The Lakes

Songfacts®:

  • The English poet William Wordsworth was born in 1770 in Cockermouth, Cumberland, which is part of the scenic region in northwestern England known as the Lake District. By the turn of the 19th century Wordsworth was living in Dove Cottage on the edge of the village of Grasmere in the center of the Lake District. His fellow romantic poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey were frequent visitors to his home.

    220 years later, Taylor Swift fell in love with the Lake District during a trip with her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. On "The Lakes," she sings about the beautiful world heritage site.
  • Swift finds inspiration in the foothills that surround Windermere, the largest natural lake in England:

    Those Windermere peaks look like a perfect place to cry

    And imagines a social media-free zone in the Lake District's natural world:

    A red rose grew up out of ice frozen ground
    With no one around to tweet it


    Swift also finds her creative muse stirred by walking in the footsteps of William Wordsworth and co.:

    Take me to the lakes, where all the poets went to die

    She even namechecks Wordsworth with some wordplay:

    I've come too far to watch some namedropping sleaze
    Tell me what are my words worth
  • Swift also references her Lake District vacation on the Folklore track "Invisible String":

    Getting lunch down by the lakes
  • "The Lakes" is the featured bonus track on the eight physical deluxe editions of Folklore. The CD, cassette and vinyl versions arrived in stores on August 7. It's likely that date was planned well in advance; two of the Folklore tracks are titled "August" and "Seven," which many of Swift's fans took to be an "Easter egg" that the songstress had something planned for that day.
  • Taylor Swift explained in her Disney+ concert film Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions how her trip to the Lake District helped crystallize a dream about leaving her life behind to live in a cottage.

    "In the 19th century, you had a lot of poets like William Wordsworth and John Keats who would spend a lot of time there," she said. "There was a poet district, these artists that moved there. They were kind of heckled for it and made fun of for it as being eccentrics. I remember when we went, I thought, 'Man I could see this. You live in a cottage, you've got wisteria growing up the side of it. Of course they would escape like that.'"

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