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Destination Jam: Top 5 Taylor Swift songs from 'Folklore' that will pull at your heartstrings

The gorgeous new record is her follow-up offering to 'Lover' (2019) and it is arguably one of her best albums
UPDATED JUL 24, 2020
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Taylor Swift has just dropped her latest album 'Folklore', which features 16 new tracks and a bonus track 'The Lakes' on the deluxe edition. The gorgeous new record is her follow-up offering to 'Lover' (2019), and already millions of excited Swifties have been poring over the lyrics and praising the candid honesty, stunning beauty, widespread range and startling depth of 'Folklore'.

It features collaborations with Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National as well as Bon Iver, William Bowery (who fans say might be Taylor's boyfriend Joe Alwyn), and her frequent collaborator, Jack Antonoff. Glowing reviews have been pouring in one after the other for the album, with one diehard fan saying, "This will forever be my album! The lyrics, piano, stories, harmonies, and titles. It’s all perfect." Another follower exclaimed, "At this point, I honestly can’t choose a favorite song off this album, every song is so beautiful and they all tell a different story, it’s just so good." Despite the fact that this new album is a veritable masterpiece, we've done our best to pick out these five stand-out tracks from 'Folklore' below.



This track is the second song on the album and it featured a magical music video straight out of Disney film that Swift scripted and directed herself. The song was written in collaboration with Aaron Dessner and it features some floating piano lines, lilting melodies and poignant lyrics. Some lines include: "When I felt like I was an old cardigan under someone’s bed / You put me on and said I was your favorite." Talking about the new song, Swift revealed in a Q&A session, "The song is about a lost romance and why young love is often fixed so permanently within our memories. Why it leaves such an indelible mark." The song has certainly left an amazing impression on fans, who have observed the symbology present in the music video, saying, "When all else went wrong she clung on to her piano, her music... what a masterpiece!"  



Next up is 'Betty', which is the 14th track on the 'Folklore' album. Fans started raving about the song, which features a lovely harmonica intro and a gently strummed acoustic guitar. The tender folk-pop track is a follow-up on the themes of 'August', which is another beautiful summer-soaked nostalgic love song from the album. In the song, the protagonist James reminisces about a girl he was dating named Betty, and how it all went wrong for the young couple.

Jack wants to make it up to Betty and tells her he misses her terribly, as evidenced by the lyrics: "But if I just showed up at your party / Would you have me? / Would you want me? / Would you tell me to go f*** myself?... I'm only seventeen / I don't know anything / But I know I miss you." There's also a reference to the song 'Cardigan' at the end, where a line goes, "Standing in your cardigan / Kissin' in my car again." The romantic yearning on this song has been captured wonderfully well, a tribute to Swift's songwriting craft. 

'Illicit Affairs'


Another poignant little gem from 'Folklore', this song comes in as track number 10 on the album. The soft, delicate number features some tenderly-plucked acoustic guitar, heartfelt falsettos and shimmering backing instrumentation. The contemplative song talks about love and infidelity, which Swift actually straight-up condemned on her track, 'Should’ve Said No', which featured on her debut album 'Taylor Swift'. But the singer has grown and matured a lot since then, and this track sees her stance soften as she offers a more sympathetic and understanding take on clandestine love this time around. Lines like "What started in beautiful rooms / Ends with meetings in parking lots" allude to previous songs like 'Getaway Car', and Taylor likens secretive love affairs to "A dwindling, mercurial high / A drug that only worked / The first few hundred times." The heartwrenching end sees her admit, "And you know damn well / For you, I would ruin myself / A million little times," over some somber strings. 

'Mad Woman'


This evocative number is the 12th track off the 'Folklore' album and seems to be inspired by the phrase, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." An allegorical tale of a "misfit widow getting gleeful revenge on the town that cast her out," the track explores the feelings and frustrations of this outcast as she proceeds to get even more enraged by the people who have done her wrong with their falsehoods.

This track seems to be a thinly veiled metaphorical attack on all the people who have picked fights with Swift. The singer has had her fair share of frenemies and rivals and here, she seems to level her sight squarely at people such as Scooter Braun or Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, just to name two of her high-profile feuds from the past. The defiant lyrics appear to be a reminder that a "mad" woman only gets more aggravated when you continue to provoke her. Lines like "No one likes a mad woman / You made her like that / And you'll poke that bear 'til her claws come out / And you find something to wrap your noose around" speak volumes about her indignation.



Let's wrap up this 'Folklore' playlist with 'Exile', which is the fourth track on this incredible album. This haunting piano-driven number is a collaboration with the indie-folk artiste, Justin Vernon aka Bon Iver, who is best known for his smash hit 'Skinny Love'. This somber track examines the aftermath of a failing relationship, spoken from the viewpoint of two lovers who once used to call each other home. They are now sadly exiled from each other because they didn't heed the warning signs and numerous red flags that signaled their impending doom.

Both Swift and Iver observe, "I think I've seen this film before / And I didn't like the ending / You're not my homeland anymore / So what am I defending now?" The stark and gut-wrenching vocals elevate this song to another emotive level altogether as Iver's deep baritone and Swift's higher register blend sweetly together, making for a moving song that really tugs at your heartstrings.

Destination Jam is a daily list of songs that will keep you entertained and grooving up top in lieu of feeling drained and losing the plot. Look out for a fresh selection of great tunes from MEAWW to refresh your mood every day!