Taylor Swift has pretty much become the queen of alluding to her past work and foreshadowing her future work, whether that’s done through song lyrics, music videos, social media posts, interviews, or clothing. Anything she does could very well be an Easter egg for something.
Today, August 23rd, marks the release of Taylor’s seventh studio album, Lover, and it has no shortage of parallels to songs, music videos, interviews, and more from throughout her 13-year career. Ask any Swiftie — Taylor Swift’s discography is just as interconnected as, if not more than, the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. I mean, she even has a song called “End Game,” so Swifties, assemble.
As you listen through Lover’s 18 songs, here are all the hidden references and Easter eggs to keep an eye out for.
Track 1: "I Forgot That You Existed"
The first song on Lover had no shortage of subtle foreshadowing. In Taylor’s infamous “five holes in the fence” photo, which she posted again over the weekend in honor of the five-day countdown to Lover’s release, she is wearing a t-shirt that features forget-me-not flowers (she’s also wearing the shirt on one of her items in the Stella McCartney collaboration).
Meanwhile, Taylor foreshadowed the line “In my feelings more than Drake, so yeah” with her Drake pin on her Entertainment Weekly cover back in May. She also shared, “I love his one-liners. Like ‘You say I led you on/But you followed me.’ Or ‘This a Rollie, not a stopwatch/It don’t ever stop.'”
The song itself is a cutting takedown of a figure from the past, with lyrics like “How many days did I spend thinking ‘bout how you did me wrong,” “free rent, living in my mind,” and “I forgot that you got out some popcorn as soon as my rep started going down.” It’s the nicest yet sassiest way of telling someone that you really don’t care about them or what you had together, because, as Taylor sang, “I forgot that you existed.” And there’s no bad blood here — “It isn’t love, it isn’t hate, it’s just indifference.”
She also plays with past romantic song setups. On the 2010 track “Today Was a Fairytale” from the Valentine’s Day movie soundtrack (more on this film later), Taylor sings “But can you feel this magic in the air?,” which echoes the new lyrics, “But then something happened one magical night / I forgot that you existed.”
Just like she does on Reputation’s “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things,” Taylor laughs on this track. And the final bit of sass on this song comes from the “so, yeah” at the very end, which is reminiscent of the speak-singing on “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” including “So he calls me up and he's like, I still love you / And I'm like I just I mean this is exhausting, you know, like / We are never getting back together like, ever.”
Track 2: "Cruel Summer"
The title of “Cruel Summer” can be seen in the “You Need to Calm Down” music video when Adam Lambert is tattooing it onto Ellen DeGeneres’s arm. The phrase is also seen in Taylor’s new advertisement for Amazon Music, which features a butterfly with “Cruel Summer” written on its wings.
The lyrics “Devils roll the dice” and “Angels roll their eyes” appeared on two side-by-side street art murals in Brooklyn earlier this week. Taylor posted a photo of two dice for the 10 day countdown to Lover, and the “You Need To Calm Down” video features multiple dice in the opening scene. There are also dice on a pair of shorts Taylor wore to a recording studio in July 2018 and on a jacket she wore in the album photoshoot for Reputation. Taylor is quite literally on a roll with this Easter egg. As for the angelic lyric, the “ME!” video features angels as part of the 60s-style band, and Taylor once made a comment on Instagram a couple of months ago with the word “angels” in all capital letters.
In terms of past references, “Cruel Summer” has some key repeats. “Bad, bad boy” is a lyric parallel to “She’s a bad, bad girl” on “Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince,” and “You know I'm not a bad girl” on “So It Goes…” on Reputation. “Shiny toy with a price” has several lyric parallels — “I like shiny things, but I’d marry you with paper rings” from “Paper Rings” (another Lover track) and “People throw rocks at things that shine” from “Ours” (2010). “Cut the headlights” is a parallel to “Style” (2014): “Midnight, you come and pick me up, no headlights.”
“Cruel Summer” and “False God” are two tracks on Lover that both incorporate heaven-related terminology, as heard in the lyrics “Unbreakable heaven” and “I know heaven’s a thing, I go there when you touch me honey,” respectively. These new lyrics have something in common with two 1989 tracks, “Blank Space” and “Wildest Dreams,” which feature the lyrics “Magic, madness, heaven, sin” and “Heaven can't help me now.”
