ONTD PSA: Every time multi-platinum lyricist Taylor Swift was "inspired" by other artists

Exhibit A: Taylor vs. Calvin Harris

Taylor's recent music video for "End Game" has several similarities to Calvin Harris' music video for "Let's Go," which came out 5 years ago (credit: maidenhell)


Just like Calvin's video, three major cities are introduced with large, bold font. Also, both artists' names are displayed in the same font at the beginning of the videos. Both videos take place in three different cities, with three different scenarios, and the majority of the time is spent partying and hanging out with friends.

Exhibit B: Taylor vs. Hilary Duff

1) As pointed out by rubie_dubidoux, in Hilary's song "Wake Up," she sings:

Wake up, wake up on a Saturday night
Could be New York, maybe Hollywood and Vine
London, Paris, maybe Tokyo
There's something going on anywhere I go tonight
Tonight, yeah, tonight

In the music video, there are multiple stories going on at once as Hilary and her friends party. The fonts aren't the same, but the video has a very similar concept.

2) In Taylor's song "Getaway Car," she sings "X marks the spot where we fell apart," which is the exact same line that Hilary has in her song "Breathe In. Breathe Out."

This was pointed out in this ONTD Original by cameltoee in November. Taylor even posted about Hilary's song on Tumblr years ago, so we're not crazy!

3) In "You'll Always Find Your Way Back Home" (a song that Taylor Swift wrote for the Hannah Montana movie), Taylor takes several lines from "So Yesterday." (This was pointed out by cherryblossym.)

Hilary's song:
You can change your life (if you wanna)
You can change your clothes (if you want to)
If you change your mind
Well that's the way it goes

Taylor's song:
You can change your hair and you can change your clothes
You can change your mind, that’s just the way it goes

Exhibit C: Taylor vs. Lana del Rey

1) There are definitely some similarities between the chorus of Taylor's song "Wildest Dreams" and the chorus of Lana's song "Without You." The video also captures old Hollywood, which is typically a motif that Lana uses.

Begin at 0:34

Begin at 0:40

2) Additionally, Taylor's music videos have begun to look more similar to Lana's music videos.

As shown in this article, there are many visual similarities between their videos. In "Style," Taylor uses silhouettes like Lana has used before, and the images are more foggy and grainy, like in Lana's earlier music videos.

In particular, the music video for "I Knew You Were Trouble" has the same mood as "Ride," and both videos feature driving fast in cars with tattooed bad boys. Much like Lana's video, Taylor begins her video with a 2-3 minute monologue, discussing memories of her past relationship. (The difference is that it sounds like Taylor is eleven and reading from her diary.)

Exhibit D: Taylor vs. Hozier

In Taylor's song "Don't Blame Me," she compares love to a drug as she uses a gothic church soundscape, which sounds similar to Hozier’s “Take Me to Church.”

We know she loves the song because she's been captured singing and dancing to it.

In the behind the scenes video for "Don't Blame Me," she even mentioned wanting her new song to "sound religious."

Exhibit E: Taylor vs. Alison Sudol

As pointed out by lumosofmylife in this thread, Taylor rips off Alison Sudol's lyrics and concept.

Alison Sudol's lyrics for "Rangers" are:
The rangers stream out of their cabins
They are the hunters and we are the rabbits
Maybe we don't want to be found
Maybe we don't want you tracking us down

Taylor Swift's lyrics for "I Know Places" are:
Baby I know places we won't be found and they'll be chasing our trace tryin' to track us down
Cause I, I know places we can hide, I know places
They are the hunters, we are the foxes
And we run
Just grab my hand and don't ever drop it
My love

Exhibit F: Taylor vs. Saving Jane

In 2010, Saving Jane's lead singer tweeted about Taylor possibly lifting lyrics from her song. There was a post on ONTD about it -- with the tweets and her song.

In "Girl Next Door," the lyrics look very similar to "You Belong With Me":
She is the prom queen I’m in the marching band
She is a cheerleader I’m sitting in the stands
She gets the top bunk I’m sleeping on the floor
She’s Miss America and I’m just the girl next door

Exhibit G: Taylor vs. Sleigh Bells

Taylor's new song "Ready for It...?" sounds eerily similar to "Kids" by Sleigh Bells.

