Home > Music > John Mayer Concedes His Song Rumored to Be About Taylor Swift May Be ‘a Little B-tchy’

John Mayer Concedes His Song Rumored to Be About Taylor Swift May Be ‘a Little B-tchy’

John Mayer is speaking out about one of his much talked-about songs. At a recent concert, the 45-year-old singer-guitarist conceded that his 2013 track “Paper Doll” — widely believed to have been written about Taylor Swift — may have come from a slightly angry place.


“I wonder if people don’t like it because it sounds a little pissed off,” he told his crowd at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif., while nonchalantly strumming on his guitar during the stop on his Solo acoustic tour. “I don’t really like ‘pissed off’ as a song. I think it was more [about] hurt.”

“Is there something about it that’s a little b-tchy?” he continued. “There might be. I try not to give b-tchiness in the songs, it happens sometimes. I guess I don’t do it very well — sarcastic b-tch — but I didn’t really see it. I guess it is sort of a little bit like, ‘Meehhh.’”

Since its release, the public has generally believed that “Paper Doll” was written about the pop superstar. Swift and the “Your Body is Wonderland” singer dated briefly in 2009 when she was 19 years old, and afterward seemed to sing about the breakup in her Speak Now ballad “Dear John.”

“I’ll look back and regret how I ignored when they said ‘run as fast as you can,’” Swift sings on the track, which Mayer later called “cheap songwriting” in an interview.

So, when Mayer sang about someone who was “22 girls in one, and none of them know what they’re runnin’ from” on “Paper Doll,” fans thought he was shading Swift. And now that she and Joe Alwyn have reportedly split after six years, some Swifties think the timing of Mayer’s performance of the song might have been a little pointed.

“You know who the real enemy here is? John Mayer….Guy literally played Paper Doll on the day of the breakup rumours,” tweeted one Swiftie, while another wrote that his song choice was “filling me with rage.”

The “New Light” singer did, however, say in a 2019 Instagram Live that “Paper Doll” actually wasn’t about the person that “100% of people” believed to be the song’s inspiration. “The person they thought it was about brought a certain amount of superficial pop culture back-and-forth about it. But the song was not about that person, and I could never tell anybody that’s not true because then I would be breaking my rule that songwriters don’t say who their songs are about or not about.”

This isn’t the first time Mayer has turned heads by performing a song linked to Swift on his ongoing acoustic tour. In March, he performed “Half of My Heart,” a duet originally recorded with the 33-year-old singer-songwriter, for the first time in years that fans could recall.

Watch Mayer discuss “Paper Doll” in a fan-captured video below:

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