People Can’t Stop Joking About Taylor Swift’s '1830s But Without All the Racists' Lyric

On "I Hate It Here," Taylor Swift sings of the "mind's trick" of nostalgia.

Taylor Swift in a flowing green dress seated on stage steps with a microphone
Image via Getty/Graham Denholm/TAS24/TAS Rights Management
Taylor Swift in a flowing green dress seated on stage steps with a microphone

The 1830s likely haven’t been memed into the ground this much since, well, probably ever.

Indeed, people are having a lot of fun with the lyrics to Taylor Swift's Tortured Poets cut "I Hate It Here," which fits quite nicely within the larger context of the "secret double album" and sees the 14-time Grammy winner in arguably one of her most Fall Out Boy-ian lyrical bags yet.

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The narrator of the track spends its four minutes alternating between both a romanticization and indictment, of her tendency toward dissociation. We hear of an Earth-besting fictional planet inhabited by a society wherein "only the gentle survived," itself situated somewhere within the narrator’s only-in-her-mind galaxy. The artist's unique privilege of escaping to their grand inner life is also given space here, calling to mind a key moment from last year's Bradley Cooper-helmed Maestro.

In the second verse, we're told of a game the narrator used to play with friends, centered on the idea of naming a previous decade in history one would prefer to live in. The narrator looks back on naming "the 1830s" during one such game, albeit "without all the racists" and sans "getting married off for the highest bid."

While much of the ensuing memes and criticism have zeroed in on the first half of the verse, it's worth noting that the narrator in Swift's song imagines this scenario before just as quickly admitting the futile "mind’s trick" of nostalgia at large, even when trying to selectively alter a seemingly random period in history to facilitate a hypothetical visit. The narrator may "hate it here," but she would hate it there too, or anywhere for that matter.

My friends used to play a game where
We would pick a decade
We wished we could live in instead of this
I'd say the 1830s but without all the racists
And getting married off for the highest bid
Everyone would look down 'cause it wasn't fun now
Seems like it was never even fun back then
Nostalgia is a mind's trick
If I'd been there, I'd hate it
It was freezing in the palace

At any rate, here's a glimpse at how the 1830s were faring on X post-"I Hate It Here."

racists in the 1830s when taylor swift pulls up

— P H A R A O H ★★★★★ (@PharaohRMA) April 19, 2024

taylor swift wanting to live in pre abolition times is so fucking

why would you pick the 1830s to begin with like what could be there for you taylor, everyone would smell like shit and have the iq of a lobotomized cow

— glazin saddles (@TwristN) April 19, 2024

— in traction bronson (@brrrrrunette) April 19, 2024

racists when taylor hop out the time machine

— Tezmond Bane AKA Jiri Prochazka Muse (@Banecation) April 19, 2024

The 1830’s without the racists is low key de colonial because the implication is that there are no white people across the Americas! Okay Taylor swift I see you ! Comrade Swift!

— ✨dreamthem✨ (@gatx_negrx) April 19, 2024

“what did people do for fun in the 1830s”

— Flexington Ave Local (@Dr_TacoMD) April 19, 2024

juror #12 dismissed for saying they wished they were born in the 1830s

— Daisy Alioto (@daisandconfused) April 19, 2024

Wow these Taylor Swift tweets….ppl really spend hours parsing through the tiniest details and coming up with fan fiction based mostly on projection huh

ANYWAY here’s why Tim Robinson’s character in Adult Ghost Tour is the same guy as in Bozo Dubbed Over, in this thread I will…

— I Think You Should Leave 💦🥩 (@ITYSL_memes) April 19, 2024

This is far from the only Tortured Poets lyrics to be intensely dissected on Friday (yet). There's also, of course, the whole Kim Kardashian thing ("thanK you aIMee") , plus a very Leo-points-at-TV mention of criminally underrated Pennsylvania pop-punk band The Starting Line ("The Black Dog").

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