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“Always Crashing/Shake It Off” Mashup

While doing a little research in the process of writing yesterday’s blog post I came across this mashup of Bowie’s “Always Crashing in the Same Car” and Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.” I think this sounds great. It sounds like they are doing a duet and that this is the way the song, or songs, are supposed to have sounded from the beginning. How does someone hear the two original songs and think they would map together so well?

The two songs fit together well musically, but also demonstrate Swift’s and Bowie’s very different perspectives. The points of both songs are in their titles: Swift’s is about shaking off the punches life throws her way while Bowie is lamenting making the same mistakes over and over.

The lyrics of Swift’s full song make me think of related Bowie lyrics expressing nearly opposite sentiments.

From “Shake It Off”:

Players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate (haters gonna hate)
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

From Bowie’s “Sweet Thing”:

I am having so much fun with the poisonous people
Spreading rumors and lies and stories they made up
Some make you sing and some make you scream
One makes you wish that you never been seen

Not exactly the opposite, right? But almost. I think its fair to say that while Swift is shaking it off, Bowie is letting the same kind of people get him down.

And how about, from “Shake It Off”:

I go on too many dates
But I can’t make them stay

Compared to Bowie’s, “Stay”:

Stay – that’s what I meant to say
Or do something, but what I never say is
Stay this time, I really meant to so bad this time
‘Cause you can never really tell
When somebody wants something you want too

Swift kind of accepts it and moves on, whereas Bowie becomes paralyzed with obsession.

I noticed a line in another Swift song, “Blank Space” that included the line, “you look like my next mistake,” which made me think of Bowie’s line from, “Survive,” “you’re the great mistake I never made.” Again, Swift kind of accepts what’s about to happen and rolls with it whereas Bowie wallows in regret.

Speaking of, “Blank Space,” Swift sings at one point, “You’re the king, baby, I’m your queen,” whereas Bowie sings in, “Heroes,” “I will be king and you will be my queen.” Actually, there are a lot of parallel lyrics in “Blank Space” to lyrics in Bowie songs…maybe that’s another blog post…

Back to this mashup— I noticed that now, hearing Swift’s refrain in this context makes imprints it on my mind better than hearing the original song amidst hours of other Taylor Swift songs I was hearing for the first time. In watching the concert movie and hearing so many of her songs for the first time, they mostly blended together in my mind. Now I’ll remember “Shake It Off.”

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