This Transcript Of Taylor Swift's 'Reputation' Prologue Says Goodbye To Her Old Self & She Wants You To Do The Same
When you're all done listening to Taylor Swift's sixth album and think you know which Reputation songs are about Kimye, you might want to go back and give the album's prologue a read. The transcript for Swift's Reputation prologue (which appears to be included in physical copies of the CD, according to fan tweets) is the singer's initial explanation of her latest album, which she's promised shows a new side of herself. Remember, the old Taylor is dead, which is why she hasn't been picking up any of your calls. But, this new Taylor Swift has learned a few things over the years and she's ready to share them with her fans.
With all five of her albums, Swift has included a prologue, which sums up the thesis of the record in a way that the music never could. And while it's meant to come before the music, there's nothing wrong with reading it after the fact. With 2012's Red, Swift referenced a line from a Pablo Neruda poem — “love is so short, forgetting is so long" — which explained why she wanted to take a deeper dive into a love gone wrong.
With the prologue to her last album 1989, Swift wrote directly to her fans, letting the know they gave her the courage to try something new, specifically, make a pop album. But, also she wants to send them the same courage. "I hope you know that who you are is who you choose to be," she says. "And that whispers behind your back don’t define you."
And on Reputation, Swift seems to continue on that path, beginning her prologue with a pretty hefty statement: "Here's something I've learned about people." From there she goes on to explore the idea that we never really know a person so we shouldn't assume we do.
See, Swift doesn't want you to feel foolish, which is why she gently chastises those who believe everything they read. Especially, about her. The problem is, as she notes, that the internet makes it pretty hard to forget someone's past, especially their mistakes.
No one would blame Swift for wanting every story about her Kimye feud to suddenly disappear because man, there are a lot of them. But it's just not going to happen. It's why she likely talks about the need for everyone to find connections with people who are willing to overlook one's reputation (see what I did there) and really focus on the person in front of them.
As she explains:
The word "kaleidoscope" implies that depending on where you're looking, you're likely to see something different. It's a notion that Swift has expressed when it comes to the criticisms the media has waged against her.
Swift's been criticized for "playing the victim" in feuds with other celebrities, but on her first single "Look At What You Made Me Do" she implies that she's reacting to what people say about her. Things, she says are wrong.
Swift's point here, though, is that no one is just one thing, which is why the idea that someone's good or evil just doesn't work. To call someone the hero or the villain is a lazy way to define someone and ultimately, it's bound to change.
It's why she makes the point that in her more than decade long career she's been many things. Some good, but as of late, she's been more bad, which she feels is unfair, as she writes:
It's true, Swift's lyrics have been called out for many reasons, including that she uses her personal life to sell records since she often writes about her ex-boyfriends and goes after those who criticize her. Though, to be fair, while she's been criticized for this, it's also helped her connect with fans who hang on her every word.
Swift, though, ends her prologue by going after those tabloids that will be combing Reputation for gossip, writing:
It's those people who want to reduce Swift down to just a silly girl who overshares that she's speaking to. "Let me say it again louder for those in the back," she says, before giving her final take on the matter:
This album is the side that Swift has chosen to show the world. The only question left now is, "Are you ready for it?"