her music & lyrics

Saturday, December 19, 2020


Before I became anything else, I am a Swiftie and I lost it when she released two albums this year just a few months ahead of each other. It's a feat that probably no one has ever accomplished before. The first one was folklore released last July before I launched this website so it was not featured here so I am making amends. And just this month quite surprisingly I must say, she released evermore- its sister record and I have nothing to do but heap praises to it. 

Damn. What a prodigy. 

Pro tip: Listen to both albums in one go and you'll emerge out of the whimsical world that she created reinvigorated, like you've been dipped into the coolest waters and all your lockdown worries are washed away. Her lyricism which is always her front and center has taken new heights. If folklore is an invitation, evermore is prompting you to linger a little longer. My head is still processing the idea that these two magnum opuses were the legitimately released albums for this brutal age. And what perfect timing! 

As of this posting, folklore is nominated for 6 Grammys including the highly coveted Album of the Year which she won twice for Fearless and 1989. If she manages to snatch it this time and deservedly so, she will be the first woman to have won that category thrice. If you are nominated for AOTY, you have to shoot for two aims. Your effort needs to be 1. Critically acclaimed and 2. Commercially successful. I hate to break this to haters but folklore is actually both. 

This screenshot from the music website albumoftheyear.org will solidify my claim: 

Although Fiona Apple, Phoebe Bridgers and Run the Jewel have stunning outputs this year and just as deserving to be nominated for AOTY, foklore probably trumped them in sales. I mean Swifties are loyal bunch. Taylor may have gone through transitions and morphed into multiple genres, from country to pop to now, folk-indie, fans want all of it. At this point in time, whatever Taylor wants to do will sell like pancakes. And there will be clamor when will be the next one after it. 

But through these sound and melodic reinventions, her flair as a lyricist and a storyteller is a gift that keeps on giving. And in folklore and evermore, it somersaults and ebbs and flows and dips and ultimately soars. And to reecho my favorite Youtube reactor Ajayll, that's what she did. Taylor Swift did that. 



And because she was strongest lyrically in these two albums, I decided to compile all my favorite lines from all of the tracks. From folklore's the 1 to hoax and evermore's willow to evermore, this is for me the best amongst all. 

All lyrical contents are from genius.com

1. The 1: 

2. cardigan

You drew stars around my scars
But now I'm bleedin'

3. the last great american dynasty 

The wedding was charming, if a little gauche
There's only so far new money goes

4. exile

I think I've seen this film before
And I didn't like the ending

You're not my homeland anymore
So what am I defending now?

You were my town, now I'm in exile, seein' you out
I think I've seen this film before

5. my tears ricochet

And if I'm dead to you, why are you at the wake?

6. mirrorball

And they called off the circusburned the disco down
When they sent home the horses and the rodeo clowns
I'm still on that tightrope
I'm still trying everything to get you laughing at me

7. seven

I was too scared to jump in
But I, I was high in the sky

With Pennsylvania under me
Are there still beautiful things?

8. august

So much for summer love and saying "us"
'Cause you weren't mine to lose

9. this is me trying

You're a flashback in a film reel on the one screen in my town

10. illicit affairs

Take the words for what they are
A dwindling, mercurial high
A drug that only worked
The first few hundred times

11. invisible string

Something wrapped all of my past mistakes in barbed wire
Chains around my demons
Wool to brave the seasons
One single thread of gold
Tied me to you

12. mad woman

And you'll poke that bear 'til her claws come out
And you find something to wrap your noose around
And there's nothing like a mad woman

13. epiphany

Only twenty minutes to sleep
But you dream of some epiphany
Just one single glimpse of relief
To make some sense of what you've seen

14. betty

I was walking home on broken cobblestones
Just thinking of you when she pulled up like
A figment of my worst intentions
She said "James, get in, let's drive"

Those days turned into nights
Slept next to her, but
I dreamt of you all summer long

15. peace

But I'm a fire and I'll keep your brittle heart warm
If your cascade, ocean wave blues come

16.  hoax

Stood on the cliffside screaming, "Give me a reason"
Your faithless love's the only hoax I believe in
Don't want no other shade of blue but you
No other sadness in the world would do


1. willow

Life was a willow and it bent right to your wind
Head on the pillow, I could feel you sneakin' in
As if you were a mythical thing

2. champagne problems

Your Midas touch on the Chevy door
November flush and your flannel cure

3. gold rush

At dinner parties, I call you out on your contrarian shit
And the coastal town we wandered 'round had nеver seen a love as pure as it
And thеn it fades into the gray of my day-old tea
'Cause it could never be

4. 'tis the damn season

And wonder about the only soul
Who can tell which smiles I'm fakin'
And the heart I know I'm breakin' is my own

5. tolerate it

While you were out building other worlds, where was I?
Where's that man who'd throw blankets over my barbed wire?
I made you my temple, my mural, my sky
Now I'm begging for footnotes in the story of your life

Drawing hearts in the byline

6. no body, no crime

Good thing my daddy made me get a boating license when I was fifteen
And I've cleaned enough houses to know how to cover up a scene

7. happiness

In our history, across our great divide
There is a glorious sunrise
Dappled with the flickers of light
From the dress I wore at midnight, leave it all behind
And there is happiness

8. dorothea

Honey, making a lark of the misery
You got shiny friends since you left town
A tiny screen's the only place I see you now
And I got nothing but well wishes for ya

9. coney island

'Cause we were like the mall before the internet
It was the one place to be

The mischief, the gift-wrapped suburban dreams
Sorry for not winning you an arcade ring

10. ivy

Stop you putting roots in my dreamland
My house of stone, your ivy grows
And now I'm covered in you

11.  cowboy like me

Now you hang from my lips
Like the Gardens of Babylon
With your boots beneath my bed
Forever is the sweetest con

12. long story short

At the golden gates they once held the keys to
When I dropped my sword
I threw it in the bushes and knocked on your door

And we live in peace
But if someone comes at us, this time, I'm ready

13. marjorie

Asked you to write it down for me
Should've kept every grocery store receipt
'Cause every scrap of you would be taken from me
Watched as you signed your name Marjorie
All your closets of backlogged dreams
And how you left them all to me

14.  closure

Don't treat me like
Some situation that needs to be handled
I'm fine with my spite
And my tears, and my beers and my candles

I can feel you smoothing me over

15. evermore

I rewind thе tape, but all it does is pause
On thе very moment all was lost

That's quite a handful but prying open Taylor's songwriting is a joy unlike any other. It's wistful and masterful and you'll have a hard time highlighting the lines that will speak to you because frankly, at one point in your life, all of them will. 

Oh Taylor, never stop writing! 

So what's your favorite? 

image: pinterest


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