Taylor Swift released her re-recorded version of Red late last night, a 30-track behemoth that includes the superstar’s first recordings of “Babe” and “Better Man,” originally cut by Sugarland and Little Big Town, respectively. But the highlight for many country fans is Swift’s collaboration with Chris Stapleton.
Together, Swift and Stapleton tackle “I Bet You Think About Me,” a “From the Vault” song that Swift originally wrote around the Red sessions in 2012 but never recorded. She does that on Red (Taylor’s Version) with harmonies from Stapleton, who all but swept this week’s CMA Awards. It’s a typically direct Swift takedown of a lover, with diary-personal lines about her own modest upbringing versus that of her ex (“You grew up in a silver spoon gated community”), comparisons to his new paramour (“the girl in your bed has a fine pedigree”), and cutting lines about his need for space (“I don’t have to be your shrink/to know that you’ll never be happy”).
Driven along by bright harmonica, “I Bet You Think About Me” wraps up with Swift calling out her ex’s “organic shoes,” “million dollar couch,” and all the “cool indie music concerts” he attends. (Hearing Stapleton sing the words “cool indie music concerts” is a scream.)
“I’m harder to forget than I was to leave,” Swift concludes, which couldn’t be more true this week: she made a string of late-night appearances, has been the topic of TikTok, will release a 10-minute short film later on Friday, and is the music guest on this weekend’s Saturday Night Live.
“I Bet You Think About Me” also marks Swift’s latest song to be marketed to country radio, following “Betty” off Swift’s 2020 LP Folklore.