Taylor Swift’s New Track “Mean” Could Just As Well Be An ‘It Gets Better’ Anthem

Today brings the third promo single from Billboard cover girl Taylor Swift’s upcoming album Speak Now (out next Tuesday). The track is called “Mean,” and we can’t help but feel that the arrival of the plucky sing-along country jam is expertly timed, given the score of artists adding their voices to the It Gets Better campaign as a means of showing support to gay teens. Listen to Taylor tell off the bullies in “Mean” below!

“Some day I’ll be living in a big old city, and all you’re ever gonna be is mean / Some day I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me, and all you’re ever gonna be is mean,” Swift sings on the chorus of “Mean,” which was added to iTunes today as a final push before the release of her third album.

[wpaudio url="http://idolator.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Mean.mp3" text="Taylor Swift - Mean" dl="0"]

Some will likely find that the lyrics have a particular resonance, given that a rash of gay teen suicides has dominated headlines over the past month (particularly last week’s moving testimonial by Fort Worth city councilman Joel Burns, which quickly went viral and has garnered nearly two million views in just under seven days).

But current affairs aside, Taylor has hit another high with “Mean.” Like last week’s offering “Back To December,” this one finds the 20-year-old Grammy winner hitting a new mature level with her songwriting.

Particularly effective is the bit where she let’s the bully in the song have it: “And I can see you years from now in a bar talking over a football game / With that same big loud opinion, but nobody’s listening / Washed up and ranting about the same old bitter things.”

Brava, Taylor. Thanks for stepping up your own game, and for giving a voice to even more listeners than you thought you would.

  • Anonymous

    This is a bit interesting… Robbie Daw, you’re the one who put up the articles and stream for Speak Now, Back to December and now Mean. For Speak Now you viciously ripped into Taylor, but for Back to December and Mean you applauded her on her maturity. I’m a bit confused; were you being deliberately sarcastic for the Speak Now article or are you just trying to trick everyone…

    • Robbie Daw

      Hi, Anonymous — Hmmm. I don’t believe I’ve “viciously ripped” into anything in recent years except for that box of Snow Caps at the movie theater two weeks ago.

      I believe what you’re referring to is the fact that I said “Speak Now” sounded thematically similar to “You Belong With Me” — which, let’s face it, it does.

      But what I said last week on “Back To December” is that “we were beginning to think the country-pop crooner was stuck in a rut with her sound and lyrical content. But ‘Back To December’ is just the slight change in mature direction we were hoping Swift would aim for on her third album.”

      And for “Mean” I said, “Like last week’s offering ‘Back To December,’ this one finds the 20-year-old Grammy winner hitting a new mature level with her songwriting.”

      I do, however, thank you for believing I could possibly have the ability to trick everyone, because that’s a lot of people and requires a massive amount of talent.

      Alas, I do not possess such skills for such a feat.

  • Anonymous

    Haha, no, I didn’t mean the thematic similarities (which, quite frankly, I do not completely agree with) between Speak Now and You Belong With Me. I meant the way you called Taylor Swift a “homewrecker” and how your article gave the general vibe that you didn’t like her.

    • Robbie Daw

      That was very tongue in cheek and meant to be playful. But I’m glad you read it and remembered!

  • twistup

    I couldn’t help but tap my toes to this delish song. The song is excellently
    written. Didja check the lyric about people mean people saying “I can’t sing”?
    Beautiful and ironic! I predict this one is going to be a BIG HIT.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, and I forgot to mention, thanks for posting streams for all the promotional singles. I didn’t buy any (except for “Mine”, which I guess was both a promotional and an actual single from Speak Now) because I’ve already preordered the album- buying extra copies of the singles would only be a waste of money. Your streams let me listen to them freely. =)

  • Sarah

    Anonymous – just incase you’re interested in having the singles in your library now, you can buy them and then when the album comes out, instead of choosing “buy album” you can choose “complete album” and itunes won’t charge you for the songs you already have. This only works if you’re buying on itunes and not the hard copy obviously, but I just thought you might like to know (:

  • Marissa

    Sarah, really?? You can do that?? HA did not know that!!!! I am so going to do that!! Thanks so much!!!! AND I LOVE THIS SONG :)

  • shadowsgirl252

    that pic is funny

  • http://deviantart.com JoJo

    acctuallly, This song ISN’T about anti-LGBT bullying just about someone who is mean to her. But its still such a great song!~

  • Kristen

    The day before this album came out, my daughter who is 7 was bullied on the playground to the point of getting physical. She walked away and was very upset. We talked for a long time about what happened and she felt a little better but I could tell that she was still in the “why did this happen to me” place. She adores Taylor Swift and when she heard the song mean she teared up. She said “It’s like that song was meant for me.” Thank you to Taylor who made my little girl feel better.

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