The release of “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” has reignited the animosity among Taylor Swift fans towards John Mayer, assuming it ever truly waned. For those not well-versed in Swift’s musical repertoire or those still seething at Jake Gyllenhaal’s name while blasting “All Too Well (10 Minute Version),” it is widely believed that the emotional breakup anthem “Dear John” from the “Speak Now” album was inspired by Mayer. The two musicians were involved romantically from 2009 to 2010, with Mayer being 31 years old and Swift only 19 at the time.
If the revised lyrics in “All Too Well” – “You said if we had been closer in age maybe it would have been fine. And that made me want to die” – prompted Swifties to flood Gyllenhaal’s Instagram comments section in November 2021, one can only imagine their fervent reaction upon being reminded of the searing chorus from “Dear John”: “Dear John, I see it all now that you’re gone Don’t you think I was too young to be messed with? The girl in the dress, cried the whole way home I see it all now that you’re gone Don’t you think I was too young to be messed with? The girl in the dress wrote you a song You should’ve known.”
Swift herself labeled the song as her “most scathing” creation, and even her ex Taylor Lautner jokingly remarked that he was “praying for John” prior to the re-release. It’s understandable if John Mayer feels apprehensive about the situation, and recent events suggest that may indeed be the case.
Although Mayer didn’t explicitly reference his past relationship during a recent show in Boulder, Colorado, he made a statement by illuminating the phrase “Please Be Kind” in bright purple lights in the sky. Coincidentally, purple is closely associated with Swift’s iconic “Speak Now” era. A photo capturing this gesture was included as the final slide of Mayer’s latest Instagram slideshow posted on July 6.
Fans of Swift have flocked to Mayer’s post, defying their beloved artist’s plea for kindness. In June, during a surprise performance of “Dear John” on her Eras Tour in Minneapolis, Swift had specifically called for “kindness” and “gentleness” from her fanbase, particularly in their online interactions.
In videos recorded by fans during the Minneapolis concert on June 24, Swift expressed her desire for positive energy to prevail on the internet. She stated, “So what I’m trying to say is, I’m putting this album out because I want to own my music and I believe that any artist who has the desire to own their music should be able to. That’s why I’m putting out this album.”
Continuing her message, Swift emphasized, “I’m 33 years old, I don’t care about anything that happened to me when I was 19 except the songs I wrote and the memories we made together. So what I’m trying to tell you is that I am not putting this album out so you should feel the need to defend me on the internet against someone you think I wrote a song about 14 million years ago when I was 19.”
Unfortunately, it seems that the requests of both celebrities have fallen on deaf ears. In response to Mayer’s post, one user commented, “It’s over for you, John Mayonnaise💜🥱 speak never💜,” while another fan flatly rejected the pleas made by both artists, writing, “We’re not gonna be kind.”