The track soundtracks Swift’s recent political awakening — documented in the movie — making reference to Election Night 2016 as well as the devastating school shooting epidemic that has rocked the U.S. over the past decade.
Swift concludes that “only the young” can save the future and create change. “They’re not gonna help us/Too busy helping themselves/They aren’t gonna change this/We’re going to do it ourselves,” she sings, backed by a children’s choir.
Miss Americana follows Swift’s retreat from the spotlight following a series of controversies — including her refusal to endorse Hillary Clinton until very late in the election cycle — and her attempt to return with her albums Reputation and Lover. In an interview with Rolling Stone, director Lana Wilson revealed that much of her focus was on portraying the pressure Swift had been under to be a “nice girl” in the public eye since she was a teenager.
“I think girls in our society are taught that other people’s approval is of paramount importance to their self-worth,” Wilson said. “I really related to those questions of: ‘Was I nice enough? Do they like me? Are people mad at me?’ When I heard Taylor verbalize that, I was just like, ‘Oh my God. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it.’ And I thought it would be so comforting and relatable to so many women to know that, even if you’re a celebrity at the highest level, you still ask yourself those questions.”