Taylor Swift is one of the best musical/lyrical storytellers of this modern age and she’s notorious for writing breakup songs. While listening, it occurred to me that some of her lyrics sound similar to Bible verses (not that they were inspired by Bible verses; I’m pretty sure they weren’t!). So here are 6 Taylor Swift lyrics re-imagined as if they were Bible verses instead.
1. “Shake it off”
Mark 6:10-11 “He said to them, ‘Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.’”
This one was the first I thought of. Jesus literally tells His disciples to shake off the dust of the towns that don’t accept them- just like Taylor sings that the “haters gonna hate, hate, hate….so I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake it off!”
2. “We got bad blood”
Genesis 3:15 “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; They will strike at your head, while you strike at their heel.”
The oldest rivalry in time: Eve and the snake, humanity versus evil, Mary and Satan. Yeah, we got problems with the devil and evil but, unlike Taylor’s resounding chorus of “I don’t think we can solve them”, the problem of evil is solved in Christ through Mary.
3. “Teardrops on my guitar”
John 11: 35 “And Jesus wept.”
Taylor was sad that a boy didn’t notice her and dated another girl instead; Jesus was sad that one of his dear friends died. I don’t know that Jesus had a guitar, but if He did, I bet He would’ve cried on it while thinking about Lazarus’s death.
4. “Boys only want love if it’s torture”
John 21: 15-19 “When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?‘ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’ He said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ He then said to him a second time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’ He said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ [Jesus] said to him, ‘Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.’ He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, ‘Follow me.'”
The thing here is that the first two times that Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him, agape love, Peter responds that he does love Him, filios love. The third time, Jesus asks if Peter even really filios loves Him, and Peter is cut to the heart. In a bit of a hopeful turn-around, Jesus tells Peter that he will one day agape love Him, but that he’ll die a painful death proving it. So, not what Taylor had in mind when she wrote that lyric, but it did make me think of this exchange between Jesus and Peter.
5. “I know your favorite songs and you tell me about your dreams”
John 4:28-29 [The Woman at the Well] “The woman left her water jar and went into the town and said to the people, ‘Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Messiah?'”
Jesus just got done telling this Samaritan woman all about her sinful life full of husbands and ex-husbands and lovers- He knows everything!- and instead of being mad, she understands and decides to follow Him, and proclaims to her town that she’s found the Messiah. Jesus knows everything about us, and knows that we belong with Him.
6. “I knew you were trouble when you walked in”
Matthew 10: 1-4 “Then he summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.” [emphasis mine]
Jesus chose Judas Iscariot to be among His twelve, His inner circle, even though He knew that Judas would betray Him. Jesus knew Judas was trouble when he walked in.
While TSwift wasn’t drawing on Scripture as inspiration for her breakup songs, it certainly is fun to see some Scripture there inadvertently! And it’s fun to find Christ in all things, even the places He wasn’t necessarily invited or the places that seem least likely to contain Him- kinda like how He hung out with tax collectors and prostitutes 😉