Who's Afraid of Little Old Me?
Taylor Swift Lyrics


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The ′Who's Who′ of 'Who's That?′
Is poised for the attack
But my bare hands paved their paths
You don′t get to tell me about 'sad.′
If you wanted me dead,
You should've just said
Nothing makes me feel more alive
So I leap from the gallows
And I levitate down your street
Crash the party like a record scratch
As I scream:
"Who′s afraid of little old me?!"
You should be.

The scandal was contained
The bullet had just grazed
At all costs, keep your good name
You don't get to tell me you feel bad.
Is it a wonder I broke?
Let′s hear one more joke
Then we could all just laugh
Until I cry

So I leap from the gallows
And I levitate down your street
Crash the party like a record scratch
As I scream:
"Who's afraid of little old me?!"
I was tame, I was gentle
Til the circus life made me mean
Don't you worry folks,
We took out all her teeth
Who′s afraid of little old me?!
Well you should be, you should be, you should be
Well you should be, you should be, you should be

So tell me everything is not about me.
But what if it is?
Then say they didn′t do it to hurt me
But what if they did?
I want to snarl and show you
just how disturbed this has made me
You wouldn't last an hour
In the asylum where they raised me
So all you kids can sneak into my house, with all the cobwebs
I′m always drunk on my own tears
Isn't that what they all said?
That I′ll sue you if you step on my lawn
That I'm fearsome and I′m wretched
And I'm wrong
Put narcotics into all of my songs
And that's why you′re still singing along ...

So I leap from the gallows
And I levitate down your street
Crash the party like a record scratch
As I scream:
"Who′s afraid of little old me?!"
I was tame, I was gentle
Til the circus life made me mean
Don't you worry folks, we took out all her teeth
Who′s afraid of little old me?!
Well you should be, you should be, you should be

Cause you lured me, and you hurt me, and you taught me
You caged me,
And then you called me crazy
I am what I am cause you trained me
So who's afraid of me?




So who′s afraid of little old me?
Who's afraid of little old me...?

Overall Meaning

In Taylor Swift's song "Who's Afraid of Little Old Me?", the lyrics delve deep into themes of empowerment, resilience, and reclaiming power in the face of adversity. The song opens with a defiant tone, challenging those who have underestimated or tried to harm the singer. The reference to the "Who's Who" of "Who's That?" suggests a confrontation with those who hold influence or power, but the singer asserts that their bare hands have paved their own path and they will not be defined by others' perceptions of them.


The lyrics touch on the idea of facing challenges head-on and embracing the feeling of being alive, even in the face of threats or negativity. The imagery of leaping from the gallows and crashing a party like a record scratch conveys a sense of boldness and unapologetic confidence. The repeated question, "Who's afraid of little old me?!", is a declaration of strength and a warning to those who may underestimate the singer – they should indeed be afraid.


As the song progresses, the lyrics allude to a past scandal and the pressure to maintain a good reputation. Despite the facade of containment, there is a simmering anger and defiance beneath the surface. The singer refuses to accept false apologies or attempts to downplay the harm done to them, asserting their right to express their true emotions and experiences, even if it makes others uncomfortable.


The song culminates in a powerful declaration of self-acceptance and defiance against those who have tried to diminish the singer's spirit. The references to the circus life and being made mean suggest a journey of transformation and resilience in the face of adversity. The singer embraces their inner strength and refuses to be silenced or subdued, warning others that they should indeed be afraid of underestimating or mistreating them. The lyrics reflect a sense of reclaiming agency and standing boldly in one's truth, regardless of others' attempts to define or control them.


Line by Line Meaning

The ′Who's Who′ of 'Who's That?′
The popular and influential people are curious about my identity.


Is poised for the attack
They are ready to criticize and judge me.


But my bare hands paved their paths
I overcame challenges and obstacles on my own.


You don′t get to tell me about 'sad.'
You don't have the right to define my emotions.


If you wanted me dead, You should've just said
If you had ill intentions towards me, you should have been clear about it.


