Karma

Midnights (2022)

“Karma” is the eleventh track on Taylor’s tenth studio album, Midnights (2022). It was released on October 21, 2022, through Republic Records. Written and produced by Taylor and Jack Antonoff, the song is written from the perspective of feeling content and proud of the way your life is, feeling like this must be a reward for being a good person.

Background and Release

On August 28, 2022, Taylor announced her tenth studio album, Midnights, set for release on October 21, 2022. Exactly one month later, she began unveiling the track-list in a randomized order through a video series on TikTok, called Midnights Mayhem With Me. It consisted of 13 episodes, with one song revealed in per episode. In the eigth edition on October 6, 2022, Taylor announced the title of the eleventh track as “Karma.”

Lyrical Theme

On “Karma,” Taylor confronts people from her past, warning them about the consequences of their actions. Karma is a universal force. What goes around comes back around. If you do bad, you get bad results. If you do good, you get good results. It might not happen instantly, but it will follow you through. This is the beauty of karma. All those who deserve it, get it, so you don’t have to spoil your own karma trying to bring justice. Taylor told Zane Lowe on October 21, 2022:

«So one of the themes about Midnights is how you’re feeling in the middle of the night. And that can be intense self-hatred, you go through these very polarizing emotions when you’re up late at night and you’re brain just spirals, it can spiral downward or it can spiral way up and you can just be really feeling yourself. 'Karma' is written from a perspective of feeling like really happy, really proud of the way your life is, feeling like this must be a reward for doing stuff right. And it’s a song that I really love because I think we all need some of those moments. You know, we can’t just be beating ourselves up all the time. You have to have these moments where you’re like, 'You know what, karma is my boyfriend and that’s it.'»

Taylor Swift
Often a lot of atrocities are caused motivated by monetary gains. People fail to see what they could lose whilst gaining monetary edges. The “price” they could pay can come in the form of reputation, family, health, and other non-physical things. They are tough prices to pay and cannot be bought back with monetary gains.

One lyric in the song, “my pennies made your crown,” may give a hint at who this song is about. It implies that someone stole Taylor’s hard work and earned money from it. One of the most publicized feuds she has had was with her former record label owner Scott Borchetta and the label’s buyer Scooter Braun, who refused to sell the masters to Taylor’s albums when she wanted to switch record labels. This led Taylor to re-record all of her first six albums to retain rights for her own music.

Regardless, karma will come for everyone who deserves it.

Production

“Karma” came together when Jack Antonoff reached out to co-producer Mark Anthony Spears (Sounwave) for any other ideas he may have to contribute to the album and its synth-pop vision. He also contributed to “Lavender Haze” and “Glitch.” He told Rolling Stone in October 2022:

«'Karma' was just a last-minute Hail Mary. I remembered I was working with my guy Keanu [Beats] and had something that was too perfect not to send to her. As soon as I sent it, Jack was instantly like ‘This is the one. Playing it for Taylor now. We’re going in on it.’ The next day, I heard the final product with her vocals on it. It is such a fun song! It instantly rings up and you just feel joy inside. And the messaging is so cool.»

Mark Anthony Spears
Spears only heard a few other songs from the LP prior to its officially release; Antonoff had sent over a sampling of what him and Taylor had made so Spears had a sense of the sound they were going for when he went to reproduce the beats following the lyric and vocal additions. He was impressed by the sound and concept.

Commercial Performance

In the United States, songs from Midnights occupied the entire Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100; a historic feat. “Karma” debuted at No. 9 on the chart. Taylor became the first artist to simultaneously occupy the Top 10 spots of the Hot 100; the female artist with the most Top 10 songs (40); and the first act to occupy the entire Top 10 of the Hot 100, Streaming Songs, and Digital Songs charts simultaneously. Midnights also became the first album in history to contain ten Top 10 songs.

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
You’re talking shit for the hell of it
Addicted to betrayal but you’re relevant
You’re terrified to look down
‘Cause if you dare, you’ll see the glare
Of everyone you burned just to get there
It’s coming back around

[Pre-Chorus]
And I keep my side of the street clean
You wouldn’t know what I mean

[Chorus]
‘Cause karma is my boyfriend
Karma is a god
Karma is the breeze in my hair on the weekend
Karma’s a relaxing thought
Aren’t you envious that for you it’s not?
Sweet like honey
Karma is a cat purring in my lap ’cause it loves me
Flexing like a goddamn acrobat
Me and karma vibe like that

[Verse 2]
Spider boy, king of thieves
Weave your little webs of opacity
My pennies made your crown
Trick me once, trick me twice
Don’t you know the cash ain’t the only price?
It’s coming back around

[Pre-Chorus]
And I keep my side of the street clean
You wouldn’t know what I mean

[Chorus]
‘Cause karma is my boyfriend
Karma is a god
Karma is the breeze in my hair on the weekend
Karma’s a relaxing thought
Aren’t you envious that for you it’s not?
Sweet like honey
Karma is a cat purring in my lap ’cause it loves me
Flexing like a goddamn acrobat
Me and karma vibe like that

[Bridge]
Ask me what I learned from all those years
Ask me what I earned from all those tears
Ask my why so many fade, but I’m still here (I’m still, I’m still here)

[Breakdown]
‘Cause karma is the thunder rattling your ground
Karma is on your scent like a bounty hunter
Karma’s gonna track you down
Step by step, from town to town
Sweet like justice
Karma is a queen
Karma takes all my friends to the summit
Karma is the guy on the screen coming straight home to me

[Chorus]
‘Cause karma is my boyfriend (Karma is my boyfriend)
Karma is a god
Karma is the breeze in my hair on the weekend (Weekend)
Karma’s a relaxing thought
Aren’t you envious that for you it’s not?
Sweet like honey
Karma is a cat purring in my lap ’cause it loves me
Flexing like a goddamn acrobat
Me and karma vibe like that

[Outro]
Karma is my boyfriend
Karma is a god
Karma’s a relaxing thought

General Information
ArtistTaylor Swift
AlbumMidnights
ReleasedOctober 21, 2022
Recorded2021-2022
StudiosRough Customer (Brooklyn)
Electric Lady (New York)
Henson Recording (Los Angeles)
GenreElectro Pop
Length3:24
LabelRepublic Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Jack Antonoff
Mark Anthony Spears
Keanu Torres
Jahaan Akil Sweet
ProducersJack Antonoff
Taylor Swift
Sounwave
Keanu Beats
MIDNIGHTS CHRONOLOGY
LabyrinthKarmaSweet Nothing
Song Certification
Song Artwork
Announcement
Lyric Video
Official Audio