an investigation

What Is the Mysterious Secret in Taylor Swift’s New Music Video?

Taylor Swift in “ME!” music video.
Taylor Swift being mysterious in the “ME!” music video. Photo: Vevo

Have you heard? Once the clock struck midnight on Friday, April 26, Taylor Swift’s mysterious countdown finally ended, and the music video for her new single “ME!” — a song about embracing individuality and also spelling (lyrics include: “Spelling is fun,” “Girl there ain’t no ‘I’ in team, but you know there is a ‘ME,’” and “You can’t spell ‘awesome’ without ‘ME’”) — was released.

The video is a G-rated fantasy of a pastel Paris-esque Disney-seeming town of unicorn gargoyles, rainbow cobblestone streets, a snake that explodes into a ton of butterflies, Swift being fluent in French, Brandon Urie from Panic! at the Disco also being fluent in French, paintings of chickens with sunglasses on, and clothes that bleed paint, to name a few.

On top of that, it turns out the video includes … are you ready … brace yourself … please, I hope you are prepared … a secret.

Swift apparently revealed the existence of the alleged secret in a comment left by her TaylorSwiftVevo account, that’s being heavily shared on Twitter: “Oh and there’s a secret in the video I’ve been keeping for months - let’s see who can guess it.” We at the Cut are professional investigative journalists, so we’ll try to crack it ourselves. Follow along.

Is Taylor Swift on a suit journey?

A number of my colleagues at the Cut are currently on suit journeys — one of them recently went abroad and packed a different suit for each day, I kid you not — so the concept of wearing a bunch of different pantsuits to find which styles allow you to best express your true suit self is completely normal for us. At one point in the video, Swift dons a yellow pantsuit. So, is she on a suit journey of her own?

Taylor Swift in
Is Taylor Swift on a suit journey?

I’m going to say: Probably, no. She just wears one suit, in front of a bunch of people wearing the same suit as her (but in different colors than the singer, as she is an individual, remember), so she’s probably just into that one suit rather than in the midst of a full journey. Next.

Is Taylor Swift engaged?

The premise of the music video is Swift and Urie getting into a romantic dispute and then making up on top of unicorn gargoyle. Atop that gargoyle, however, Urie briefly gets down on one knee and presents Swift with a ring — just like a proposal. So, does this mean Swift is engaged to her British boyfriend Joe Alwyn?

Brandon Urie presenting Taylor Swift with a ring in
Brandon Urie presenting Taylor Swift with a ring.

Well, first off, Swift isn’t impressed by the ring in that video, so I don’t think it’s an announcement of an engagement. But there have been nonstop reports for months and months that she and Alwyn might get engaged someday. So who knows, they could be engaged, but I don’t think that’s what the message is here.

Maybe the secret has something to do with the Dixie Chicks…

I’m not going to lie, I visited our sister site Vulture to figure this one out, because my brain was trying to process too many pastel explosions at once to focus. My colleague Dee Lockett pointed out that among the paintings of chickens in sunglasses exists a portrait of the Dixie Chicks.

Brandon Urie in front of the Dixie Chicks.
Brandon Urie in front of the Dixie Chicks.

So could the secret have something to do with the Dixie Chicks? Is it just a proclamation that she is a fan of theirs? Or are they possibly contributing to a song on Swift’s new album? That seems likely, especially since they tweeted:

But … did Taylor Swift get a new cat?

Theories aside, if there’s one thing we know for certain about Taylor Swift, it’s that she loves cats. Simply loves them. She also loves the musical CATS, and went to “cat school” on the movie set of CATS. In the music video, when Swift isn’t impressed by the ring, Urie then wins her back by giving her the thing she values most in the world: a cat. Does this mean she has a new cat?

Brandon Urie with a cat in Taylor Swift's
It’s a cat.

I was going to say “probably” because that would be extremely on brand for her. But then, Friday morning, she tweeted out:

So, yup, it’s a cat — and then maybe also the Dixie Chicks thing as well, who knows. But please excuse me now, as I have a headache.

What Is the Secret in Taylor Swift’s New Music Video?