- Taylor Swift released a colourful music video for her new song “ME!,” featuring Panic! at the Disco’s Brendon Urie from her upcoming seventh album.
- We break down all the Easter eggs and hidden meanings in the video that you may have missed.
- We spotted nods to past music videos for songs like “Look What You Made Me Do,” “Delicate,” “…Ready For It?” and “Our Song,” as well as plenty of references to her boyfriend Joe Alwyn.
- She references several iconic movies too, like “The Wizard of Oz” and “Mary Poppins.”
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Following is a full transcript of the video.
Whether or not you were ready for it, Taylor Swift is finally back with new music. At midnight on Friday, April 26, Taylor released the presumed lead single for her seventh album and an accompanying music video. The song, titled “Me!,” is an energetic anthem featuring Panic! at the Disco’s Brendon Urie. Here are all the hidden details, references, and meanings you may have missed in Taylor’s “Me!” music video.
The video opens with a slithering snake, but it’s not the darker-toned snakes of the “Reputation” era. Instead, this snake is pink and white. Suddenly, it bursts into a cloud of butterflies. It may appear obvious, but there’s a lot of meaning packed into this one transformation. The snake is slithering on what looks like chalk drawn on pavement, which could be referring to how Taylor wrote that she, “cracked her bones on the pavement she once decorated with footpath chalk” in her “Reputation”-era poem, “Why She Disappeared.” The imagery also brings to mind the ending of that same poem: “and in the death of her reputation, she felt truly alive.”
The snake, of course, represents both Taylor and her past “Reputation” era, which we now see as coming to an official end. The butterflies here symbolise rebirth and have been featured heavily in the song’s promo. They’re also returned to what feels like Taylor’s true self. After all, butterflies were featured on Taylor’s very first album cover.
Lastly, the sequence seems to directly refer to lyrics from Taylor’s “Reputation”-era song “End Game,” where she sings, “Reputation precedes me.” This line ended up being a pretty literal description of the order in which her album and single were released.
We see Taylor and Brendon Urie in a pretty apartment, arguing in French. This is Taylor’s first time collaborating with Brendon Urie, though she’s been a longtime fan of his. In her February essay on pop music for Elle UK, Taylor may have hinted at the pair’s upcoming collab, directly naming “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” as a special song to her at age 16. In the video, Brendon appears to be playing the role of her love interest. Behind Taylor, you can see a sparkling Christmas tree. This is a nod to her childhood spent growing up on a Christmas tree farm. You can also spot the bar cart teased on her Instagram countdown. We see Taylor’s cats Olivia and Meredith make a quick appearance, one of the other many video teasers she posted on Instagram.
Taylor’s first dress resembles the one she wore while performing “Treacherous” throughout “The Red Tour” but with flowers added. They look like the same flowers that decorated her “Why She Disappeared” poem and her “Reputation” merch calendar, which we’ll get to later. Taylor’s style here also looks similar to her iconic “Blank Space” music video. Her mascara-teared, golf-club-wielding “Blank Space” persona is given a further nod, as Taylor screams in French, “Je suis calm!”
As Taylor exits the apartment, the song begins. “Me!”‘s opening line sounds just like the opening of “Delicate,” the result of both using a vocoder effect. The opening lyrics call back to several classic Taylor songs. First, she sings, “I know I never think before I jump,” echoing the lyrics of her song “Jump and Fall” and a line from “Shake it Off.”
We’re able to spot another image Taylor teased on Instagram as she sings, Framed photos of chicks wearing sunglasses surround a portrait of the Dixie Chicks. This could be hinting at a future collab with the country group. The Dixie Chicks also tweeted a pair of eyes at Taylor after the song dropped, adding fuel to the fire.
As the video continues, the grand staircase and towering arches Taylor glides through resemble the throne room from the “Look What You Made Me Do” music video, showing the contrast between her past and present self. Taylor sings that, “I know that I was psycho on the phone,” likely referencing her monologue in “Look What You Made Me Do” when she announces: “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, ’cause she’s dead.”
We see Taylor touch a pink phone, one that only her oldest fans may recognise. The old-fashioned phone looks nearly identical to the one used in Taylor’s “Our Song” video from back in 2007. The colour scheme in “Our Song” seems to be making a comeback in “Me!” She follows the line with: “and trouble’s gonna follow where I go,” referencing an iconic “Reputation”-era lyric from “End Game.” Snake-shaped clouds float her way and try to attack her, but she walks through them unscathed.
After walking out the door, Taylor is dancing in a pastel yellow suit and joined by more and more dancers. We can spot two clues from Taylor’s Instagram countdown: the colourful tiled pavement and briefcases. The yellow-and-white-striped footpaths are also reminiscent of the Yellow Brick Road from “The Wizard of Oz.” “Me!” seems to be a tribute to both Taylor’s career and classic childhood movies.
There’s another clear movie reference to “Mary Poppins,” as Brendon Urie jumps out of a window and floats down with an umbrella. We get a view of a glass-like sky, suggesting this video is taking place in its own bubble. In her “Ready For It?” music video, we saw a robot Taylor doppelgänger trapped in a glass box trying to get out. But in “Me!,” it’s clear Taylor’s in control of her own world. We get a glimpse of Brendon’s new suit. It’s the same flower print as Taylor’s first dress, the poem, and the calendar.
