How Paul McCartney Songs Inspired Taylor Swift’s ‘Lover’


  • Paul McCartney songs inspired Taylor Swift’s “Lover.”
  • Swift discussed how Paul’s music regularly inspires her in the studio.
  • “Lover” lasted a long time on the charts in the United States.
Taylor Swift wearing a coat during the 'Lover' era
Taylor Swift | Mat Hayward/GC Images

Taylor Swift‘s “Lover” took inspiration from the instrumentation of Paul McCartney songs. Subsequently, producer Jack Antonoff revealed what he thought about the track’s bassline. Notably, the song performed differently in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Why Taylor Swift’s ‘Lover’ album was distinct from her earlier album ‘1989’

During a 2019 interview with Rolling Stone, a journalist told Swift her album Lover sounded like independent music. “That’s amazing, thank you,” she replied. “It’s definitely a quirky record. With this album, I felt like I sort of gave myself permission to revisit older themes that I used to write about, maybe look at them with fresh eyes. 

“And to revisit older instruments — older in terms of when I used to use them,” she said. “Because when I was making 1989, I was so obsessed with it being this concept of ’80s big pop, whether it was ’80s in its production or ’80s in its nature, just having these big choruses — being unapologetically big.”

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Taylor Swift said she regularly draws inspiration from Paul McCartney songs

During a 2019 interview with The New York Times, Swift discussed “Lover.” She said she used a bass on the song she called a “Paul bass” because of its similarity to the sort of bass Paul uses. “We were just referencing ‘What would Paul do?'” she said. “WWPD.” Swift seemed to reference WWJD, a slogan standing for “What would Jesus do?”

Swift’s producer, Jack Antonoff, said the bass they used on “Lover” wasn’t the precise type of bass Paul plays. Despite this, he was proud of the song’s instrumentation. “The bass and the drum is sort of like, if you just hear those two tracks, the entire space is so, I think, beautifully filled,” he said.

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How ‘Lover’ and its parent album performed on the pop charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

“Lover” became a hit in the United States. The track reached No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 22 weeks. “Lover” appeared on the album of the same name. Lover topped the Billboard 200 for one week, remaining on the chart for 161 weeks.

According to The Official Charts Company, “Lover” was also a hit in Paul’s native United Kingdom. There, the track peaked at No. 14 and stayed on the chart for 13 weeks. Meanwhile, the album Lover was No. 1 for one week, staying on the chart for a total of 145 weeks.

“Lover” was popular and it might not be the same without Paul’s influence.

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