrow after learning that a beloved previous sing-along line has passed away:
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