Explicit Lyrics on Taylor Swift’s New Album Have Moms Warning: It’s ‘Not For’ Kids

A wave of concerned parents are warning families that Taylor Swift’s new album is filled with coarse language and adult themes and is not appropriate for the youngest “Swifties” who helped pack stadiums across the U.S. last year. That album, The Tortured Poets Department, is a double album with 31 songs and carries an “E” label for explicit content, with 11 specific songs having an “E” descriptor. Several songs include f-bombs. Zara Hanawalt, a mom and writer for, noted that many children and teens became Swift fans during last year’s tour, which “shone the spotlight back on Swift’s earlier eras, like the Fearless and Speak Now albums, which feel much more kid-friendly.”

But in the new album, “[t]here are overt references to sex (like the line, ‘He said that if the sex was half as good as the conversation was soon they’d be pushing strollers’), and profanity. There’s even a song where she repeats the line ‘F you, Aimee’ repeatedly (presumably, it’s a diss track aimed at a certain reality TV icon, IYKYK),” she wrote. Hanawalt added, “It would be unfair to expect Swift to remain frozen in time, a teenager coming of age and singing about young love, forever. But as parents, it’s a complicated thing to watch celebrities our children idolize step into adulthood, and spread more adult messages.” Hanawalt encouraged parents to listen to the album before letting their children listen.

One mom commented on the Facebook page, “It’s an explicit album. It’s not for toddlers or elementary aged kids.” On the Facebook group Taylor Swift’s Vault, which has nearly 500,000 members, parents debated the album’s content, noting it includes themes of sex, harm, violence and death. The New York Post reported on the controversy. “This album is definitely NOT suitable for kids,” one mom wrote. 

Another mom wrote, “I’m OK with the curse words, but there’s a lot of self-harm, violence, and death talk I’m not feeling comfy with at this second.” Still another mom wrote, “I don’t think her lyrics are for kids anymore as well. And that’s OK. Let the kids listen to her older stuff then when they are 21, give them the rest and let them figure it out.”

Swift released a “clean” version of The Tortured Poets Department that omits some of the coarse language, although the dark themes remain.

Image credit: ©Getty Images/Dimitrios Kambouris / Staff

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist PressChristianity TodayThe Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

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