I have never been a fan of country music. Whenever someone asks what my music taste is, I tend to opt for the “Oh, really anything except country…” answer. So naturally, when I found out one of my recent favorite artists, Taylor Swift, would be performing a new song at the Academy of Country Music Awards, I was a little repulsed. Sitting through two whole hours of country music just to see one performance? Really? However, once I heard that she would be performing ‘betty,’ I knew I had to do it.
In August, Swift released her eighth album, folklore, and it has quickly become a fan favorite. folklore deviates from the pop path that Taylor had begun to pave for herself with her past few albums. folklore really goes back to her roots, leaning heavily on acoustic guitar, simple drum beats, and relatively stripped vocal production. The lyricism in these songs is some of her best. I hadn’t really considered myself a Swiftie before this album, but now I wear the title with pride.
However, my favorite thing about ‘betty’ is the gay undertones throughout the song. Although Taylor claims to be “writing from the male perspective,” it’s hard to ignore the sapphic energy. With lyrical references to things like skateboarding and meeting someone in a garden, fans have taken the interpretations and ran with them. Many believe the song is about Swift’s relationship with one of her friends. Whether the song is sapphic or not, the song is undoubtedly a bop.
For these reasons, you can imagine why I was excited to hear Swift perform ‘betty’ live for the first time. Additionally, this was going to be her first performance at the ACM Awards in seven years. Swift’s performance of ‘betty’ was beautiful and powerful. Alone on stage with a mike and her guitar, Taylor kept it simple. Her voice was amazing, she looked adorable, and I couldn’t help but sing along.