First there were snakes, then there was the promise of new music. And then? Well then, social media exploded.
Taylor Swift has released her new single, Look What You Made Me Do, from her comeback album Reputation, just days after deleting her entire Twitter and Instagram history to tease the release with clips of snakes.
Watch the video below:
Including lines such as “I’m sorry, but the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, ‘cause she’s dead”, several apparent references to high-profile feuds and even a version of a Right Said Fred melody (yep) predictably, the internet is aflame.
Of course, the lyrics are already being dissected online by keen fans and curious onlookers alike.
Early on, the star sings, “I don't like your little games / Don’t like your tilted stage / The role you made me play / Of the fool / No, I don’t like you.”
Kanye West performed on a tilted stage on his Saint Pablo tour – a tour which used a font, some have pointed out, rather similar to that of Swift’s cover art.
The issues between the two stretch back to his storming of the VMA stage in 2009 when she was accepting an award.
The snakes come in because last year, West referenced the stage incident in lyrics which included “I made that bitch famous” – something Swift said she didn’t endorse. Later, West’s wife Kim Kardashian leaked video and audio of part of a recorded phone call in which Swift and West appear to discuss the song in question, but in which the specific lyric is not mentioned or approved by the singer (and Swift’s reps have said she was “never made aware of the actual lyric”). After Kardashian posted a tweet about National Snake Day, West fans took to calling Swift a snake.
In fact, later on in the song, Swift can be heard speaking as if on a phone call: “I’m sorry, but the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, ‘cause she’s dead”.
i just realized ере the line "I'm sorry, the old Taylor can't come to the phone right now." is reference to that kanye call omg— v (@comicsswift) August 25, 2017
Next, the online community got hold of the words: “But I got smarter / I got harder / In the nick of time / Honey, I rose up from the dead / I do it all the time / I’'ve got a list of names / And yours is in red, underlined / I check it once / Then I check it twice”.
This is thought to be a reference to the burn book in Lindsay Lohan film Mean Girls – and many believe it’s to do with Katy Perry having once tweeted “Watch out for the Regina George in sheep’s clothing”.
Taylor was once called "Regina George in sheep's clothing" and her new song uses the beat from this scene in Mean Girls. 👀 pic.twitter.com/lpRCCIIk1w— T. Kyle (@tkylemac) August 25, 2017
The two, once friends, have had some back and forth via various interviews over the years. However, we’re obviously more interested in another interpretation – Taylor Swift is basically Father Christmas.
Taylor Swift made a Santa concept album and really it's about time. pic.twitter.com/V9hkfcgr1X— Joe Berkowitz (@JoeBerkowitz) August 25, 2017
So, Taylor Swift thinks she's jesus AND santa pic.twitter.com/ZgfG7xUPgr— Stephanie Marcus (@stephaniemarcus) August 25, 2017
How long until a tumblr swiftie puts taylor in a Santa hat checking her list and then checking it twice— hannah :') (@hanbanananana) August 25, 2017
Album Reputation follows 2014’s 1989, which included Shake It Off.
And the singer is already on top of merchandise – offering gold and silver snake rings on in her official online shop.
Trending on Twitter since the single dropped, and with more than a million views on YouTube alone, it’s safe to say people are pretty damned worked up about it all.
Images: Rex Features