Track 3: "Lover"
Title track “Lover” is full of lyrical parallels to past Taylor songs. “And at every table, I'll save you a seat, lover,” is a direct allusion to the following lyrics from “The Story Of Us” (2010) — “I used to know my place was a spot next to you / Now I'm searching the room for an empty seat.” Also in this song is the lyric, “I take this magnetic force of a man to be my lover,” which corresponds to “You should think about the consequence / Of your magnetic field being a little too strong” from the Reputation song “Gorgeous” (2017).
“My heart’s been borrowed / And yours has been blue” has already been established as a link to the classic wedding rhyme, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” “Lover” is basically Taylor’s own personal wedding song, which is a promising contrast to the 2010 song “Speak Now,” where Taylor imagines crashing a former boyfriend’s wedding.
As for easter eggs, Taylor hinted at the “Lover” lyric, “We can leave the Christmas lights up until January” by including a Christmas tree in the “ME!” music video. But the Christmas tree holds a special place in Taylor lore — Swifties know very well that Taylor grew up on a Christmas tree farm in Pennsylvania. She’s also mentioned Christmas in “The Moment I Knew” and “Begin Again,” both from Red, with the lyrics, “Christmas lights glisten / I've got my eye on the door / Just waiting for you to walk in” and “But you start to talk about the movies that your family watches / Every single Christmas and I want to talk about that.”
Track 4: "The Man"
Taylor first hinted at this song symbolically by wearing a loose suit and tie in the “ME!” video (complete with briefcase), and then with the framed and famed Cher quote “Mom, I am a rich man” in the “You Need To Calm Down” music video.
This song tackles sexism and double standards as Taylor imagines life as a man: “They’d say I played the field before I found someone to commit to and that would be ok for me to do / Every conquest I’ve made would make me more of a boss to you” and “What I was wearing, if i was rude / Could all be separated from my good ideas and power moves.”
“I’d be a fearless leader” definitely brings us back to Taylor’s song and album of the same name, “Fearless,” wherein Taylor sings “I'd dance In a storm in my best dress / Fearless.”
Another pop-culture reference to a famous man (see Drake’s name-check on “I Forgot You Existed”) comes on this song, this time with the lyric, “And they would toast to me, oh, let the players play / I’d be just like Leo in Saint Tropez.” (The “players play” line is of course a link to “'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play” from “Shake It Off.”) The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has held multiple summer-time galas in Saint Tropez, which always feature a celebrity and model-filled guest list; Leo, meanwhile, is known for the age-gaps in his relationships nearly as much as his acting roles.
Another line ponders how men brag about “getting b*tches and models,” referencing both the criticism around her romances and her famously model-heavy squad. She also slips in an aside to toxic masculinity: “It’s all good if you’re bad / It’s OK if your mad.”
Taylor has only really “cursed” on one song before Lover — on Reputation’s “I Did Something Bad,” she sings “If a man talks sht, then I owe him nothing.” In “The Man,” she uses “btch several times — “If I was flashing my dollar, I’d be a b*tch not a baller” — which also happens to be the word she took issue with way back in the Kanye West “Famous” saga.
Ultimately, she alludes to the glass ceiling women face when working towards the top: “I’m so sick of running as fast as I can / Wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was a man.”
Track 5: "The Archer"
In the “You Need To Calm Down” video, singer Hayley Kiyoko shoots a bow and arrow at a bullseye with the number five, hinting at the title “The Archer” and its track number of five. The lyrics “Who could stay?” and “You could stay” correlate to lyrics from “Stay Stay Stay” (2012) and “All You Had To Do Was Stay” (2014).
The line “‘Cause they see right through me” is a parallel to the music video for “Delicate” (2017), in which Taylor appears to be invisible to everyone else.
“The Archer,” “Delicate,” and “All You Had To Do Was Stay” are all the fifth tracks on their respective albums, and the phrase “Track 5” appears in the aforementioned video for “Delicate.” Not to mention that Taylor released this song at 5 p.m. EST, as opposed to the usual release time of midnight. And, in her Instagram caption regarding this song’s release, Taylor wrote “I have some stuff I’m reeeeeally excited to tell you about…” which, of course, features five e’s in the word “really.”
