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The Hollywood Insider Taylor Swift and the British Royals Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte

The Hollywood Insider: Taylor Swift and the British Royals Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte

Unless you live under a rock, you have definitely heard of a pop star called Taylor Swift. Even though she has millions of fans all over the world, she has a fair share of haters as well. So many people go online to say they hate the singer or that they don’t understand “the hype” – as they say. In fact, she is that artist that people are proud to hate and oftentimes praised for doing so. There is absolutely no denying that Swift has very loud haters, but her loyal fans will fight the dragons and shake it all off with her and block out any negative noise. You might be wondering how Taylor Swift became the phenomenon that she is? Why do people (and even the haters) keep listening to her music? Does she put narcotics into her songs? What is, in fact, the appeal? Here’s a guidebook from a certified ‘Swiftie’. 

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Taylor Swift: Storyteller & Lyrical Genius.

You can call Taylor Swift what you want, but a bad lyricist CANNOT be one of them. Her ability to take you to a scene, a moment, a situation with her words is simply unmatched. A very short description of a space or a feeling and we are there with her. It really is remarkable the words she chooses and how they paint very clear pictures. An average lyricist might write “years pass” or “seasons change”; Taylor Swift once wrote “from sprinkler splashes to fireplace ashes” [(12) – “You’re On Your Own Kid” from Midnights]. Your typical lyricist might write “he made me blush”; Swift once wrote “The burgundy on my T-shirt when you splashed your wine into me / And how the blood rushed into my cheeks, so scarlet, it was” [(12-13) – “Maroon” from Midnights].

A regular lyricist might write something like “I was cold / He gave me his jacket”; Swift wrote “November flush and your flannel cure” [(26) – “champagne problems” from evermore]. An average lyricist might write “we’re meant to be”; Taylor Swift once wrote “And isn’t it just so pretty to think / All along there was some / Invisible string / Tying you to me?” [(10-13) – “invisible string” from folklore].Your mediocre lyricist might write “I hate that I like him”; Taylor Swift once wrote “But I don’t like a gold rush, gold rush / I don’t like anticipating my face in a red flush / I don’t like that anyone would die to feel your touch / Everybody wants you / Everybody wonders what it would be like to love you / Walk past, quick brush / I don’t like slow motion double vision in rose blush / I don’t like that falling feels like flying ’til the bone crush / Everybody wants you / But I don’t like a gold rush” [(6-15) – “gold rush” from evermore]. 

Not only does she set a scene and tell a complete story in her songs, but she manages to use a good amount of clever and antiquated words in the process. In fact, most ‘swifties’ make sure to have an English dictionary in hand when listening to new lyrics. We will most definitely need it. She also has the very impressive skill of taking a common phrase and flipping its meaning. I have been a ‘swiftie’ since Fearless (2008) and Taylor Swift had a huge role in my process of learning the English language (my second language). It was in her songs and her lyrics that I would practice my pronunciation and learn my vocabulary. 

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There are three different categories of her songs and lyrics based on the writing tool she uses to draft them (figuratively)  – all determined and confirmed by Taylor Swift herself in a speech for the Nashville Songwriter Awards. The three categories are: quill style lyrics, fountain pen style lyrics and glitter gel pen style lyrics. 

Quill style lyrics would be songs that have words and phrases that are antiquated, most likely inspired by reading one of the Bronte sisters. Lyrics that might “sound like a letter written by Emily Dickinson’s great grandmother while sewing a lace curtain” (Taylor Swift accepts songwriter-artist of the decade at the Nashville Songwriter Awards 2022). 

Quill style: 

How’s one to know? / I’d meet you where the spirit meets the bones / In a faith forgotten land / In from the snow / Your touch brought forth an incandescent glow / Tarnished but so grand” [(line 1-6) – “ivy” from evermore].

Oh, Carolina creeks / Running through my veins / Lost I was born, lonesome I came / Lonesome I’ll always stay / Carolina knows / Why for years I roam / Free as these birds, light as whispers / Carolina knows” [(1-8) – “Carolina” from Where The Crawdad’s Sing soundtrack].

Cross your thoughtless heart / Only liquor anoints you / She’s the albatross / She is here to destroy you / Devils that you know / Raise worse hell than a stranger / She’s the death you chose / You’re in terrible danger” [(18-25) – “The Albatross” from The Tortured Poets Department].

And I was catching my breath / Staring out an open window / Catching my death / And I couldn’t be sure / I had a feeling so peculiar / That this pain would be for / Evermore” [(9-15) – “evermore” from evermore].

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Fountain pen lyrics are lyrics that might feel like a confession of sorts. A poetic twist done with a modern storyline and references. When Swift does what she’s most known for: using very commonly used / known words or sayings and changing their meaning completely. In her speech, she confesses that most of her songs fall into this category (Taylor Swift accepts songwriter-artist of the decade at the Nashville Songwriter Awards 2022). 

Fountain pen style: 

Say it once again with feeling / How the death rattle breathing / Silenced as the soul was leaving / The deflation of our dreaming / Leaving me bereft and reeling / My beloved ghost and me / Sitting in a tree / D-Y-I-N-G” [(27-34) – “How Did It End?” from The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology].

