Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince

Album: Lover (2019)
Charted: 49

Songfacts®:

  • In this song, Taylor Swift flips the script on the archetypical high school scene of homecoming queens and marching bands to convey confusion and angst. The game is still being played, but her team is "losing, battered and bruising." There is a happy ending though, as she finds her Heartbreak Prince to help her get through it.

    "This song is about disillusionment with our crazy world of politics and inequality, set in a metaphorical high school," Swift explained in a Spotify storyline. "I wanted it to be about finding one person who really sees you and cares about you through all the noise."
  • Some of the lines in the lyric are punctuated by cheers you would hear at a typical pep rally: Go! Fight! Win!

    Swift did these herself - her voice was processed to make them sound like a squad.
  • Swift wrote and produced this song with Joel Little, who worked with her on three other songs on Lover, including "Me!" Little, a New Zealander, rose to renown working with Lorde.

    The two other tracks on Lover that Little contributed to contain a political message: "You Need To Calm Down" (homophobia) and "The Man" (patriarchy).
  • For years, Swift didn't speak up about political issues as she feared a backlash. She'd seen the negative effect it had on the Dixie Chicks' career when they criticized President George W. Bush in the lead-up to the US-led invasion of Iraq. The songstess also didn't feel she had enough knowledge to be politically vocal. In a 2012 interview, Swift remarked that in spite of keeping herself "as educated and informed as possible," she does not discuss politics, fearing that might influence other people.

    The "Lover" star ended her political silence in 2018, when she endorsed candidates in the November midterm elections. Swift declared her support for two Tennessee Democratic candidates - Phil Bredesen and Jim Cooper - in an Instagram post.

    In this song's second verse, it is clear she takes a dim view of America's political elite.

    Who seems to care
    American stories burning before me
    I'm feeling helpless, the damsels are depressed
    Boys will be boys then, where are the wise men?
    Darling, I'm scared


    Swift explained to Rolling Stone the lyric is "about the illusions of what I thought America was before our political landscape took this turn, and that naiveté that we used to have about it."

    The pop superstar added that she was "also thinking about the idea of people who live in America, who just want to live their lives, make a living, have a family, love who they love, and watching those people lose their rights, or watching those people feel not at home in their home."
  • Swift was asked by The Guardian when she started feeling conflicted about what America stands for. The pop singer replied it was seeing how Trump's presidency was successfully using dirty tricks to hoodwink the public. She said: "The thing I can't get over right now is gaslighting the American public into being like 'If you hate the president, you hate America.' We're a democracy - at least, we're supposed to be - where you're allowed to disagree, dissent, debate."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

David Clayton-Thomas of Blood, Sweat & Tears

David Clayton-Thomas of Blood, Sweat & TearsSongwriter Interviews

The longtime BS&T frontman tells the "Spinning Wheel" story, including the line he got from Joni Mitchell.

Deconstructing Doors Songs With The Author Of The Doors Examined

Deconstructing Doors Songs With The Author Of The Doors ExaminedSong Writing

Doors expert Jim Cherry, author of The Doors Examined, talks about some of their defining songs and exposes some Jim Morrison myths.

Bob Dylan Lyric Quiz

Bob Dylan Lyric QuizMusic Quiz

Think you know your Bob Dylan lyrics? Take this quiz to find out.

The End Of The Rock Era

The End Of The Rock EraSong Writing

There are no more rock stars - the last one died in 1994.

Meshell Ndegeocello

Meshell NdegeocelloSongwriter Interviews

Meshell Ndegeocello talks about recording "Wild Night" with John Mellencamp, and explains why she shied away from the spotlight.

Corey Hart

Corey HartSongwriter Interviews

The Canadian superstar talks about his sudden rise to fame, and tells the stories behind his hits "Sunglasses At Night," "Boy In The Box" and "Never Surrender."