With a bit of help, of course
The evidence is out on the table.
The scent of an unfamiliar merlot, the glistening of jewels not seen before, and the unmistakable gut instinct of a wife. For the court of Taylor Swift and HAIM’s Tuesday night ladies club, that was all that was needed.
“He did it.”
It was time to call out a cheating husband. Accompanied by the acoustic guitars and harmonica that had served her faithfully, and with a little sprinkling of HAIM’s electric guitar, ‘no body, no crime’ reads like a return to form for a Taylor Swift from another time. A Swift who had no qualms putting an adulterous man in his place.
The plot thickens when Este Haim disappears, conveniently taking her husband’s downfall with her, or so he thought. A set of brand new tires. A bed with a new occupant already. The signature imagery of the Taylor of 2020 does little to acquit this man. Swift chants in the chorus, again, “I think he did it, but I just can’t prove it”. If there ain’t no body, there ain’t no crime, was the rule of this town.
However, this time, that didn’t matter. It didn’t matter that the evidence she had didn’t seem substantial enough to convince everyone. For her, Este, and likely for a lot of women, the court of public opinion was anything but a court that validated the wronged. For all purposes, it was just as fickle as this husband’s love.
With a boat that can take one far, far away, a knack for keeping a house spotless, and an inviolable alibi, there was no reason that the Tuesday night ladies club had anything to do with the recent disappearance of Este’s husband. Having just taken out a large life insuarance policy, all the suspicions are on the mistress. She, however, alleges that the Tuesday dinner club are at fault. Just like any other woman, she has her evidences that only another woman might understand. Of course, to that, we hear the ladies chant the obvious. With a smile that can be heard across the mic, the response to that allegation is clear. If there ain’t no body, there ain’t no crime, right?
‘no body, no crime’ is a vivid novel that reads more like an excerpt from an Agatha Christie novel than a three minute country song from Taylor Swift. Complete with a suspenseful plot, a villain with no redeemable qualities, and a casually sly, “She was with me dude”, it’s a highlight from Taylor’s second surprise drop of 2020, evermore.
Each verse serves as a narrative tool by which to recall this town legend of the couple that vanished into thin air. While purely fictional (I hope), Swift channels personal emotions from reality, both present and past, into these characters, that animates them in a way that isn’t seen frequently beyond the Taylor Swift movie franchise. We feel Este’s gut instincts; we immediately suspect the all too convenient circumstances of her disappearance; we crave to avenge a friend and a good woman; we join in the deviousness behind the “hypothetical” murder of the husband. In quarantine, nothing quite stirs the imagination of a cooped up listener like a murder mystery. In today’s time, a justified, fictional murder is a welcome rarity in the face of the multitudes of deaths happening just beyond the boundaries of the folklorian woods.
It is a reminder that, indeed, there’s nothing that compares to messing with a mad woman.
“She thinks I did it, but she just can’t prove it”