After teasing her Netflix documentary, Miss Americana, for months, Taylor Swift finally released it on Friday, Jan. 31. Swift gets super honest in the film, addressing her celebrity feuds, her experience with an eating disorder, and her decision to speak up about politics. To go along with the film, Swift released her new single "Only The Young," which was inspired by one specific political event. The meaning of Taylor Swift's "Only The Young" is so inspiring.
In Miss Americana, Swift revealed she once considered herself a "people pleaser" and was afraid what the public's response might be if she spoke up about politics, so she stayed silent. However, fans criticized her decision to not publicly endorse a political candidate, too.
Following her 2017 sexual assault trial against radio DJ David Mueller, Swift had a political awakening in 2018. The year after, Swift also used her "You Need To Calm Down" music video to encourage fans to sign the Equality Act, which helps protect the LGBTQ community from discrimination in the workplace, housing, and healthcare.
Swift gets so honest about politics in Miss America, as well as in her new single, "Only The Young." Swift wrote the song after Marsha Blackburn was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018, representing Swift's home state of Tennesseee.
Sharing her disapproval of Blackburn's election in Miss Americana, Swift said Blackburn "votes against fair pay for women" and referred to her as "Trump with a wig."
Clearly impassioned by the election, Swift wrote "Only The Young" as a call to action for her young fans to vote in the 2020 election and the lyrics are so powerful. On the track, Swift sings:
It keeps me awake / The look on your face / The moment you heard the news / You're screaming inside / And frozen in time / You did all that you could do / The game was rigged, the ref got tricked / The wrong ones think they're right / You were outnumbered — this time
Swift's chorus states, "Only the young can run / Can run, so run / And run, and run."
The last three verses of "Only The Young" hit on how youth are used to constant bad news, and Swift shares her opinion on how those currently holding political titles don't care about anything but themselves. She sings:
They aren't gonna change this / We gotta do it ourselves / They think that it's over / But it's just begun
Reflecting on the inspiration behind the anthem, Swift told Variety:
I wrote it after the midterm elections, when there were so many young people who rallied for their candidate, whether it was a senator or congressman or congresswoman. It was hard to see so many people feel like they had canvassed and done everything and tried so hard. I saw a lot of young people's hopes dashed. And I found that to be particularly tragic, because young people are the people who feel the worst effects of gun violence, and student loans and trying to figure out how to start their lives and how to pay their bills, and climate change, and are we going to war — all these horrific situations that we find ourselves facing right now.
If the reaction to Swift's Miss Americana is any indication of how much of an impact she can have on fans, hopefully those who are able will be inspired and vote in 2020.