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Taylor Swift and Folklore: Changing the Music Game

If you haven’t listened to Taylor Swift’s newest album Folklore, what are you doing? 

As an avid fan of her music, this latest album is her best one yet. It combines all aspects of fantasy, love, wonder, and solace together into one magical and whimsy, 17-song soundtrack. Imagine a cottage-core aesthetic in an album. That’s exactly what Folklore is.

What is folklore? It is the tradition of passing down stories through generations by retelling them. Stories turn into myths and legends and lore through whispers, and the lines between truth and fiction blur together.

Taylor wrote this album based on her memories, history, and fantasy, singing both of her own life and stories she created in her mind --- stories of her past loves, a love triangle told from three sides, the historical life of Rebekah Harkness, reflections on her own flaws and insecurities, and criticisms of the media and their attacks on women. 

A more mature version of her fourth album, Red, sounds and concepts can be related back to older songs she’s written. I understand what you're trying to say, but it doesn't quite make sense. Try rewording this section(: (might need to be broken into two sentences)

And of course, we have to talk about the lyrical masterpieces of the songs. Even if you’re not a fan of her, give credit where credit is due. Taylor Swift is one of the best lyricists of this generation despite whether or not her music is for you. 

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1 - the 1 

“We never painted by the numbers, baby 

But we were making it count 

You know the greatest loves of all time are over now” 

2 - cardigan 

“And when I felt like I was an old cardigan 

Under someone’s bed 

You put me on and said I was your favorite” 

3 - the last great american dynasty 

“Who knows, if I never showed up, what could've been 

There goes the loudest woman this town has ever seen 

I had a marvelous time ruining everything” 

4 - exile (with Bon Iver) 

“You're not my homeland anymore 

So what am I defending now? 

You were my town, now I'm in exile, seein' you out” 

5 - my tears ricochet 

“I didn't have it in myself to go with grace 

Cause when I'd fight, you used to tell me I was brave

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

6 - mirrorball 

“I want you to know 

I'm a mirrorball 

I can change everything about me to fit in” 

7 - seven 

“Your braids like a pattern 

Love you to the Moon and to Saturn 

Passed down like folk songs 

The love lasts so long” 

8 - august 

“But I can see us lost in the memory 

August slipped away into a moment in time 

'Cause it was never mine” 

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9 - this is me trying 

“So I got wasted like all my potential 

And my words shoot to kill when I'm mad 

I have a lot of regrets about that” 

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 

“And isn't it just so pretty to think 

All along there was some 

Invisible string 

Tying you to me?” 

12 - mad woman 

"No one likes a mad woman 

You made her like that 

And you'll poke that bear 'til her claws come out 

And you find something to wrap your noose around” 

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  

“In the garden, would you trust me 

If I told you it was just a summer thing? 

I'm only seventeen, I don't know anything 

But I know I miss you” 

15 - peace 

“All these people think love's for show 

But I would die for you in secret 

The devil's in the details, but you got a friend in me 

Would it be enough if I could never give you peace?” 

16 - hoax  

“You know I left a part of me back in New York

You knew the hero died, so what's the movie for?

You knew it still hurts underneath my scars

From when they pulled me apart” 

17 - the lakes (deluxe edition) 

“Take me to the Lakes where all the poets went to die 

I don't belong and, my beloved, neither do you 

Those Windermere peaks look like a perfect place to cry 

I'm setting off, but not without my muse” 


Not to mention, she created this entire album in the few months since quarantine and self-isolation started, which is an incredible feat in and of itself.

Folklore transports you to a fantastical world where anything and everything is possible, where dreams become reality, and tales become legends. Taylor wrote this album to escape the world outside, and she does a beautiful job of taking listeners with her to another dimension.

Brianne is a junior at the University of Iowa majoring in Human Physiology and minoring in French. In addition to writing for Her Campus, Brianne is also a member of the Campus Activities Board. Brianne enjoys traveling, rewatching New Girl, drinking coffee, and yelling while she watches hockey games among other sports. She hopes to share her personal experiences, learn new things from others, and build connections.
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