“Lover” is a rom-com worthy, floaty tune in which Taylor Swift’s emotions are at an all-time high: she is completely in love.
Listen: “Lover” – Taylor Swift
It is difficult – if not impossible – to recall a time country singer turned pop star Taylor Swift wrote a song as unabashedly romantic as “Lover.” The title track from her upcoming seventh album set to be released Aug. 23, “Lover” delivers a rom-com worthy, floaty tune that feels destined to become a go-to first dance song for innumerable weddings over the course of the next few years. There are no anthems as saccharine on Swift’s 2017 album Reputation or even on her 2014 release 1989. That is, perhaps, what makes “Lover” so striking. Sonically, it is surprisingly mellow. Yet lyrically, Swift’s emotions are at an all-time high: she is completely in love.
Swift’s attitude towards love has fluctuated tremendously during her time in the public eye. In a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone, she admitted that her opinion on relationships had warped. This could perhaps be attributed to a series of heartbreaks Swift suffered, and severe public scrutiny. The once curly-haired, starry-eyed songstress who penned mawkish, wonderfully youthful and somewhat delusional love songs about happily-ever-afters and fairytales like “Love Story” morphed into someone far more cynical about the prospect of love. In the interview, Swift famously said, “I think the way I used to approach relationships was very idealistic…I used to go into them thinking, ‘Maybe this is the one — we’ll get married and have a family, this could be forever.’ Whereas now I go in thinking, ‘How long do we have on the clock — before something comes along and puts a wrench in it, or your publicist calls and says this isn’t a good idea?’”
We could leave the Christmas lights up ’til January
This is our place, we make the rules
And there’s a dazzling haze, a mysterious way about you, dear
Have I known you 20 seconds or 20 years?
“Lover,” in many ways, is a complete break from the Swift that wrote reputation or even 1989. In this song, Swift sings, “We could leave the Christmas lights up ‘til January/ This is our place, we make the rules.” Swift is referring to herself and boyfriend Joe Alwyn’s shared space literally. But metaphorically, Swift’s lyric can demonstrate that she doesn’t care what outsiders have to say about their relationship – she adores Alwyn, and they “make the rules” – which contrasts sharply from Swift’s 2014 commentary about her publicist interfering with her personal relationships.
Swift continues to muse, singing, “And there’s a dazzling haze, a mysterious way about you, dear/ Have I known you 20 seconds or 20 years?” There is, admittedly, something mysterious about Swift’s beau: unlike Swift’s previous romantic relationships, the bond shared between Alwyn and Swift has managed to stay considerably out of the public eye; a mystery. She also ponders, “Have I known you 20 seconds or 20 years?” referring to how, when a person clicks well with another, time doesn’t feel like a relevant way to measure the connection.
Can I go where you go?
Can we always be this close forever and ever?
And oh, take me out and take me home
You’re my, my, my, my
The chorus is drifty, dreamy, and dazzlingly romantic. “Can I go where you go?” Swift wonders. “Can we always be this close forever and ever?” Though these read like rhetorical questions, Swift answers a resounding ‘yes’ just a few lines later, singing “You’re my, my, my, my lover.”
We could let our friends
crash in the living room
This is our place, we make the call
And I’m highly suspicious that
everyone who sees you wants you
I’ve loved you three summers now,
honey, but I want ’em all
In the second verse, Swift makes it obvious that she feels Alwyn is quite the catch, singing “And I’m highly suspicious that everyone who sees you wants you /I’ve loved you three summers now, honey, but I want ‘em all.” There’s something so intimate about Swift’s tone when she sings the ‘three summers’ lyric that makes it all the more beautiful. For a person that rarely divulges anything about her relationship besides in her songs, this nugget feels exceedingly personal, like something Swift would write in a private love letter to Alwyn himself. It’s also worthy to note that Swift and Alwyn reportedly met at The Met Gala back in May 2016 , three summers ago, as a clue to confirm that the song is about him.
In the song’s bridge, Swift sparked rumours about her being engaged or even married by singing:
Ladies and gentlemen, will you please stand?
With every guitar string scar on my hand
I take this magnetic force of a man to be my Lover
My heart’s been borrowed and yours has been blue
All’s well that ends well to end up with you
Swear to be over-dramatic and true to my
And you’ll save all your dirtiest jokes for me
And at every table, I’ll save you a seat
These lyrics are highly evocative of a wedding, possibly either in Swift and Alwyn’s future, or maybe even their past. Swift also mentions “guitar string scar[s] on my hand,” referencing her guitar, which was a key instrument particularly in her earlier love songs.
Swift ends the song by repeating the word ‘my’ over and over again. “You’re my, my, my, my/ Oh you’re my, my, my, my/ Darling, you’re my, my, my, my lover,” Swift sings, reinforcing the bond that Alwyn and her share.
In a lot of ways, the release of “Lover” doesn’t feel like it signals a new chapter for the singer. Instead, it feels like Swift returning to a much older one. It is the re-emergence of her hopelessly romantic self, and her return to believing in a world where happily-ever-after does exist once more.
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📸 © Valheria Rocha
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