I'm Clifford Stumme, and I use literary analysis and research to explain the deeper meanings of pop songs. Feel free to leave a comment or to email me at with questions or ideas!

What does "ME!" by Taylor Swift ft. Brendon Urie mean?

What does "ME!" by Taylor Swift ft. Brendon Urie mean?

“ME!” Music Video and Lyrics Meaning

(The following blog post is a transcript created by Xalma of the below video.)

Well, it looks like Taylor Swift did it; she actually collabed with Brendon Urie on their new song “ME!”. I wasn’t expecting this at all, and soon as I heard people saying “yeah, it’s a collab between the two of them”, I was thinking “Oh yes, the fanboys and the fangirls are off doing the thing that they do best; thinking wishfully”; but no, it was actually true, they released this song, and the  music video of “ME!”; and it’s an interesting song; the brief overview of the meaning that it’s about embracing your individuality, and who you are; but then it does this under the facade of a romantic relationship song.

First let’s talk about the music video, here is a lot of things that’s going on in there visually; first of, you’re going to notice that there is a lot of colour, which is the symbol in this case of that individuality and that uniqueness, or the vibrancy of who you are as a person, and definitely what Taylor Swift is trying to communicate through the colours in the music video is the message of “Yes! Go and be yourself, and whatever kind of version that you are, just be that version”; and the fact that it’s soft pastel colours, rather than like neon colours, is probably a suggestion that this album is going to be a bit less “hardcore” compared to Reputation; and it’s probably going to be like softly encouraging, or sweet happy album; which is something that I’ve talked about before in previous reviews, where I felt like Reputation was not about who Taylor Swift is going to be, and it seemed like a momentary departure; and now that we’re going into these future songs, it feels like we’re going to see a return to maybe something between “country-ish Taylor” and “just-before-1989 Taylor”, so it might kind of center around Red; but even then, who really knows? We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

So after we talked about the colours, the first thing that we can notice is that she’s announcing this transition from the Repetition era to this new era; but since when did we start talking about albums as “eras”? It seems to be kind of like a marketing thing that a lot of artists are pulling of and they’re doing it really well these days; but she has this snake turning into butterflies, which based on the music video, the soft colours, and everything else, it seems like a very adequate choice of an animal to represent what’s coming; the only animals that we see in this music video are the snack, butterflies, we do kind of see a unicorn too, and we see soft cats, her cats in particular. So that happens, and then Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie are like this French couple, they are arguing in France, and it doesn’t seem to be an argument about anything in particular, it’s just supposed to be just a “Look, an argument” moment. So she walks out, and then the music video is them singing back and forth about why they’re unique the way they are, and that’s just okay, right? Not even “just okay”, but it’s rather great, you should be who you are, yippee skippee. Then they try figuring out their relationship, and at the end, they’re together happy and singing; so they kind of accepted each other for who the other person is.

My two favourite parts about this music video are, one, when Brendon was trying to win her character back, he offers flowers, he offers a ring, and she doesn’t want any of those, but then he offers a kitten, and all of a sudden she’s like “oh, yes, perfect!”; which is Taylor Swift playing some of the hype about her; and then two, the beginning of the video, where she yells dramatically at him something like “How can you argue like that in front of our daughters?”, and then the camera pans over and it’s the cat, I was like  “Okay! That’s the Taylor Swift that a lot of the fangirls would tell me is Taylor Swift, cool!”; I thought that it was pretty funny; she also had a reference about the cats from Reputation as well, and that’s a good joke to continue carrying over.

The hype about this song is that it’s about “me”, and the way that I am is okay and great, but it’s all in the context of a relationship; which makes it a little more complicated, and it’s not necessarily bad, as I think that it’s really good that this song establishes the value of the individual before it says “we should go and be a part of a relationship”; this narrator is kind of pitching themselves first. Taylor Swift has said in an interview: "'Me!' is a song about embracing your individuality and really celebrating it and owning it; I think with a pop song we have the ability to get a melody stuck in people's heads, and I just want it to be one that makes them feel better about themselves.", and she was talking in another interview about how there are all of those advertisements that tells you how you should be to look better, and how you should be wealthier, or healthier, or whatever; and to an extent, you just have to say “Yeah, I am who I am, and that’s great, there is only one “ME!”, right?”; and that’s the main gist of these lyrics, this emphasis of the individual, but then the music and the lyrics take this story a step further, and say “now that I have a confidence in myself as an individual, I am ready to be part of a relationship”, and they don’t rightout say that, which would have been kind of nice, but it becomes like this kind of pitch, “I know I’ve messed up, but I’m the unique me”, and at the same time, they’re confident in who they are. I kind of want to decide if I really like this message or not, but I think that there is nothing necessarily wrong with it, it just doesn’t feel this unique or interesting; but maybe it’s about time that Taylor Swift says that, because in Reputation there was no kind of message like that, and it seems like it’s a thing that every artist has to say it at some point or another.

