By Clodagh Meaney
Taylor Swift's highly anticipated 7th album was released today worldwide. 'Lover' is the longest of Taylor's albums coming in with a total of 18 tracks. The album comes with some heavy marketing and promotion, unlike her 2017 release "Reputation" where she declined to participate in interviews, or much album promotion. She stated "There will be no explanation, there will just be Reputation" in reference to the decision not to explain her famed autobiographical lyrics.
With respect to the title of her new album, this record tells us a lot about Taylor's relationship with London Boy Joe Alwyn, that is otherwise kept private and out of the spotlight. So, here's what I learned from listening to the album, on repeat.
The couple live together
On the track 'Lover', Swift sings "We could leave the lights up until January, this is our place, we make the rules". The video for the song was also released today.
The couple have been together for over 3 years
On the same track which was more than likely written and recorded before this summer, she sings "I've loved you for three summers now honey, but I want them all." That would estimate the first summer referenced is 2016; which means she was falling for Joe during her short relationship with Tom Hiddleston.
A wedding is on the cards
In what is probably my favourite track on the album, Paper Rings, Taylor says that she'd marry Joe regardless of the bling; "I like shiny things, but I'd marry you with paper rings". True love right there.
Tay loves London
Like, she's obsessed, and to be fair, I don't blame her. "I enjoy walking Camden market in the Afternoon" is one of many lyrical odes to her beau's hometown of London on 'London Boy'. She also makes a request to visit Hackney for some strange reason as well as lamenting about visits to Soho, Shoreditch, Brixton, Bond Street and Heath.
Joe's best friends have met Taylor
On the same track Taylor tells us more about her visits to London, saying she met Joe's friends there: "Took me back to Highgate, met all of his best mates." Note how she also uses the English slang term for friends, most poetic.
Taylor Swift loves the English?
Hmm, Tay's clearly not going to be affected by the backstop."God I love the English" is another admission on the sentimental song that probably doesn't resonate with those affected by Brexit uncertainty at the moment. But it's true, she loves British guys. Joe isn't her first British boyfriend either, Swift has also dated Harry Styles, Tom Hiddleston and Scottish DJ Calvin Harris.
Ms. Swift is a dab hand with a paintbrush.
On one of the album's collaborations with Dixie Chicks, Soon You'll Get Better she references "I'll paint the kitchen neon" and on Paper Rings she reminisces about painting Joe's brothers wall Blue. Can you do my place next, Tay?
Taylor hangs out in the pub watching Rugby
Back to London Boy, she mentions many picturesque English past-times such as "high tea, stories of Uni and the West End". Taylor also mentions watching Rugby in the pub with Joe and his 'mates'.
Taylor stalked Joe online after they first met
If you say you've never stalked someone you fancy online then you're an absolute liar. A gal has got to do what a gal has got to do. On Paper Ring Taylor references stalking Joe online after she first met him: "The night that we first met, went home and tried to stalk you on the internet".
They were friends before they got together
Her first lyrical reference to Joe goes back to her 2017 Reputation song Dress where she sings 'Say my name and everything just stops, I don't want you like a best friend'. Jump forward to Lover in 2019, on It's Nice To Have a Friend, she sings "Something gave you the nerve to touch my hand, it's nice to have a friend." On Paper Rings she also says "I hate accidents except when we went from friends to this."
Taylor has dirty dreams about her English Lover
Yep, another admission on Paper Rings is that she has dirty dreams about her other half. Tay drops in the line "Darling, you're the one I want, in paper rings, in picture frames, in dirty dreams." For someone with a rather PG image, I love her for this honest admission.
Their relationship hasn't all being plain sailing
On Me!, False God, Afterglow and Cornelia Street there are many lyrical references to the ups and downs that the couple have endured and over come.
On Afterglow she sings "Fighting with a true love is boxing with no glove", and Cornelia Street tells us about the rocky start to their courtship as she thought Joe was leading her on; "Back when we were card sharks, playing games I thought you were leading me on, I packed my bags, left Cornelia Street, before you even knew I was gone."
Joe Alwyn probably lent Taylor Swift his copy of Irish author Sally Rooney's book Conversations With Friends. Probably.
Back in May, Taylor penned an article for Elle Magazine listing the 30 things she learned before turning 30 this December. She used her famous lucky number 13 on the list to lend support for the #MeToo movement. In the same article, which many saw as foreshadowing for what was on her upcoming album, Taylor mentioned Sally Rooney's book 'Conversations With Friends'. On Paper Rings she sings "Now I've read all the books beside your bed". So, my hypothesis is a likely one.
Lover is out now.