I wake in the night, I pace like a ghost / The room is on fire, invisible smoke / And all of my heroes die all alone / Help me hold onto you” [(17-20) – “The Archer” from Lover].

Your Midas touch on the Chevy door / November flush and your flannel cure / ‘This dorm was once a madhouse’ / I made a joke, ‘Well, it’s made for me’” [(25-28). – “champagne problems” from evermore].

They told me all of my cages were mental / So I got wasted like all my potential / And my words shoot to kill when I’m mad / I have a lot of regrets about that / I was so ahead of the curve, the curve became a sphere / Fell behind on my classmates, and I ended up here / Pouring out my heart to a stranger / But I didn’t pour the whiskey” [(13-20). – “this is me trying” from folklore].

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Glitter gel pen style are lyrics that should not be taken too seriously. Described by Swift as “frivolous, carefree, bouncy, syncopated perfectly to the beat” (Taylor Swift accepts songwriter-artist of the decade at the Nashville Songwriter Awards 2022). These are songs to which you dance to and sing along with your friends. They are completely non serious but extremely fun. 

Glitter gel pen style: 

You are somebody that I don’t know / But you’re taking shots at me like it’s Patrón / And I’m just like ‘Damn, it’s 7:00 a.m.’ / Say it in the street, that’s a knock-out / But you say it in a Tweet, that’s a cop-out / And I’m just like, ‘Hey, are you okay?’” [(1-6). – “You Need To Calm Down” from Lover].

I bet you think about me when you’re out / At your cool indie music concerts every week / I bet you think about me in your house / With your organic shoes and your million-dollar couch / I bet you think about me when you say / ‘Oh my God, she’s insane, she wrote a song about me’ / I bet “Today was a fairytale / I wore a dress / You wore a dark gray t-shirt / You told me I was pretty when I looked like a mess / Today was a fairytale / Time slows down whenever you’re around” [(7-12). – “Today Was A Fairytale” from Fearless (Taylor’s Version)]. 

My ex-man brought his new girlfriend / She’s like, “Oh my God,” but I’m just gonna shake / And to the fella over there with the hella good hair / Won’t you come on over, baby? We can shake, shake, shake” [(49-52). – “Shake It Off” from 1989 (Taylor’s Version)].

I hate that stupid old pickup truck you never let me drive / You’re a redneck heartbreak who’s really bad at lying / So watch me strike a match on all my wasted time / As far as I’m concerned, you’re just another picture to burn” [(6-9). – “Picture To Burn” from Taylor Swift].

There are about 230 other pieces of evidence that fully support the fact that Taylor Swift is a phenomenal writer, but I believe the samples above are more than enough proof.

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If you have ever asked a ‘swiftie’ why they like Taylor Swift or what their favorite thing about her is, you probably got “relatability” as an answer. It is so hard, especially nowadays, to think about a celebrity or anyone that is extremely wealthy and still be able to relate to them in any way. Taylor Swift is quite literally the biggest artist in the world at the moment and she is also a billionaire, she is extremely relatable nonetheless. How does that happen? I’m not so sure there is a correct answer or any exact one for that matter – In fact, answers will most likely change from ‘swiftie’ to ‘swiftie’. I can tell you why I personally find her relatable, starting with her honesty. Taylor Swift is not afraid to be brutally blunt about everything, so she holds nothing back.

She doesn’t care that some name dropping sleazes tell her and the world how much her words are worth. She will describe in detail how someone wronged her, what they did and said. She will hold them accountable and create a clever masterpiece as she does it. She will also call herself out when needed, showcasing her vulnerability and not only disclosing her faults and deepest fears, but displaying them so everyone can see. The way she portraits heartbreak, regret, longing, yearning, innocence, being in love and any other very commonly shared, very human emotions is unrivaled. She knows how to write about the human experience. Her lyrics are so real and honest that sometimes it feels like it was written for you. Taylor is magic that way. 

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The Mastermind And Her Easter Eggs 

The “Swiftverse” (how I like to call it) is perhaps not the main reason people are driven to Taylor Swift, but it is certainly the most entertaining part of being a ‘swiftie’. What is the “Swiftverse” you may ask? The best way I can explain it is by comparing it to another very popular universe and fandom: the MCU. If you are a Marvel fan, you know how every film or show within the universe connects to one another. They plan years and years ahead of time for each storyline, so everything connects and is cohesive. The MCU fans will meticulously look for easter eggs in every project Marvel has and will ever launch, with the hopes of finding clues that will lead to the next thing (whatever that may be).

Being a ‘swiftie’ is very similar to that. For many years now, Taylor Swift has planned songs, albums, events and lyrics many years in advance. That way she can strategize her easter eggs and when, where and how far ahead they will be used or revealed is all carefully plotted out. These are secret messages to her fans in lyrics, music cues, videos, social media, interviews, speeches, event appearances, etc. These messages started out with the lyric booklets for her albums.

