Thursday, February 01, 2024

The persona in Taylor Swift lyrics: Not “the Homecoming Queen”; more like another famous queen at a high school in the United States

I saw a comment on Facebook referring to Taylor Swift as "the Homecoming Queen". While this image fits her current relationship status (dating the star athlete), it doesn't fit the stories told her in lyrics: "She's Cheer Captain and I'm on the bleachers" ("You Belong With Me", from "Fearless", 2008). In the semiotics of the United States, the figure of the homecoming queen is the popular girl. The figure in Swift’s songs is never the popular girl. If she’s a queen, she’s Carrie the prom queen from Stephen King's 1974 novel and Brian De Palma's 1976 movie – and she wants to burn down the school to get revenge against her bullies. (Andrew Shields, #111Words, 1 February 2024)

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