Taylor Swift's 'Betty' Is All About How Complicated Teenage Love Triangles Can Be

She's performing the song at the American Country Music Awards!
PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES FOR TIME

Yes, 2020 has absolutely been the shittiest year ever, but there is one event coming up to provide a *bit* of a silver lining: Taylor Swift is performing at this year's American Country Music Awards, and it'll be her first performance on a country show in seven years!!!

Despite the fact that Taylor has approximately zero ACM nominations this year, she's going to be performing a track from her recent album—the unexpected summer smash that is folklore, duh—at the virtual ceremony. Fans might've expected "Cardigan" or the heartbreaking track that is "Exile" featuring Bon Iver, but Taylor chose "Betty" instead. (You know, the track where she publicly revealed the name of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynold's third child.) But like...exactly what is the song about? Don't worry—I am here to tell you!

During a live chat on folklore's release night, Taylor told fans: "There's a collection of three songs I refer to as The Teenage Love Triangle. These three love songs explore a love triangle from all three people's perspectives at different times in their lives."

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The first two songs in the trio are "Cardigan," and "August." "Betty" is the third song to complete the teenage love triangle, and the lyrics are from the perspective of James, a 17-year-old boy who cheated on the title character Betty with another girl. ~Drama~ ensues once the teenagers all return to school, and James tries to apologize to Betty by using his immaturity as an excuse for his behavior.

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Taylor went into more detail about the track on country radio, and said:

"[James] has lost the love of his life basically and doesn't understand how to get it back. I think we all have these situations in our lives where we learn to really, really give a heartfelt apology for the first time. Everybody makes mistakes, everybody really messes up sometimes, and this is a song that I wrote from the perspective of a 17-year-old boy. I've always loved that in music you can kinda slip into different identities and you can sing from other people’s perspectives. So that's what I did on this one. I named all the characters in this story after my friends' kids…and I hope you like it!"

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Without further ado, listen and learn the lyrics to "Betty" (ahead of Taylor's ACM performance) below.

[Verse 1]
Betty, I won't make assumptions
About why you switched your homeroom, but
I think it's 'cause of?me
Betty, one time I was riding on my skateboard
When I passed your house
It's like I couldn't breathe

[Pre-Chorus]
You heard the rumors from Inez
You can't believe a word she says
Most times, but this time it was true
The worst thing that I ever did
Was what I did to you

[Chorus]
But if I just showed up at your party
Would you have me? Would you want me?
Would you tell me to go fuck myself
Or lead me to the garden?
In the garden, would you trust me
If I told you it was just a summer thing?
I'm only seventeen, I don't know anything
But I know I miss you

[Verse 2]
Betty, I know where it all went wrong
Your favorite song was playing
From the far side of the gym
I was nowhere to be found
I hate the crowds, you know that
Plus, I saw you dance with him

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[Pre-Chorus]
You heard the rumors from Inez
You can't believe a word she says
Most times, but this time it was true
The worst thing that I ever did
Was what I did to you

[Chorus]
But if I just showed up at your party
Would you have me? Would you want me?
Would you tell me to go fuck myself
Or lead me to the garden?
In the garden, would you trust me
If I told you it was just a summer thing?
I'm only seventeen, I don't know anything
But I know I miss you

[Bridge]
I was walking home on broken cobblestones
Just thinking of you when she pulled up like
A figment of my worst intentions
She said "James, get in, let's drive"
Those days turned into nights
Slept next to her, but
I dreamt of you all summer long

[Verse 3]
Betty, I'm here on your doorstep
And I planned it out for weeks now
But it's finally sinkin' in
Betty, right now is the last time
I can dream about what happens when
You see my face again

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[Pre-Chorus]
The only thing I wanna do
Is make it up to you
So I showed up at your party
Yeah, I showed up at your party

[Chorus]
Yeah, I showed up at your party
Will you have me? Will you love me?
Will you kiss me on the porch
In front of all your stupid friends?
If you kiss me, will it be just like I dreamed it?
Will it patch your broken wings?
I'm only seventeen, I don't know anything
But I know I miss you

[Outro]
Standing in your cardigan
Kissin' in my car again
Stopped at a streetlight
You know I miss you

***

This story originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.

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