Folk star Grace Petrie transforms Taylor Swift’s ‘Betty’ into the sapphic love anthem we deserve
Folk singer Grace Petrie did the Lord’s work Saturday (10 October) by giving queer Taylor Swift fans the sapphic version of “Betty” that they deserve by simply changing one word.
The song, part of the pop star’s surprise earthy, airy indie-folk album, folklore, was immediately hailed by literally anybody with ears as a queer love anthem for the ages.
On “Betty”, Swift sings with an icy shiver to her voice from the perspective of a teenager who is in love and wants to kiss her lover on the porch.
The song opens: “Betty, I won’t make assumptions/About why you switched your homeroom but/I think it’s ’cause of me.”
Later in the song, she sings: “Yeah, I showed up at your party/Will you have me?/Will you love me?/ Will you kiss me on the porch/In front of all your stupid friends?”
But in a brutal broadside to the dreams of countless LGBT+ people, Swift confirmed that, no, “Betty” is no lesbian love story – it’s a heterosexual one. “I wrote from the perspective of a 17-year-old boy,” she said.
Don’t run for the tissue box just yet, however. Petrie took to Instagram to showcase her singing chops with her own rendition of “Betty”, with one crucial difference.
“Turns out you can make ‘Betty’ by Taylor Swift a lesbian song, if you change the word James to the word Grace,” she wrote on Twitter.
Had a great crowd tonight pic.twitter.com/ffmbihygHA
— Grace Petrie (@gracepetrie) October 9, 2020
The Instagram video shows Petrie strums her guitar while her dog, Frank, curls up by her side and, yup, we’re crying now.
Taylor Swift: ‘I’ve always loved that in music you can kinda slip into different identities.’
Through Swift’s spacey vocals, folklore tells the story of a love triangle between three teenagers, Inez, James and Betty, named after the daughters of Swift’s good friends Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds.
Although real-life James is a girl, according to Vulture, Swift said that the James in the song is a teenage boy.
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She said: “James has lost the love of his life basically and doesn’t understand how to get it back.
“I think we all have these situations in our lives where we learn to really, really give a heartfelt apology for the first time.
“Everybody makes mistakes, everybody really messes up sometimes and this is a song that I wrote from the perspective of a 17-year-old boy.
“I’ve always loved that in music you can kinda slip into different identities and you can sing from other people’s perspectives. So that’s what I did on this one.”