Skip To Content

    11 Brilliant Fan Theories About "Folklore" By Taylor Swift That Make Me Love It Even More

    SO many questions about "Betty."

    On Friday, Taylor Swift unexpectedly dropped her new album, Folklore — and people have been looking for hidden meanings in the songs pretty much nonstop since then.

    After all, in the words of Taylor herself, "One thing I did purposely on this album was put the Easter eggs in the lyrics" — which naturally got the whole internet like:

    A poorly Photoshopped version of Taylor standing in front of a chaotic wall of papers and connecting string from the show "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"

    So, without further ado, here are some of the biggest fan theories about Folklore:

    1. First, the lyrics of "Betty" announced the name of Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively's daughter.

    Lyrics with the words "James," "Inez," and "Betty" all circled.

    2. "Cardigan," "Illicit Affairs," and "Betty" are all the same story from three different perspectives.

    the love triangle is betty and james and the girl james cheated with cardigan - betty pov illicit affairs - the girl he cheated with pov betty - james pov i just have the mind of a mastermind tbh

    TaylorSwiftVEVO / YouTube

    Although there's some debate as to whether "Illicit Affairs" or "August" is the third part of the love triangle, fans have found some consistent themes of love, youth, and cheating across the songs. Let's use James' cheating as an example: "Cardigan" lyrics include "Chase two girls, lose the one," and "Betty" says, "Slept next to her, but I dreamt of you all summer long." Coincidence?????

    3. "Betty" is about a girl Taylor had a thing for.

    Lyrics including the lines "Betty, one time I was riding on my skateboard / When I passed your house / it's like I couldn't breathe"

    4. Taylor may have broken up with Joe Alwyn IRL.

    idk maybe i’m not listening right but did taylor swift and joe alwyn break up??

    Sure, Folklore isn't the most cheerful album — can't fathom what global events may have shaped that one. Still, Folklore does have a few breakup songs — leading some fans to speculate that Taylor and her partner Joe broke up. For example, lyrics in "The 1" include "But it would've been fun / If you would've been the one." Still, Taylor herself has said that her "imagination has run wild" with this album, so the inspiration behind these lyrics might not be the present day.

    5. Joe cowrote two songs on the album.

    6. "Mad Woman" is about Game of Thrones.

    7. "Cardigan" is about Harry Styles.

    NOT TO BE LOUD BUT THE CARDIGAN MV HAS PARALLELS WITH FALLING BY HARRY STYLES FVCKING HELP ME #CardiganMusicVideo #Folklore

    UMG / Columbia

    There are certainly some visual parallels between the videos for "Cardigan" and "Falling" by Harry Styles. The two used to date, and we know that Taylor is hardly a stranger to writing about her exes. Let's hope that when you pull at this cardigan's thread, it won't unravel.

    8. And "Invisible String" calls out Joe Jonas.

    taylor swifts still writing lyrics about joe jonas 12 years later makes me feel at home

    Let's take a look at these lyrics: "Cold was the steel of my axe to grind / For the boys who broke my heart / Now I send their babies presents." Know which one of Taylor's exes is about to have a baby? Yup, Joe Jonas. However, these lyrics come afterward: "Hell was the journey but it brought me heaven" — suggesting that Taylor's heartbreaks have led her to a happier love (aka Joe) now.

    9. "Epiphany" is about Taylor's grandfather and the coronavirus.

    Lyrics of the song's first verse: "Keep your helmet, keep your life, son / just a flesh wound, here's your rifle / crawling up the beaches now"

    10. "My Tears Ricochet" is about Taylor's old songs being owned by Scooter Braun.

    The lyric video which reads "Even on my worst day / did I deserve, babe / all the hell you gave me"

    11. Finally, "The Last Great American Dynasty" is about the people who used to own Taylor's Rhode Island home.

    the last great american dynasty is about the former owner of taylor swift's rhode island mansion, Rebekah Harkness. She also known as betty just like one of #Folklore track. HER MIND!

    The song references "Rebekah" and "Bill" — which are the real-life names of the people who used to own Taylor's home in, as the song says, Rhode Island. Plus, the lyrics include "The doctor had told him to settle down / It must have been her fault his heart gave out," which seems to reflect how Bill died and also continues Taylor's motif of exploring sexism in her work. Rebekah's nickname? BETTY.

    Do you think these theories are totally plausible or a bit of a reach? LMK in the comments!