Taylor Swift has released the deluxe version of her surprise album, folklore, which includes the bonus track, the lakes. And like clockwork, Swifty stans have been working in overdrive trying to decipher what this new track means. And there’s a hot rumour/theory that it’s talking about her boyfriend Joe Alwyn popping the question on their anniversary.
Oh, for what it’s worth, it’s important to note that the lakes was released physically back on August 7. Fans believe that date was nodded at by Taylor with the tracks august and seven on the album – but the deluxe version was dropped on streaming services last night, allowing everyone else to hear it too and ramping up the theory mill.
Taylor’s referenced the lakes where her and Joe likely spent their three-year anniversary together elsewhere in the new album, notably in the track invisible string. In the lakes, Taylor sings about “those Windermere peaks”, which seem to reference the largest natural lake in the UK, located up in the Lakes District.
In the lakes, the chorus talks about going away together, just the two of them, which essentially is an idealistic version of marriage, and she talks about in future tense, further solidifying the theory that they’re engaged pic.twitter.com/yOSqnDdEbj
— ✨starlight✨ (@allnewromantics) August 8, 2020
SO NEW THEORY ABOUT THE LAKES OMLL THIS BITCH IS MARRIED OR GETTING MARRIED pic.twitter.com/zr2S7q7VCz
— Lourdes – HAPPY 2023!! ✨ (@13Romantics) August 6, 2020
Taylor sings about her muse on the lakes – which fans have taken as being about Joe – and running away to the mountains together. But does this mean that Joe proposed on their getaway to the Lakes District for their anniversary? Or is it more about her escaping the chaos of the industry in the US for a quieter life with Joe in the UK?
The conspiracy theory that Taylor swift wrote the lakes absolutely the Lake District, which is near where I live & go all the time makes me very happy lmao
— amelia (taylor’s version)🦋💌 (@2live4hopeofit) August 18, 2020
Many stans believe that the engagement theory was debunked with the release of the lakes. Aaron Dessner – who produced the album – noted that this one was a Jack Antonoff song, and is “kind of like Greek poetry” in that there’s tragedy held within its beauty. This alone seemed to debunk the engagement theory for a lot of stans before the song even landed, leaving many just straight-up confused.
now that we’ve heard the lakes i don’t get why it was out in the deluxe version? my initial theory was that it’s cause the lakes would reveal that she’s engaged/married to joe and she didn’t want the news to take away from the album but now we know that’s not true i’m confused
— zahra 💛💛 (@wreckmyyyplans) August 15, 2020
I mean, it might not be a blatant proposal announcement that everyone was expecting, but is there enough to allude to it?
In the track’s lyrics, Taylor also seems to reference the huge struggle she faced with the ownership of her music, after her former record label, Big Machine Records, sold the company – and the rights to her music – to Scooter Braun.
It seems that Taylor nods to the situation, and the men involved, in the lakes, noting them as “some namedropping sleaze” who would go on to tell her “what are my Wordsworth”. Double meaning! Taylor you sneaky binch, I love it.
Whatever conspiracy theory around Taylor Swift’s bonus track you wish to believe in, there’s not a shadow of a doubt in my mind that this one is absolutely legit.
And what I can confirm is that after diving into all of this, I’m already exhausted. I don’t know how the stans do it, but I simply must respect it.