Nothing makes me feel more alive
Facing challenges and adversity gives me a sense of purpose.


So I leap from the gallows
I bravely face dangerous situations.


And I levitate down your street
I confidently navigate through your judgmental neighborhood.


Crash the party like a record scratch
I disrupt the negative atmosphere like an unexpected sound interruption.


As I scream: 'Who's afraid of little old me?!'
I challenge those who underestimate me with confidence.


You should be.
You should be wary of underestimating me.


The scandal was contained
The negative situation was kept under control.


The bullet had just grazed
I narrowly escaped harm or damage.


At all costs, keep your good name
Protect your reputation no matter what.


You don't get to tell me you feel bad.
You cannot expect sympathy after causing harm.


Is it a wonder I broke?
No surprise that I finally reached my breaking point.


Let′s hear one more joke
Mocking my struggles won't affect me anymore.


Then we could all just laugh Until I cry
You will never understand the depth of my pain and struggle.


I was tame, I was gentle Til the circus life made me mean
I used to be kind until I faced a harsh and unforgiving environment.


Don't you worry folks, we took out all her teeth
You attempted to silence me, but I will not be silenced.


Well you should be, you should be, you should be
You should fear the power and resilience I possess.


So tell me everything is not about me.
Don't deny the impact your actions had on me.


But what if it is?
What if your actions were deliberate and meant to hurt me?


Then say they didn′t do it to hurt me
Don't try to pretend your intentions were pure.


But what if they did?
Consider the possibility that you caused intentional harm.


I want to snarl and show you just how disturbed this has made me
I want to express my anger and how much your actions have affected me.


You wouldn't last an hour In the asylum where they raised me
You wouldn't survive the challenges and struggles I faced while growing up.


So all you kids can sneak into my house, with all the cobwebs
You may try to invade my privacy, but you won't understand the depths of my pain.


I′m always drunk on my own tears
I am constantly dealing with my own emotional pain.


Isn't that what they all said?
Isn't this the narrative that was created about me?


That I′ll sue you if you step on my lawn
I will fight to protect what little peace I have.


That I'm fearsome and I'm wretched, And I'm wrong
The misconceptions and stereotypes about me are damaging.


Put narcotics into all of my songs And that's why you′re still singing along ...
My struggles and pain are reflected in my music, drawing listeners in.


You lured me, and you hurt me, and you taught me You caged me, And then you called me crazy
You manipulated and harmed me, then labeled me as unstable.


I am what I am cause you trained me So who's afraid of me?
My strength and resilience are a result of the challenges I faced.


Who's afraid of little old me?
Who fears my power and determination?




Writer(s): Taylor Swift

Contributed by Levi G. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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Comments from YouTube:

@itzanjic6454

This whole song feels like a tragic backstory of a villain. Specially when she says “I was tame, I was gentle till the circus life made me mean” I AM LITERALLY SOBBING

@mickversed

this fits so well considering the media views her as a villain in every scenario

@holla7522

Exactly! This is somehow giving Carrie White vibes... Love this song❤

@goofygreta8485

OMG YES someone needs to make an animatic using this song

@ermsy13199

Yes like maleficent vibes

@aliciastarsaturn2841

It’s so sad, I agree. She went through stuff that made this record so relevant

49 More Replies...

@violetsky1012

The vocals on this song are just insane! i mean, her screaming “who’s afraid of little old me?” and then the quieter “you should be.” it’s just amazing. she is absolutely a mastermind

@TheGangstersOfficial

Don't translate...
ฉันจะสมัครรับข้อมูลใครก็ตามที่สมัครรับข้อมูลฉันและชอบความคิดเห็นนี้...

@beab8738

It's cause it's an octave higher and lower. Same note different octav. Her belting the higher octave was clear with resonance. Shows her vocal range have really improved.

@violetsky1012

@@beab8738 Yeah, i’m personally a lower mezzo so i’m very happy she’s singing songs in lower octaves now!

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