Are You Ready For It?
After teasing fans Saturday night with ads on both TV and Instagram, this morning Taylor Swift dropped the second single from her upcoming album, Reputation. The song, Ready For It, is the first track off of Swift’s sixth studio album and is a combination of new Taylor and old Taylor, with a pre-chorus that is similar in tone to her last album, 1989. On Ready For It, Taylor sings about an unknown lover, with many believing the song is about her newest beau, Joe Alwyn (26) while others are convinced the song is about fellow singer and 2012 beau, Harry Styles (23). The latter group are convinced the song is a direct response to Styles’s latest single, Two Ghosts, a track off of his debut album, Harry Styles, that is rumored to be about Swift. The lyrics of Ready For It can certainly lend to both theories, especially with lines like the ones below.
Ready For It Lyrics:
Knew he was a killer (Actor Alwyn? Alleged womanizer Styles?)
First time I saw him
Wonder how many girls he had loved and left haunted (Alwyn? Styles?)
But if he’s a ghost then I can be a phantom (Styles?)
Holdin’ him for ransom
Some, Some boys are trying too hard (Styles? Harris? Hiddleston? )
He don’t try at all though (Alwyn?)
Younger than my exes but he acts like such a man, so (Alwyn? Styles?)
I see nothing better, keep him forever (Alwyn?)
Like a Vendetta-ta
Me, I was a robber
First time that he saw me (How old was Styles when they first met? 17/18 to Taylor’s 21/22?)
Stealing hearts and running off and never saying sorry (Styles mentions something about saying sorry in his song, From The Dining Table)
But if I’m a thief then
He can join the heist and (Alwyn?)
We’ll move into an island and,
and…He can be my jailer
Burton to this Taylor (I find this lyric a strange fit for Swift’s relationship with Alwyn since Burton and Taylor had a turbulent, on-again-off again relationship, much more reminiscent of the rumored relationship she had with Styles)
Every lover known in comparison is a failure (a slapback to Styles for his song, Woman?)
I forget their names now (shading all her exes)
I’m so very tame now (because new beau, Alwyn, settles her?)
I’ll never be the same now (new Taylor rises?)
Theories and PR
Is this a song about Alwyn and Styles? Personally, I find it hard to believe that the Ready For It lyrics are only speaking toward her relationship with Joe Alwyn and its contrast to her past relationships. Instead, I think it might be about two particular men while also throwing shade to all of her exes, Harry Styles most definitely included. The ghost line does make me think of Styles’s newest single upon first listen, which was probably the intent, and a few other lyrics make me think of some parts in the other songs on Styles’s album as well. Swift’s single, Look What You Made Me Do, did that, too.
I find it suspect (and quite ingenious) that Swift released this particular song just as Styles started amping up his promo of Two Ghosts, releasing an intimate live performance video of it just last week. I also find it suspect that a relationship that supposedly lasted only three or four months back in late 2012/early 2013 has garnered so much life in the press and with fans. It’s actually a PR dream, really, to be able to continually and consistently tie these two artists together, especially with songs and lyrics that produce all these speculation posts that only serve to get both their names in the press and in the minds of fans and the general public.
At this point, and in the grand scheme of things, what Styles and Swift write their songs about is actually quite irrelevant. Because the fans and the media will do what Styles and Swift need done regardless. And that is to get both artist’s names, and their album and song releases, in the minds of the people who will buy their records and dissect them on the regular. Which is what gets them more exposure and ultimately, more record sales. And that is exactly what continues to happen with every new release these two artists have.
Let the games begin, indeed.
For the record, I do love both of Swift’s new songs and Harry Styles’s debut album as well. I think it’s fun to theorize on the meaning behind both artist’s lyrics, too. They are great songwriters and because of that, their word choices lend to some amazing theories with every new release. But I also know that it is beneficial to both artists to have people consistently link them and their music together because they both have huge fan bases that read these theories and buy their music. The more people talk, post, print, and air things about them, the more clout, money, sales, and streams they each pull in. And that’s the way the entertainment and PR game is played these days. It’s not a bad thing, it’s business, and music, at the end of the day, is a business. Big business. And the more hype their brand receives, the better their career and, ultimately, their bottom line.
Get Ready For It and Look What You Made Me Do now on:
Get Two Ghosts now on:
Get Harry Styles by Harry Styles on: