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Released: 2019

“Lover” by Taylor Swift sharply pivots away from her reputation era’s hard-edged angst to embrace a new chapter in her artistic evolution: an unabashed, poignant tribute to comfort, consistency, and the profound joys of a shared domestic life. The song’s narrative is drenched in romantic nostalgia, offering a snug homage to long-term love, where the saccharine sweetness is cut with Craftswoman Swift’s astute sense of self-awareness.

The opening verses of “We could leave the Christmas lights up ’til January / And this is our place, we make the rules” sets the scene for the rest of the song. Swift isn’t just talking about some fairy tale romance; she’s hitting on something far more real. She’s evoking images of a shared home, of prolonged holidays, of making one’s own traditions – a seriously grown-up kind of love. In pop’s landscape, where new love and breakups often command the narrative, Swift’s focus on this phase is refreshingly unusual.

Lines like “Can I go where you go? / Can we always be this close forever and ever?” and “take me out, and take me home” imply a sense of wanting to be with this person in every way possible – emotionally, physically, and even spatially. This harks back to a somewhat traditional declaration of romance, underscoring Swift’s desire for a truly shared existence.

In her bridge, Swift adopts a wedding language, “Ladies and gentlemen, will you please stand? / With every guitar string scar on my hand / I take this magnetic force of a man to be my lover.” The “guitar string scar” is a clever reference to the trials and tribulations she’s gone through in her career, suggesting that this love has seen her through some tough times. “My heart’s been borrowed and yours has been blue” seems to be a direct play on the traditional wedding adage—something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. It’s Swiftian language-play at its finest.

Swift’s lyrics are often known for their picturesque storytelling and relatability, and “Lover” is no exception. Often, pop songs speak of firework passions and turnstile relationships, but here Swift has painted a heartfelt mural of long-term love; it’s a warm, woolen blanket in a cold, hard world. It’s an unpretentious celebration of domestic bliss, seen through Swift’s rose-tinted glasses.