Taylor Swift, Christian Music, John Cage, and Goats
Taylor Swift and American Fragmentation
Ever since she wrote a song about me, see Hey Stephen, Taylor Swift’s music has been on my radar. Her music is in nearly every way contemporary with the current state of other American art. The lyrics, notes, melody, and music video reveal Swift as a modern John Cage.
A recent viral youtube clip titled, “I Knew You Were Trouble (GOAT VERSION)” demonstrated this more clearly than any book or article I’ve ever seen. The clip takes a twenty-five second sample of Swift’s hit single “Trouble” and edits in a goat, mid-bleat. The Youtube user likely intended this to be merely comedic, using parody to point out a distaste for the artist’s music. See the video below.
But this goat represents the fragmentation that exists in modern music-Swift’s vocalizations may be popular among listeners, but their similarity to the crying of a goat demonstrates an absurdity in popular music. Like the bleeting of a goat, Swift’s abuse of notes is not music. The issue revolves around the image of God in man. What does Taylor’s music say about God and man? Is the fullness of man expressed in this pop slash dubstep ditty?
As Francis Schaeffer has said, “After philosophy proper, the second vehicle was art.” It is music that is used to spread ideals from the intellectuals to the masses. The same is true of modern music-whether it is intended as entertainment or claims to be authentic art. The world attempts to convince us that good music is music that we all like. This is understandable since this is how the world attempts to treat philosophy and truth.
What message is communicated in the music of Taylor Swift?
Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided full credit is given.