Taylor Swift has always been a very accomplished songwriter and heralded for her ability to tell a story with her lyrics. Having written or co-written every, single, one of her songs, Swift continues to prove her talent. Her eighth studio album, folklore certainly showcased her songwriting abilities. The surprise album featured a whole host of different narratives from Swift’s personal life, public figures, her imagination, and beyond.
“In isolation my imagination has run wild and this album is the result, a collection of songs and stories that flowed like a stream of consciousness,” Swift wrote about folkore on the day of its release. “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. folklore is out now.”
Taylor Swift wrote the song ‘epiphany’ from her grandfather’s perspective
One of the stories that flowed through Swift’s mind was about her paternal grandfather, Dean Swift. Dean fought in World War II in the Battle of Guadalcanal. Swift actually pictured a photo of him in the music video for “cardigan,” which is the first single from folklore. In fact, one of the songs on the album, “epiphany” is actually written from Dean’s perspective while he’s at war. In an interview with Vulture, Aaron Dessner, who collaborated with Swift on folklore, broke down how the song was made.
“I think she just heard it, and instantly, this song came to her, which is really an important one,” Dessner said about Swift’s song “epiphany.” “It’s partially the story of her grandfather, who was a soldier, and partially then a story about a nurse in modern times. I don’t know if this is how she did it, but to me, it’s like a nurse, doctor, or medical professional, where med school doesn’t fully prepare you for seeing someone pass away or just the difficult emotional things that you’ll encounter in your job. In the past, heroes were just soldiers. Now they’re also medical professionals.”
Aaron Dessner gives details about how the ‘folklore’ song was created
“To me, that’s the underlying mission of the song,” Dessner continued on about one of the most emotional songs on Swift’s newest album. “There are some things that you see that are hard to talk about. You can’t talk about it. You just bear witness to them. But there’s something else incredibly soothing and comforting about this song. To me, it’s this Icelandic kind of feel, almost classical. My brother did really beautiful orchestration of it.”
Of course, folklore was hardly the first or only time that Swift has written a song about a family member. Swift has written more than one song about her mother, Andrea Swift. One of her most famous is “Soon You’ll Get Better” from her seventh album, Lover, which details Andrea’s battle with Cancer. Swift also surprised her mother with the song “The Best Day” on her sophomore album, Fearless. The song detailed Swift’s gratitude for her mother and everything Andrea had done for her.
What will Swift’s next musical endeavor be?
Clearly, Swift is adept at writing about family members whether it’s from her perspective or theirs. We’re sure her loyal fans can’t wait to see what she dreams up next for them. Considering Swift can legally start recording her first five album anytime she wants, we’d wager that’s near the top of her priority list.
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