Taylor Swift Fans Finally Figured Out the Real Meaning Behind Her Song 'cardigan'

Taylor Swift fans regard her as a prolific songwriter. When Swift surprised the world with the folklore album in July 2020 amidst a global pandemic, her fans went wild.

As the queen of Easter Eggs, it was only a matter of time before Swift’s fans dissected every lyric, musical note, and image used on the album art. But there’s one thing fans noticed more recently regarding the meaning of a single from folklore — ‘cardigan.’ 

Fans thought ‘folklore’ would contain an announcement about Taylor Swift’s engagement or pregnancy 

As Swift’s fans are wont to do, many theories circulated about what certain songs on folklore meant. Once fans had a chance to dissect the released singles, they turned their attention to the album as a whole. 

Then, the fans who preordered folklore went right for the bonus track “The Lakes.” Most fans thought this song would contain a special announcement regarding Swift’s relationship with Joe Alwyn. 

“I think Taylor’s getting married to Joe or maybe she’s already married, and she’s going to announce it [August 7],” a fan said on TikTok. “Maybe she’s pregnant…” 

Some Swifties read into the lyrics of other songs like “Peace.” The lyric “Give you my wild, give you a child” had some people thinking Swift could be pregnant. Regardless of fan’s theories, Swift’s engagement, marriage or her pregnancy have been confirmed. 

‘cardigan’ is a song about Taylor Swift’s fans 

With all of the buzz surrounding the folklore album as a whole, fans didn’t pay much attention to the single “cardigan” — until now. 

“Just realized cardigan is a song for the FANS!” one Swiftie pointed out on TikTok. “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.” 

This fan was so mind blown that they added “no one talk to me for 3-5 business days I’m done” to the TikTok.

‘cardigan’ is a guide to the ‘folklore’ album

While ‘cardigan’ may very well be a love letter to her fans, the reality is that the song served as a roadmap for the entire album. As The National’s Aaron Dessner (with whom Swift co-wrote 11 of the 16 songs on folklore) explained to Vulture:

It 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. I thought it was a perfect match for the music, and how her voice feels. It was kind of a guide. 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.

Many Swift fans are giving “cardigan” another listen with the understanding that it’s a fan appreciation song. 

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