Taylor Swift – Only The Young | Lyrics Review and Song Meaning
Taylor Swift premiered a brand new song on her 2020 documentary ‘Miss Americana‘ released on January 31, 2020. The documentary itself is a wide array of topics to talk about as she details her life’s most personal moments with the fans. However, the new song, titled “Only The Young,” takes more of a political stance than her usual romance-filled song topics.
Taylor Swift previously briefed about the song in an interview with Variety magazine, stating it to be “an anthem for millennials who might have come away disillusioned with the political process.” The multi-millionaire singer and songwriter has barely been vocal about her political stance throughout her career but took a different approach in the last midterm election endorsing two Democrats on her social media.
Taylor Swift spoke about the inspiration behind “Only The Young” in her interview with Variety magazine; “I wrote it after the  midterm elections, when there were so many young people who rallied for their candidate, whether it was a senator or congressman or congresswoman. It was hard to see so many people feel like they had canvassed and done everything and tried so hard. I saw a lot of young people’s hopes dashed. And I found that to be particularly tragic, because young people are the people who feel the worst effects of gun violence, and student loans and trying to figure out how to start their lives and how to pay their bills, and climate change, and are we going to war — all these horrific situations that we find ourselves facing right now.”
Listen to “Only The You” by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift speaks the mind of the youth as she says the youth believes the midterm election was rigged. She says the shocking result keeps her awake at night and gives her nightmares when she falls asleep. Where is democracy in one of the most powerful nations of the world? Where is the voice of the people? What happened to the rule of law?
Taylor Swift says that 2018 was a lost cause after the “rigged” result. By the word “you,” she references to the youth and the right-doers. And they were outnumbered. In the next election, they will not be.
Through these repetitive lyrics, Taylor Swift tries to drive a strong political message. It is time for the youth to take over. So long have the corrupt and the feebly old has run the country. It is time for a change. A change for more energetic, unspoilt and a person who senses the pulse of the youth to take over. The young generation does not need money. They need freedom and a way out of the materialistic world that we were forced to live in.
In the second verse of “Only The Young,” Taylor Swift talks about the grips of the corrupt political system that has lead to many dysfunctionalities of the society. There are no strong laws on gun control. Students are forced to borrow for their education and the job market is shrinking. It is no wonder that youth are prone to mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and often become suicidal.
‘Big bad man’ and the ‘big bad clan’ are likely references to the Trump administration under the Republican party. ‘Red-stained hands’ are a sign of corruption and murder.
Taylor Swift tries to empower the youth by asking them not to give up. Rigged or not, they can change the winds if they all rally together to defeat the system. The finish line is on a hilltop—nobody said the run would be easy. It’s an uphill battle, but Taylor promises that it will be worth it.
More likely than not, Taylor Swift will get more vocal about her political opinions and driving it through her powerful social media presence in the future. She is a force to be reckoned with, and her voice will have an impact.
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