It’s here, you guys! Yep, Taylor Swift dropped her ninth studio album, Evermore, on Friday, December 11, and we cannot stop listening to it! But wait, who is it about, you ask? Were the songs inspired by her relationship with Joe Alwyn? Did she reference her feud with Scooter Braun in the new music? And did she shade any of her exes in the lyrics? Not to worry, you guys, because we broke down each and every song for you!
As fans know, when Swift released its sister album, Folklore, back in July, she made it clear that many of the songs weren’t actually about her real life.
“In isolation my imagination has run wild and this album is the result. I’ve told these stories to the best of my ability with all the love, wonder, and whimsy they deserve. Now it’s up to you to pass them down,” she explained at the time. “It started with imagery. Visuals popped into my mind and piqued my curiosity … Pretty soon these images in my head grew faces or names and became characters. I found myself not only writing my own stories, but also writing about or from the perspective of people I’ve never met, people I’ve known or those I wish I hadn’t.”
And the same applies to Evermore! The singer wrote on Twitter right before its release, “I loved the escapism I found in these imaginary/not imaginary tales. I loved the ways you welcomed the dreamscapes and tragedies and epic tales of love lost and found into your lives. So I just kept writing them.”
OK, so while some of the songs aren’t about Swift’s personal life, there are a few that are. Here’s what each track off of Evermore is really about…
The opening song on the album, “Willow,” is all about the beginning of a relationship and falling in love with someone. And many fans believe that this one is inspired by Swift’s relationship with Alwyn! While chatting with fans on YouTube during its premiere, the “Cardigan” songstress explained, “’Willow’ is about intrigue, desire and the complexity that goes into wanting someone. I think it sounds like casting a spell to make someone fall in love with you.”
“The more that you say, the less I know / Wherever you stray, I follow / I’m begging for you to take my hand / Wreck my plans, that’s my man,” the lyrics read. “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 / Like you were a trophy or a champion ring / But there was one prize I’d cheat to win.”
Swift and her beau actually wrote this track together! According to the blonde beauty, emotional ballad is about “longtime college sweethearts had very different plans for the same night, one to end it and one who brought a ring.”
“I dropped your hand while dancing / Left you out there standing / Crestfallen on the landing / Champagne problems / Your mom’s ring in your pocket / My picture in your wallet / Your heart was glass, I dropped it / Champagne problems,” she sings in it. “You told your family for a reason / You couldn’t keep it in / Your sister splashed out on the bottle / Now no one’s celebrating.”
This one is about seeing a (really swoon-worthy) guy and imagining your life together, but deciding that the relationship isn’t worth it since you know it’s going to be a wild ride. During the YouTube Q&A, Swift said that the song “takes place inside a single daydream where you get lost in thought for a minute and then snap out of it.”
“But I don’t like a gold rush, gold rush / I don’t like anticipatin’ my face in a red flush / I don’t like that anyone would die to feel your touch / Everybody wants you / Everybody wonders what it would be like to love you,” the lyrics read. “What must it be like to grow up that beautiful? / With your hair falling into place like dominoes / I see me padding across your wooden floors / With my Eagles t-shirt hanging from the door / At dinner parties, I call you out on your contrarian s**t / 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.”
Some fans have speculated that this one is about Harry Styles, who as fans know, briefly dated the 31-year-old in 2012. Why? Well, he was photographed holding an Eagles t-shirt in the past and he has his own song called “Golden.”
‘Tis The Damn Season’
“‘Tis the Damn Season” doesn’t seem like it’s about Swift’s personal life. It’s all about a young celebrity who returns to her home town for the holidays, and wants to reunite with her ex for the weekend.
“So we could call it even / You could call me ‘babe’ for the weekend / ‘Tis the damn season, write this down / I’m stayin’ at my parents’ house / And the road not taken looks real good now / And it always leads to you and my hometown,” Swift sings.
Some people have wondered if it’s about Selena Gomez — who is good friends with Swift — but unfortunately, the musician has yet to confirm or deny.
This track is another one that isn’t really about Swift. In it, she sings about being unappreciated in a relationship.
“I wait by the door like I’m just a kid / Use my best colors for your portrait / Lay the table with the fancy s**t / And watch you tolerate it,” the lyrics read. “If it’s all in my head tell me now / Tell me I’ve got it wrong somehow / I know my love should be celebrated / But you tolerate it.”
While chatting with Entertainment Weekly, Swift admitted that she drew inspiration from many movies and TV shows she was watching, which has some fans theorizing that this song was inspired by Princess Diana and Prince Charles‘ relationship as portrayed in The Crown.