Track 6: "I Think He Knows"
The lyric “He’s got my heartbeat slipping down 16th avenue” is a reference to 16th Avenue, a street that’s part of the storied Music Row in Nashville, Tennessee. Taylor has a long history with Nashville — she moved there with her family when she was a teenager in order to pursue her music career, and this past April, a mural of a butterfly was painted in Nashville to announce the release of “ME!,” the first single off of Lover.
It’s no secret that Taylor and her boyfriend of three years, Joe Alwyn, are serious — hence the lyrics “He better lock it down or I won’t stick around ‘cause good ones never wait.” And, better yet, Taylor also sings, “He’s so obsessed with me and boy, I understand,” which ties into “hiding my obsession” from “Don’t Blame Me” off of Reputation. Another track from Reputation, “King of My Heart” has lyric parallels to “I Think He Knows”; Taylor went from singing “King of my heart, body and soul” to “I want you, bless my soul.”
“We can follow the sparks, I'll drive” also sounds like a kickback to “Sparks Fly,” from Taylor’s third studio album Speak Now, which was released in 2010.
Track 7: "Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince"
All the way back in June 2015, Taylor told Elle US, “I don’t want to be known as the Heartbreak Queen.”
“Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince” is rife with scenes about high school. “Marching band playing” ties into Taylor’s long-running history with marching bands; most recently, a marching band played alongside Taylor and Brendon Urie in their performance of “ME!” for the Billboard Music Awards this past May. Taylor also dressed up as a member of a marching band for both her Fearless Tour (2009-2010) and her music video for “You Belong With Me” (2009).
Taylor often incorporates different ages into her songs, and this song is no exception. “I’m crazier for you than I was at 16” is similar to “Well, I was 16 when suddenly / I wasn't that little girl you used to see” from “Mary’s Song (Oh My My My).”
“Lost in a film scene waving homecoming queens” could reference the aforementioned 2010 film Valentine’s Day, which Taylor starred in alongside her then-boyfriend, Taylor Lautner. They filmed a scene in which their characters appear to be crowned homecoming king and queen.
“Feeling hopeless, I ripped up my prom dress” could be referring to when Taylor dressed as a prom queen, crown and all, for a prom-themed party in Nashville in 2008, to celebrate her first Number 1 song, “Our Song.” The dress she wore for the party is the same one she wore in the music video for this song. Coincidentally, Scott Borchetta, the CEO of Taylor’s former record label Big Machine Records was also in attendance that night. Borchetta infamously played a part in Scooter Braun’s purchase of the masters to Taylor’s first six studio albums, all of which Taylor plans to re-record, as she recently shared on CBS New Sunday Morning and Good Morning America.
On this song, Taylor sings, “They whisper in the hallway ‘She’s a bad, bad girl” which is a lyric parallel to “Bad, bad boy” on “Cruel Summer” and “So It Goes…” from Reputation, which features the lyrics “You know I'm not a bad girl, but I do bad things with you.” And “We paint the town blue” mirrors the ending of the “ME!” video when everything goes from being colorful to being a mostly blue scene with just Taylor and Brendon Urie. The line, “Voted most likely to run away with you” also connects to “Don’t say yes, run away now” from “Speak Now” and “I’ll be waiting, all that’s left to do is run” from “Love Story.”
For her Vogue September issue cover story, Taylor recently said that “It’s so strange trying to be self-aware when you’ve been cast as this always smiling, always happy ‘America’s sweetheart’ thing, and then having that taken away and realizing that it’s actually a great thing that it was taken away, because that’s extremely limiting.” This quote seems to be a foreshadowing of the lyric “American glory faded before me.” Taylor sings a lyric along this same vein on “King of My Heart” from Reputation, “So prove to me I'm your American Queen.”
Track 8: "Paper Rings"
In the “ME!” lyric video, an actual paper ring can be seen within the first 10 seconds, while Taylor is writing the lyrics on — you guessed it — paper. Taylor also wears this paper ring in one of the photos from the Lover album photoshoot.
“I like shiny things, but I’d marry you with paper rings” and “I hate accidents except for when we went from friends to this” are some of the cutest lyrics on this album, and unsurprisingly, both are part of lyric parallels. We’ve already gone over the importance of “shiny,” but the lines also link to “I don't want you like a best friend” on “Dress” from Reputation.
"Without all the exes, fights, and flaws, we wouldn’t be standing here so tall,” sounds like the mature, wise version of the “make fun of our exes” lyric from “22.”
