Taylor Swift singing into mic with abstract background

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‘You wouldn’t last an hour in the asylum where they raised me’: Swifties have taken over TikTok

The reigning queen of Western music finally takes over TikTok.


Charlotte Colombo

Pop Culture

That One Sound is a column from internet culture reporter Charlotte Colombo that explores the origin of popular sounds heard on TikTok.

No matter how you look at it, Taylor Swift‘s The Tortured Poets Department is one hell of an album. The singer’s position at the epicenter of pop culture is unmatched, and the latest Swift-inspired TikTok sound is one for the chronically online girlies.

Now, she’s seized the platform in a way even she hasn’t before.

@trishlikefish88 #greenscreen ♬ original sound – canasia’s bookshelf 📚

The sound

As Swift sings that “You wouldn’t last an hour in the asylum where they raised me,” TikTokers are using the platform to share their own personal, figurative “asylums.” These are tongue-in-cheek references to a particular time or era (pun intended) of your life that was especially formative.

As numerous well-known creators hop on the trend, there’s a lot of metaphorical “asylums” knocking around. These range from Trisha Paytas’ kitchen floor, to the Abby Lee’s Dance Company dance school.

“Asylums” don’t always have to be places either, as the meme also applies to certain media or entertainment you consumed as a child that effectively “raised” you, such as Bart Baker’s music video parodies. The nicher, the better.

@larrayeeee and im still traumatized #greenscreen ♬ original sound – canasia’s bookshelf 📚

Where’s it from?

These lyrics are from the 2024 song “Who’s Afraid Of Little Old Me.” It’s from Taylor Swift’s new album, The Tortured Poets’ Department. In a commentary with Amazon Music, Swift discussed the origins of this “bitter” track.

“I felt bitter about just all the things we do to our artists as a society and as a culture,” she said. “There’s a lot about this particular concept on The Tortured Poets Department.

She continued: “What do we do to our writers, and our artists, and our creatives? We put them through hell. We watch what they create, then we judge it. We love to watch artists in pain, often to the point where I think sometimes as a society we provoke that pain and we just watch what happens.”

Sound off

@00rubymarie what a waste of $25 #pennyboard #2020 #indie #kidcore #fyp ♬ original sound – canasia’s bookshelf 📚

The funny thing about this meme is that it didn’t start on TikTok. X user @leylanocontext was the first one to use the song as a meme template on April 19, posting the lyrics on X and accompanying it with a picture of McKinley High’s choir room from Glee.

From there, users shared their own personal “asylums” and the rest is history. As the meme continues to makes an impact on multiple platforms, the truth is this: Who else would be able to manage that but Taylor Swift?

The Daily Dot