London Boy

Album: Lover (2019)
Charted: 62

Songfacts®:

  • Taylor Swift has a history of dating Brits - from Harry Styles to Calvin Harris to Tom Hiddleston. Here, she sings about her love for another guy from the other side of the pond, Joe Alwyn.

    You know I love a London boy
    I enjoy walking Camden Market in the afternoon
    He likes my American smile, like a child when our eyes meet
    Darling, I fancy you


    Swift' adopts an English accent to deliver the line, "Darling, I fancy you."
  • Joe Alwyn was raised in Tufnell Park and Crouch End in North London, so he is truly a London boy. During this paean to Swift's boyfriend and his home city, the singer talks about her love for such quintessentially English activities as having high tea, strolling around Camden Market, and watching rugby in pubs.
  • The song opens with an audio clip sampled from James Corden's March 2017 interview with the actor Idris Elba on The Late Late Show. Elba talks about a charity auction where he offered the chance for a donor to go on a date with him. Both Elba and Corden are London boys.
  • Swift namedrops Stella McCartney, the fashion designer daughter of legendary Beatle Paul McCartney.

    Stick with me, I'm your queen
    Like a Tennessee Stella McCartney on the Heath


    McCartney and Swift launched a collaborating clothing line to go with the release of the Lover album.
  • Taylor Swift performed the song on the September 2, 2019 episode of BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge. Speaking to its presenter, Clara Amfo, about "London Boy," Swift revealed that it was written in the middle of the night when she just couldn't sleep.

    "I had an idea, it ended up being one I was really proud of later," added the pop star.
  • There was speculation among Swift's UK fans that one of the song's lyrics was inspired by English TV personality Gemma Collins.

    Babe, don't threaten me with a good time

    The former The Only Way Is Essex diva is known for using the term "don't threaten me with a good time" in her daily lingo. Another slang word Collins often uses is "babes." As Swift sings the phrase in an English accent, many thought she was referencing the reality star. However, Swift said this is not the case, insisting, "It's just something my British friends say all the time, and they say it exactly like that, so forgive the impression."
  • The song uses an interpolation of the rhythm on R&B singer-songwriter Cautious Clay's 2017 track "Cold War." Clay is only the second-ever artist to be interpolated on a Swift recording, following her borrowing of Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy" for her 2017 track "Look What You Made Me Do."

    Clay recalled to Billboard that he was in Norway when he got a call at 5 a.m. from his manager saying that Taylor Swift wanted to interpolate "Cold War" on her "London Boy" track. Swift's team are very secretive about what they allow people to hear, so he had to say yes or no without listening to her tune. "(I) had to approve over the phone whether or not we'd be okay with the splits in 24 hours," he recalled. "We eventually made an agreement and it came together. It was completely out of left field."
  • So what does Joe Alwyn think about Taylor Swift channeling him in her love songs. Speaking to the London Sunday Times, he said he didn't mind at all, adding, "It's flattering."

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