Taylor Swift Fans Think They Caught Another Sly “Better Than Revenge” Lyric Change

Not everyone is so sure, though.

DENVER, COLORADO - JULY 14: EDITORIAL USE ONLY Taylor Swift performs onstage during "Taylor Swift | ...
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Nearly 13 years after releasing Speak Now, Taylor Swift’s taste for revenge has evolved. Leading up to the drop of Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) on July 7, fans speculated on whether Swift would change the controversial “Better Than Revenge” lyrics that many now consider anti-feminist. Indeed, the 12-time Grammy winner gave the track an obvious modern update that Swifties immediately noticed. In the week following the release of Swift’s third in a series of six re-recordings of her original Big Machine catalog, however, some discerning ears may have picked up on a second, more subtle “Better Than Revenge” update that they missed on first listen.

Amplifying the deep cut’s background vocals in a TikTok video, one Swiftie claimed that the musician originally sang, “You know that she deserved this,” but updated the line to, “You know that you deserved this.” In the comments section, however, fans were divided on whether or not Swift actually changed the word or if it was simply a matter of different articulation. “I think she was saying ‘you’ in the original, but she [says] ‘that-chyew’ in a way that makes it sound like shh,” one user contended, while others fully embraced the theory.

Either way, there’s no question Swift swapped out another line on the Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) anthem, widely believed to take aim at Camilla Belle (who started dating her ex-boyfriend Joe Jonas in October 2008, soon after their breakup). The original line — “She’s better known for the things that she does on the mattress” — was rewritten for “Better Than Revenge (Taylor’s Version)” to: “He was a moth to the flame, she was holding the matches.”

Though Swift penned a lengthy “prologue” to accompany Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), the singer didn’t address the “Better Than Revenge” change specifically. “When I look back at the Speak Now album, I get a lump in my throat. I have a feeling it will always be this way, because this period of time is so violently aglow with the last light of the setting sun of my childhood,” she wrote, in part. “I made this album, completely self-written, between the ages of 18 and 20. I’ve spoken about how I feel like those ages are the most emotionally turbulent ones in a person’s life. Maybe when I say that, I’m really just talking about myself.”

However, Swift already expressed regret nearly a decade ago for writing the original lyrics that placed blame on the song’s female “actress” who stole her man, rather than the man himself. “I was 18 when I wrote that,” she explained to The Guardian in 2014. “That’s the age you are when you think someone can actually take your boyfriend. Then you grow up and realize no one [takes] someone from you if they don’t want to leave.”

Now, she has some new ideas about who exactly should go stand in the corner and think about what they did.