The Problem With... Taylor Swift's "Safe & Sound" feat. The Civil Wars

Between her worldwide Speak Now Tour and controlling her possible mania, pop-country star Taylor Swift had quite a 2011. If Swift's latest single is any indication, we might see another side of her in 2012. A dark, apocalyptic side straight out of an early Stephen King novel.

"Safe & Sound" ties into an upcoming movie based on a young adult novel about kids killing each other for sport. I think it's called Battle Royale -- wait, it's actually The Hunger Games. The single is a somber acoustic lullaby with supporting strings and harmonizing vocals from Nashville folk duo The Civil Wars.

The lyrics detail a world where Swift and the subject are running from the shadows and "the war outside our door keeps raging on." Is this supposed to be a lullaby? It's like Swift says, "Hey, remember that traumatic experience we had once? By the way, there's a war going on outside. Go to sleep, darling."

The song is supposed to be in the voice of The Hunger Games' protagonist, Katniss Everdeen. However, it still sounds like Swift's singing, and the lyrics sound like one of her paranoid, pyromaniac dreams.

When reviewing Taylor Swift's past singles, I've interpreted them to suggest she might be a little unhinged, but I've always meant it in a cartoonish way. Now, the dark theme of "Safe & Sound" paints an ominous profile. She might be a harbinger of death.

Sweet dreams, listeners.

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Shahryar Rizvi
Contact: Shahryar Rizvi