Decoding Taylor Swift, True Meaning Behind Her New Albums

Swift’s multiple new albums reveal secrets

Maggie Seidel, Managing Editor

Not many 21st century artists can claim as many accomplishments as Taylor Swift, and her release of two complete albums–“folklore” and “evermore”–amidst a global pandemic is certainly no exception. Her two albums of 2020 brought soothing melodic notes to our slower paced yet increasingly stressful lives each day.

     Most recently, “evermore” was released Dec. 11, near her birthday on Dec. 13, as a surprise. Not only is it an album, but it also tells a story. Each word carries a particular meaning, and avid listeners have paid particular attention to each syllable to uncover details of Swift’s life and her story.

     In doing so, she extends the identity of a songwriter beyond the confines of a musician and into lyrical and poetic territory. Swift is arguably one of the most acclaimed authors of the 21st century. She is the record recipient of 32 AMAs, 10 Grammy Awards, and the first and youngest female to win album of the year more than once.

     Swift has championed women’s rights and also set the precedent for female songwriters to be acknowledged in Hollywood. Swift is not only an artist but also a symbol of a new era of female communication through music. 

     The title “Gold Rush” already offers a connection to her relationship with Joe Alwyn, whom she often hiddenly refers to through the thread of “Gold” in song. Also in the second verse, Swift writes, “My mind turns your life into folklore” which suggests that Alwyn is, indeed, her muse.

     In “Tolerate It”, many listeners suspect that the story about a woman who unsuccessfully seeks the love and attention of her husband is inspired by Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ relationship recently broadcast on the fourth season of ìThe Crown.î While there is no way to be certain, the parallels are apparent in Swift’s remarks about the song, “I was thinking, Wow, her husband just tolerates her. She’s doing all these things and she’s trying to hard and she’s trying to impress him, and he’s just tolerating her the whole time.”

     “Happiness” incorporates themes of longing and regret according to The Insider. “The Great Gatsby,” too, incorporates the same themes which led fans to wonder if Swift’s song was inspired by this era and work of fiction.

     Most notably from “folklore,” Swift announced the name of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds’ third child, “Betty”–her fourteenth track on the album. 

     “Majorie,” in honor of Swift’s grandmother, displays the connection and love between a grandmother and her granddaughter. Swift writes about her respect for Majorie and pain she experienced once Majorie passed. This song provides an intimate piece of Swift’s family scrapbook and appears like a eulogy.