Tuesday 12 November 2019

Taylor Swift and Andrew Lloyd Webber co-write a new song for the Cats film

The song is called Beautiful Ghosts and will be sung by the character of Victoria.

Taylor Swift and Andrew Lloyd Webber have worked together on a song for the upcoming Cats film (PA)
Taylor Swift and Andrew Lloyd Webber have worked together on a song for the upcoming Cats film (PA)

By Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

Taylor Swift and Andrew Lloyd Webber have worked together on a song for the forthcoming Cats film.

The pop star and the composer collaborated on Beautiful Ghosts, which will be sung by the character of Victoria, played in the movie by British ballerina Francesca Hayward.

Swift, who plays Bombalurina, will not perform the track during the film but will sing her own version during the end credits.

Lord Lloyd-Webber said: “When I first read the screenplay, the first thing I said was, ‘We have to have a song for Victoria’, the song is now an incredibly important and central part of the whole film.”

Swift shared a short clip of her performing the song on social media. The pop star posted a video to Twitter, exploring the background of the collaboration.

She said when Lord Lloyd-Webber played her the piece of music that would eventually become Beautiful Ghosts, “it was just this beautiful, haunting melody”.

Swift then wrote the lyrics “then and there, more or less”, Lord Lloyd-Webber said.

Asked about the lyrics and the influence of poet TS Eliot, upon whose work the stage version is based, Swift said: “TS Eliot is such a specific type of writer who uses such specific language, imagery. And so reading through his work I just really wanted to reflect that.”

She added: “You can’t write a modern lyric for Cats. So if you can’t get TS Eliot, get TS.”

Cats the film is based on Lord Lloyd-Webber’s musical of the same name which, since premiering in 1981, has remained hugely popular in the West End and on Broadway.

The movie is directed by Tom Hooper, the Oscar-winning director of The King’s Speech, and will also feature a star-studded cast including James Corden as Bustopher Jones, Dame Judi Dench as Old Deuteronomy and Ian McKellen as Gus the Theatre Cat.

Idris Elba, Jason Derulo and Jennifer Hudson will also star. When the first trailer was released in July, some fans were surprised by the visual style, with the film using a mix of CGI and live-action to portray the cats.

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Andrew Lloyd Webber worked with Taylor Swift on a new song for the upcoming Cats film (Ian West/PA)

Lord Lloyd-Webber told the Daily Mail director Hooper had reinterpreted the 1981 original significantly.

His stage version was based on TS Eliot’s 1939 work Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats.

“I said to Tom that I really do passionately believe we need a new song – Victoria’s so central to the film that we absolutely had to have a song for her,” Lord Lloyd-Webber said.

He discussed an idea with Swift, adding: “She asked if she could write the lyrics. She looked at the script – she’d obviously read a bit of Eliot.

“Tom Hooper saw what she’d written and said bullseye! Or rather cat’s eye. And that was it.”

Cats is set to be released in UK cinemas on December 20.

PA Media

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