On Friday, Taylor Swift's new album, “Folklore,” dropped with less than 24 hours' notice. The Grammy-award winning singer wrote and recorded her eighth studio album entirely during quarantine.
The 13th song, "Epiphany," follows the emotional themes of the rest of the surprise album, but fans think there’s a nod to the essential health care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
Swift explained in an Instagram post her inspiration for "Folklore," writing, “Picking up a pen was my way of escaping into fantasy, history and memory.
"I’ve told these stories to the best of my ability with all the love, wonder and whimsy they deserve. Now it’s up to you to pass them down.”
In a note on Twitter, Swift explained that she was writing from “the perspective of people I’ve never met, people I’ve known, or those I wish I hadn’t.”
The 30-year-old singer-songwriter went into detail about some of her inspiration, including a family member who is believed to be the inspiration for track 13, writing, “My grandfather, Dean, landing at Guadalcanal in 1942.”
In isolation my imagination has run wild and this album is the result. I’ve told these stories to the best of my ability with all the love, wonder, and whimsy they deserve. Now it’s up to you to pass them down. folklore is out now: https://t.co/xdcEDfithq
📷: Beth Garrabrant pic.twitter.com/vSDo9Se0fp
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) July 24, 2020
The second verse of the song appears to dive into the trauma that has been brought on by the pandemic for health care workers.
“Something med school did not cover/ Someone's daughter, someone's mother/ Holds your hand through plastic now," Swift sings. "Doc, I think she's crashing out/ And some things you just can't speak about."
In the chorus of the song, Swift laments, “With you I serve, with you I fall down, down/ Watch you breathe in, watch you breathing out, out.”
Fans have taken to social media to discuss the meaning behind the touching ballad, expressing their emotions on the poignant pandemic connection.
“WAIT IS EPIPHANY DEDICATED TO MEDICAL WORKERS? TAYLORSWIFT IS SOMETHING ELSE,” one fan tweeted, adding a screenshot of the lyrics from verse two.
"As a first year doctor in NYC during the time of COVID, this 'historical' song is something cut out of a contemporary time," one person wrote on YouTube, adding, "This song makes my experience feel seen in melody and really meant a lot to me to translate this song to my experience (and that of many others who fought COVID on the frontlines.)"
After sharing the song's lyrics, the commenter added, "Could literally be a page from my diary the past few months that found me unprepared but full of unforgettable meaning."
I want to thank @taylorswift13 for giving us “epiphany” tonight. It’a incredibly therapeutic for those of us dealing with COVID firsthand.
— Joyridewheee (@joyridewheee) July 24, 2020
“I want to thank @taylorswift13 for giving us 'epiphany' tonight,” one fan wrote on Twitter. “It’a incredibly therapeutic for those of us dealing with COVID firsthand.”
I just found out that Taylor Swift's song #Epiphany is about war and COVID-19, and now I'm crying 😭
She compares healthcare professionals with soldiers. What a lyrical genius.😭 #folklore
Read the article here: https://t.co/XRyi19SMD5 pic.twitter.com/tkTcUNL93z
— HERSHEY NERI ✨ (@heyhersheyy) July 26, 2020
"I just found out that Taylor Swift's song #Epiphany is about war and COVID-19, and now I'm crying Loudly,” another Twitter user wrote. “She compares healthcare professionals with soldiers. What a lyrical genius.”
"‘Epiphany’ by @taylorswift13 somehow managed capture a small slice of what #Covid_19 has been like for #healthcare workers," another user wrote alongside a screenshot of more lyrics from the track.
"So many of my colleagues have talked about their nightmares. I wonder how long they’ll last."