Taylor Swift requested that her fans be kind to the people whom they believe she wrote her songs about.
On Saturday (June 24), Swift performed in Minneapolis at U.S. Bank Stadium as part of her The Eras Tour. Before the surprise song, which was “Dear John,” Swift launched into a speech regarding the upcoming re-recording of her Speak Now album that will release on July 7.
“I was hoping to ask you, as we lead up to this album coming out, I would love for that kindness and that gentleness to extend onto our Internet activities,” she begged the audience before noting their past love and appreciation for her music and their togetherness during this tour.
“I’m putting this out now because I want to own my music and I believe that any artist who has the desire to own their music should be able to. That’s why I’m putting out this album,” she added. “I’m 33 years old. I don’t care about anything that happened to me when I was 19, except the songs I wrote… So, what I’m trying to tell you is that I’m not putting this album out so that you should go and feel the need to defend me on the Internet against someone you think I might have written the song about 14 million years ago.”
After she concluded her speech, she performed the tune acoustically, which first premiered in 2010. At the time, fans speculated that the song was inspired by her ex-boyfriend John Mayer. The two were rumored to begin dating in 2009 after they collaborated on the song, “Half of My Heart.” At the time of their supposed romance, she was 19 and he was 32, which seemingly confirmed their theories as the title features his name and a lyric references her age.
“Dear John, I see it all now, it was wrong / Don’t you think nineteen’s too young / To be played by your dark, twisted games when I loved you so? / I should’ve known,” she sings in the song.