Paper Doll

Album: Paradise Valley (2013)
Charted: 77

Songfacts®:

  • After John Mayer and Taylor Swift ended their relationship, the Country superstar penned "Dear John" about the Rock musician, who responded that the track "really humiliated me." Upon this song's release, Mayer fans immediately attempted to decipher its lyrics, as to whether they may allude to his former flame.

    So is this Mayer's payback for Swift? Certainly the beginning of the chorus - "You're like 22 girls in one" - could be a reference to Swift's hit song "22," and the "paper dolls" may allude to "Dear John," where the Nashville songstress sings "All the girls that you run dry have tired lifeless eyes 'cause you burned them out." Painting a sky figures prominently in both songs, too - In "Dear John" Swift sings, "You paint me a blue sky and go back and turn it to rain." Whilst in "Paper Doll" Mayer croons, "Someone's gonna paint you another sky."
  • The song's official video features fitness fanatic Joanna Rohrback, who created a workout called 'Prancercise.' According to a website for the routine, it involves a "springy, rhythmic way of moving forward, similar to a horse's gait and ideally induced by elation." We see Joanna Rohrback, perform in the clip a "prance to romance" accompanied by Mayer's vocals.
  • This was released as the first single from Paradise Valley. The album's title is derived from a major river valley of the Yellowstone River with the same name, located in southwestern Montana, where Mayer hangs his hat between tours.
  • In 2015, Mayer finally confirmed that the track is about Taylor Swift, although he remained annoyed by the column inches it received. "The song never got listened to as a song. It became a news story because of the lyrics," the singer said during his 7 Days of Genius special on MSNBC. "I'm not in the business of telling people what the song is about. I never said anything about it. And now I just go, 'Look, I can say the name Taylor Swift. She's an artist. I'm an artist. Let's just... everybody stop. Nobody's got an incurable cancer. We're rich people who get to live out our dreams. Let's just stop it.' I'm a musician who's bigger than one song or one record."

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