Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Taylor Swift’s Folklore Album

Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Taylor Swift's Folklore Album

Feature Photo: A.PAES / Shutterstock.com

Our list looks at the Real Meaning Behind The Songs On Taylor Swift’s Folklore Album. The album was released in 2020. Taylor Swift wrote this album while she was in quarantine during the pandemic. The singer recorded her vocals at home. Folklore is her eighth album. This album gave her a chance to find herself. The album is about romance, nostalgia, escapism and empathy. The singer has fictional songs on this project. She chose to create characters for the songs. She wrote about herself as well as from the perspective of other people. We will go into detail about what each song means on our list. The title for the album was because she wanted the music to be great like folklore songs. The album broke records for having the biggest opening on Spotify by a female singer.

Folklore is Taylor Swift’s seventh consecutive number one album on the charts. The album spent eight weeks at the top of the charts. It was one of the best-selling albums of 2020. The album sold over two million copies worldwide. The album features the singles “Cardigan,” “Exile” and “Betty.” The singles reached the Top 10 on the charts. “Cardigan” made it to number one on the singles charts.

# 1 – The 1

The first song on our list of the Real Meaning Behind The Songs On Taylor Swift’s Folklore Album is “The 1.” The song has a soft rock beat. The track is about one of her friends’ former relationships. Her friend moved on from the hurt of the relationship, but she wants to know how they got close to being together forever only for things to fall apart. She wonders if there was anything she could have done differently to make the relationship work. The friend learned to move on with her life. She wants him to know that she’s moving on and living her life. She still thinks about him and thought she saw him. She thinks about their history together. She realizes that just because the relationship didn’t work doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth it.

The friend thinks fondly about their relationship and thought they were good together. If her wishes came true while they were together, he would have been the one she would have been with for the rest of her life. She lets him know it wasn’t just his fault. She was at fault too. Taylor Swift wanted listeners to know that things don’t always go the way you want them to go. “The 1” is a reminder that you can miss what you have even when you move on with your life. It makes you appreciate what you have. The pain gets easier as time goes by. This was the first song she wrote for the album.

# 2 – Cardigan

The next song on our list of the Real Meaning Behind The Songs On Taylor Swift’s Folklore Album is “Cardigan.” The song has a folk and soft rock sound. “Cardigan” is a three-part story about a teenage love triangle between Betty, James and an unnamed girl. “Cardigan,” “August” and “Betty” are the song songs that are linked for the album. The song is a story that is told from Betty’s point of view.

The track goes into detail about a lost romance. Betty and James are a couple, but he gets his head turned when he meets another girl. She opens the song with details about how good Betty and James were together. She talks about the things James did to make her feel better at the beginning of their relationship. Betty wants him to do those things now that he’s hurt her.

Betty always felt like she was an afterthought, but James made her feel differently. He made her feel like she was loved. She compared the feeling to how you feel when you find a lost item of clothing. You are relieved that you have found it and you can love it again. She also delves into the affair that James has with the other woman.

The singer wants James to know that if you go after two women, you will lose one of them. Taylor Swift discusses the end of Betty and James’ relationship. She doesn’t want to focus on the good times they had together. Betty realizes that she’s losing James because he refuses to be mature. Taylor Swift wrote this ballad about first love and the first heartbreak. She wanted to let her fans know that you can lose love at any age.

# 3 – The Last Great American Dynasty

The song has a pop, funk and alternative rock sound. Taylor Swift wanted to write something different. She wanted to do a track that was up-tempo and pushed the envelope. She wanted to write a song that would pull you in with the music as well as the lyrics. The singer wrote this song in parts. “The Last Great American Dynasty” is about a socialite named Rebekah Harkness. Taylor Swift bought the mansion that Rebekah Harkness owned. She was one of the richest women in the United States. People used to gossip about Rebekah Harkness. Taylor Swift felt her life was similar to Rebekah Harkness’ life. Taylor Swift thought her life was interesting and wanted to write about it.

