Taylor Swift says lyrics to Shake It Off were ‘written entirely by me’

Taylor Swift Says Lyrics To Shake It Off Were ‘Written Entirely By Me’
The pop megastar has hit back at complainants in a US copyright lawsuit over her hit song. © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Mike Bedigan, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

Taylor Swift has hit back at complainants in a US copyright lawsuit over her hit song Shake It Off, saying the lyrics were written “entirely by me”.

The multi-award winning singer said she had drawn from her own experiences and “commonly used phrases and comments” she had heard throughout her life for the track.


The claim is being brought by songwriters Sean Hall and Nate Butler and alleges that Swift lifted lyrics for her song from their own Playas Gon’ Play, performed by US girl group 3LW.

Swift, 32, said had “never heard” of the song Playas Gon’ Play or 3LW, prior to the lawsuit, in a sworn declaration filed on Monday and obtained by the PA news agency.



“The lyrics to Shake It Off were written entirely by me,” she said.

“Shake It Off is about independence and ‘shaking of’’ negative personal criticism through music and dance.

“In writing the lyrics, I drew partly on experiences in my life and, in particular, unrelenting public scrutiny of my personal life, ‘clickbait’ reporting, public manipulation, and other forms of negative personal criticism which I learned I just needed to shake off and focus on my music.


“With Shake It Off, I wanted to provide a comedic, empowering approach to helping people feel better about negative criticism through music, dance, and the personal independence enabling one to just shake off the negative criticism.”

The Brit Awards 2021 – Show – London
The pop megastar has hit back at complainants in a US copyright lawsuit over her hit song (Ian West/PA)

She added: “The lyrics to Shake It Off also draw from commonly used phrases and comments heard throughout my life.


“Prior to writing Shake It Off I had heard the phrases ‘players gonna play’ and ‘haters gonna hate’ uttered countless times to express the idea that one can or should shrug off negativity.

“Until learning about Plaintiffs’ claim in 2017, I had never heard the song 9 Playas Gon’ Play and had never heard of that song or the group 3LW.”

Lawyers for Swift previously appealed against the judge’s decision to allow a trial to go ahead in the case, arguing that it was “unprecedented” and asked the ruling to be revisited.

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