Usually the kerfuffle around Taylor Swift‘s lyrics is which ex-boyfriend she’s gonna call out next (or our best bet for next victim, the Country Music Awards). But recently, Tay has come under fire for an entirely different matter: Plagiarism.
Props to Oh No They Didn’t for picking up on this story: Last week, singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson all but accused Taylor of stealing his lyrics in a tweet. Matt’s 2003 song “I Saw” has a line that goes And I’ll forget about you long enough to forget why I need to. ”All Too Well,” the latest single off Taylor’s new album Red, has the country music phenomenon crooning, And I forget about you long enough to forget why I needed to.
The plot thickens when you realize that Taylor is a self-professed fan of Matt’s and has even written his lyrics on her arm at concerts. Here’s the tweet that Matt posted last week and then, mysteriously, deleted:
Could Taylor’s people have gotten to him, or did he change his mind? The way we see it, it’s unlikely that Taylor intentionally plagiarized Matt, if only because she has enough drama on her plate. Seriously, this girl has drawn criticism for dating 18-year-old Conor Kennedy, and we all know what happens when a guy who’s been involved with her breaks things off. She also got trolled by 4chan and managed to come out on top, which is still mind-boggling. She’s got Hollywood men and Anonymous firing back at her and has to pretend to still look surprised when she takes home all the awards. (Except at last night’s CMAs.)
And meaning no disrespect to either Taylor or Matt, that lyric is the kind of thing I could see a lot of lovelorn young women writing. Not because it’s bad, but because it’s such a universal idea. You know how when an internet meme starts and multiple people make the same joke? Like with Hurricane Sandy, I saw five variations on “maybe Gangnam Style is a rain dance and we brought this on ourselves” on my newsfeed from entirely separate friend groups. I totally subscribe to the idea of the collective unconsciousness.
Maybe she did hear the lyric at one point and then worked it into her new song, but I don’t think she was stupid enough to bring on even more trouble by intentionally stealing someone else’s lyrics, especially a singer who’s been around since she was four years old. But compare the two songs and decide for yourself:
2:13 – And I forget about you long enough to forget why I needed to
1:44 – And I’ll forget about you long enough to forget why I need to
Still, Taylor might want to do some Google searches before writing her next album.
Photo: Judy Eddy/WENN.com