Two artists. Two sets of lyrics. Two controversies brewing.
Taylor Swift has changed the lyrics on the newly recorded version of the song “Better Than Revenge,” part of her album “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) released Friday.
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The original version of the song – allegedly a revenge song against an unnamed actress who “stole” then-boyfriend Joe Jonas – states, “She’s an actress, whoa / She’s better known for the things that she does on the mattress, whoa.”
The new version Swift has changed the line to “He was a moth to the flame, she was holding the matches.”
Apparently, Swift has let time and changing perspectives influence her decisions on what’s acceptable. Earlier, she asked fans not to harass the subject of her song “Dear John,” allegedly about her hurt over a relationship with singer-songwriter John Mayer.
In a 2014 interview with The Guardian, 25-year-old Taylor talked about “Better Than Revenge.” Even then, she had regrets.
“I was 18 when I wrote that. That’s the age you are when you think someone can actually take your boyfriend. Then you grow up and realize no one can take someone from you if they don’t want to leave.”
Jill Scott was also a teenager when she rewrote a popular song. In Scott’s case, it was the “Star-Spangled Banner” that received a new take.
R&B singer and actor Scott blasted America by changing the words to the national anthem, accusing the US of oppression against Black Americans.
Scott has been performing the altered anthem during her tour, but her high-profile performance at the Essence Fest in New Orleans finally drew attention.
“Oh say, can you see, by the blood in the streets,” Scott began. “That this place doesn’t smile on you, colored child.”
The song ends with a revised closing line: “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave,” with “This is not the land of the free but the home of the slaves.”
Essence, the lifestyle magazine that hosts the festival, wrote on its Twitter account, “Everyone please rise for the only National Anthem we will be recognizing from this day forward. Jill Scott, we thank you!”
In Scott’s case, she wrote the song when she was a 19-year-old teen in Philadelphia.
In March at her Philadelphia concert, Scott said she hoped her rendition of the anthem wouldn’t divide people.
“When I sing ‘home of the slave,’ that is not intended to divide, because division is not what we need,” Scott said. “When I say that, we are in a place that makes us slaves to consumerism, it makes us slaves to social media, makes us slaves to b— lies that don’t make no kind of sense, but we follow the stories like suckas, like slaves, to whatever kinds of negativity that doesn’t benefit us as a people, as a culture nor as a society.”
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