“Mad Woman” is the twelfth track on Taylor Swift’s 2020 album ‘Folklore.’ The song talks about Taylor assuming the role of a ‘mad woman’ because the townsfolk keep on saying she is. This was the same turn of events during her ‘Reputation’ era where she embraced being called a snake by Kim Kardashian West.
Taylor Swift announced her 8th studio album ‘Folklore‘ just a few hours ahead of the album release on July 24, 2020. The album had no singles prior to the album release, and Taylor stated the reason for the ‘surprise’ album release as the “uncertainty” surrounding the world right now.
On Instagram, Taylor Swift wrote about this song; “misfit widow getting gleeful revenge on the town that cast her out.”
Listen to “mad woman” by Taylor Swift
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“mad woman” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
In the first verse of the song, Taylor Swift talks about certain circumstances that lead her to sink into the role of a mad woman. She, ever since she was widowed, was tormented by the villagers. She was labeled a mad woman, so why not she act the part?
Taylor Swift says the more people call her names, the more she becomes that person. The more they call her crazy, the crazier she becomes. It is easier to drive down the hill than up.
When the dust settles, she has turned into a mad woman, so everybody else is happy, but her. Now the others have nothing to force onto her as she has already assumed her role. So now they start pitying her–oh, what a shame!
You poke the bear and you will get the claws!
The townsfolk, or media, or an ex-boyfriend, or a ‘friend,’ or you, could be responsible for Taylor becoming a mad woman. Because everytime they open their mouth, only toxicity pours out.
Simply move on? Can you ask a crazy person to move on? No. Taylor is beyond the point of moving on. It is war now. It’s time for the hunt now. She calls them “witches” as they cast spells of false rumors and make Taylor’s life a living hell. Taylor would not mind a good witch hunt.
Whoever these lyrics are aimed towards, Taylor seemed to know that this ‘woman’ has brought hell upon her just for the sake of her happiness. We can derrive that she is talking about a woman as she called them a ‘witch’ in the previous lyrics. The mutual hatred this ‘witch’ had towards Taylor has had brought in a following around her too. Maybe even a partner for her too.
In the bridge of the song, Taylor further talks about the deceit of these persons which lead everyone to believe she was the crazy person. She tells that this person thrives off of people like Taylor Swift–maybe artists? Now, a he, is a master of spins, which is to talk about his illusive behavior.
A ‘good wife’ is one who always stands by her husband and obeys everything he tells her without question. This might resonate more with the music industry where the majority of the artists are puppeteered by their music labels. Taylor Swift too had a fall out with her record label Big Machine Records after releasing six studio albums with them. Big Machine even refused to release Taylor’s song catalog even if Taylor was willing to pay for them.
What do you think about this song? Let us hear in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics and further meaning breakdown on Genius.