Wednesday, February 14, 2024

“Never Grow Up” (Taylor Swift, 2010) and “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” (Tom Waits, 1992)

The first stanza of Taylor Swift's "Never Grow Up" (from "Speak Now", 2010/2023) addresses a toddler: "So I tuck you in, turn on your favourite nightlight." After the titular chorus, the second stanza addresses a teenager: "At fourteen, there's just so much you can't do." This adult perspective on a child or teenager reverses Tom Waits's similar "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" (from "Bone Machine", 1992), in which the child or teenager speaks: "Well, when I'm lying in my bed at night I don't wanna grow up." But Swift's final stanza shifts perspective to a young adult: "So here I am in my new apartment [...]. Wish I'd never grown up." (Andrew Shields, #111Words, 14 February 2024)

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