Taylor Swift Wrote This ‘folklore’ Song for Her Fans

For Taylor Swift fans, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was made better by the surprise release of her album folklore. When the album came out, Swifties spent a lot of time pouring over the lyrics, cover art, and music videos for Easter Eggs. It wasn’t until recently that fans figured out that one song on folklore was written about them.  

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift | TASRIGHTSMANAGEMENT2020/Getty Images

Fans had a lot of theories about ‘folklore’ 

On July 23, 2020, Swift shocked her fans by announcing her eighth studio album less than a year after releasing Lover. Upon hearing Swift’s new music, fans immediately started to theorize what each song could mean. Rumors regarding everything from a potential breakup to a possible engagement swirled with the release of folklore.

Once fans determined Swift and her longtime boyfriend Joe Alwyn were still together, they focused their attention on the elusive William Bowery. Could this be a pseudonym for Swift’s boyfriend and creative partner? Fans thought it must be, considering how Alwyn’s great-grandfather was a composer named William Alwyn and his first date with Swift was at the Bowery Hotel in New York. 

Perhaps the biggest rumor surrounding folklore was the possibility of Swift being pregnant. The albums bonus track, “The Lakes,” had several fans waiting on a big announcement. Despite what fans theorized, Swift doesn’t appear to be pregnant at this time. 

‘cardigan’ is Taylor Swift’s fan appreciation song 

Swift’s single “cardigan” didn’t get much hype from fans when it was released. But now, thanks to a fan on TikTok, fans know the song to be a tune that celebrates Swifties. 

“Just realized cardigan is a song for the FANS!” said the fan in a TikTok video. They proceeded to break down each of the lyrics in the song and how they pertain to fans: 

I knew you ‘playing hide and seek’ (all the Easter Eggs she leaves) ‘giving me your weekends’ ([she] always mentions at shows how she knows there’s a hundred things we could have done with our Saturday nights). She is the cardigan! When she felt like the world hated her, WE put her on and said she was our favorite. And the fans who left during the Kanye drama, she knew they would come back to her.

‘cardigan’ is the most significant song on the ‘folklore’ album

Outside of being a tribute to her fans, Swift used “cardigan” as a roadmap to the entire album. According to her friend and collaborator Aaron Dessner, “[‘cardigan’] harkens back to lessons learned, or experiences in your youth, in a really beautiful way and this sense of longing and sadness, but ultimately, it’s cathartic” (via Vulture). 

RELATED: There’s a Secret ‘Teenage Love Triangle’ Story on Taylor Swift’s ‘folklore’

The National’s founding member also expressed how the song was like a guide to the entire album. “I thought it was a perfect match for the music and how her voice feels,” he said. “It had these lower register parts, and I think we both realized that this was a bit of a lightning rod for a lot of the rest of the record.”

Of course, anything Swift puts out demonstrates the adoration she has for her fans. Now, “cardigan” feels a little extra special.