"Dear John" (CD Single)



Swift has harsh words for an ex; OK for older tweens and up.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Paints a negative picture of the song's subject ("Don't you think I was too young to be messed with"), but the message is to be smart in a relationship and not get caught up in infatuation. Taylor gets the last word, again: "I'm shining like fireworks over your sad empty town."

Positive role models

Even coming out of a failed, not-so-healthy relationship, you can still come out on top -- smarter and standing taller.

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this single, off of Ms. Swift's new album, is rumored to be about singer John Mayer. The lyrics are a little bitter, talking about a one-sided, rather unhealthy relationship, with the subject of the song playing with a too-young heart, but the song avoids talk of sex or bad language. The topic of this kind of relationship is a little mature for younger kids, though; best for older tweens and up.

What's the story?

Taylor Swift hasn't made a secret of the fact that her music could be a page out of her diary. With high-profile romances and breakups with some of Hollywood's most eligible bachelors, the stories that come through in her lyrics become much more interesting. "DEAR JOHN" is a sad, somewhat bitter song about an ex that played and betrayed her heart.

Is it any good?


If there's anything to be learned by Taylor Swift's album Speak Now, it's to be really nice to her and never break her heart. Or else. In "Dear John," Swift croons about a past relationship that was wrong from the start. The "John" in this single, rumored to be John (a-hem "The Player") Mayer, gets some harsh words from the sweet country songbird: "Maybe it's you and your sick need to give love and take it away. You'll add my name to your long list of traitors who don't understand." Ouch. The music is slow, sad, and intense, and Swift tells off the guy in question: "Dear John, don't you think nineteen's too young to be played with your dark twisted games, when I loved you so? I shoulda known." Yet another anthem for wronged girls everywhere...

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the rumor that this song is about a fellow signer, John Mayer. What do you think about the autobiographical lyrics and themes in Swift's music and the public relationships that she's had with other celebrities?

  • Do you think it's fair that Swift may be writing about other celebrities  in

  • her songs? Does it make you want to buy the music more when there is

  • added drama like this?

  • The lyrics are about a one-sided, unhealthy relationship saying, "Don't you think nineteen's too young to be played by your dark, twisted games when I loved you so?" What do you think about this song? Can you relate to the lyrics or the relationship?

Music details

Artist:Taylor Swift
Release date:October 25, 2010
Label:Big Machine Records
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of "Dear John" (CD Single) was written by

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old April 20, 2011


I love Taylor! Amazing singer & amazing song. I love how all these songs are about what she feels and real-life situations. Some lyrics are harsh, but it's an amazing song overall.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Educator Written byeducation101 June 8, 2013

Taylor REALLY should've known

Full report: Taylor Swift has beautiful music, a fantastic voice and honest lyrics and this song is one of her best. Said lyrics on this song can get a bit harsh but ends on a positive note saying that anybody can "shine like fireworks" after going through hardship. This song probably has some statements and attitudes to breakups that could get result in students getting into fights and bother if applied in secondary school during a breakup with a schoolmate. Parental Preview is probably advisable but length might bore younger kids anyway but vocals and music complete the length so older kids and teens will be interested. A brilliant but mature song with harsh lyrics and a positive message. Positive Messages: A one-sided and bitter recount of a breakup but has a positive message about moving on in life after the fact. Positive Role Models: Taylor Swift has been clean in her music and personal life and is a solid role model although since nearly all of her songs are about breakups and they are based on her life, that says something about her dating/partner choices. What that says is that since nearly all of her partners have been nasty and she knew better if "I Knew You Were Trouble" is based on her life (again), she is reckless when it comes to dating habits. Violence: None Sex: None Language: No swear words are used but Taylor is bitter and is not afraid to show it
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old April 1, 2012

I love this song!! She has an amazing voice.


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