From Taylor Swift's Blank Space

Nice to meet you

Where you been?

I could show you incredible things

Magic, madness, heaven, sin

Saw you there and I thought oh my god

Look at that face, you look like my next mistake

Love's a game, wanna play

New money, suit and tie

I can read you like a magazine

Ain't it funny rumors fly

And I know you heard about me

It seems that the highlighted part is irrelevant to the rest ov lyrics. I have just read somewhere that it implies that she does not want money from the boy. How can we get to this meaning ? I am confused. Thank you in advance.

  • It's important that this gets answered from an English perspective. We don't want to start getting into the business of lyric interpretation. (More about that here in meta). The way I read it, it just means the guy is all dressed up and it's payday. – J.R. Aug 7 '15 at 8:53
  • 4
    OP understands the words, but not their purpose in the lyric, so it's a question about lyrics not language. If by "irrelevant" OP means "grammatically disconnected", we can vote to reopen. OP, please clarify. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 7 '15 at 12:51

First, grammatically speaking, it is helpful to present the lyrics in stanzas, as in the original. The phrase you ask about starts a new stanza:

New money, suit and tie
I can read you like a magazine
Ain't it funny, rumors fly
And I know you heard about me
So hey, let's be friends
I'm dying to see how this one ends
Grab your passport and my hand
I can make the bad guys good for a weekend

The line you ask about is connected with the next one, and with this whole stanza. This stanza is talking about the boy.

To get a firmer grammatical and linguistic understanding of the first two lines, it is best to use punctuation (which bare song lyrics often do not contain):

New money, suit and tie:
I can read you like a magazine.

Linguistically the author has used topic-comment arrangement. The first part of the sentence introduces the topic, the rest of the sentence is a comment about the topic.

The first line mentions important or salient (both: "Most noticeable or important" and "Prominent; conspicuous") things about the boy:

New money, suit and tie

So the boy has "new money, suit and tie"

"New money" means that the boy has recently acquired money. "Suit and tie" means the boy is dressed nicely -- he probably bought the suit and tie with the part of the new money.

The next sentence is the comment about the topic:

I can read you like a magazine

The basic meaning of "read" is:

Look at and comprehend the meaning of (written or printed matter) by mentally interpreting the characters or symbols of which it is composed (ODO, 1.0)

But you can apply this meaning to a person and

"Understand or interpret the nature or significance of (something)" (ODO 1.6, see also 1.5 "Discern (a fact, emotion, or quality) in someone’s eyes or expression" (or appearance).

Anyway, "read you" means "read the boy and his outward appearance," that is the 'New money, suit and tie," as these are the only things about the boy that are mentioned.

To read the boy in this way is "like reading a magazine," that is, it is very easy for the girl to do, because girls love to read magazines about style and fashion.

By the way, the song came out in 2014. This is a year after Justin Timberlake came out with a song called "Suit and Tie." Coincidence? Or is Taylor Swift alluding to Timberlake's song or to Timberlake himself? An interesting question, but not very connected with yours.

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