When Taylor Swift decides to do something, she commits. Since dipping her toe into political activism in the 2016 midterm elections, the singer has become even more outspoken about social issues, all leading up to her most political track yet, "Only The Young." Released alongside Miss Americana, Swift's "Only The Young" features lyrics covering everything from running for office to school shootings.
"Only The Young" is featured throughout Miss Americana, Netflix's documentary about the singer that dropped on Friday, Jan. 31. Fans get a front row seat to the writing and production of the song, and the finished track plays over the end credits.
"You did all that you could do / The game was rigged, the ref got tricked / The wrong ones think they're right / You were outnumbered — this time," she sings in the first verse, reflecting on the midterms. Swift had endorsed a Tennessee candidate for Senator who ended up losing, and started the song right after. "I was really upset about Tennessee going the way that it did, obviously. And so I just wanted to write a song about it," Swift told Variety, noting that she didn't release it right away because she wanted to wait for a more hopeful time in American politics. By releasing it now, in 2020, she's hoping that the track will "engage younger people to form their own views, break away from the pack, and not feel like they need to vote exactly the same way that people in their town are voting."
"Only the Young" isn't all hopeful, however. The second verse is a bit more intense, describing the fears and horrors young people face, including the overwhelming amount of school shootings. "You go to class, scared / Wondering where the best hiding spot would be," she sings, before pleading with young voters to take action. "They aren't gonna change this," she says, "We gotta do it ourselves."
Swift told Variety that she doesn't have plans to release the song as a single, which means she probably won't make a music video to go with it. But, she did share an "Only the Young" lyric video on YouTube, which ends with a call to action, telling her fans to register to vote at VOTE.org.