Taylor Swift starts the song from a third person’s narrative until she changes it to a first person narrative. The first part is about someone else’s point of view. The person is most likely Rebekah Harkness. The singer goes into detail about Rebekah Harkness’ life with her husband. She was gossiped about by her neighbors. She threw parties all of the time. She was accused of spending his money and ruining the family name. She was one of the most hated women in her town. The second part is about Taylor Swift buying Rebekah Harkness’ mansion. The last part of the song is about the similarities between the two women. Taylor Swift discussed her well-known relationships, celebrity friends and scandalous parties.

# 4 – Exile ft. Bon Iver

The track has an indie folk beat. This is the second single from the album. “Exile” is about a conversation between two former lovers. They meet up with each other and decide to talk about their relationship. They talk about their past relationship with each other. The song is about one person moving on while the other one still has feelings for the person. He hasn’t moved on with his life, while she has moved on with her life. She is dating someone else and hates that he still loves her. They blame each other for why their relationship didn’t work. The point of the song isn’t to talk about who is at fault. It was talk about what went wrong in their relationship.

He is very jealous of her new relationship even though they aren’t together anymore. He talks about how hard it is to go from being together and being “exiled” out of her life. He thinks the pain of losing her will last a long time. She also admits that she feels something for him even though she doesn’t want to get back together with him. She’s not happy about the way he looks at her current boyfriend. He looks at her new boyfriend as if he’s a rebound. She doesn’t like how her ex seems to want her back. The singer said she’s given him enough chances to change.

It’s not right for him to miss her when she’s moving on with her life. She thinks it’s an insult. The ex-boyfriend continues to ask for another chance with her. They keep talking about what went wrong. They discuss the fact that they lacked communication with each other. The point of the song is that relationships may be over, but it may take a while for the feelings to end.

# 5 – My Tears Ricochet

The next song on our list of the Real Meaning Behind The Songs On Taylor Swift’s Folklore Album is “My Tears Ricochet.” The track has a gospel beat. The gothic tale is about a ghost of a dead woman who haunts the person who killed her. She finds out that the person she loved dearly killed her and was at her funeral. The funeral is a metaphor for a betrayal of an important person in her life. People thought this song was about an ex-lover. The song is most likely about her situation with the founder of her former record label. Scott Borchetta sold her masters to Scooter Braun. The singer hasn’t admitted to this song being about Scott Borchetta.

Taylor Swift wanted to write a song about a person you trust the most who ends up breaking your heart. She said the person you trusted turned out to be the person who hurt you the most. The person you thought was your friend is now your biggest enemy. The singer and songwriter got this idea based on the movie Marriage Story. She was also inspired by marriages that ended in a terrible way. She wanted her listeners to understand how difficult it can be to get hurt by the person who is supposed to love you.

# 6 –Mirrorball

The song has a pop and folk beat. “Mirrorball” is a metaphor about her life. She compares herself to a “mirrorball.” She tries to do things to please people. She talks about her relationship and how she is confident in it. She can be anything she wants in order to maintain her relationship. She breaks like glass if her heart gets broken. She expresses how she shatters into pieces if something goes wrong in her relationship. The singer talks about how she can’t be consoled if her heart is broken. She loves to entertain people with her music, but she can’t handle her heart being broken.

Taylor Swift discusses how she felt like she had to change the way she is in order to give people what they wanted. As a “mirrorball,” she’s letting everyone know that she can show different sides to her personality. She wants to sacrifice her vulnerability in order to give people what they wanted. She also wanted her fans to see the romantic aspect of the track. She glows because she’s confident in her role in her relationship. She wrote this song after her tour for her Lover album was canceled due to the pandemic.

# 7 – Seven

The track has a folk beat. This is the second song she wrote for the album. “Seven” is about her reflecting on her relationship with her childhood friend. Taylor Swift explains how she wasn’t able to understand the fact that her friend was going through domestic violence. Taylor Swift came up with the title of the track because she was seven when the domestic violence happened. She wanted to write a nostalgic song. She got the chance to go down memory lane and think about her childhood. She talks about trying to help her friend get away from her parents’ abuse. She suggests that they run away to India together.

