On Tuesday (June 18), Mayer premiered a brand-new single, “Paper Doll,” and while it’s nowhere as scathing as “Dear John” — i.e. the phrase “dark twisted games” is not used — well, it certainly appears to be a direct response to Swift’s song.
“Here’s a dress of gold and blue/Sure was fun being good to you,” Mayer sings at the beginning of the track, one of several mentions of dresses (remember, of course, that on “Dear John,” Swift referred to herself as “the girl in the dress [who] cried all the way home.”) Later, there’s a lyric that goes “Someone’s gonna paint you another sky,” which seems like a direct call-back to another “John” line: “You paint me a blue sky and go back and turn it to rain.”
And then there’s the chorus, where Mayer sings “You’re like 22 girls in one/and none of them know what they’re running from.” It’s a bit of a two-pronged attack: Not only did Swift release “22” as a single earlier this year, but on “John,” she proclaimed she’d look back on her relationship with Mayer “and regret how I ignored when they said ’Run as fast as you can.’ ”
Of course, it’s not like Mayer named the song “Dear Taylor” or anything like that, but based on lyrical analysis alone, well, it’s difficult to think “Paper Doll” is about anyone other than Swift, whom he dated in late 2009. So far, Mayer’s remained mum on the matter — a spokesperson for the singer did not respond to MTV News’ request for comment by press time — though he has released a rather amazing “Prancercise” video for the song. Swift has also yet to comment … though we suspect both of those things may change in the coming days.