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The Man is the fourth track and fourth released single of Taylor Swift's seventh album Lover. It was released on August 23, 2019.

Meaning and Background

"This is a song that I have wanted to write for a very long time, but never knew exactly how to. I often think about what my career would have been like, and what my headlines about my career would have been like if I had been a man instead of a woman. Not what would I do differently or anything, but if I had had the same accomplishments, the same mistakes, the same dating history, the same statements — what would have been different? This is a song called 'The Man,' and it's just about how the world would be if I had been a dude in my approximations of it."

- Taylor about The Man[1]

Trivia

Music Video

The music video was released on February 27, 2020. It was directed by Taylor herself. It stars her dad Scott Swift, Loren Gray, Dominic Toliver, Jayden Bartels and Dwayne Johnson as voiceover.

Storyline
The video starts out with a man staring out of a window. He turns around and enters an office; workers give him papers but he throws them away and bosses people around. The workers cheer for him. Next, the man is smoking and manspreading in a metro train, causing for people around him to barely have space to sit. In the subway station, he pees against a wall. Next, he's an a yacht surrounded by beautiful women in bikinis. He's yelling on the phone and gets angry at the waiter. Next, the man is in a hotel room with a woman lying in the bed. He enters the hallway, where hands come out of the wall to high five him. At a park, the man sits with his daughter and lifts her up. The women around him are all impressed and praise him for being "world greatest dad". Next, he's in a strip club with friends bragging about women and throwing around money. After this, the man plays tennis for a women's charity. He praises himself, but then starts throwing a tantrum by smashing his racket, crying and throwing tennis balls at the referee (Scott Swift). The last scene takes place 58 years later. The man is now old and he's marrying a young woman. He throws cake in her face and she walks away upset. At the end, you hear Taylor saying "...and cut!" The man walking towards her. Taylor turns out to be the director who was filming the man. The man asks her (with the voice of Dwayne Johnson) "Hey, just checking. Was that last take more what you had in mind?". Taylor tells him it was pretty good, but asks him "Can you try to be sexier, more likable this time?". She then compliments Loren, a girl whose only job was to stand next to the tennis field and to roll her eyes. When the credits role, pictures of Taylor turning into the man are shown along with the message "No men were harmed during the making of this video".

Trivia

  • This is the first time Taylor directed a music video by herself.
  • In the video, Taylor's previous albums can be seen written on a wall. There's a sign that says "Missing: if found return to Taylor Swift" and a sign that bans scooters. This is a reference to her previous albums not being owned by herself, but by Big Machine Records who then sold them to Scooter Brown.
  • There's a Mr. Americana poster on the wall, directed by Larry Wilson that will premiere on the Mandance Festival. This is a play on Taylor's documentary Miss Americana, directed by Lana Wilson that premiered at the Sundance Festival.

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
I would be complex, I would be cool
They'd say I played the field before I found someone to commit to
And that would be okay for me to do
Every conquest I had made would make me more of a boss to you

[Pre-chorus]
I’d be a fearless leader
I'd be an alpha type
When everyone believes ya:
What's that like?

[Chorus]
I’m so sick of running as fast as I can
Wondering if I'd get there quicker if I was a man
And I'm so sick of them coming at me again
'Cause if I was a man, then I'd be the man
I'd be the man
I'd be the man

[Verse 2]
They'd say I hustled, put in the work
They wouldn’t shake their heads and question how much of this I deserve
What I was wearing, if I was rude
Could all be separated from my good ideas and power moves

[Pre-chorus]
And they would toast to me, oh, let the players play
I’d be just like Leo in Saint-Tropez

[Chorus]
I'm so sick of running as fast as I can
Wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was a man
And I'm so sick of them coming at me again
'Cause if I was a man, then I'd be the man
I’d be the man
I'd be the man

[Bridge]
What's it like to brag about raking in dollars
And getting bitches and models?
And it's all good if you're bad
And it's okay if you're mad
If I was out flashing my dollars
I'd be a bitch, not a baller
They'd paint me out to be bad
So, it's okay that I'm mad

[Chorus]
I'm so sick of running as fast as I can
Wondering if I'd get there quicker if I was a man (you know that)
And I'm so sick of them coming at me again (coming at me again)
'Cause if I was a man (if I was a man)
Then I'd be the man (then I'd be the man)
I'm so sick of running as fast as I can (as fast as I can)
Wondering if I'd get there quicker if I was a man (hey)
And I'm so sick of them coming at me again (coming at me again)
'Cause if I was a man (if I was a man), then I'd be the man
I'd be the man
I'd be the man (oh)
I'd be the man (yeah)
I'd be the man (I'd be the man)
 
[Outro]
If I was a man, then I'd be the man


Awards & Nominations

Year Organization Award Result
2020 MTV Europe Music Awards Best Video Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards Video of the Year Nominated
Video for Good Won
Best Art Direction Nominated

Videos

References

  1. Taylor Swift Shares Intimate Details of 'Lover' Songs During Secret Session | iHeartRadio - https://www.iheart.com/content/2019-08-23-taylor-swift-shares-intimate-details-of-lover-songs-during-secret-session/
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