For the lyrics see Mean (lyrics)
"Mean" is a country song performed by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. The song was solely written by Swift and produced by Nathan Chapman with Swift's aid. It was released on October 19, 2010 by Big Machine Records as a promotional single from Swift's third studio album, Speak Now, on March 13, 2011 it was released as the third single from the album "Mean" is heavy on fiddle and banjo and "the most country-sounding thing" Swift has ever done according to Nathan Chapman.
The song garnered critical acclaim for its lyrical detail and country sounding. "Mean" had successful commercial outcomes in the United States, charting at number eleven on the Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the Hot Digital Songs Chart with 163,000 downloads. It is unknown who the song is about, although some argue that it is about the Internet group Anonymous.
Hidden message: I thought you got me.
It is rumored that Taylor Swift wrote ‘Mean’ in response to scathing reviews by infamous blogger Bob Lefsetz, who wrote poorly of Swift in the Lefsetz Letter about her performance with Stevie Nicks in the 2010’s Grammy Awards.
The video begins with Swift and her band playing a banjo, all dressed in vintage-inspired clothes. The stage is set up like a front yard of a farmhouse. Then, Swift is shown being tied to the tracks by a villain, similar to the song's artwork. The villain and his friend laugh as she sits there helpless. But later in the song she escapes as the two people sleep, drunk and tired. However, Swift and the others are hardly the only victims in the video. A montage of Swift plucking away at her banjo is shown alternately throughout the video with scenes of a boy being bullied while reading a fashion magazine in a locker room by the football team, and a girl, wearing a fast-food uniform, who is being made fun of by her peers with her job promotion. Another cut-scene shows a girl who was not welcomed by the girls to sit with the popular clique at lunch, and had to eat lonely in the girls' washroom. The next scene shows that the stage is transformed into a bright and ritzy stage, with the singer all dazzled up in a sparkly flapper gown performing in the big leagues.
After the bridge of the song, it is revealed that the boy reading the fashion magazine is now a famous fashion designer; the fast food girl saves up for college and is a big-time executive. The final scene shows the other girl sitting as an audience watching and applauding as Swift finishes performing.
|“||The song "Mean" is about, well, when you do what I do, which is you put yourself out there for a lot of people to say whatever they want about it, there are a million different opinions from a million different people.
I get it that not everyone is going to like everything that you do, and I get that no matter what, you're going to be criticized for something. But I also get that there are different kinds of ways to criticize someone. There is constructive criticism. There's professional criticism. And then, there's just being mean. There's a line that you cross when you just start to attack everything about a person, and there's one guy who just crossed the line over and over again. Just being mean, and saying things that would ruin my day.
This happens... no matter what you do, no matter how old you are, no matter what your job is, no matter what your place is in life. There's always going to be someone who's just mean to you. Dealing with that is all you can control about that situation, how you handle it. "Mean" is about how I handle it, and sort of my mind set about this whole situation
"Mean" debut at number eleven and number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Digital Songs Chart consecutively, with approximately 163,000 downloads.
According to Thomas Conner of Chicago Sun-Times, "Mean" points a matronly finger at her critics. Mandi Bierly of Entertainment Weekly said that it is a nice touch and it brings a sincerity to her pain and lets you focus on the words, which do, near the end, turn cheeky, proving she handles it with a sense of humor.
- Country singer Danielle Bradbury sang this song at her blind audition for season 4 of The Voice.
- It was covered on the popular Fox show Glee in the episode "Props".
Awards and nominations
"Mean" has received 5 awards from 10 nominations.
|2011||American Country Awards||Female Single of the Year||Nominated|
|Country Music Association Awards||Song of the Year||Nominated|
|Music Video of the Year||Nominated|
|MTV Video Music Awards||Best Video with a Social Message||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Country Song||Won|
|2012||Academy of Country Music Awards||Video of the Year||Nominated|
|BMI Country Awards||Publisher of the Year||Won|
|Top 50 Songs||Won|
|Grammy Awards||Best Country Solo Performance||Won|
|Best Country Song||Won|
2020 The Game Awards Best Retro Music SFX award Undecided
- Conner, Thomas (2010-10-26). "Boy leaves girl repeatedly on Taylor Swift's present-tense 'Speak Now'". Chicago Sun-Times. http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/music/2832990,taylor-swift-speak-now-102510.article. Retrieved 2010-11-22.
- Bierly, Mandi (2010-10-19). "Taylor Swift takes on a bully (and John Mayer?) on new album". EW.com. http://music-mix.ew.com/2010/10/19/taylor-swift-john-mayer-mean/. Retrieved 2010-11-22.