You Need To Calm Down

Album: Lover (2019)
Charted: 5 2
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Songfacts®:

  • "You Need To Calm Down" finds Taylor Swift calling out haters and anti-gay protesters. Over the course of three verses she slyly pokes fun at the detractors.

    During the first verse, Swift puts social media haters in their place.

    Say it in the street, that's a knock-out
    But you say it in a Tweet, that's a cop-out
    And I'm just like, "Hey, are you okay?"


    Verse two finds her uplifting the LGBTQ community and gay rights organization GLAAD.

    Why are you mad when you could be GLAAD? (You could be GLAAD)
    Sunshine on the street at the parade.


    Swift takes on successful women who are competing with each other in the third verse. She points out nobody needs to be on top as "we all got crowns."
  • Speaking on Beats 1, Swift explained the song came from her observations of people who devote a great deal of time basking in negativity. It made her feel like telling them, "You need to just calm down, like you're stressing yourself out. This seems like it's more about you than what you're going off about. Like, just calm down."
  • Swift had dropped a clue about the song's content during the video of her previous single "Me!." In the clip, the singer has an argument with Brendon Urie in French. "You need to calm down!" Urie says. To which Swift yells, "I AM CALM!"
  • Swift wrote and produced the song with New Zealand producer Joel Little. The same pair also wrote and produced "Me!."
  • The colorful, star-studded video was directed by Swift and Drew Kirsch. It shows the songstress hanging out in a trailer park with a cast of neighbors, including such LGBTQ icons as Ellen DeGeneres, Laverne Cox, RuPaul, Adam Lambert, Hayley Kiyoko and Queer Eye's Fab Five (Karamo Brown, Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness, Bobby Berk, Tan France). Other stars making an appearance include Ryan Reynolds, Ciara and most notably Katy Perry dressed as a gigantic cheeseburger.

    Swift had an ongoing feud with Perry for a number of years after three dancers on Taylor's tour left before it was completed to join Katy's. During the "Roar" singer's cameo, the pair share a hug, signifying a public burying of the hatchet.
  • In a Spotify storyline, Swift explained: "I wrote this song about the energy and effort that some people put into spreading negativity. With all of the trolling, cancel culture, telling people how to live their lives or pitting women against each other... you're being too loud. This is a song where I'm saying, 'You need to calm down. Go outside. It's the summer.'"
  • The visual won Video of the Year at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards. "In this video, several points were made," Swift said in her acceptance speech. "So you voting for this video means that you want a world where we're all treated equally, regardless of who we love, regardless of how we identify."

    "You Need To Calm Down" was Swift's second Video of the Year VMA after winning in 2015 for "Bad Blood."

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