Ready for It comes in @ 00:24. The sum becomes greater than the parts at about 1:00.

Exhibit H: Taylor vs. Peaches

The beat he's referring to is in Peaches' song "Operate." It is not credited in the notes for "Look What You Made Me Do."

A mash-up of the two songs:

Exhibit I: Taylor vs. Lorde

In Lorde's song "Sober II (Melodrama)" there are several lyrics referencing cleaning up the champagne glasses throughout the song:
Lights are on and they’ve gone home, but who am I?
Oh, how fast the evening passes, cleaning up
The champagne glasses

These lyrics repeat in the chorus.

According to The Pop Song Professor:
"Sober II" seems to be about the "melodrama" or empty meaningfulness of the events of the night before. Even as she's staring around at this now empty party room, all that others would have her to believe was meaningful about the events of the night before pale in the light of day. Melodrama refers to the practice of conflating the emotions of a situation in order to appeal to listeners without the story necessarily being able to hold the weight of interest that the story-writer is asking for."

Lorde, for her part, is left with some rather existential questions. Now that the "[l]ights are on and [everyone has] gone home," she wonders, "[W]ho am I?" She thought she was a partier and a thrill-seeker, but now that the party over, who is there left for her to be? The time when she felt whole--the "evening"--"passes" quickly, and now she's "cleaning up / The champagne glasses," sad and perhaps lonely.

Taylor Swift's new song "New Year's Day" also references a party. Some lyrics are:
There's glitter on the floor after the party
Girls carrying their shoes down in the lobby
Candle wax and Polaroids on the hardwood floor
You and me from the night before, but

Don’t read the last page
But I stay when you're lost, and I'm scared
And you’re turning away
I want your midnights
But I'll be cleaning up bottles with you on New Year's Day

According to Taylor:
"I was thinking about how everybody talks and thinks about who you kiss at midnight, and I think that is very romantic. But I think there’s something even more romantic about who’s gonna deal with you on New Year’s Day. Who’s willing to give you Advil and clean up the house? I think that states more of a permanence.”

Some may claim that Taylor's song is more positive, but both songs are about cleaning up after a party and the sense of loneliness that comes with it (unless a boyfriend is there with you, in Taylor's case). Both songs were produced by Jack Antonoff.

Exhibit J: Taylor vs. Matt Nathanson

In Taylor's song "All Too Well," she sings, "...and I forget about you long enough to forget why I needed to."

In Matt Nathanson's single "I Saw," he sings, "...and I’ll forget about you long enough to forget why I need to."

We know Taylor is a fan of his because she's been known to perform shows with his lyrics written on her arms.

He posted this tweet in 2012 and later deleted it:

He retweeted this tweet:

And tweeted this:

Exhibit K: Taylor vs. Kanye

This article shows many more comparisons, especially between the ripped shirts.

Exhibit L: Taylor vs. Beyonce

Side-by-side comparison:

Lastly... she uses a pirated fox illustration without giving credit to the actual artist and then claims the artist is trying to extract money and publicity. (Thank you harrys_headband.)

As described in this article, Taylor took an illustration that a fan created for her.

  • "When artist Ally Burguieres, who created the fox image and sells prints of it for $45, learned that her painting had been appropriated (with the fan's signature adorning it), she asked for it to be taken down."

  • "After months of effort, I received an offer from you and your team that mentions no credit to me as the artist of the design, but does include payment of a 'four-figure' amount, with the stipulation that I must donate it all."

  • Taylor's team responded with: "We have tried on multiple occasions to address Ms. Burguieres' concerns, but these actions make it clear to us that this is just an unfortunate effort to extract more money and more publicity."

  • The artist claimed that she had indeed made several attempts to contact the pop star. She also questioned why the singer would not give her attribution and said that she did not get any publicity from the misappropriation until she posted her open letter. Moreover, she stood by her claim that Swift's lawyer asked her to consider donating the fee to charity.

Other possibilities: (Thank you pplemmy and qaladriel)
Paramore's "Misery Business" vs. Taylor's "I Did Something Bad" (1:40 - 2:00)
Fleetwood Mac's "Sara" vs. Taylor's "Red" (the beginning)

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38


Agree? Disagree? Post more examples in the comments! Somebody else needs to make one for Ed Sheeran!