Similarly, “Now I wake up in the night and watch you breathe” definitely sounds like a happier lyric parallel to “And I feel you forget me like I used to feel you breathe” from “Last Kiss” (2010). These songs are reportedly about Joe Alwyn and Joe Jonas, respectively. Here’s to dating cute guys named Joe and either watching or feeling them breathe…!
Track 9: "Cornelia Street"
Taylor told the audience at the Amazon Prime Day concert last month that “Welcome To New York” was her first song about New York, hinting that there was going to be a second song of this nature on Lover. That song seems to be “Cornelia Street,” which is the street of the apartment she rented in New York around 2016 while her Tribeca home was being renovated; it’s reportedly where she was living when she and Joe first began dating.
“Barefoot in the kitchen” is the new kitchen-related lyric we didn’t know we needed — see “We dance around the kitchen in the refrigerator light” from “All Too Well.”
“We were in the backseat” sounds like it could be a lyric on “New Year’s Day” from Reputation, simply because Taylor and Joe were also in the backseat of a car back then too — see “You squeeze my hand three times in the back of the taxi.” A lyric from “Cruel Summer” also fits this mold, as exhibited by “I’m drunk in the back of the car.” “We were a fresh page on the desk” also ties into another “NYD” lyric: “Don't read the last page.” The song was also foreshadowed by the journals of Taylor’s own writing as part of the deluxe editions of Lover, which feature blank pages for fans to write on too.
Additionally, Taylor has been incorporating Cornelia flowers into her performances and her album photo shoot for this era, as a nod to the title of this track. There was even an entire wall of Cornelia flowers behind Taylor during her performances at Wango Tango and Good Morning America.
Track 10: "Death By a Thousand Cuts"
If the “My, my, my, my” at the beginning of this song sounds familiar, it’s because “Oh, my, my, my, my” is featured on “Mary’s Song (Oh My My My),” one of Taylor’s earliest songs, from her 2006 debut self-titled album.
Within the album, Taylor went from talking about marrying someone with paper rings on “Paper Rings,” to now singing about “Paper cut stains from my paper-thin plans.”
“My time, my wine, my spirit, my trust” sounds like “You’re still all over me like a wine-stained dress I can’t wear anymore” from 1989’s “Clean.” More lyric parallels exist on this song thanks to “Chandelier still flickering here,” which mirrors “Bass beat rattling the chandelier” on “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” on Reputation. Lastly, “Gave up on me like I was a bad drug” is the more somber parallel to “Lord, save me, my drug is my baby” on “Don’t Blame Me.”
Reddit rumors from secret sessioners say this song was inspired by the Gina Rodriguez Netflix rom-com “Someone Great.” The rumor is fueled by Taylor herself, who shared on Ellen DeGeneres that the flick was one of her favorites from the past week.
Track 11: "London Boy"
Given that Taylor’s boyfriend of three years, actor Joe Alwyn, is from London, and the plethora of English towns and terminology referenced in this song, all signs point to this song being about Joe. A heart-shaped Union Jack, the national flag of the United Kingdom, is also featured in the lyric video for the song “Lover.”
One of Taylor’s Cats co-stars, Idris Elba, is featured at the beginning of this song, and he and Taylor presented at the Golden Globes together earlier this year, which now seems like an Easter egg for “London Boy.” His soundbite is actually from an interview on The Late Late Show With James Corden, when Idris says “We can go driving in, on my scooter, you know, just riding in London.” He told Access earlier this year, “...I'm hoping that I might get Taylor and I to do a song. I mean, that would be great.” The two were both co-hosts of the 2016 Met Gala, which is reportedly the night that Taylor met her now-longtime boyfriend, Joe Alwyn.
Another song, another set of lyric parallels! “I love my hometown as much as Motown” and “He likes my American smile” directly relate to lyrics from Reputation track “King of My Heart” -- “So prove to me I'm your American Queen / And you move to me like I'm a Motown beat.” It doesn’t end there — the “London Boy” lyric “Darling, I fancy you” ties into KOMH’s “Say you fancy me, not fancy stuff.”
“Doesn't have to be Louis V up on Bond Street” appears to connect to the night that Taylor and Joe met at the 2016 Met Gala when she wore a custom Louis Vuitton silver scale-y cut-out mini dress and black lace-up knee-high heels, as one does.
