“You Need To Calm Down” finds Taylor Swift addressing various detractors who post hurtful comments online, following themes of self-love and being true to one’s identity which previously appeared on “ME!” from April 2019. Her second collaboration with producer Joel Little, it’s also the second single from her seventh studio album, Lover.
In the second verse, Swift continues to show her support for the LGBTQ+ community, following a June 2019 letter to Senator Lamar Alexander, as well as a petition she created to fight for legal equality among all people, regardless of sexuality or gender. It’s also significant to note that Swift released the song in June, which is recognized as Pride Month.
A music video for the song was released on June 17, 2019 after its official premiere on Good Morning America. It features cameos from several LGBT celebrities, including Hayley Kiyoko, Laverne Cox, the cast of Queer Eye, and Todrick Hall, who co-executive produced the video. At the end of the video, Katy Perry appears in the midst of a food fight, signifying the end of her “feud” with Swift.
Swift teased the lyric and title “You Need To Calm Down” in the April 2019 music video for “ME!.” In the beginning of the video, Swift argues with featured artist Brendon Urie, and he tells her that she needs to calm down.