If you haven’t heard the song by now, “Getaway Car” is the 9th track on Taylor’s newest album, Reputation. The lyrics describe the transitioning of her relationship from Scottish DJ Calvin Harris to British actor Tom Hiddleston, and how she met the latter at the Met Gala (“The ties were black, the lies were white / In shades of grey in candlelight.”). We are told that the relationship with Calvin was on the decline (“X marks the spot where we fell apart/He poisoned the well, I was lyin’ to myself”) and she “wanted to leave him, [but] needed a reason.” Tom became the metaphorical vehicle to transport her away from her relationship troubles (“You were drivin’ the getaway car”), although Taylor warns her listeners early on that the romance would not have any longevity, “We were flyin’, but we’d never get far.” However, as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Tom was blindsided when their romance abruptly ended (“It hit him like a shotgun shot in the dark.”) Basically, Taylor explains to Tom that it shouldn’t have been a mystery how their romance ended, as it was doomed from the start (“a circus ain’t a love story.”)
A few realizations here: 1. While Taylor does not take kindly to others cheating on her (see: “Should Have Said No,” “Style,” etc)…she does the same to someone else. Taylor essentially admitted to cheating on Calvin with Tom, and Tom seemingly went along with it. 2. Taylor has sung at length about terrible treatment by past lovers….yet does the same to someone else. In “Getaway Car,” Taylor argues that Tom should have known that he was a fling. And how does she let him know that? By visiting his mother in the U.K., spending time with his family, celebrating Independence Day together, staying with him in Australia while he’s filming…just typical nonchalance for when you want to let someone know that you’re not that interested, ya know? And when rumors surfaced that Tom was the one insistent on being so public with their romance, she “switched to the other side/To the other side.” As in, she didn’t object to this version of the narrative, because they were both guilty of betrayal (“It’s no surprise I turned you in/‘Cause us traitors never win.”) Beyond the breakup, the romance left Tom’s reputation in ruins more than Taylor’s. As if that wasn’t enough, now millions worldwide will be bopping to “Getaway Car,” cementing Tom’s legacy of being “the one who got played.” Even Taylor Lautner got an apology (see: “Back to December”)! #JusticeForTom, TBH.
So. While I adore the irresistible tune that is “Getaway Car,” Taylor -giiiiiiiiiirl- how could you play with someone’s heart, game your romance to your advantage, debase his reputation even further, and still sing the line, “all I think about is karma” in good faith? While I love Taylor’s bops just as much as other Swifties, I can’t condone this hypocritical behavior.
I hope she found the right one in Joe, and get the karma she deserves.