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Taylor Swift has always been known as an amazing singer and songwriter, but what many dont know is she an amazing storyteller. Find out more about the love triangle featured in Taylor Swifts, Folklore on this weeks Buzz Beats.
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BUZZ BEATS: Love Triangle of “Folklore” by Taylor Swift

Taylor+Swift+performing+the+1+at+the+Eras+Tour+-+Arlington%2C+TX
Taylor Swift performing “the 1” at the “Eras Tour” – Arlington, TX

“Folklore,” Taylor Swift’s surprise 8th album, features multiple intertwined stories and concepts, including a love triangle that develops over the course of the album. As Taylor herself states in a tweet, “The lines between fantasy and reality blur and the boundaries between truth and fiction become almost indiscernible.” Within the album’s narrative, the tracks “cardigan,” “august,” and “betty” create what fans have called the “Teenage Love Triangle.” Betty is the main character in the love triangle, going through heartbreak and betrayal. As a result of James’s actions, his relationship with Betty ends, and “betty” represents his attempt at redemption. Throughout the album, Taylor Swift perfectly ties these narratives together, creating a fluid storyline that explores themes of love, loss, forgiveness, and personal growth. The characters and their emotions feel authentic and relatable, drawing listeners into their world and making the love triangle a captivating element of the album’s lore.

 

“Cardigan”

This song’s opening image of a “cardigan under someone’s bed” sets the mood for an emotional trip down memory lane with an ex. “And when I felt like I was an old cardigan / Under someone’s bed, you put me on and said I was your favorite” is one of the lyrics that describes a youthful romance with ups and downs. The mention of a “cardigan” highlights the desire for a relationship that brought comfort during trying times by symbolizing familiarity and comfort. The song’s dreamy feel is further enhanced by its eerie melody and ethereal production, which draw listeners into the narrator’s introspective world of memories and lost love.

“August”

In this song, Taylor Swift assumes the role of Augustine, “the other woman,” in the romantic triangle and looks back on a brief but intense summer romance. With lines like “meet me behind the mall” and “August slipped away into a moment in time,” the lyrics beautifully reflect the essence of summer romance. As summer fades, the narrator reflects on secret meetings and stolen moments, but there’s a subdued sense of loss (“But I can see us lost in the memory / August slipped away into a moment in time / ‘Cause it was never mine”). The song’s folk-pop sound, which is defined by soft percussion and an acoustic guitar, heightens its nostalgic feel and sad tone.

“Betty”

This song tells the tale from James’s point of view, which offers an important viewpoint. James is portrayed as a regretful teenage boy who wants to patch up a damaged relationship. As he tries to make amends to Betty for hurting her, the lyrics, (“I’m only seventeen, I don’t know anything / But I know I miss you”), show his sincerity and tenderness. The story of the song is told at a high school party, which gives the narrative an air of youthful recklessness and innocence. Musically, “betty” has a country-inspired feel with a strong emphasis on acoustic guitar and harmonica. This gives the song a sentimental, nostalgic vibe that goes well with James’s sincere apologies.

Each song adds to the narrative; however, both “cardigan” and “august” view the relationship from the past, reminiscing of the old times. “betty” views the love triangle from the present, actively going to the party and apologizing for his actions. As both Augustine and Betty look back on the relationship with sadness, regret, and longing, James looks forward with a hopeful and apologetic light, trying to make amends with the girl he loves.


Find “betty,” “august,” and “cardigan” on Taylor Swift’s eight studio album, “Folklore” on most major streaming platforms!

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Willow Torres, Reporter
Junior Reporter, She/Her
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    Daniel BowdenApr 1, 2024 at 11:20 pm

    Willow did it again, an amazing analysis of beautiful songs. WOOHOO!

    Reply