The Story Behind Taylor Swift’s New Song ‘Beautiful Ghosts’

Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift recently released a new album. Lover has been dominating the charts. However, she has another new song that isn’t from the album. Read on to learn the story behind “Beautiful Ghosts,” her collaboration with one of the most famous names in musical theater.

Taylor Swift stars in ‘Cats’

Swift doesn’t act very often. She appeared in the 2009 film Valentine’s Day, voiced a character in the animated flick The Lorax, and had a small yet notable role in The Giver (2014). But now, she’s starring in a new film: An adaptation of the musical Cats.

“I’m so happy I got to do this,” she told Zane Lowe during a recent Beats 1 interview. “This was something I was approached about…I really wanted to work with [director] Tom Hooper, [who] films and records your vocals live. And I wanted to be a part of that.”

What’s ‘Cats’ about?

For those who aren’t familiar, the 1981 musical Cats came about when celebrated composer Andrew Lloyd Webber took a collection of T.S. Eliot poems titled Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and began to set the stories to music. It’s one of the most successful musical theater productions of all time.

Swift stars in the film alongside an incredible cast. Some of the biggest names include James Corden, Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Jason Derulo, and Rebel Wilson. The trailer was released in July 2019 and caused quite a stir for the look of the performers, who are digitally altered to look like cats.

Swift wrote a song with Andrew Lloyd Webber for ‘Cats’

In addition to portraying Bombalurina in the film, Swift also helped to compose a new original song for it. She told Lowe that while on set, she “heard rumblings” that Webber wanted to write a song for the character Victoria, who doesn’t have a song in the musical.

So one day, she goes to rehearsal at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s house. After singing through her song, “The Cavity,” “he just sits at the piano and he starts playing this melody that I’ve never heard before and I know it’s not in the original [score] of Cats.” Webber had the music, but no lyrics.

What is ‘Beautiful Ghosts’ about?

Swift says that she knew right away that this song would be Victoria “reflecting” on what she’d heard when Hudson’s Grizabella sings “Memory.” “Wouldn’t she be thinking, ‘At least you have those amazing memories?'” said Swift. “Basically the first line that came to me was, ‘And the memories were lost long ago / But at least you have beautiful ghosts.'”

And so that is the song that came from that session with Webber. The song will be released on Nov. 15, 2019, just a little over a month before the film’s premiere. The above announcement also reveals another set of lyrics: “Follow me home, if you dare to…”

Swift’s other new release

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for MTV

In addition to the Cats news, Swift has released the first remix from Lover. She collaborated with Shawn Mendes on a new version of the title track, and it’s out now. And in true Swift style, we can guarantee there’s more to come from the singer in the near future.