The music industry has been absolutely buzzing this past week with the surprise release of Taylor Swifts 8th studio album folklore. Second to be released via Republic Records who are said to not even have been aware of this album until hours before it was released. This album is exactly what will all needed during this not so fun 2020.
As a country music site mostly we have missed having Swift in the genre and have especially missed her being played on country music radio. Oh how we longed for the days of driving in Nashville on holiday and hearing Our Song, Teardrops On My Guitar, Mine and more blaring in the hot summer sun.
Betty was sent to country radio July 30th and is said to impact August 17th. Could we see a top country hit or number one for Taylor again? I hope so! Swifties, get those requests going to your local Radio Stations.
Country radio isn’t exactly the biggest champion for playing women in country music on the radio so whether you are a fan of Taylor or not, having that extra female voice on the radio stations won’t exactly hurt, in fact it can only be a good thing. folklore is an album full of wonderous, charming and hauntingly beautiful folktronica, ambient tunes and one in particular standing out in the country genre is Betty.
Taylor Swift is a natural to brilliant lyricism and a genius and getting fans talking about “just who or what is this song about”. Betty in particular, especially for the not so major fans will have a hard time figuring out if the song is about a friendship, same sex relationship or anything. What seems to be is that Taylor is portraying the role of a character called James who was involved in a summer fling and hurt Betty and regretted it.
The track has also been said to be part of a love triangle that Taylor said herself on three tracks from folkore that are all from each persons perspective and fans figured the songs out to be Cardigan, August and Betty. So from the Swifties it seems Cardigan is Betty’s point of view , August is the other girls point of view and Betty is James’s point of view. She knows how to keep us on our toes doesn’t she? This article has some interesting points and theories Refinery29
Here is what Taylor Swift has since said about Betty herself
“So, the song ‘betty’ is about a 17-year-old named James learning to apologize, because James has lost the love of his life basically and doesn’t understand how to get it back. I think we all have these situations in our lives where we learn to really, really give a heartfelt apology for the first time. Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody really messes up sometimes, and this is a song that I wrote from the perspective of a 17-year-old boy. And I always loved that in music you can kind of slip into different identities and you can sing from other people’s perspectives. So, that’s what I did with this one. I named all the characters in this story after my friends’ kids, and I hope you like it.”
The song, much like many (if not all) of Swifts songs truly captivates you in its story and country music, well, we are all about the story telling aren’t we? The track cuts deep to anyone who has had that first heartbreak so young and anyone who likely knows that that pain never truly goes away but just lays dormant. This is one of the reasons Taylor is so popular amongst young people especially because she just “gets it” she has been there and she knows how to tell her truth and other people’s truths in a song and make them so relatable.
Will Betty do well in country radio? I hope so, the genre has missed her and in many ways needs her especially on the female side of things and hopefully this will mean that more women in country music will get played in country radio and many country fans and Taylor fans will discover other female artists and request for them to be played.
Sonically the song is perfect for the radio with its upbeat melody and despite the more somber tone in the lyrics, it does have a feel good way about it. On the radio it will be catching and if everything plays out well, it should be on most playlists on a regular basis. I really hope that happens. Swift has done amazing things for country music and has truly been responsible for not just bringing a fresh new audience to the genre but for paving the way for other young female artists such as Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris and more all of whom are fantastic artists in their own right. Taylor also never truly left the genre as has penned tracks for the likes of Sugarland “Babe“, Little Big Town “Better Man” and collaborated with The Chicks (formerly The Dixie Chicks) on her other more recent country track Soon You’ll Get Better from her Lover album.
This is an exciting time for Taylor Swift, her fans and for country music and as a huge swiftie, I hope she releases physical copies of this song.
Here’s hoping for a few award nominations in the genre too.
Betty, I won’t make assumptions about why you switched your homeroom/ But I think it’s cause of me / Betty, one time I was riding on my skateboard when I passed your house / It’s like I couldn’t breathe / You heard the rumors from Inez / You can’t believe a word she says / Most times – but this time it was true / The worst thing that I ever did / Was what I did to you.
But if I just showed up at your party / Would you have me / Would you want me / Would you tell me to go straight to hell / Or lead me to the garden / In the garden would you trust me / If I told you it was just a summer thing / I’m only seventeen / I don’t know anything / But I know I miss you.
Betty, I know where it all went wrong your favorite song was playing from the far side of the gym / I was nowhere to be found, I hate the crowds, you know that / Plus, I saw you dance with him / You heard the rumors from Inez / You can’t believe a word she says / Most times – but this time it was true / The worst thing that I ever did / Was what I did to you.
I was walking home on broken cobblestones / Just thinking of you when she pulled up / Like a figment of my worst intentions / She said “James, get in, let’s drive” / Those days turned into nights / Slept next to her but I dreamt of you all summer long.
Betty, I’m here on your doorstep / And I planned it out for weeks now but it’s finally sinking in / Betty, right now is the last time I can dream about what happens when you see my face again / The only thing I wanna do / Is make it up to you.
So, I showed up at your party / Yeah, I showed up at your party.
Yeah, I showed up at your party / Will you have me / Will you love me / Will you kiss me on the porch in front of all your stupid friends / If you kiss me / Will it be just like I dreamed it / Will it patch your broken wings / I’m only seventeen / I don’t know anything / But I know I miss you.
Standing in your cardigan / Kissing in my car again / Stopped at a streetlight / You know I miss you.