Taylor Swift is known for writing some outstanding one-liners. But she’s finally revealing which lyric from her eighth album Folklore she’s “really proud of” ahead of the 2021 Grammy Awards, where she’s up for six awards.
In an interview with People on Wednesday (March 3), Swift pinpointed the final lyric in the chorus of “The Last Great American Dynasty,” which tells the story of one of the wealthiest women in America, Rebekah West Harkness: “And they said/ ‘There goes the last great American dynasty/ Who knows, if she never showed up, what could’ve been/ There goes the maddest woman this town has ever seen/ She had a marvelous time ruining everything.'”
“I’m really proud of ‘She had a marvelous time ruining everything’ from ‘The Last Great American Dynasty’ because it’s about what happens when women step out of their cages and run,” she said.
In the song, Swift draws many parallels between Harkness and herself, including living in the “Holiday House” that the 31-year-old singer-songwriter purchased for $17 million in 2013, having a heavily scrutinized girl squad, and being criticized by the press.
“It can be a real pearl-clutching moment for society when a woman owns her desires and wildness, and I love the idea that the woman in question would be too joyful in her freedom to even care that she’s ruffling feathers, raising eyebrows or becoming the talk of the town,” she continued. “The idea that she decided there were marvelous times to be had, and that was more important.”
Folklore and its sister Evermore — both albums that Swift created entirely during the pandemic with producers Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff and released as surprises in 2020 — have spent a combined 11 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Her Disney+ documentary Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions gave the Swifties a special sneak peek into her recording process while remaining in isolation.
“I think one of the revelations from this time that I’ll take with me moving forward is that oftentimes less is more. An album photo shoot can really be as simple as walking out into a field with one photographer at your friends’ farm and you can do your own hair and makeup for it,” she said of lessons learned during the dual album rollout process. “You can write songs without traveling or being in the same space as another collaborator. You can tell your fans about what you made without going on an international promo tour. These things are options I didn’t explore before, and I’m glad that I know they exist now.”
Folklore is nominated for album of the year and best pop vocal album, while “Cardigan” is up for song of the year and best pop solo performance, and her Bon Iver-assisted “Exile” is up for best pop duo/group performance.