“Nothing New” is the twenty-third track on Taylor Swift’s re-recorded album ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ released in 2021. This song From The Vault is about growing pains, a topic Taylor has tackled in many of her songs. The song also features vocals by Phoebe Bridgers.
Taylor Swift re-recorded and released her 2012 album ‘Red’ after a fallout with her then-record label Big Machine. However painful has this been to Taylor, it gives us a few brand new tracks that she wrote for ‘Red’ album but never included in it. In the 2021 re-release of ‘Red (Taylor’s Version),’ we are blessed with some of these gems from the past. “Just a friendly reminder that I would never have thought it was possible to go back and remake my previous work, uncovering lost art and forgotten gems along the way, if you hadn’t emboldened me. Red is about to be mine again, but it has always been ours. Tonight we begin again,” wrote Taylor Swift, announcing the album.
In “Nothing New,” Taylor Swift talks about realizing that we know a little less about the world around us as we grow up and old. It is supposed to work the other way around. As teenagers, we think we know everything and we have cracked the code to the matters of the heart. But after two breakups, we realize that we actually knew nothing and still know nothing.
Listen to “Nothing New” by Taylor Swift Ft. Phoebe Bridgers
Buy ‘Red (Taylor’s Version) Album on Apple Music and Amazon
Taylor Swift “Nothing New” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
Taylor Swift talks about the notion that you cannot please everybody. One would say something and another would absolutely disagree with the same thing. People are different, have different opinions, perspectives, beliefs, and everything else. Different characteristics are formed by the environment they grow up in. Someone who had carefree teenage years would advise you to do the same. Another one who had a similar experience but learnt a harsh lesson would advise you to do the opposite.
In the lyrics, Taylor recollects how people around her told her to ‘go out and have fun’ when she was younger. But some others would tear you apart for the same thing.
“Girls, go out and have your fun”
Then they hunt and slay the ones who actually do it
Criticize the way you fly
Taylor Swift, restrained herself using profanity, alcohol references, and sexually suggestive lyrics in her early work. Then she was labelled a prude. Now that she is much older, she is relatively relaxed about using either of those to add taste to her music. Now there must be some people disregarding her music as ‘unsuitable’ for children. But “WAP” gets plenty of streams!
The world puts you through the wringer and then say “you look like you’ve been through a lot.”
In the hook of the song, we find a drunk Taylor Swift sitting in the dark and pondering questions of life. How was she so sure about something when she was eighteen and know absolutely nothing about the same thing at twenty-two?!
I don’t know about you“22” – Taylor Swift
But I’m feeling 22
Everything will be alright
If you keep me next to you
However, the underlying message of the song is “And will you still want me when I’m nothing new?” Taylor wonders if she will count for anything after she is through with all these life experiences. She is beaten, bruised, chewed, and spit out by the world (not even exaggerating when it comes to Taylor’s personal life). Taylor wonders if anybody would want this baggage!
Phoebe Bridgers takes over the song in the second verse.
In these lyrics, the singer wonders what is in store for her after everything is said and done. Will she still be appealing to anyone? The uncertainty haunts her. She wonders if they are only burning oil until the lamps burn out and she is left to be cinder.
In a feverish dream, Taylor Swift sees the other woman who is going to replace her. This woman is glowing with radiance — the kind of radiance a burning candle would emit. This is contrasting to Taylor’s glow which is now a dim block of cinder. Taylor cannot compete with this woman. Taylor cannot do much either. She has to give her throne to this woman, bid her well, and part her ways. And it’s going to break her apart, just like the times before.
Let us hear what you think about this song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics on Genius.