Some Lyrics in ‘Carolina’ Feel Connected to Past Taylor Swift Songs

Taylor Swift released a new song called “Carolina” on June 24. The song is part of the upcoming film Where the Crawdads Sing, which stars Daisy Edgar-Jones and is based on a novel of the same name by Delia Owens. While “Carolina” is based on the story featured in Where the Crawdads Sing, lyrics from the song feel connected to past songs Swift has written.

Taylor Swift performs onstage during the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony
Taylor Swift | Kevin Kane/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

When did Taylor Swift write ‘Carolina’?

When “Carolina” was released, Swift gave fans some insight into how she created the song. According to Swift, she wrote the song completely “alone,” and her frequent collaborator Aaron Dessner later co-produced “Carolina” with her.

The singer-songwriter shared that she also wrote the song “about a year and a half ago,” meaning “Carolina” was most likely written sometime in 2020.

On Instagram, Swift wrote:

“About a year and half ago I wrote a song about an incredible story, the story of a girl who always lived on the outside, looking in. Figuratively and literally. The juxtaposition of her loneliness and independence. Her longing and her stillness. Her curiosity and fear, all tangled up. Her persisting gentleness… and the world’s betrayal of it. I wrote this one alone in the middle of the night and then @aarondessner and I meticulously worked on a sound that we felt would be authentic to the moment in time when this story takes place. I made a wish that one day you would hear it. ‘Carolina’ is out now.”

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‘Carolina’ lyrics could be connected back to other Taylor Swift songs

In 2020, Swift released two acclaimed albums, folklore and evermore. At the 2021 Grammy Awards, folklore won Album of the Year. Meanwhile, evermore was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2022 Grammy Awards.

When “Carolina” dropped, Swift shared an official lyric video for the song on YouTube. In the official lyric video for the song, the same font used on folklore and evermore albums and merchandise is incorporated for some of the lyrics.

Given the timing of when Swift says she wrote “Carolina,” the song could creatively be tied to folklore and evermore even though its subject matter is inspired by Where the Crawdads Sing.

In Swift’s song “my tears ricochet” on folklore, Swift sings, “I didn’t have it in myself to go with grace/ ‘Cause when I’d fight, you used to tell me I was brave.”

Swift includes a similar lyric in “Carolina,” singing, “Don’t leave/ I make a fist, I make it count.”

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At certain parts, “Carolina” feels like another song from folklore, “hoax.” In her music, Swift often uses the color blue as a motif, and she incorporates this in “Carolina” and “hoax” in similar ways. The singer also references “scars” in both songs.

“Indelible scars, pivotal marks/ Blue as the life she fled,” Swift sings in “Carolina.”

In “hoax,” Swift sings, “Don’t want no other shade of blue but you” and “You knew it still hurts underneath my scars/ From when they pulled me apart.”

The song also has similarities to songs from ‘1989’

Sonically, “Carolina” sounds like it could be included on folklore and evermore, which makes sense given Swift’s creative headspace at the time the song was written.

One might not expect “Carolina” to have similarities to Swift’s 2014 album 1989, because the two pieces of work sound completely different. While these connections are a bit of a reach, there are some vague links between songs on 1989 and “Carolina.”

In the song “Clean,” Swift sings “You’re still all over me/ Like a wine-stained dress I can’t wear anymore.”

Meanwhile, in “Carolina” Swift includes the lyric, “Carolina stains on the dress she left.”

In the 1989 bonus track “New Romantics,” Swift sings “The rumors are terrible and cruel/ But honey, most of them are true.”

The singer also references rumors in “Carolina,” singing, “Why for years, they’ve said/ That I was guilty as sin/ And sleep in a liar’s bed.”

“Carolina” is available now, and Where the Crawdads Sing will be released in movie theaters on July 15.

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