There were always encoded messages that would reveal a lead that connected to who that song might be about, or a hint to something very personal and possibly not yet addressed by her. It was a way to communicate with her fans. From lyric booklets, it moved on to literally everything that she ever does. From an outfit she may wear, or a hand gesture she makes, or a word she says in an interview or a speech… It is all connected and very much intentional. If I were to cite every easter egg she has ever planted, this would take a feature film and not a feature article. Besides, I would most likely not be able to mention all of them, since I am sure us swifties have missed many of those eggs.

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We have played clown countless times, misreading the signals and clues, since she is at least 10 steps ahead of us. One of the most recent times we “clowned” was at the announcement of her 11th studio album (The Tortured Poets Department). We all knew she was going to announce an album release during a speech at the Grammys 2024 and many of us (including myself) believed it was going to be Reputation (Taylor’s Version) – For context,  “(Taylor’s Version)” means a re-release of an old album and “(Taylor’s Version)” is an indication that she owns that album or song; But that is a topic for another time. – Swift ended up announcing her 11th studio album instead.

However, we noticed she had brought Lana Del Rey as her date to the event. Taylor wore white and Lana wore black. Taylor Swift won Best Pop Vocal Album – her 13th Grammy, which is her favorite and lucky number – and she had an announcement to make during her speech. When talking about “TTPD” (The Tortured Poets Department), Taylor said she wanted to tell us a secret she had been keeping from us for two years. When saying “2 years” she emphasized the number by creating a longer pause and putting two fingers up – hand gesture that indicates the number two (Taylor Swift Wins best pop vocal album for ‘midnights’: 2024 grammys acceptance speech 2024). We knew that small hand gesture meant something. Theories started formulating and spreading over the internet about a possible double release.

Most of us believed that the potential second release would be Reputation (Taylor’s Version) – since the official color for Reputation (Taylor’s Version) is black and Lana wore black and Taylor wore white and that was not a color yet associated with any of her past albums before TTPD. But we were wrong, AGAIN. It ended up being a double release but the second release was not the re-release of her 7th studio album, but a double album release: The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology with 15 extra songs. Even though we might be the foolish ones and not be right sometimes and we misinterpret a lot of the easter eggs we are fed, the egg hunting and decoding is exceptionally fun. As a matter of fact, we are all used to the white, blue and red makeup at this point; and we wear the clown look well and proud. 

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Taylor Swift + ‘Swifties’: A Love Story

Taylor Swift has been very loving and generous towards her fans from the very beginning. She would always make sure to be very present for her fans, taking pictures, responding to fan mail, sending personalized gifts and donations. As she transitioned into pop music, her stardom skyrocketed and she became even more globally famous, making it much harder to attend to all of her fans. And yet she would make sure to reach out and be as approachable as she could. Taylor Nation is an extension of her management team (13 Management) and their main focus is social media marketing and fan engagement. Taylor and her team will keep an eye on most ‘swifties’ that are active online for years and years. It is not as often as it used to be due to the phenomenon that she’s become, but Swift would always host secret events and invite her most dedicated fans.

Oftentimes, She’ll comment or like her fans’ TikToks, pop up in the comments when her fans are live-streaming videos on Instagram, retweet them on X or even, out of the blue, send special packages and personalized handwritten letters to their homes at a special occasion or to help heal their broken hearts following a hard breakup after having followed their online journey for years. She has even shown up to some fans’ engagement parties and weddings. In every tour she’s done, there is a booth where she hosts surprise meet and greets after each show. She has never charged a single fan for a meet and greet but how does that work and how are people chosen? Taylor Nation keeps tabs on extremely engaged and dedicated online fans and selects some of them to meet Taylor. Also, one of Swift’s managers, her mother (Andrea Swift), will famously go around the concert venue or stadium during the show and hand pick passionate fans to go to the booth for the meet and greet. 

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Moreover, Taylor famously hosted listening parties at her own house for every album released before the 2020 Pandemic; she named those “the secret sessions”. To get an invitation required being active online or via fan mail. Taylor Nation or Taylor herself had to notice you. One may think that is a long shot, but in reality, it is not. In fact, I have met at least a handful of people that have been noticed by Swift and her team. I am still waiting for my moment to come, when I get to tell her how deeply she has impacted my life and that I was enchanted to meet her. We have loved her to the moon and to Saturn and she has loved us right back. 

“Passed down like folk songs, the love lasts so long” (16-17) – “seven” from folklore.

To conclude, Taylor Swift has proven herself time and time again to be one of the most important people in the music industry and one of the most influential people worldwide. So I guess the answer should be: everyone is afraid of little old Taylor Alison Swift. After all, it is very hard, as society, to witness a woman hold such power. 

Going back to her appeal, the Taylor Swift lore might not be for everybody. Her music might not be for everybody. Her personality and brand might not be for everybody. Perhaps this feature hasn’t changed your mind on how you feel about her; I hope, however, this article has helped you understand why she is so loved by her fans. If this feature has made you curious or perchance this has converted you into a ‘swiftie’, welcome! Come one, come all have the time of your life with us. Long live the pop queen. 

By  Julia Maia

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