You Need to Calm Down is the fourteenth track and second single of Taylor Swift's seventh album Lover. It was released on August 23, 2019.
Meaning and Background
"It's about how I've observed a lot of different people in our society who put so much energy into negativity. You need to calm down like you're stressing yourself out. This seems like it's more about you than what you're going off about like just calm down. The first verse is about trolls and cancel culture. The second verse is about homophobes and the people picketing outside our concerts. The third verse is about successful women being pitted against each other.”- Taylor about You Need to Calm Down
- The song title was hinted at in the ME! music video, where Taylor and Brendon Urie have a conversation in French and Brendon tells her "you need to calm down".
The music video was released on June 17, 2019. It was directed by Taylor and Drew Kirsch. It includes a large cast of celebrities, mostly whom are part of the LGBT-community.
Taylor wakes up in a pink trailer, wearing a bath robe. She throws her phone on the bed, which then catches fire. She makes smoothie with cotton candy. She then walks out of her burning trailer in a pink robe, holding a tequila glass. Next, she's seen lying on a float in the pool. Next, the trailer park is shown with their residents living their life. Todrick and Taylor walk and dance through it. Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita get married. There's a group of protesters in the park, holding anti-gay signs. Taylor, Todrick and friends are having a tea party and sunbathe while the protesters stand next to them. Adam Lambart tattoos "Cruel Summer" on Ellen Degeneres' arm. Next, there's a pop queen pageant, the contestants dressed as female singers such as Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Adele and Nicki Minaj. RuPaul is the judge, but instead of choosing a winner, he throws the crown into the air. Next, a food fight starts between the residents. Taylor is dressed up as fries and looks around like she's looking for someone. She sees Katy Perry, dressed as a hamburger and they walk towards each other. They start dancing and hugging. Meanwhile, Ryan Reynolds is working on a painting and the protesters throw away their signs. The video ends with a request to sign a petition for the USA senate to pass the Equality Act.
- In Taylor's trailer, a framed quote from Cher is seen on the wall: "Mom, I'm a rich man". This is what Cher told her mother after she told Cher to marry a rich man.
- In Taylor's trailer, there's a bowl with 13 dices. Not only is this Taylor's favorite number, but it could also refer to the Cruel Summer lyrics "devils role the dice".
- Taylor has a back tattoo of a snake turning into butterflies, references to the transition from reputation tot Lover.
- Hayley shoots an arrow at a target with '5' on it. The fifth track of the album, The Archer, was the next song released.
- The text Adam tattoos on Ellen, hints at a Lover song: Cruel Summer.
- Taylor and Katy hugging at the end of the video appears to symbolize the end of their feud.
Awards & Nominations
|2019||American Music Awards||Favorite Music Video||Won|
|BreakTudo Awards||International Clip of the Year||Nominated|
|MTV Video Music Awards||Video of the Year||Won|
|Song of the Year||Nominated|
|Video for Good||Won|
|Best Art Direction||Nominated|
|Best Power Anthem||Nominated|
|Song of the Summer||Nominated|
|Queerty Awards||Queer Anthem||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Summer Song||Nominated|
|Telehit Awards||Best Anglo Video||Nominated|
|People's Best Video||Nominated|
|2020||Berlin Music Video Awards||Best Cinematography||Nominated|
|BMI Pop Awards||BMI Award||Won|
|Grammy Awards||Best Pop Solo Performance||Nominated|
|iHeartRadio Music Awards||Best Lyrics||Nominated|
|Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Song||Nominated|
- Taylor Swift’s September Issue: The Singer On Sexism, Scrutiny, and Standing Up for Herself | Vogue - https://www.vogue.com/article/taylor-swift-cover-september-2019