Now we jump into the lyrics, and we have the first verse where it says,

Verse One

I know that I'm a handful, baby, uh
I know I never think before I jump
And you're the kind of guy the ladies want
(And there's a lot of cool chicks out there)
I know that I went psycho on the phone
I never leave well enough alone
And trouble's gonna follow where I go
(And there's a lot of cool chicks out there)

So she’s listing all of the negative, which is something that I tend to do a lot, it’s like if I’m going to try to sell somebody something, or try to convince them with something; I’m going to list all of the negatives first, so I empathise with that. Then in the chorus and the pre-chorus she lists the positives,


But one of these things is not like the others
Like a rainbow with all of the colors
Baby doll, when it comes to a lover
I promise that you'll never find another like


Me-e-e, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
I'm the only one of me
Baby, that's the fun of me
Eeh-eeh-eeh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
You're the only one of you
Baby, that's the fun of you
And I promise that nobody's gonna love you like me

So she’s saying that I am the only me, and you’re the only you, and it’s cool. Then in the second verse we hear Brendon say,

Verse Two

I know I tend to make it about me
I know you never get just what you see
But I will never bore you, baby
(And there's a lot of lame guys out there)

Which is a thing that made me think that it’s funny, it doesn’t really fit into the spirit of the song, I thought the idea was that we’re all okay just the way we are! So now all of the sudden we’re playing in a comparison game? It doesn’t seem to me that Brendon Urie really got the spirit of this song, which doesn’t seem off character from him anyway. Then Taylor continues on saying,

And when we had that fight out in the rain
You ran after me and called my name
I never wanna see you walk away
(And there's a lot of lame guys out there)

… Okay, good to know, thanks!

And so we go to the bridge, and this is probably the part that I enjoyed the most, but also had the biggest question about,


Hey, kids!
Spelling is fun!

Okay, cool, I can get down with that; I was kind of a speller when I was a kid,

Girl, there ain't no I in "team"
But you know there is a "me"

Which is a common cliche that we hear a lot; and it’s not in the sense that they're doing bad, they’re obviously doing a bit with it,

Strike the band up, 1, 2, 3
I promise that you'll never find another like me
Girl, there ain't no I in "team"
But you know there is a "me"

And yeah, I feel that this is one of those saying or those phrases where somebody had to turn it to a pop song at some point, because I feel like I’ve had this conversation before where somebody is like “oh, by the way, there is no ‘i’ in team!”, and then I’ll think about it for like half of a second, then I’ll be like “well, there is an ‘m’ and an ‘e’ which spells me!”, and everyone goods “wow! Good one, good one”; that’s basically the cynical version of a dad joke; I just hope that she doesn’t copyright this, like she did with the phrase “Shake it off”,

And you can't spell "awesome" without "me"
I promise that you'll never find another like

Then they go into the chorus and an outro and it’s this pretty happy fun anthem-like thing; and I think that this song accomplishes very well what it was set out to do, which is to be sort of like a party rousing song; “It’s nice and fun to be just you, because you’re unique”, I think Brendon Urie missed the mark on some of his lines, don’t completely understand why. A part of me wishes the song wasn’t necessarily built into a relationship, like if we’re going to have a song about this topic, that’s great, but why does it have to be in the context of this relationship where we’re trying to apparently convince somebody else to accept us? I think that if we were really confident in who we are, why does it matter what this other person thinks of us? And I’m talking in terms of this theme; but at the same time we do have to consider this question in terms of relationships anyway; and it feels like in the end the narrators are trying to convince themselves that they are worthy of a relationship in some respects, like “yes there might be problems with me, I admit it; but I am unique”; and I feel like all of us know that there are problems with other people, and all of us now that other people are unique, so I personally didn’t have a problem dating somebody who had “some problems” but was “unique”, right? And so it seems to me that Taylor and Brendon are talking to themselves to some extent, just like a self therapy, and because it’s a pop song, it’s meant for other people to sing along with it, thus it feels like it’s very adequately worded, putting in mind maybe some of the less confident members of their audience who still haven’t figured out the self-confidence thing; except for when we get into the part where Brendon Urie where he’s going off the script a little bit, because he had to go and compare himself to other people, which usually isn’t the sign of an actually secure person, and I of course don’t mean to hate on Brendon Urie, because I’m a huge fan of Panic! At The Disco, and I’m a huge fan of Taylor Swift, it’s just my observation, but they both did a great job overall, vocally they are great, the music itself is actually catchy and nice, the music video is fun, and I think that Taylor Swift was accurate in saying that the power of Pop is that you can hook things into people’s minds, so why don’t we hook something positive? And they actually managed to do that here. Maybe I’m thinking about it too much, and I’m probably being over analytical, but I do digress.

So that was the explanation of the new song and the music video of “ME!” by Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie, and I’d love to hear from you all, what do you think? And if you’re a Taylor Swift fan, you might want to check out this playlist of Taylor Swift’s songs.

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