Is Olivia Rodrigo’s The Grudge about Taylor Swift? Here’s why fans think so

olivia rodrigo at Variety 2021 Music Hitmakers Brunch
Some fans believe Olivia Rodrigo’s song The Grudge refers to Taylor Swift. Pic credit: © Collin/Image Press Agency

The release of Olivia Rodrigo’s studio album Guts has brought new music for fans to enjoy but also might have revealed a potential feud with Taylor Swift.

Guts is Rodrigo’s second studio album and the follow-up to 2021’s Sour, which garnered her critical acclaim and a number-one spot on the Billboard 200.

She’s likely hoping for more success with Guts as it dropped this past Friday and already took the top spot on popular music services, including Apple iTunes.

While Rodrigo has been a Swifite for most of her life, one of her newest songs has prompted speculation about their feuding.

Among the tracks on Rodrigo’s new album is The Grudge, with the title possibly a nod to the horror film and remake starring Sarah Michelle Gellar.

However, it also could refer to a grudge between two friends, which is what many fans believe.

Did Rodrigo fire shots at Taylor on The Grudge?

Rodrigo admitted at the start of her music career in 2020 that she was “the biggest Swiftie ever” and “just obsessed with her.” Swift seemed to reciprocate the love as both continued to release music.

However, their amicable relationship may have changed with developments between the two singers involving several of their songs recorded and released before 2023.

Rodrigo’s recently-released album includes The Grudge, which may include lyrics about her situation with Swift. At the start of her new song, she sings, “I have nightmares each week about that Friday in May, one phone call from you and my entire life was changed.”

The line about a Friday in May might refer to Rodrigo’s first album, Sour, released on Friday, May 21, 2021.

“I doubt you ever think about the damage that you did, but I hold on to every detail like my life depends on it,” Rodrigo sings in The Grudge.

“And I try to understand why you would do this to me, you must be insecure, you must be so unhappy,” is another line in her song.

“You built me up to watch me fall; you had everything and you still want more,” Rodrigo sings.

While it sounds like a song that could be a letter expressing heartbreak to a former lover, others believe it’s about Rodrigo’s situation with Swift.

What happened between Rodrigo and Swift?

The drama between Rodrigo and Swift may have occurred due to creative liberties in making music. Many artists will use interpolations of other artists’ work.

An example is the hip-hop song Barbie World by Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice, which uses Aqua’s previous hit, Barbie Girl. Aqua is in the Barbie World credits as a performer and writer.

Olivia’s song One Stop Forward, Three Steps Back has Swift in the credits. This is due to Olivia’s song using an interpolation of Swift’s New Year’s Day, released in 2017.

“I came up with the 1 Step Forward concept, and I sort of wrote a verse and a chorus… I was in the car on a road trip, and when I got home, I decided to sing it over the chords of New Year’s Day. I think they’re really beautiful chords. I was lucky enough to get that approved, and it’s on the record now, Rodrigo said.

“I was lucky enough to get that approved, and it’s on the record now,” she said per Entertainment Weekly.

However, another interpolation issue popped up along the way, with Rodrigo’s smash hit Deja Vue. Swift was retroactively added to the credits for Rodrigo’s song due to an interpolation of Swift’s Cruel Summer.

Rodrigo’s Vampire lyrics also raised eyebrows

This isn’t the first time that many speculated Rodrigo was taking shots at Swift in a song, as her lead single, Vampire, brought similar sentiments.

“Bloodsucker, fame f***er, leave me dry like a God d**n vampire,” she sings in some of the song’s NSFW lyrics.

After the song’s release, Rodrigo said she was “upset about a certain situation,” which prompted her to write Vampire.

“It’s a song about feeling confused and hurt,” she said per NME, possibly referring to her situation with Swift and music.

In an Instagram post about the song, Rodrigo said it was among her “favorite” tracks from Guts and called it “cathartic” for her to finish.

“I hope it helps u deal with any bloodsuckers in your life,” she wrote.

For now, it’s still open to speculation as to whether or not Rodrigo is feuding with Swift and expressing feelings about it through music, but it’s hard to ignore what her new lyrics suggest.

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