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This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

reputation (2017)

“This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” is a song on Taylor’s sixth studio album, reputation (2017). It is a lighthearted, anthemic, and almost comical track in which Taylor throws some major shade at all of her “haters”.

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.

Lyrical Theme and Composition

The theme of The Great Gatsby which was already explored on “Don’t Blame Me” and “Delicate” once again returns in this song. During the secret sessions held before the release of reputation, Taylor told fans that this song drew on her experiences with fame and the media. She used to throw extravagant parties and invite her friends on stage with her during the “1989 World Tour” as a nice gesture, to share her success with those around her. However, the media eventually turned that against her, questioning and criticizing her need for a “squad” which led her to essentially move out of the public eye completely and go on a sabbatical for the next year. Many have also speculated that this song specifically references her feud with rapper Kanye West:

«It’s [a song] about when people take nice things for granted. Like friendship, or trusting people, or being open or whatever. Letting people in on your life, trusting people, respect. Those are all really nice things.»

Taylor Swift

The production of the song was inspired by “Hard Knock Life” from Annie. Taylor said she loved the sound of children yelling in musicals, so she decided to put it in her song.

According to Hits Daily Double, “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” was the original album closer for reputation. Maybe that’s why it served as the final song on Taylor’s “reputation Stadium Tour” (2018). It was the first song to close one of her tours that’s not been made a single.

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
It was so nice throwing big parties
Jump into the pool from the balcony
Everyone swimming in a champagne sea
And there are no rules when you show up here
Bass beat rattling the chandelier
Feeling so Gatsby for that whole year

[Pre-chorus 1]
So why’d you have to rain on my parade?
I’m shaking my head and locking the gates

[Chorus]
This is why we can’t have nice things, darling
Because you break them
I had to take them away
This is why we can’t have nice things, honey
Did you think I wouldn’t hear all the things you said about me?
This is why we can’t have nice things

[Verse 2]
It was so nice being friends again
There I was giving you a second chance
But you stabbed me in the back while shaking my hand
And therein lies the issue
Friends don’t try to trick you
Get you on the phone and mind-twist you
And so I took an axe to a mended fence

[Pre-chorus 2]
But I’m not the only friend you’ve lost lately
If only you weren’t so shady

[Chorus]
This is why we can’t have nice things, darling
Because you break them
I had to take them away
This is why we can’t have nice things, honey
Did you think I wouldn’t hear all the things you said about me?
This is why we can’t have

[Bridge]
Here’s a toast to my real friends
They don’t care about that he-said, she-said
And here’s to my baby
He ain’t reading what they call me lately
And here’s to my momma
Had to listen to all this drama
And here’s to you
‘Cause forgiveness is a nice thing to do (Haha, I can’t even say it with a straight face)

[Chorus]
This is why we can’t have nice things, darling (Darling)
Because you break them
I had to take them away
This is why we can’t have nice things, honey (Baby)
Did you think I wouldn’t hear all the things you said about me?
This is why we can’t have nice things, darling (And here’s to my real friends)
Because you break them
I had to take them (And here’s to my baby)
Nice things, honey (They didn’t care about that he-said, she-said)
Did you think I wouldn’t hear all the things you said about me?
This is why we can’t have nice things

General Information
Albumreputation
ReleasedNovember 10, 2017
Recorded2016–2017
StudioRough Customer (Brooklyn)
GenreSynth Pop
Length3:27
LabelBig Machine Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Jack Antonoff
ProducersJack Antonoff
Taylor Swift
REPUTATION CHRONOLOGY
DressThis Is Why We Can’t Have Nice ThingsCall It What You Want
Handwritten Lyrics
Making of
Live Performance
Official Audio