On July 23rd, Taylor Swift surprised the world by announcing the release of her latest album entitled, “folklore.”
The album is a heartfelt tale of many different stories. Swift’s fans, often referred to as “Swifties,” have shown nothing but complete adoration for Swift’s recent release.
Whereas I wouldn’t necessarily categorize myself as a Swiftie, the album certainly had me “in the feels.” My personal favorites from the album were “cardigan,” “seven,” “the last great American dynasty,” and “illicit affairs.”
The debut song, “cardigan” premiered on YouTube with its own music video had many (including myself at one point) reaching for a tissue box. It reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 upon its debut and the music video has accumulated approximately 44 million views on YouTube.
The song paints a rather somber story, telling a tale of sweet moments with a significant other. Swift incorporates the phrase “cardigan” into the song via the lyric, “and when I felt like I was an old cardigan, under someone’s bed, you put me on and said I was your favorite.” The song then takes a heart-wrenching turn, as the lyrics depict the significant other leaving, “I knew you tried to change the ending Peter losing Wendy.” Swift can be seen dismissing the notion that young people have nothing to contribute to meaningful discussions in the one lyric that is notably repeated in the song, specifically, “when you are young they assume you know nothing.”
Swift did make sure to include some lighthearted beats on her album though. “The last great american dynasty” was one of those songs that will appeal to those of you who tend to daydream and waltz through life, regardless of people’s opinions. This song is about Rebekah Harkness, a popular socialite in the 1960’s who was a significant philanthropist to the arts, specifically ballet.
Rebekah Harkness is introduced in the song as a young middle-class divorcee who marries a man named Bill, the heir apparent to the standard oil name, and money. Quickly after their marriage, Bill passes away due to a heart attack, and Swift sings about a judgemental town who blames Harkness for Bill’s death. The town’s woes are described in the lyrics, “there goes the last great american dynasty” and “there goes the most shameless woman this town has ever seen.” The song then goes onto discussing Harkness partying with her socialite friends and getting into trouble by notably dyeing her neighbor’s dog green in a feud. Nevertheless, the song then shifts gears at the end, from Swift’s perspective. She places herself in the fictional town she sings about with the judgemental town folk, who seem to judge her by saying, “there goes the most loudest woman this town has ever seen.” Swift responds in the song, adding “I [Swift] had a marvelous time, ruining everything”.
Nevertheless, fans of the album can certainly agree that “folklore” by Taylor Swift isn’t just an album, but a lifestyle and life-changing experience. I highly encourage you to give the full album a listen. You’ll find yourself having felt like you’ve traveled through many different eras, emotions, and lives.