Taylor name-drops designer Stella McCartney on this track, which was mentioned in a Vogue article about their fashion collaboration. Stella told Vogue, “I couldn’t believe that my name is in a Taylor Swift song (what?!?) and after Taylor played me the entire album, it gave me such incredible inspiration for the collaboration and it really revolved around the music.” One of the t-shirts from their collab features the exact lyric from this song, “Like a Tennessee Stella McCartney.”
And one lyric from “London Boy,” the iconic “don't threaten me with a good time,” is actually a Panic! at the Disco reference, so Tay clearly stans.
Track 12: "Soon You’ll Get Better" (featuring Dixie Chicks)
One of the most emotional songs on the album, “Soon You’ll Get Better” is about her mother Andrea’s battle with cancer, which Taylor first wrote about in a Tumblr post in April of 2015. The opening lyric “Holy orange bottles, each night, I pray to you” references bottles of blessed holy water, which is followed by the lyric, “Desperate people find faith, so now I pray to Jesus too.” Taylor hasn’t mentioned Jesus in a song since much earlier in her career, like on “Sweet Tea and God’s Graces,” when she sings, “We could get by with sweet tea and Jesus.”
Taylor alluded to this Dixie Chicks collaboration a few times — with the lyric “There’s a lot of cool chicks out there” on “ME!”, a painting of the Dixie Chicks in the “ME!” video, and in her Elle UK April 2019 cover story, where she hints at both the collab and its track number by saying, “To this day, when I hear "Cowboy Take Me Away” by the Dixie Chicks, I instantly recall the feeling of being twelve years old, sitting in a little wood paneled room in my family home in Pennsylvania.” Taylor has previously said that the first song she learned to play on guitar was “Cowboy Take Me Away” by the Dixie Chicks, and she also wore a pin of the famed music group on her jacket for her Entertainment Weekly cover. The Dixie Chicks are the reason Taylor begged her parents to take her to Nashville to pursue a music career, and they are also her mother’s favorite band.
With lyrics like “Who am I supposed to talk to if there’s no you” and “I know delusion when I see it in the mirror / You like the nicer nurses / You make the best of a bad deal,” grab a box (or thirteen) of tissues and prepare to sob. “I’ll brighten up the sky” corresponds to the “ME!” music video, when the sky is illuminated by a rainbow at multiple points throughout the video.
Track 13: "False God"
Taylor’s full page ad in The New York Times earlier this week included the “False God” lyrics, “I can’t talk to you when you’re like this, staring out the window like I’m not your favorite town. I’m New York City.” Taylor says the exact phrase “I can’t talk to you when you’re like this” in French in the “ME!” video.
“I know heaven’s a thing, I go there when you touch me honey” corresponds to two tracks from 1989. Heaven is mentioned on both “Blank Space” and “Wildest Dreams,” with the lyrics “Magic, madness, heaven, sin” and “Heaven can't help me now.” As for Lover, track two, “Cruel Summer” mentions an “unbreakable heaven.”
Jumping isn’t exactly Taylor’s forte, as we can see from the “False God” lyric “We were stupid to jump” and the “ME!” lyric “I know I never think before I jump.” She also continues the Biblical theme established in the title with the lyrics, “Making confessions and we’re begging for forgiveness / Got the wine for you.”
Track 14: "You Need To Calm Down"
In the “ME!” music video, Brendon Urie literally says “You need to calm down,” but in French, because France is often called the City of Love, and this album is called Lover, after all. In true Taylor fashion, she responds by saying “I am calm!,” also in French.
“You Need to Calm Down” marked a notable political shift in Taylor’s lyrics, which reference women’s empowerment and GLAAD (the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). The music video, meanwhile, features a plethora of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer celebrities, from Hayley Kiyoko to Todrick Hall to Billy Porter. As homophobic protesters rage on, Taylor and co choose to live their best lives — the video also includes a message of support for the Equality Act, of which Taylor has been an outspoken supporter.
Finally, Taylor seemingly puts her feud with Katy Perry to rest for good, inviting her into the music video in her hamburger costume, and singing lyrics like, “We see you over there on the internet / Comparing all the girls who are killing it / But we figured you out / We all know now we all got crowns.”
Track 15: "Afterglow"
Taylor often uses the term “blue” on her songs about boyfriend Joe Alwyn, especially on Lover. “Afterglow” features the line “I blew things out of proportion, now you're blue;” “Lover” contains the words, “My heart’s been borrowed / And yours has been blue;” and “Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince” includes "We paint the town blue.”
