By Grace Wang
Taylor Swift released her new album, Midnights, on Friday, October 21st. The original album only included 13 tracks, but if there’s anything we know about Taylor Swift, it is that she loves to surprise us. A few days after the album was released, she released 7 new songs, which she called the “3 AM tracks.” She combined her original 13 songs and her 7 new ones to make an album called Midnights (3 AM edition). Here is a review of her new 7 tracks.
Track #14: The Great War
This song is about a couple who go through a devastating conflict, but they still survive the “Great War” and vow to love each other, as they have already survived an extremely difficult period of time together already. Throughout the song, she describes the conflict: “All that bloodshed, crimson clover”, and “Broken and blue, so I called off the troops. That was the night I nearly lost you.” However, they survive the “Great War” and end up vowing to each other that they will love each other forever. The hook of the song is “I vowed”, and this is repeated several times throughout the song, such as in the first chorus, in which she sings, “I vowed not to cry anymore.” Then, in the second chorus, she sings, “I vowed not to fight anymore.” These lyrics are from a past tense point of view. However, in the outro, she sings, “I vow I will always be yours,” which parallels the third chorus where she sings, “I vowed I would always be yours.” This symbolizes how strong and deep their connection is, and that not even a great war could keep them apart. In this song, the words “The Great War” could represent more than one thing. One, it could be taken as an actual war. Two, it could represent one person suffering mentally, which flashbacks to “Champagne Problems”. However, unlike “Champagne Problems”, their love conquers mental difficulties. Or three, it could symbolize the war they had to fight for them to be together. They had to fight for their love, and in the end, they won.
Track #15: Bigger Than The Whole Sky
This song is single-handedly one of the saddest songs in the entire album. In the song, she talks about losing someone she had not spent a long time with, and she wonders how things would be if she did things differently. This song could be about a large variety of people. One, it could be classic Swift, being about one of her ex-boyfriends. Or maybe a family member, like her grandmother, Marjorie, who she wrote a song about in Evermore, another one of her albums. Or, it could somehow be related to one of Swift’s most heartbreaking songs, “Ronan”, which tells the story of a young boy who died at four years old. “Bigger Than The Whole Sky” could also be about miscarriages in pregnancy. In this song, one lyric in the chorus is, “What could’ve been, would’ve been, what should’ve been.” This parallels another 3 AM track, “Would’ve Could’ve Should’ve.” This song is absolutely heart wrenching.
Track #16: Paris
This song is one that could be on Taylor Swift’s seventh album, Lover, because of how upbeat and happy it is. It is about falling in love with someone in Paris and wanting to dedicate the rest of your life to them. “Paris” is most likely about her current boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, because of the one lyric, “romance is not dead if you keep it just yours.” Swift has always kept her relationship with Joe Alwyn away from the public, and even though their relationship isn’t the headline of newspapers, their love has stayed alive and has always been theirs. That line also references one of Swift’s songs, “Ours,” where she sings about how their love will always be theirs and people can speculate, but they can’t take what they have.
Track #17: High Infidelity
This song is the sister to one of her previous songs from Folklore, “Illicit Affairs.” These two songs parallel each other because the message is the same. A standout lyric from this song is, “Do you really want to know where I was on April 29th?” This lyric directly points to Calvin Harris, one of Taylor Swift’s ex-boyfriends, because he released his song, “This is What You Came For”, which is rumored to be about Taylor Swift on April 29th, 2016. Throughout “High Infidelity”, she sings about how she ignored all the signs that were left because she was “dancing around it”. A true masterpiece, and it helps answer the questions we had from “Illicit Affairs”.
Track #18: Glitch
This song is about a relationship that was never meant to be in the beginning. In the first line of the song, she sings, “We were supposed to be just friends.” This parallels a line from “Paper Rings” from her seventh studio album, Lover: “I hate accidents except when we went from friends to this.” This is most likely inspired by her current relationship with Joe Alwyn, because when they met, Swift was dating Tom Hiddleston.
Track #19: Would’ve Could’ve Should’ve
One thing about Taylor Swift is that when it comes to John Mayer, she goes full out. This song is the sister to “Dear John”, which is obviously about John Mayer. In “Dear John”, she sings about how their relationship was doomed from the start because of their age difference and his twisted games. When they dated, Taylor was nineteen years old, and he was thirty-two. In “Would’ve Could’ve Should’ve”, she sings, “And I d*mn sure never would’ve danced with the devil at nineteen.” She was nineteen when they dated. Plus, “Would’ve Could’ve Should’ve”, is track nineteen. Another big parallel between the two songs is that the hook of “Dear John” is “I should’ve known”, and in “Would’ve Could’ve Should’ve”, she sings, “And now that I know”, meaning that she grew from that relationship. The biggest giveaway, however, is in the bridge where she sings, “Give me back my girlhood, it was mine first”. This reminiscences “Dear John”, where she sings, “The girl in the dress”, meaning that when they dated, she was just a girl. But her entire relationship with him ended her girlhood. Plus, in the first pre-chorus, Swift sings, “Ooh, all I used to do was pray.” which parallels a line from “Dear John” which says, “Praying the floor won’t fall through again”. This song is clearly about John Mayer. The first time she wrote a song about him, he was extremely upset about it, and he will probably be upset the second time around. But, he should’ve known.
Track #20: Dear Reader
The final track of Midnights (3 AM Edition), is all that a Swiftie could ask for. In this song, she gives the people listening to her songs, the “readers”, life lessons she had to learn throughout years of pain and heartbreak. One notable lyric is, “Dear reader, you don’t have to answer, just ‘cause they asked you”. This references to Swift’s interviews with Ellen DeGeneres Swift was continuously asked extremely personal questions, which clearly made Swift uncomfortable. An infamous example of this is when Ellen repeatedly said she was dating Zac Efron, when in reality, they weren’t. Throughout the song, Swift continues to give the “reader” life lessons which wouldn’t be found anywhere but in a Taylor Swift song.
Midnights is a good album. But, Midnights (3 AM Edition) is simply the work of a mastermind. These 3 AM tracks really help show us what Taylor Swift has been through in the last few years. They are the keys to what seemed like a huge puzzle.