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Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version) Takes Over — Are We in the 1989 Era?

If you missed it, Taylor Swift, the queen herself, joined Tiktok in August (only the most iconic month). Since then, she has amassed over thirty million likes as fans worldwide have gone mad. Her TikTok bio clearly states that “this is pretty much just a cat account,” and most of her posts have been lighthearted, often featuring her fur babies. 

The newest addition to Swift’s TikTok career isn’t a video per se, but rather a trending sound. Tiktok creators have taken to using “Wildest Dreams” as audio for their videos. Your TikTok feed has more than likely been spammed with these videos, so you probably know exactly what we’re talking about. But if you are not on SwiftTok, let us be the first to tell you: Miss Swift is not messing around. 

On September 17, Taylor posted a new video inviting her fans to use her version for their TikTok trends. Although Taylor announced that her next re-recorded album would be “Red,” she dropped “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)” that day. Fans were going wild in the TikTok comments. Many praised her for taking ownership of all her music and applauded her for her chaotic energy. 

But why did she do it? It’s no secret that Taylor Swift has been in a long battle against producer Scooter Braun who bought her entire discography without her knowledge. To regain her ownership and prevent Braun from gaining royalties, Taylor decided to re-record her first six albums and call them “Taylor’s Version.” When Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” song went viral on TikTok, she refused to let her archenemy benefit. Being the brilliant businesswoman she is, Taylor did not wait for a single second and decided to release her version of the song: “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version).” She invited her millions of followers to use this sound instead, and as always, Miss Swift is in control. 

Dropping a re-recorded version of a “1989” song simply was not enough for Taylor. On the same day, she posted another TikTok in which she used her own sound. The video opens with her painting her nails red. The caption reads: “You set a date in November with Red but then someone mentions 1989.” She quickly transitions to a shot of her wearing a blue dress and black sunglasses, but not before the screen glitches between the two shots. The video glitches back to her wearing the blue dress, and the frame zooms in as she winks directly at us. 

Fans were freaking out amid the chaos. As Swifties tend to do, they began to speculate and come up with about a million different theories. First and foremost, we must address the glitch. Repeat after me: everything is intentional. Fans quickly theorized that the glitch represented an interruption of the “Red (Taylor’s Version)” era. The working theory is that Taylor’s essentially releasing two re-recorded albums at once. And why shouldn’t this be plausible? She is Taylor Swift after all. 

The red nail polish is an obvious nod to her “Red” era, but what does the blue dress mean? Why is she wearing sunglasses? Why is she standing on a balcony? Again, we know that everything is a clue with Taylor (except for mathematical calculations about the “1989” re-record dropping in April). The blue dress is suspiciously identical to the one she wore in her “Out of the Woods” video. The balcony and sunglasses seemingly reference a photo she took for “Welcome to New York.” In the photo, she wears a pair of pink sunglasses and stands on a balcony, overlooking the skyline. 

While most Swifties agree on these first theories, one Swiftie blew the case wide open. In a TikTok video, the poster pauses on the original video right when the glitch happens. The paused frame is instantly recognizable. It looks just like the cave in Taylor’s Style video. Is this another message to fans that “1989” is coming? We certainly think so. 

After releasing the audio, Taylor quickly started leaving comments on her followers’ TikToks that followed the trend. One of these comments, and perhaps the most mysterious of all, read: “WHAT ERA ARE WE EVEN IN?” If Taylor herself does not know which era she is in, we Swifties are more than lost. This simple yet intriguing comment suggests that contrary to what Swift claims, we are not in the “Red (Taylor’s Version)” era nor the “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” era. Instead, we find ourselves participating in an era we did not even know had started: the “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” era. Is this confirmation that “1989” will be the next re-recorded album to be released together with “Red?” Or is Miss Swift playing us once again? 

Taylor left another easter egg in her tweet on September 20th, suggesting that “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” might be released sooner than we anticipated. Cunningly hidden in the form of the “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” promotion, Taylor tweeted that her “hand is now frozen in the permanent shape of a claw” after signing physical copies of the album. We know all too well that with Taylor, a Tweet is never simply a Tweet. In her “Out of the Woods” music video, her hand is frozen, and oh surprise, it’s frozen in the shape of a claw. Is it a coincidence? It most definitely is not. 

We can create theories and make infinite mathematical equations to figure out Taylor’s next step. Unfortunately, we won’t know the truth until Taylor decides to tell us herself. Undeniably, Swift loves to play games with her fans, and over and over again, she is always the winner at the end. 

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Ruby Zeidman

Columbia Barnard '24

Ruby is a sophomore at Barnard College. Although she's currently undeclared, she loves to write and is an avid reader. She enjoys running, spending too much on iced coffee, and exploring NYC.
Alison Hog

Columbia Barnard '25

Alison is a Peruvian freshman at Barnard College who intends to major in Political Science. You can usually find her binging Netflix shows, watching rom-com movies, or obsessing over Taylor Swift.
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