Is it just me, or does it feel weird to anyone else that not only did Taylor Swift sing “Blank Space,” a song about a dysfunctional relationship, at a New Jersey wedding (see video below) on Saturday, but that after she sings the line, “I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream,” the groom pumps his fist, as if he just won the lottery?
The song, a huge hit for Swift in 2014, is written from the point of view of a woman who seems to specialize in exciting, but unhealthy, relationships. She sees a guy she’s attracted to, and identifies him as “my next mistake.” She admits she has “a long list of ex-lovers, they’ll tell you I’m insane.”
She says she can be good for a month, but “the worst is yet to come”: “Screaming, crying,” “rose gardens filled with thorns,” getting drunk on jealousy.
“Boys only want love it it’s torture,” she sings.
Swift does hold out the possibility that the relationship will turn out well. But that seems to be a long shot: “So it’s gonna be forever/Or it’s gonna go down in flames/You can tell me when it’s over/If the high was worth the pain.”
The wedding was in Long Beach Island. The sister of the groom, Max Singer, who got married to Kenya Smith, had reached out to Swift, and she agreed to attend.
“When I wrote this song I never, in my life, imagined I would be asked to play it at a wedding,” said Swift in the middle of the song. “I just want to make that clear. But what Max and Kenya want, they get.”
Sometimes, of course, dark songs get misinterpreted. Sting has often talked about the fact that people regard his 1983 Police hit “Every Breath You Take” in a romantic way that he really didn’t intend it that way.
“I think it’s a nasty little song, really rather evil,” he once said. “It’s about jealousy and surveillance and ownership. … . I watched Andy Gibb singing it with some girl on TV a couple of weeks ago, very loving, and totally misinterpreting it. I could still hear the words, which aren’t about love at all. I pissed myself laughing.”
We need your help!
CONTRIBUTE TO NJARTS.NET
Since launching in September 2014, NJArts.net, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become one of the most important media outlets for the Garden State arts scene. And it has always offered its content without a subscription fee, or a paywall. Its continued existence depends on support from members of that scene, and the state’s arts lovers. Please consider making a contribution of any amount to NJArts.net via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to NJArts.net to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.