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Tell Me Why

Fearless (2008) | Fearless (Taylor's Version) [2021]

“Tell Me Why” is a song on Taylor’s second studio album, Fearless (2008), that was inspired by her frustration at a boy that she liked acting up. The re-recording of the song, “Tell Me Why (Taylor’s Version)”, was released on April 9, 2021 on the album Fearless (Taylor’s Version).

Background and Lyrical Theme

Taylor wrote “Tell Me Why” with her frequent colaborator at the time, Liz Rose, when opening up about her frustration concerning someone she was developing feelings for, but who didn’t know what they wanted. She talked about the song in a piece released on her old label’s website in 2010:

«I’d been talking to a guy I’ve never 'officially' dated. Sometimes it’s the hardest thing when you have all these dreams of dating them, and you’re getting close, but it doesn’t work out. He would say things that would make me go, 'Did you just say that?' It bothered me so much because he would say one thing and do another, do one thing and say another. Because he didn’t know what he wanted, he would just play all these mind games.»

Taylor Swift
At some point, Taylor went over to Liz’s house to rant: “I walked into Liz’s house and I was just ranting and raving about how this guy is such a flake and such a jerk sometimes, and so cool other times. I was like, ‘Liz, I don’t know what’s up with this guy!’ So I just started playing the beginning, ‘I took a chance, I took a shot. And you might think I’m bulletproof, but I’m not.'”

Live Performances

“Tell Me Why” was part of the regular setlist for Taylor’s first ever concert tour, the “Fearless Tour,” which ran from 2009-2010. She also performed it several times during the promotional run for the album. Later on, it was a suprise song on her “The RED Tour” stop in St. Paul in 2013.

Commercial Performance

The re-recording of the song, “Tell Me Why (Taylor’s Version)”, debuted at No. 41 on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart on the week ending April 15, 2021.

Taylor's Version

The re-recording of the song, “Tell Me Why (Taylor’s Version)” was released on April 9, 2021. In an interview during the promotional run for Fearless (Taylor’s Version), Taylor mentioned that “Tell Me Why” was among the songs she was most excited to re-record:

«I think having a bit of a more grown up voice really lent itself to songs like 'The Way I Loved You' and 'Tell Me Why.' Just songs that maybe I kind of struggled to master live back when I was eighteen. They were so much easier to sing now and they kind of felt more like they fit.»

Taylor Swift

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
I took a chance, I took a shot
And you might think I’m bulletproof, but I’m not
You took a swing, I took it hard
And down here from the ground, I see who you are

[Chorus]
I’m sick and tired of your attitude
I’m feeling like I don’t know you
You tell me that you love me, then cut me down
And I need you like a heartbeat
But you know you got a mean streak
Makes me run for cover when you’re around
Here’s to you and your temper
Yes, I remember what you said last night
And I know that you see what you’re doin’ to me
Tell me why

[Verse 2]
Well, you could write a book on
How to ruin someone’s perfеct day
Well, I get so confused and frustratеd
Forget what I’m tryin’ to say, oh

[Chorus]
I’m sick and tired of your reasons
I got no one to believe in
You tell me that you want me, then push me around
And I need you like a heartbeat
But you know you got a mean streak
Makes me run for cover when you’re around
Here’s to you and your temper
Yes, I remember what you said last night
And I know that you see what you’re doin’ to me
Tell me why

[Bridge]
Why do you have to make me feel small
So you can feel whole inside?
Why do you have to put down my dreams
So you’re the only thing on my mind?

[Chorus]
I’m sick and tired of your attitude
Feeling like I don’t know you
You tell me that you want me, then cut me down
I’m sick and tired of your reasons
I’ve got no one to believe in
You ask me for my love, then you push me around
Here’s to you and your temper
Yes, I remember what you said last night
And I know that you see what you’re doin’ to me
Tell me why (Why)
Tell me why (Oh)

[Outro]
I take a step back, I let you go
I told you I’m not bulletproof
Now you know

General Information
AlbumsFearless
Fearless (Taylor’s Version)
ReleasedNovember 11, 2008
Re-ReleasedApril 9, 2021
GenreCountry
WrittenAugust-September 2007
Length3:20
LabelsBig Machine Records
Republic Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Liz Rose
ProducersNathan Chapman (original)
Christopher Rowe
Taylor Swift
FEARLESS CHRONOLOGY
BreatheTell Me WhyYou’re Not Sorry
Hidden Message
Guess I was fooled by your smile
Song Artwork
Live Performance
Lyric Video
Taylor's Version
Original Audio