Reputation, Taylor’s last album before Lover, also features several songs that include the color blue — “Ocean blue eyes looking in mine” in “Gorgeous,” “Oh damn, never seen that color blue” in “Delicate,” and “Deep blue, but you painted me golden” in “Dancing With Our Hands Tied.”
“This love is worth the fight” sounds very similar to “This is the worthwhile fight” in “State of Grace,” a song from Red (2012). Camila Cabello — who happens to be both a long-time Swiftie and a friend of Taylor herself — shared lyrics from “State of Grace” on her Instagram story earlier this month. A random compliment on an earlier Taylor song could in fact be an easter egg, intentional or not.
Track 16: "ME!" (featuring Brendon Urie of Panic! At the Disco)
In addition to dressing like a literal disco ball at the 2018 AMAs, Taylor also hinted at this collaboration in her aforementioned Elle UK cover story by stating, “When I hear “I Write Sins Not Tragedies’” by Panic! At The Disco, I’m transported back to being sixteen and driving down the streets of Hendersonville, Tennessee, with my best friend Abigail, euphorically screaming the lyrics.”
In the music video for “ME!”, there are numerous visual throwbacks, including the frequent Taylor symbol of a castle — think “My castle crumbled overnight” in “Call It What You Want” from Taylor’s 2017 album, Reputation, and the lyrics “'Cause, baby, I could build a castle / Out of all the bricks they threw at me” in “New Romantics” from Taylor’s 2014 album, 1989, as well as the castle she inhabited in the “Love Story” music video. And the dancing in the rain that Taylor does in this video — on a rainbow-filled street, no less — reflects her words in “Fearless” (2008), "There's somethin' bout the way / The street looks when it's just rained / There's a glow off the pavement."
Track 17: "It’s Nice To Have a Friend"
Taylor Easter easter egged this song by having pins of the actual cast members of Friends, as well as some of her real life friends (like Selena Gomez and Troye Sivan) on her aforementioned jacket for the Entertainment Weekly Music Issue this past May.
This song is basically childhood in lyrical-form, with lyrics like “School bell rings, walk me home / Sidewalk chalk covered in snow / Lost my gloves, you give me one / You wanna hang out? Yes, sounds like fun / Video games / You pass me a note, sleeping intense.” Incidentally, the chorus in the background of this song sounds reminiscent of the one in the opening song for Big Little Lies.
“Light pink sky” represents the actual album cover for Lover, which shows a dreamy pastel-colored, mostly pink sky. “Carry me home” is another parallel to “take me home” on both “Lover” and “Style.” And for a real throwback: “You pass me a note” is comparable to “And the note that said,” a lyric in “Our Song” from Taylor’s eponymous debut album 13 years ago.
Track 18: "Daylight"
Taylor incorporated the lyrics “step into the daylight and let it go” as the very last sentence of her Elle US essay for their April 2019 issue, and she also used this phrase as a caption for one of the photoshoot images.
For day two of Taylor’s partnership with Spotify wherein she provides a preview of lyrics from the album Lover, she debuted the “Daylight” lyrics “Luck of the draw, only draws the unlucky / and so, I became the butt of the joke / I wounded the good and I trusted the wicked / clearing the air, I breathed in the smoke.” This is a direct link to the “ME!” video, when Taylor encounters a cloud of smoke that consumes and hides her, only for it to dissipate into nothing just seconds later.
“My love was as cruel as the cities I lived in” is another mention of the word “cruel,” as seen on the second track of Lover, “Cruel Summer.” And “I’ve been sleeping so long in a 20 year dark night / now I see daylight” corresponds to “Have I known you 20 seconds or 20 years?” in “Lover.”
“It’s golden” is a parallel to “deep blue, but you painted me golden” on “Dancing With Our Hands Tied” from Reputation. In a direct allusion to “Red,” Taylor sings, “I once believed love could be burning red, but it's golden.”
The song ends with a voice memo (another of Taylor’s favorite devices to talk to fans about her songwriting) of Taylor saying, “I want to be defined by the things that I love, not the things I hate, not the things I’m afraid of… Or the things that haunt me in the middle of the night. I think that you are what you love.”
In conclusion, Taylor Swift has woven quite the tapestry of references and interior allusions — all to make Lover even more fun to enjoy.
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