But Daddy I Love Him

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"But Daddy I Love Him"
Song by Taylor Swift
from the album The Tortured Poets Department
ReleasedApril 19, 2024 (2024-04-19)
Studio
Genre
Length5:40
LabelRepublic
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Lyric video
"But Daddy I Love Him" on YouTube

"But Daddy I Love Him" is a song by the American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift from her eleventh studio album, The Tortured Poets Department (2024). Swift and Aaron Dessner wrote the track, and they produced it with Jack Antonoff. Musically, "But Daddy I Love Him" is an electronica and folk rock ballad with elements of country and rock. Its lyrics target detractors of Swift's love life.

Critics generally praised the songwriting as intense yet humorous, with some picking the track as an album highlight. The song peaked at number seven on the Billboard Global 200 and peaked within the top 10 in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States.

Background[edit]

Swift announced The Tortured Poets Department on February 4, 2024 at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards during her acceptance speech for the Best Pop Vocal Album award. Shortly after the announcement, the album's artwork was shared on her Instagram profile. Swift's website also enabled the album to be pre-ordered in vinyl, CD, cassette and digital format.[1] "But Daddy I Love Him" appears on the album as track six.[2] According to Swift, she developed The Tortured Poets Department immediately after submitting Midnights (2022), and worked on it for two years. She further developed the album during the US leg of The Eras Tour.[3] During one of the Eras Tour shows in Melbourne, Swift described writing the album was a "lifeline" for her.[4] Swift included "But Daddy I Love Him" in the setlist of the Eras Tour's Europe shows which began in May 2024.[5]

Music and lyrics[edit]

"But Daddy I Love Him" is 5 minutes and 40 seconds long. It is an electronica[6] and folk rock[7] ballad[8] with elements of country and rock.[9][10] The verses are instrumented by fingerpicked guitars, while the chorus is dynamic, described by Billboard's Jason Lipshutz as "large, open-hearted" that evoked Swift's "early country-pop anthems".[11] Meskin Fekadu from The Hollywood Reporter opined that the track could have "easily fit" on Swift's albums Fearless (2008) or Speak Now (2010).[12] Alexis Petridis of The Guardian noted that there are subtle fiddles in the mix.[13] Lyrically, the song discusses detractors who criticise Swift's love life. The title is a quote from the 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid;[14] the protagonist Ariel says the line in response to her merman father's disapproval of her human crush Prince Eric.[15]

The lyrics may be interpreted as Swift's response to criticism received for her previous romance, where she rejects the idea of seeking approval from the public and following one's inner feelings.[16] The track is viewed as the mature sister of "Love Story" from Fearless (2008) which Swift sings about her father objecting to a relationship. In "But Daddy I Love Him", the critics involves many denigrators who were disappointed with her love interest.[17] The opening verse containing the line "I just learned these people only raise you just to cage you" establishes the tension between Swift and others. The line also echoes of Swift's previous track "This Is Me Trying" where she sings: "They told me all of my cages were mental". The song's bridge reiterates the central theme of how others believe their intentions are in the interest of Swift's.[16] The song's chorus, where Swift sings "I’m having his baby, No I’m not, but you should see your faces," may be intended to evoke a reaction from listeners.[16]

The bridge and overall song can be interpreted as a message to the public and fans to consider if dating a man, who is a separate entity to her, should change their opinions of her, through the lyric "I'll tell you something about my good name, it's mine alone to disgrace".[18] The lyrics "No, I'm not coming to my senses", and "I know he's crazy, but he's the one I want" asserts her prerogative to make choices despite other's and her own negative judgement. She also extends her own judgement for those critics, with lyrics "Don't cater to all these vipers dressed in empath's clothing... God save the most judgmental creeps who say they want what's best for me". She postulates that her critics will change their stances, and will not be welcomed with the lyrics "Time, doesn't it give some perspective / And no, you can't come to the wedding".[18]

Reception[edit]

In a review for the parent album, Helen Brown of The Independent wrote "the force [Swift] brings to 'But Daddy I Love Him' is thrilling, as she lassos a few country tropes to charge her horses at online trolls."[19] Samantha Olson of Cosmopolitan ranked the song fifth in her ranking of the top five best songs from the album.[20] Lindsay Zoladz of The New York Times groups this song as part of a "project [that] remains fixed on her internal world", described as the "unexpectedly venomous" track about "the "wine moms" and "Sarahs and Hannahs in their Sunday best" who cluck their tongues at our narrator's dating decisions. (Some might speculate that these are actually shots at her own fans.)"[21] A similar sentiment shared John Wohlmacher of Beats Per Minute who writes that in the song, she "butts heads with overzealous fans" with its "outrageously cheeky and confrontational" lyrics.[22]

Commercial performance[edit]

Following the album's release, its tracks occupied the top nine of the Billboard Global 200; "But Daddy I Love Him" debuted at its peak of number seven on the chart, where it extended Swift's top-10 entries to 33.[23][24] In the United States, the song opened and peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100. It along with 13 tracks from the album made Swift the first artist to monopolize the top 14 of the Hot 100.[25][26] In Australia, "But Daddy I Love Him" reached number seven on the ARIA Singles Chart and made her the artist with the most entries in a single week with 29.[27][28]

Elsewhere, "But Daddy I Love Him" reached the top 10 in Canada, New Zealand, and Singapore, with peaks of number seven,[29] eight,[30] and number nine,[31] respectively. The song also charted within the top 25 in the Philippines (11),[32] Ireland (12),[33] Malaysia (18),[34] Luxembourg (19),[35] Portugal (20),[36] Denmark (23),[37] South Africa (23),[38] and Belgium (24).[39]

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart performance for "But Daddy I Love Him"
Chart (2024) Peak
position
Argentina (Argentina Hot 100)[40] 80
Australia (ARIA)[27] 7
Belgium (Billboard)[39] 24
Brazil (Brasil Hot 100)[41] 66
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[29] 7
Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100)[42] 48
Denmark (Tracklisten)[37] 23
France (SNEP)[43] 79
Global 200 (Billboard)[23] 7
Greece International (IFPI)[44] 18
India (IMI)[45] 18
Ireland (Billboard)[33] 12
Lithuania (AGATA)[46] 56
Luxembourg (Billboard)[35] 19
Malaysia International (RIM)[34] 16
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[30] 8
Norway (VG-lista)[47] 35
Philippines (Billboard)[32] 11
Poland (Polish Streaming Top 100)[48] 80
Portugal (AFP)[36] 20
Singapore (RIAS)[31] 9
Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)[49] 49
South Africa (Billboard)[38] 23
South Korea Download (Circle)[50] 167
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[51] 61
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[52] 29
Swiss Streaming (Schweizer Hitparade)[53] 18
UAE (IFPI)[54] 14
UK Singles Downloads (OCC)[55] 71
UK Streaming (OCC)[56] 11
US Billboard Hot 100[25] 7

References[edit]

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  3. ^ Dailey, Hannah (February 7, 2024). "Taylor Swift Reveals When She Started Working on 'The Tortured Poets Department'". Billboard. Retrieved May 13, 2024.
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