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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[1]

Trivia

  • 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".

Music Video

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.

Storyline
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.

Cast

  • Giuseppe Giofrè
  • Dexter Mayfield
  • Hannah Hart
  • Laverne Cox
  • Chester Lockhart
  • Todrick Hall
  • Hayley Kiyoko
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson
  • Justin Mikita
  • Tan France
  • Bobby Berk
  • Karamo Brown
  • Antoni Porowski
  • Jonathan Van Ness
  • Adam Rippon
  • Ellen Degeneres
  • Adam Lambert
  • Billy Porter
  • RuPaul
  • Katy Perry
  • Ryan Reynolds
  • Tatianna
  • Trinity The Tuck
  • Delta Work
  • Trinity K. Bonet
  • Jade Jolie
  • Riley Knoxx
  • Adore Delano
  • A'Keria Chanel Davenport

Trivia

  • 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.

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
You are somebody that I don’t know
But you’re taking shots at me like it’s Patrón
And I’m just like damn, it’s 7 am
Say it in the street, that’s a knock out
But you say it in a Tweet, that’s a cop out
And I’m just like hey, are you ok?

[Pre-chorus]
And I ain’t trying to mess with your self expression
But I’ve learned the lesson that stressin’ and obsessing
‘Bout somebody else is no fun
And snakes and stones never broke my bones so

[Chorus]
Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh
You need to calm down
You’re being too loud
And I’m just like oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh
You need to just stop
Like can you just not
Step on my gown
You need to calm down

[Verse 2]
You are somebody that we don’t know
But you’re coming at my friends like a missile
Why are you mad? When you could be Glaad (When you could be Glaad)
Sunshine on the street at the parade
But you would rather be in the dark ages
Making that sign must’ve taken all night

[Pre-chorus]
You just need to take several seats
And then try to restore the peace
And control your urges to scream
About the people you hate
‘Cause shade never made anybody less gay

[Chorus]
So oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh
You need to calm down
You’re being too loud
And I’m just like oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh
You need to just stop
Like can you just not
Step on his gown
You need to calm down

[Verse 3]
And we see you over there on the internet
Comparing all the girls who are killing it
But we figured you out
We all know now we all got crowns
You need to calm down

[Chorus]
Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh
You need to calm down (You need to calm down)
You’re being too loud (You’re being too loud)
And I’m just like oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh (yeah)
You need to just stop (Can you stop)
Like can you just not step on our gowns
You need to calm down


Awards & Nominations

Year Organization Award Result
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
Best Pop Nominated
Video for Good Won
Best Direction Nominated
Best Editing Nominated
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

Videos

References

  1. 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