Home » Albums » reputation » Songs on reputation » Call It What You Want

Call It What You Want

Promotional Single | reputation (2017)

“Call It What You Want” is the second promotional single from Taylor’s sixth studio album, reputation (2017). She wrote it about running away from the spotlight with her boyfriend Joe Alwyn and finding true love through chaos.
Taylor has said that she views reputation as having a very linear timeline. According to Hits Daily Double, “Call It What You Want” was originally only going to appear on the deluxe edition of the album, but after that was scrapped it was added to the standard edition.

Background

Taylor released her fifth studio album, 1989, in October 2014. Its synth-pop production transformed her sound and image from country-oriented to mainstream pop. The album was a massive commercial success, selling over five million copies in the U.S. within one year, and spawning three Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 singles. The BBC asserted that the success of 1989 solidified Taylor’s status as a global pop star.

In 2016, when Taylor was at the peak of overexposure, some of her rivals in the industry (including Scooter Braun, Kanye West and Justin Bieber) succeded in launching a worldwide hate campaign against her. As a result, Taylor disappeared from public view for an entire year and thought about quitting music for good. She became increasingly reticent on social media, having previously maintained an active presence with a large following, and avoided interactions with the press. She conceived her sixth studio album, reputation, as an answer to the media commotion surrounding her celebrity.

Release

Taylor held several listening parties (called “Secret Sessions“) during October 2017, where she played her sixth studio album reputation for 100 fans from all around the world. After releasing “Gorgeous” as the first promotional single of the album, on November 2, 2017, she announced she would be releasing “Call It What You Want” as the second promotional single from reputation, while posting teasers on her official Twitter and Instagram accounts. The track was released at midnight on November 3, 2017 along with a lyric video on YouTube.

Lyrical Theme

“Call It What You Want” is a reflection of where Taylor was at in life when reputation was released. She told Rolling Stone in 2019 that the song was about her “newly quiet, cozy world that was happening on [her] own terms for the first time.”

«The way I feel the album is, as far as a storyline, is I feel like it starts with just getting out any kind of rebellion, or anger, or angst, or whatever. And then, like, falling in love, and realizing that you kind of settle into what your priorities are, and your life changes, but you welcome it because it’s something that matters to you. And this last part of the album feels like settling into where I am now. So it started with where I was when I started making the album, and ends with kind of my emotional state now. And this song, I think, really reflects that probably the best on the album.»

Taylor Swift
After the song was released, many fans were quick to point out lyric parallels between the bridge of this track and her 2008 hit “Love Story,” on which Taylor daydreams about getting saved and running away with her boyfriend. Now she declares:

You don’t need to save me
But would you run away with me?
“Yes.”

Live Performances

Taylor performed an acoustic version of “Call It What You Want” during an episode of the 43rd season of Saturday Night Live, alongside “…Ready for It?“. The song was also a regular part of her setlist for the “reputation Stadium Tour” (2018).

Critical Reception

“Call It What You Want” received critical acclaim. It was named the 20th best song of 2017 by Rolling Stone. Frank Guan of Vulture stated that the song “deals in gossamer and light; its spare, airy production evokes, or attempts to evoke, a sense of radiant, protective romance in the wake of a devastating social debacle; listeners ready to view that loss as the one she suffered last year at the hands of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West will meet no resistance.”

Commercial Performance

“Call It What You Want” was first announced on November 2nd, 2017. In the United States, the song entered at No. 27 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at No. 1 on the Billboard Digital Song Sales charts with 68,000 digital copies. As a result, Taylor became the first artist to have 15 entries reach the latter’s summit and extended her record with most debuts at number one on it with 14.

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
My castle crumbled overnight
I brought a knife to a gunfight
They took the crown but it’s alright
All the liars are calling me one
Nobody’s heard from me for months
I’m doing better than I ever was
‘Cause

[Chorus]
My baby’s fit like a daydream
Walking with his head down, I’m the one he’s walking to
So call it what you want, yeah
Call it what you want to
My baby’s fly like a jet stream
High above the whole scene, loves me like I’m brand new
So call it what you want, yeah
Call it what you want to

[Verse 2]
All my flowers grew back as thorns
Windows boarded up after the storm
He built a fire just to keep me warm
All the drama queens taking swings
All the jokers dressing up as kings
They fade to nothing when I look at him

[Verse 3]
And I know I make the same mistakes every time
Bridges burn, I never learn
At least I did one thing right
I did one thing right
I’m laughing with my lover
Making forts under covers
Trust him like a brother
Yeah, you know I did one thing right
Starry eyes sparking up my darkest night

[Chorus]
My baby’s fit like a daydream
Walking with his head down, I’m the one he’s walking to
So call it what you want, yeah
Call it what you want to
My baby’s fly like a jet stream
High above the whole scene, loves me like I’m brand new
(Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it)
So call it what you want, yeah
Call it what you want to

[Bridge]
I want to wear his initial on a chain round my neck, chain round my neck
Not because he owns me
But ’cause he really knows me (Which is more than they can say)
I recall late November
Holding my breath, slowly I said,
“You don’t need to save me,
But would you run away with me?”
…Yes (Would you run away?)

[Chorus]
My baby’s fit like a daydream
Walking with his head down, I’m the one he’s walking to
(Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it)
So call it what you want, yeah
Call it what you want to
My baby’s fly like a jet stream
High above the whole scene, loves me like I’m brand new
(Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it)
So call it what you want, yeah
Call it what you want to

[Outro]
(Call it what you want, call it)
(Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it)
(Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it)
(Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it)
(Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it)
(Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it)
(Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it)
Call it what you want, yeah
Call it what you want
To

General Information
Albumreputation
ReleasedNovember 3, 2017
Recorded2016–2017
StudioRough Customer (Brooklyn)
GenreSynth Pop
Length3:26
LabelBig Machine Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Jack Antonoff
ProducerJack Antonoff
REPUTATION CHRONOLOGY
This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice ThingsCall It What You WantNew Year’s Day
Single Certification
Handwritten Lyrics
Single Artwork
Making of
Live Performance
Lyric Video
Official Audio