Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Taylor Swift leans into her political side with new anthem “Only The Young”
Photo: Neilson Barnard (Getty Images)

In her new documentary Miss Americana, which just debuted at Sundance, Taylor Swift expresses her desire to be more political: “I wanna love glitter, and also stand up for the double standards that exist in our society. I wanna wear pink, and tell you how I feel about politics. I don’t think those things have to cancel each other out.”

Her newest song “Only The Young,” which just came out today, is another move in that direction; Swift told Variety she wrote it after the 2018 midterm elections as “an anthem for millennials who might have come away disillusioned with the political process.” In the first verse, she states, “The game was rigged, the ref got tricked / The wrong ones think they’re right.” The second one gets even more brutal, as she describes the looming threat of school shooting that kids have to live with every day (“You go to class, scared / Wondering where the best hiding spot would be”) and calls out “the big bad man and his big bad clan / Their hands are stained with red.”


The answer can be found in the song title, as Swift enthuses: “Only the young can run, so run,” a sentiment underlined by the obvious youth of the voices in the chorus. If you check out Miss Americana, now on Netflix, and stick around to the end, you’ll notice that “Only The Young” plays over the end credits. On a day that proves that the old people of the Senate really aren’t getting it, we can only pray that Swift is onto something here.

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

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