In the distance, a pink neon sign saying “Lover” stands out against the rooftops. Fans think “Lover” could be the title of Taylor’s next single or another track on TS7.
We get yet another past-music-video reference when we see Taylor sitting on what appears to be a rooftop in Paris. The scene looks just like one from Taylor’s music video for “Begin Again.” Her reference to “Begin Again” also looks like it relates to the selective all-caps words she dropped in her Instagram captions starting back in October. Together, the all-caps words read, “Begin Another Me.”
Brendon is joined by umbrella dancers on the roof, which are a reference to the dancers who performed with Taylor during “How You Get the Girl” on her “1989 World Tour.” Brendon offers Taylor flowers, which she refuses, and then offers her an engagement ring, which she also turns down. She only accepts a kitten. Fans took a lot away from this exchange.
Before the premiere, Taylor told fans that there was a surprise she’d been hiding for months in this video. Fans were convinced this meant she was engaged to her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. However, Taylor rejects the proposal, similar to the empty engagement ring box that caused commotion in her “Look What You Made Me Do” video. Instead, the only way you get this girl is with a kitten. This left fans thinking that perhaps the surprise announcement was a new kitten. This theory would add up with the three cats present in the mural she commissioned in Nashville to promote the song. Taylor then confirmed the theory the following morning with a post about her newest kitten.
There are some other small Easter eggs in this scene. We see both the heart-shaped earrings and the pink ruffled dress Taylor teased on Instagram before the release.
We transition into the next scene through what looks like a kaleidoscope of loud heartbeats under coats, bringing to life lyrics from Taylor’s song “Welcome to New York.” We find Taylor and Brendon dancing to a crowd of cheering fans. Taylor’s wearing a ’60s-inspired heart dress, another countdown clue from Instagram. The scene also draws contrast to one in “Look What You Made Me Do,” where we saw Taylor on a stage in front of a sea of robot-model “friends.” In “Me!,” the fake friends are replaced with adoring fans.
Taylor next appears in a marching-band outfit, which is a callback to her “You Belong With Me” video. The outfit is also another Instagram clue. The dancers then lift her up into the same position she was held in during “I Did Something Bad” on the “Reputation” tour.
As she and Brendon run to what looks like a mansion melded from townhouses, we can view iconic London structures in the distance. There’s Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, and Tower Bridge. The structures could be a nod to Joe’s British roots and that Taylor herself may be moving across the pond. It’s been reported that Taylor is interested in a permanent home in London, so this could be her way of telling fans that her move is in progress.
Taylor and Brendon dance together on a rainbow platform. Taylor’s wearing white cowboy boots, perhaps a nod to her country roots. Their cheeky dance is reminiscent of the dance from “The Parent Trap,” another classic movie.
The video’s final scene shows Taylor and Brendon dancing around as colourful rain splatters down. This could be a reference to Taylor’s “Delicate” music video where she dances in the street in the middle of the rain. In “Delicate,” a song widely believed to be about Joe, she sings: “My reputation’s never been worse so, you must like me for me.”
In “Me!” we see Taylor’s lover joyously dance around in the mess with her. The tips of her hair are coloured blue. The look is similar to the pink tips Taylor rocked in “I Knew You Were Trouble” and the pink hair she’s been sporting to promote this new era. In the background, we can spot the last Instagram teaser, a blue bike.
As the song comes to an end, Taylor gives us one last extra detail that only she would create. The song is 3 minutes and 13 seconds long, while the video is 4 minutes and 9 seconds. Four plus 9 equals, yeah. Taylor’s lucky number.
The video for “Me!” is a triumphant tribute to Taylor full of subtle references to past songs and their videos. She gives us colour, nostalgia, and perhaps most significantly, a celebration of self. While Taylor’s previous era showed her literally killing and burying her past selves, this new era begins by celebrating them. She sings, “I’m the only one of me,” accepting that all Taylors past, present, and future are just really the one, true Taylor.
Fans first started speculating that Taylor had new music to release as far back as October 2018 when she posted a photo of herself playing Scrabble with the caption, “Let the games BEGIN.” Swifties were quick to notice that Taylor’s Scrabble tiles added up to seven points, taking the number as a clue towards TS7.
Anticipation for a new album resurfaced in February with another Instagram post, this time of seven palm trees. Fans got their biggest clue on April 13 when Taylor posted a photo of a heart-shaped earring with the caption, “4.26” as well as updated her official website with a mysterious countdown set to end on, you guessed it, 4/26. Fans lost it when they realised that April 13 just so happened to be National Scrabble Day, tying back to their original theories and seeming to confirm that the countdown would end with TS7. Even more, the day April 13 was also marked on Taylor’s official “Reputation”-era calendar released back in July 2018. This signalled to fans that her new music release had been planned for quite some time.
Taylor followed her initial 4.26 post with a series of aesthetically similar photos with the same caption, leading fans to believe the images were a sneak peek to the video we finally got as the countdown came to an end. The next marked dates on Tay’s calendar are 5/13 and 7/13. Could these be hinting at future single- or even album-release dates? Only time will tell.
Did you notice any other details from Taylor’s “Me!” release? Make sure to let us know in the comments below.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.