“Seven” also tackles her witnessing her friend’s abuse. She felt like she couldn’t stop it from happening. Taylor Swift wanted her friend to go away with her to get her away from her home. Taylor Swift described the painful feeling her friend was dealing with because of the abuse she suffered at home. She hoped that she could help her friend forget about the trauma she went through at home. Taylor Swift talks about the past and the present day. Taylor Swift’s present self couldn’t believe what her childhood friend was going through in the past.

# 8 – August

The track has a pop beat. “August” is part two of the three-part storyline with “Cardigan,” “August” and “Betty.” This is a fictitious story about a love triangle. “August” is told from the mistress’ point of view. The track talks about a summer love that is destined to fail. The main character in this song is the unnamed mistress from the single “Cardigan.” The mistress wishes that she could spend more time with James. She thinks about the time they spent together over the summer. She knows that he’s not her man. She knows he belongs to someone else, but she wants him anyway.

The mistress couldn’t be with James publicly because he had a girlfriend. They had to meet each other secretly so they could spend time with each other. She enjoyed the feeling she got when she spent time with him. She rearranged her day so she could spend time with him. She would cancel any plans to be with him. The mistress enjoyed every moment she had with him. Taylor Swift wrote this song to talk about a teenage girl who fell in love with a guy she knew wasn’t hers. This track explains how things got started from the mistress’ point of view. Taylor Swift didn’t reveal why the relationship between James and the mistress didn’t work out. She goes into detail about the relationship with the third part of the story titled “Betty.”

# 9 – This Is Me Trying

The song has a pop beat. The ballad is about how she had to grow up under the microscope of the media. She had to deal with public scrutiny because of what she went through in 2016-2017. She wanted the listeners to know that she’s trying her best to work on herself. She wanted to talk about the anger she felt when the media focused on her personal life. Taylor Swift wanted to write a song that focuses on her mistakes and trying to make them right. The first part of the song is about her life being in turmoil as well as being in a bad relationship. The second part is about her losing in life as well as dealing with alcoholism.

The next part of the song is about taking accountability for what she did and making things right. She wanted to fix the relationship that she ruined. She wants the other person to know that she is changing for the better and wants to repair the relationship. She feels she should be given credit for trying to do the right thing. Folklore is a mostly fictional album, but this song is the closest to being about her life. She wanted to channel the emotion she felt during a painful time in her life.

# 10 – Illicit Affairs

The next song on our list of the Real Meaning Behind The Songs On Taylor Swift’s Folklore Album is “Illicit Affairs.” The song has a folk sound. The ballad is about a person who has an affair. She talks about what she goes through to keep the affair a secret. She constantly lies to people about what she’s doing when she’s actually meeting her lover. She goes into detail about what she did to keep her affair a secret. She would wear hoodies so no one would recognize her. She would meet him in parking lots. She wouldn’t wear perfume and he wouldn’t wear cologne so no one can notice their scents.

Taylor Swift discusses how the affair hurts the people they love. They are deceiving the people who mean the most to them. They end up hurting themselves as well, but they can’t help it. They have become hooked on each other. She realizes the deception may be exciting, but it will be short lived. She feels that one or both of them will end up getting hurt. She feels remorseful, but she knows she and her lover have a bond that they can’t forget. They know it’s wrong to have an affair, but they couldn’t stay away from each other. They know in the end someone will get hurt.

# 11 – Invisible String

The song has a country and folk beat. “Invisible String” is a love song. The song is about a string that connects two people together. The string holds them together through good times and bad times. She talks about fate and destiny. She talks about how fate brought her to her lover. Taylor Swift talks about what led them to be a couple. It’s about two people who didn’t know each other, but they fell in love. She explains how she’s grateful for her romances not working out because it made room for her to have a relationship with her current love. As Swifties fans know, she uses colors in her songs. She uses colors throughout the song to talk about her emotions. This song is possibly to her current love.

