When Taylor Swift announced the arrival of Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) back in May, a lot of fans and journalists wondered if she might change the lyrics on one of the album’s most controversial songs, “Better Than Revenge.” Now that the re-recording has arrived, what’s the verdict?
She lit a match to the infamous lyrics.
On the original song — an album cut from the 2010 project rumored to be inspired by ex-boyfriend Joe Jonas and his post-Taylor girlfriend Camilla Belle — Swift sings: “She’s not a saint and she’s not what you think, she’s an actress, whoa/ She’s better known for the things that she does on the mattress, whoa.”
In the re-recorded version that arrived first thing Friday (July 6), Swift keeps the first line the same, but changes the latter line to: “He was a moth to the flame, she was holding the matches, whoa.”
In the years since Speak Now was released in October 2010, critics have accused Swift of “slut-shaming” her romantic rival in the lyrics. When asked about the controversy swirling around the song by The Guardian in 2014, four years after the song’s release, Swift said, “I was 18 when I wrote that. That’s the age you are when you think someone can actually take your boyfriend. Then you grow up and realize no one take someone from you if they don’t want to leave.”
According to setlist.fm, Swift last performed “Revenge” in March 2012, when she wrapped up her Speak Now World Tour in New Zealand. Now that it has updated lyrics, we’ll see if she pulls it out as a surprise song on her ongoing Eras Tour.