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Taylor Swift’s Obsession with Midnight

Taylor Swift’s Obsession with Midnight

Taylor Swift 'Midnights' album cover 

Taylor Swift was the worthy winner of the top gong at this year’s MTV VMA awards for her short film music video for ‘All Too Well (Taylor’s Version.)’ The iconic songwriter ingeniously used her acceptance speech as the moment to announce the release date of her new album by stating,

 

You guys, I’m just so proud of what we made, and I know that every second of this moment that we wouldn’t have been able to make this short film if it weren’t for you, the fans.

 

Because I wouldn’t be able to re-record my album if it weren’t for you. You emboldened me to do that. I had sort of made up my mind that if you were going to be this generous and give us this, I thought it might be a fun moment to tell you that my brand new album comes out October 21st. And I will tell you more at midnight.”

 

Taylor Swift posing in silver dress at MTV VMAs 2022

Midnight, being the key word here as Taylor Swift’s social media profiles on the dot of midnight officially announced that her new album ‘Midnights’ would be released on October 21st 2022. This will be Taylor’s 10th studio album and her first album in two years which features a whole new set of tracks as her focus in 2021 was releasing her re-recordings of the albums Fearless & Red. The re-recordings were the result of Swift regaining control of her own music after a public fall out with music mogul Scooter Braun who bought the singer’s back catalogus from her former label. 

 

Taylor announced the upcoming release of ‘Midnights’ by describing the record as,

 

“A collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams. The floors we pace and the demons we face. For all of us who have tossed and turned and decided to keep the lanterns lit and go searching – hoping that just maybe, when the clock strikes 12 … we’ll meet ourselves.”

 

The use of the word midnight in the album title will be a familiar word or lyric to any die hard Swiftie as the singer-songwriter has used the word midnight and midnight related keywords on many occasions in the past. Let's take a look at Taylor Swift has incorporated the word midnight and related phrases into her music in the past and will it give us an insight into the type of tracks we can expect to hear on her next album.

 

Style from the album '1989'

 

Style is opened by the word Midnight itself as it describes the setting of forbidden lovers meeting at midnight despite their unhealthy on-off relationship and previous failed attempts of making things work.

  

“Midnight, You come and pick me up, no headlight. 
Long drive, Could end in burning flames or paradise”

 

Swift hints throughout the song that it is about a couple who are never entirely finished with each other by singing “we never go out of style”

  

Taylor Swift performing at her 1989 World Tour in 2015

Released as a single from Swift’s fifth studio album 1989, Style hit the radio stations in February 2015. 1989 saw Taylor Swift fully stray from her country roots and move into pop and Style is the perfect example of the hitmaker doing just this. The song incorporates funk-pop, pop rock and 80’s inspired synth-pop with a slight disco sound while it gives a more mature sound than 1989’s previous singles ‘Shake it Off’ and ‘Blank Space’. Since its release, Style has gone triple platinum in the USA, platinum in the UK and double platinum in Australia while the music video has over 720 million views so far (August 2022).

 

22 from the album 'Red'

 

 

22 is one of the hit singles from the iconic hit album ‘Red’ - Taylor’s fourth studio album. It was released as a single in March 2013 and shows Taylor gradually moving away from her country roots into her anthem pop sound. The single hit the top 20 in the US charts and into the top 10 in the UK while the fun music video has been watched over 600 million times on YouTube.

  

Taylor Swift has explained the inspiration behind the song being, 

 

“22 brings about a carefree feeling that is sort of based on in-decision and fear and at the same time letting loose. Being 22 has taught me so much.”

 

Taylor Swift performing at her RED Tour in 2013

 This is clearly seen throughout the party anthem 22 which also another mention of ‘midnight’.

 

“It feels like a perfect night
To dress up like hipsters
And make fun of our exes
Ah-ah, ah-ah
It feels like a perfect night
For breakfast at midnight
To fall in love with strangers”

 

Happiness from the album 'Evermore'

 

 

Happiness is an album track from 2020’s Evermore and is about overcoming a breakup by learning to be happy for someone else. This track is rumoured to be inspired by the classic novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ as Daisy’s first words in the novel are “I’m paralysed with happiness”. Furthermore Swift also refers to a ‘green light’ which is an iconic piece of imagery from the F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel and she even paraphrases Daisy’s beautiful little fool line by saying,

 

“I hope she'll be your beautiful fool. Who takes my spot next to you."

 

Taylor Swift performing with a guitar in 2021

 

Swift mentions the word ‘midnight’ in the song’s pre-chorus when describing overcoming a breakup by leaving all of the memories behind to move on to happiness

  

“In our history, across our great divide
There is a glorious sunrise
Dappled with the flickers of light
From the dress I wore at midnight, leave it all behind
And there is happiness”

 

New Year's Day from the album 'Reputation'

 

 

“Don't read the last page
But I stay when you're lost, and I'm scared
And you're turning away
I want your midnights
But I'll be cleaning up bottles with you on New Year's Day”

 

Taylor Swift performing at her Reputation Stadium Tour in 2018

 

The final song on the 2017 album Reputation, New Years Day is a song about promising to be around for someone through everything including all of the ups and downs. Swift describes this kind of devotion by describing how she will be there for the party, the clean up after, the solitude the following day and to relive the memories made in moments gone. 

 

The Last Great American Dynasty from the album 'Folklore'

 

 

Taylor Swift has always been known for writing love songs and breakup anthems based on her real life experiences but in her album Folklore, Taylor began to write songs based upon the perspective of people she has never even met before. A great example of this is ‘The Last American Dynasty’ which is about a misfit widow getting gleeful revenge on a town that has cast her out and labelled her the maddest woman in this town. 

 

Taylor Swift posing on the GRAMMYs red carpet in 2021

Fun fact - this song was based on true events as it was written about Rebekah Harness who is actually the previous owner of Swift’s luxury mansion in Rhode Island. The song outlines how Rebekah had a ‘marvellous time ruining everything’ after her husband’s death including filling the pool with champagne and dying a neighbour's dog green while in reality she did so much more such as installing 8 additional kitchens and 21 bathrooms to the house as well as filling her fish tank with scotch. Taylor explains towards the end of the song how Rebekah became a folklore character in Rhode Island and how she is now the owner of Rebekah’s former home.

  

"They say she was seen on occasion
Pacing the rocks, staring out at the midnight sea
And in a feud with her neighbour
She stole his dog and dyed it key lime green"

 

"Fifty years is a long time

 

Holiday House sat quietly on that beach"

"Free of women with madness, their men and bad habits
And then it was bought by me"

 Taylor Swift attending 2022 VMAs afterparty in blue dress and white feather stole

Taylor clearly has a fondness for midnight as it has given her plenty of inspiration for song lyrics in the past. Swift has also mentioned the line ‘middle of the night’ in a few of her songs including the hits ‘All Too Well” and “You Belong with Me”.

 

Based on her midnight lyrics from the past, it may give us an insight into the type of sounds we can expect from her upcoming album. Will it be the folk inspired storytelling ballads of folklore and evermore or will Swift go back in years and revive her pop anthem sounds from 1989 and Red. Or maybe even a mix of both signature Taylor Swift sounds.

 

Relive all of your favourite Taylor Swift sounds by purchasing her previous albums on CD or Vinyl from Golden Discs and don’t forget to pre-order ‘Midnights” before its release on October 21st.

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