As you’ve probably guessed already from the sound of distant roars and the quaking walls of your apartment, Taylor Swift dropped her new album last night. Despite her previous assertion that the Old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now because she’s dead, on Lover, the old, earnest, fizzy Taylor has been resurrected, floating out of her Reputation grave on pastel clouds of flowers and butterflies and rainbows. But there’s something sliiightly different about her. An international flair. Can you tell what it is? Now imagine that I asked you the same question in my not-very-good British accent. Can you tell what it is now?
Yes, Taylor went to London! Hip hip, ta-ta, Boris Johnson stuck on a zip wire, and all that. The Cats star has been spending a lot of time across the pond since she started dating The Favourite actor and iPod owner Joe Alwyn. Way back in March 2018, a source told E! that “Taylor has been in the U.K. a LOT more than people know.” A LOT more than we know. Don’t believe it? Just look at her track “London Boy.”
The song starts with Idris Elba (Londoner) talking about riding his scooter (Londony) in London (London).
Okay, you might be thinking, That proves to me that Idris Elba knows about London, but what about Taylor Swift? After all, the very next thing she does is talk about how much she loves Motown, SoCal, Bruce Springsteen, and Tennessee whiskey. Oh no, doesn’t she know anything about London at all? Those are all American things! Just you wait, bruv (Britishism).
Swift goes on to reference Camden Markets (London markets), Highgate (not a gate, but in London), Brixton (district of London), Hackney (a borough of London), Bond Street (in London), and Soho (a neighborhood in New York City, but also London).
She even sings in a different language (British) about how she “fancies” (likes) her darling, how she loves “high tea” (tea in the afternoon), “uni” (university), the “pub” (bar), and Rugby (football with an accent). What more do you want!
Here is where I must confess that I have only been to London once, when I was 12, but to me this song seems spot on. Sure, I’m a little sad she didn’t mention really quintessential parts of the London experience, like waiting in line for an hour at the Tower of London, and trying to make one of the guards at Buckingham Palace laugh by giving my cousin a wet willy, but I guess the great thing about a city like London is that everyone has their own version of it.
It is unclear why the song “French Kissing a Mime on the Top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (France) While We Wear Little Berets and Eat Baguettes Merci Beaucoup” did not make the album.