I have heard varying opinions on this song in the Taylor fandom, but I personally relate to this song to the T. There have been people in my life that have just started ignoring me for no reason, been mean to me for no reason, and many tears have been shed. Unfortunately it doesn't end with high school. When I first heard about this song I knew I would relate to it, and every time I hear it, it speaks to me. For me it's a way to release myself of the unjustified hate that others bring on me so I can focus on the real relationships that matter to me in my life.
Taylor tells Rolling Stone on September 8, 2014, "Sometimes the lines in a song are lines you wish you could text-message somebody in real life. I would just be constantly writing all these zingers – like, 'Burn. That would really get her.' And I know people are going to obsess over who it's about, because they think they have all my relationships mapped out. But there's a reason there are not any overt call-outs in that song. My intent was not to create some gossip-fest. I wanted people to apply it to a situation where they felt betrayed in their own lives." I can definitely relate this to my life.
Who is this song about? For not wanting to give it away in the song, Taylor gave it away in the article. She tells Rolling Stone, "For years, I was never sure if we were friends or not. She would come up to me at awards shows and say something and walk away, and I would think, 'Are we friends, or did she just give me the harshest insult of my life?' She did something so horrible. I was like, 'Oh, we're just straight-up enemies.' And it wasn't even about a guy! It had to do with business. She basically tried to sabotage an entire arena tour. She tried to hire a bunch of people out from under me. And I'm surprisingly non-confrontational – you would not believe how much I hate conflict. So now I have to avoid her. It's awkward, and I don't like it."
Who stole Taylor's people? It was Katy Perry.
Katy and Taylor came on the music scene about the same time and were seen together at many events. Taylor desperately wanted to be friends with her. Katy was always the wild and crazy one when they were together. But their relationship grew strained over the years as each went on their paths.
Katy stole some of Taylor's dancers and crew from her "Red" tour for her "Prism" tour. An ex dancer of Taylor's Lockhart Brownlie, who formally danced with Katy told Manika Dadson Dec. 20, 2013, "I was with Taylor for the first six months. It was a great experience and she's a great person to work with, but then Katy contacted us." And the rest is history, or a song in this case.
The tour is not the only thing these two had in common. They both dated John Mayer, a guy Taylor has written about many times. I think Katy was jealous of the feelings that John had for Taylor. In his song "Paper Doll" he describes his relationship with Taylor. He says, "sure was fun being good to you". He confesses he looks back fondly and enjoyed being with her. "You’re like twenty-two girls in one/And none of them know what they’re runnin’ from/Was it just too far to fall?/For a little paper doll". He references her song 22 from "Red" and says she was the one who ran. Then he also references her parents, saying she should, "cut the cord and pull some strings." In her song "Ours" she also references her dad not approving of his tattoos. In "Dear John" she says her mom doesn't approve of the relationship either. Things ended by her just not responding anymore. She "stopped pickin’ up" the phone calls from him and "Dear John" "is to let you know why." In the "Story of Us", Taylor says she never knew "what page you're on", she never knew where they were standing. "Paper Doll" was an answer to her "Speak Now" album of song about him. Basically he didn't know why she ran away and he enjoyed being with her. Well for Katy that probably wasn't the thing she wanted her boyfriend to be singing about. Telling an old girlfriend that he enjoyed her. Katy here set herself up for failure though, she was the one that was dating her "friend's" ex-boyfriend. You just don't do that if you're friends.
After that I can only imagine that Katy was like ice to Taylor, mean to her etc and that's why Taylor was hurt. First she started her dating her ex-boyfriend and then she stole her dancers. She probably also wasn't very kind to her in passing. Taylor says in her track by track descriptions, "Bad Blood is a song that I wrote about a new kind of heartbreak that I experienced recently which was when someone I desperately wanted to be my friend and thought was my friend ended up making it very obvious that she wasn't. This was somebody that I really looked up to and really really longed for the approval of this person so it was kind of devastating to receive a kind of low blow from that person. This song is the first time I ever really stood up myself in that relationship cause she was always the bolder one and the louder one. I think it's important to stand up for yourself even if you can only really come up with the courage to do it in song form then that's how you should do it."
She certainly does that in this song. She calls out Katy, talks about how they used to have "mad love", but she's "still got scars on my back from your knife" because she "made a really deep cut". and they can't "pretend we'd be fine". They've "got problems", and she doesn't think they can "solve them". Katy brought this on, she didn't "think it all through". She did things to intentionally hurt Taylor. But Taylor is not going to take Katy's "sorry just for show".
I think Katy grew jealous of Taylor through the years. Even though they started out the same time Taylor has had infinitely more success than Katy. And worse yet for Katy, Taylor had a little piece of her boyfriend's heart. Katy did all these things for spite. Honestly I don't know how to resolve this. I've resolved my Katy Perry's by moving away and never having to talk to them again. It would be nice if they could just get in a room and talk it out. There was a person in my life that this sort of thing started happening. She called me out and we went and duked it out in the rain. Well not really duking because it was just words. And you know what? She became one of my best friends. Now everyone that I've had those sort of problems with have I become best friends, sometimes I just ignore them. I hope this situation with Katy doesn't blow up even more. I know Katy is egging it on. I am glad Taylor is just standing up to her, ignoring her and concentrating on the people that really matter in her life. Keep strong Taylor and don't let her get to you!