‘No Body, No Crime’ Ft. Haim
“No Body, No Crime” is about someone who decides to seek revenge on their best friend’s husband. In the moody track, Swift sings about her friend Este, who suspects her husband is cheating. But when she goes missing and Swift is sure her husband killed her, she decides to take it upon herself to get justice for Este. She kills the husband, and blames it on his new mistress. As for how this song came to be, the artist explained that it was inspired by her “obsession with true crime podcasts/documentaries.”
“Good thing my daddy made me get a boating license when I was 15 / And I’ve cleaned enough houses to know how to cover up a scene / Good thing Este’s sister’s gonna swear she was with me (She was with me, dude) / Good thing his mistress took out a big life insurance policy,” the lyrics read.
“Happiness” is a sad song about the end of a relationship. While discussing the album with EW, the singer previously explained, “I found myself being very triggered by any stories, movies, or narratives revolving around divorce, which felt weird because I haven’t experienced it directly. There’s no reason it should cause me so much pain, but all of a sudden it felt like something I had been through.”
The lyrics read, “Honey, when I’m above the trees / I see this for what it is / But now I’m right down in it, all the years I’ve given / Is just shit we’re dividin’ up / Showed you all of my hiding spots / I was dancing when the music stopped / And in the disbelief, I can’t face reinvention / I haven’t met the new me yet / There’ll be happiness after you / But there was happiness because of you / Both of these things can be true.”
There’s a few theories that the song was inspired by The Great Gatsby.
“Dorothea” is actually the same story as “‘Tis the Damn Season,” but told from the guy’s point of view! Swift explained in a YouTube comment, “Dorothea is the girl who left her small town to chase down Hollywood dreams — and what happens when she comes back or the holidays and rediscovers an old flame.”
“It’s never too late to come back to my side / The stars in your eyes shined brighter in Tupelo / And if you’re ever tired of bеing known for who you know / You know, you’ll always know me, Dorothea,” she sings. “Hey, Dorothea, do you ever stop and think about me? / When it was calmer, skipping the prom just to piss off your mom and her pageant schemes / And damn, Dorothea, they all wanna be ya / But are you still the same soul I met under the bleachers?”
‘Coney Island’ Ft. The National
“Coney Island” is another breakup song. The lyrics read, “If I can’t relate to you anymore / Then who am I related to? / And if this is the long haul / How’d we get here so soon? / Did I close my fist around something delicate? / Did I shatter you? / And I’m sitting on a bench in Coney Island / Wondering where did my baby go? / The fast times, the bright lights, the merry go / Sorry for not making you my centerfold.”
This track is all about an affair, and is seemingly not about Swift’s real life.
“My pain fits in the palm of your freezing hand / Taking mine, but it’s been promised to another / Oh, I can’t / Stop you putting roots in my dreamland / My house of stone, your ivy grows / And now I’m covered in you,” she sings in “Ivy.” “He’s in the room / Your opal eyes are all I wish to see / He wants what’s only yours.”
‘Cowboy Like Me’
According to Swift, “Cowboy Like Me” is about “two young con artists who fall in love while hanging out in fancy resorts trying to score rich romantic beneficiaries.”
“Eyes full of stars / Hustling for the good life / Never thought I’d meet you here / It could be love / We could be the way forward / And I know I’ll pay for it / You’re a cowboy like me,” the lyrics read.
‘Long Story Short’
“Long Story Short” is one of the few songs that fans believe is indeed inspired by Swift’s real life! In the song, the Grammy Award winning songwriter sums up her journey (including all of her bad relationships and past drama) to get to where she is now — happy and in love with Alwyn.
“And I fell from the pedestal / Right down the rabbit hole / Long story short, it was a bad time / Pushed from the precipice / Clung to the nearest lips / Long story short, it was the wrong guy / Now I’m all about you,” the lyrics read. “I always felt I must look better in the rear view / Missing me / 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.”
The song “Marjorie” is about Swift’s late grandmother, and even includes an old recording of her singing!
“And if I didn’t know better / I’d think you were talking to me now / If I didn’t know better / I’d think you were still around / What died didn’t stay dead / You’re alive, you’re alive in my head,” the lyrics read. “I should’ve asked you how to be / 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.”
In “Closure,” Swift sings about an ex who sent her a letter to apologize, but she wants nothing to do with it.
“Yes, I got your letter / Yes, I’m doing better / It cut deep to know ya, right to the bone / Yes, I got your letter / Yes, I’m doing better / I know that it’s over, I don’t need your / Closure, your closure,” the lyrics read. “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.”
‘Evermore’ Ft. Bon Iver
The final song on the album, “Evermore,” is another breakup song, and boy, is it emotional. Swift sings, “And I was catching my breath / Staring out an open window / Catching my death / And I couldn’t be sure / I had a feeling so peculiar / That this pain would be for / Evermore.”