# 12 – Mad Woman

The song has a folk beat. “Mad Woman” is a song about double standards. The track is about sexism and double standards going on in the world. She talks about people being surprised that she’s angry. She lets the world know that they are responsible for her anger. The people who criticized her are why she’s become a “mad woman.” Taylor Swift talks about the pain she felt when she was being scrutinized by the media because of the uphill battles she faced in her career. She delves into the double standards women face when they are angry about something. She said that women are overreacting when they stand up for themselves. She is considered the bad guy when she wants to get revenge on the people who hurt her.

She goes into detail about how people have done things to make her angry, but she’s a lunatic for reacting to what was done to her. This song could be about what she went through with her record label or what happened with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. She doesn’t go into detail about either situation. She speaks generally about wanting to fight back even if she’s considered crazy for doing it. She wants women to be able to express themselves without looking angry or overemotional.

# 13 – Epiphany

The song has a pop beat. This song is a dedication to the first responders during the pandemic. She also wrote this song about war veterans who are trying to make sense of their work. She talks about healthcare workers who have to deal with everything that was going on during the pandemic. They weren’t prepared for what they had to go through because of the pandemic. Taylor Swift also mentions her grandfather. She compares the battle the healthcare workers went through to the battle the soldiers went through during the war. She talks about what her paternal grandfather went through watching a fellow soldier getting hurt during the war.

The next verse is about dealing with the patients’ battle during COVID and how the doctors and nurses helped them. She compares the pressures the first responders went through to the soldiers in the world. Both sets help people and had to watch people die. They had to deal with having to keep working while going through their battles. They weren’t getting rest because they had to help other people. She wanted to pay homage to everyone who had to put other peoples’ needs before their own. Taylor Swift wanted to bring awareness to what the first responders as well as the soldiers had to deal with during serious times for the country.

# 14 – Betty

The song has a country, rock and pop sound. This is the third single from the album. “Betty” is the third part in the love triangle trilogy. The third installment is told from James’ point of view. “Betty” is James’ apology for cheating on her. James wants Betty back in his life. He considers showing up at her party to try to win her back. He apologizes for what he did to her, but he doesn’t completely own up to his role in their breakup. James blames Betty for her wandering eye. James did blame his immaturity as a reason for their breakup. Despite that, James wants Betty to come back to him. Betty has moved on with her life. She doesn’t feel like she will take him back. Taylor Swift revealed everything that went wrong in the relationship in the third installment of the trilogy. She named everyone’s name in this song. She got the names from one of her friends’ kids.

# 15 – Peace

The track has an r&b sound. “Peace” is a love song about her relationship. She talks about her life as a celebrity and how it affects her personal life. She warns her lover that there will be complications that come with being in a relationship with her. She lets him know that her life is very public. She lets him know that she can’t guarantee that their lives will be peaceful. She informs her lover that she wants her passion to make up for her shortcomings in relationships. She lets him know that she has had her heart broken in the past. She feels vulnerable and is afraid to get hurt.

Taylor Swift seems a little bitter on the second verse. She makes veiled comments about people she considers enemies. She makes a comment about robbers and clowns that are coming out at her. This could be a dig at her record label over her masters or at Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. Taylor Swift hasn’t confirmed who she’s referring to in the song.

# 16 – Hoax

The last song on our list of the Real Meaning Behind The Songs On Taylor Swift’s Folklore Album is “Hoax.” The song has a pop sound. The piano ballad is about a flawed relationship. She talks about what happened when she was in a toxic relationship. She explains how the person broke her down. Despite the way the person treats her, she wants to hold on to the relationship because she’s not ready to move on with someone else. This is one of her most emotional songs on the album. She talks about the sadness she feels being in a relationship that isn’t right for her. This is the relationship that she had to work the hardest at keeping.

Taylor Swift wrote this song in a way that could be about a lover or anyone else you care about. The “hoax” could be about keeping a friend who is toxic to your life. She wrote this song so people could understand that you deal with their ups and downs. The song isn’t just about sadness. The track is about being hopeful that the sadness will go away. This is the last song that Taylor Swift wrote for the album.

Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Taylor Swift’s Folklore Album article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022

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