Posted on: October 22, 2020 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Taylor Swift is widely known for writing every one of her hit songs on some form of heartbreak, misery or men in general. Music reviewers and critics constantly bash the fact that she writes and sings based on her own experiences with men and heartache rather than looking at every situation from every angle. Swift has continuously defended herself, claiming those are her most passionate songs because they’re written from the heart and real-life experiences. When that statement wasn’t enough to silence the critics, Swift released her newest album, “folklore”, an album based off of every story but her own. 

Mariah Trujillo

Music Reviewer, JRN 101 Student

Swift revealed the fact that every song on her newest album was written in her words but from another’s storyline. Whether she got the passion to write from the perspective of a fictional character she created on her own, people she had met or even just stories she heard from different times in history, she plays each story differently in her own words, for everyone to hear and relate to in different ways.

Swift writes about a variety of different topics throughout this album; some songs are about heartache and being in love while others are based off of articles of clothing and the harsh realities of this world. The album created is truly such an interesting spectacle; it allows readers to experience and live through so many different stories and so many different emotions, all written from the mind of a single woman. 

Swift made it very clear that she had endured enough judgement on the fact that she only wrote about herself when she made a song for and about everyone else but herself. “the last great american dynasty” is written about the real story of Rebekah Harkness, a St. Louis heiress and divorcee who married William “Bill” Hale Harkness. Her lyrics are, “Bill was the heir to the Standard Oil name, and money/And the town said ‘How did a middle class divorcee do it?’” The entire song is historically accurate, Rebekah Harkness is a real person and the story of her relationship with William Harkness is the entirety of “the last great american dynasty”.

Another great example is her song, “betty”, which is written in first person about a relationship occurring during junior year of highschool. Now, Swift herself is thirty, very far off from seventeen, but she writes and tells the story as though she is the boy in a relationship with “Betty” at that age and time. Her lyrics go, “Betty, I won’t make assumptions about why you switched your homeroom/But I think it’s cause of me”. While Betty herself is a fictional character, Swift had written about this fictional relationship as though she experienced it in real time. 

It’s really interesting to listen to so many different perspectives within such a short span of time. I would highly recommend listening to her new album “folklore”, not only to rid any previous assumptions of Taylor Swift only writing on heartache and misery but to have an insight into several different storylines, emotions and experiences with beautiful musical execution.