Taylor Swift announced this morning she's releasing the fourth single off of Reputation, "Call It What You Want," tonight at midnight. And naturally, Swifties are losing their minds trying to decipher the meaning of Taylor Swift's "Call It What You Want." The singer announced the upcoming arrival of the song this morning, Nov. 2, in three Instagram posts that appear to reveal some of the song's lyrics. The posts read, "Holding my breath, slowly I said, 'You don't need to save me,'" and "'But would you run away with me?' 'Yes.'" Some fans are saying "Call It What You Want" is basically a romantic "All Too Well," but we have a theory of our own.
The "Call It What You Want" lyrics Swift has teased read like a poem right off the bat. In just a couple of lines, Swift is telling what promises to be a pretty freaking emotional story. The "holding my breath, slowly I said," line is immediately comparable to "All Too Well" where Swift is basically singing directly to a person who once held her heart. (It's most likely Jake Gyllenhaal, but she's never confirmed that.) Swift is an expert at making lyrics that detail a conversation and paint a picture of a relationship, so fans are pretty sure "Call It What You Want" is going to be a tearjerker.
But "Call It What You Want" can still be a romantic tearjerker while still being about something other than a relationship. As we previously pointed out, the song could possibly be about Swift being tired of fame and all that comes with it. That's hinted in the lines she revealed earlier today. When she says "Holding my breath, slowly I said, 'You don't need to save me, but would you run away with me?" Swift is sending a message. And that message is that she's strong on her own and can "save" herself (like she does in the "...Ready For It?" music video), but she wants to get away from the pressure of fame and life in the spotlight with someone she loves, like her boyfriend Joe Alwyn, for example.
If this is the case, "Call It What You Want" will fit in pretty well with the narrative Swift sets up in the "...Ready For It?" music video. In the song, Swift sings,
I see how this is gon' go, touch me and you'll never be alone. Island breeze and lights down low. No one has to know (No one has to know). In the middle of the night, in my dreams, you should see the things we do, baby. In the middle of the night in my dreams, I know I'm gonna be with you so I take my time.
"...Ready For It?" is reportedly the first song on Reputation. Given that and the "island breeze" line, it looks like Swift was fantasizing about running away from fame with Alwyn in "...Ready For It?," and then "Call It What You Want" could be about the moment she actually asks him to leave with her. Since she pretty much went M.I.A. over the last year she's been dating Alwyn, it seems like — if this whole "running away together" fantasy is based in truth and not just a narrative she's creating for the album — that they actually did take a break from the limelight together and now she's making music about it.
One fan theory about the "...Ready For It?" music video (which was detailed in a Tumblr post that Swift herself liked) says the hooded cyborg Swift in the video was actually training the nude bodysuit Swift so she could be strong enough to "break free" of the media's alleged perception of her and live life on her own terms. So, basically, in order to live a life free of the affects of media scrutiny, Swift had to be "ready for it." So, she retreated, worked on herself, and built herself up so she could be strong enough to change her "reputation." It seems like she's telling us that she feels she has accomplished just that, and that once she did, she took a break from the world with her boyfriend. We'll just have to wait until the rest of the "Call It What You Want" lyrics come out to see if we're right.