Written by Joyelle Ronan
Taylor Swift’s 2013 pop hit “22” was a cultural reset. Before that song, no one cared about turning 22; it was just another birthday without any significance. Now, we can’t wait to hit the milestone and post those famous lyrics “I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22.”
As I approach my own 22nd birthday, I can’t help but draw comparisons to TS. Her 22nd birthday wasn’t in a pandemic. Also, she was, like, a billionaire. I haven’t left my house in a week and I use coupons at the grocery store. We are not the same. Let’s look at the lyrics (courtesy of Genius.com) and see just how relevant “22” is in 2020.
First Verse: It feels like a perfect night // To dress up like hipsters
And make fun of our exes, uh-uh, uh-uh // It feels like a perfect night
For breakfast at midnight // To fall in love with strangers, uh-uh, uh-uh
I don’t think I’d use the word “perfect” to describe anything in 2020. I’m down for the breakfast at midnight part, but I’m anxious about falling in love with any strangers unless they can show me a negative Covid-19 test.
Second Verse: It seems like one of those nights // This place is too crowded
Too many cool kids, uh-uh, uh-uh // (Who’s Taylor Swift, anyway? Ew)
It seems like one of those nights // We ditch the whole scene
And end up dreaming // Instead of sleeping
If a place is too crowded and people are not wearing masks and social distancing, please leave. It’s not worth the risk. I’m pretty sure everyone knew TS in 2013, but in 2020, I highly doubt anyone has to ask who Taylor Swift is.
Pre Chorus: Yeah// We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time
It’s miserable and magical, oh, yeah// Tonight’s the night when we forget about the deadlines// It’s time, oh-oh
I’d say we’re all confused and lonely, so two out of four, there. You know, it’s probably more miserable than magical. Taylor, unfortunately I cannot forget about the deadlines because I have to graduate. Everything is due at 11:59 pm.
Chorus: I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22 // Everything will be alright if you keep me next to you // You don’t know about me, but I’ll bet you want to
Everything will be alright if we just keep dancing like we’re // 22, 22
I’m not sure what it means to feel 22. Is it like turning 21, except I can’t go out? It feels like that. I can’t keep anyone next to me because of social distancing and the only kind of dancing happening is on Tik Tok. Weirdly though, Taylor, I do feel like everything will be alright.