| 12.9°C Dublin

Who is Betty and the other songs on Taylor Swift’s album Folklore about?

Fans have also speculated about the identity of a mysterious collaborator.


Taylor Swift (Greg Allen/PA)

Taylor Swift (Greg Allen/PA)

Taylor Swift (Greg Allen/PA)

Taylor Swift has dropped her eighth studio album just hours after announcing she had recorded a whole new record while in isolation.

Folklore, which features a collaboration with Bon Iver and sees her reunite with producer Jack Antonoff, also contains a string of songs that have sparked fevered speculation among her passionate fans.

The three that have generated the most interest are tracks about doomed teen romances after Swift told fans in an Q&A: “There’s a collection of 3 songs I refer to as The Teenage Love Triangle.

View this post on Instagram

Most of the things I had planned this summer didn’t end up happening, but there is something I hadn’t planned on that DID happen. And that thing is my 8th studio album, folklore. Surprise 🤗Tonight at midnight I’ll be releasing my entire brand new album of songs I’ve poured all of my whims, dreams, fears, and musings into. I wrote and recorded this music in isolation but got to collaborate with some musical heroes of mine; @aarondessner (who has co-written or produced 11 of the 16 songs), @boniver (who co-wrote and was kind enough to sing on one with me), William Bowery (who co-wrote two with me) and @jackantonoff (who is basically musical family at this point). Engineered by Laura Sisk and Jon Low, mixed by Serban Ghenea & Jon Low. The album photos were shot by the amazing @bethgarrabrant. Before this year I probably would’ve overthought when to release this music at the ‘perfect’ time, but the times we’re living in keep reminding me that nothing is guaranteed. My gut is telling me that if you make something you love, you should just put it out into the world. That’s the side of uncertainty I can get on board with. Love you guys so much ♥️

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

“These 3 songs explore a love triangle from all 3 people’s perspectives at different times in their lives.”

These appear to be the tracks Cardigan, August and Betty.

Fans have also speculated that track The Last Great American Dynasty is about Rebekah Harkness, the former owner of The Holiday House, Swift’s home on Rhode Island.

Fans have also speculated about the identity of William Bowery, who Swift has said co-wrote two songs on the album but who does not appear to be a registered songwriter or producer.

It has been mooted that Bowery could be a pseudonym for either her brother Austin or her boyfriend Joe Alwyn.

According to fans, Bowery could be a reference to the Bowery Hotel, where the couple reportedly had one of their first dates in 2016,  while William could be a nod to Alywn’s great grandfather William Alwyn, who was a musical composer, conductor, and teacher.

Swift famously loves a pseudonym and used the name Nils Sjoberg as an alias on ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris’ hit, This Is What You Came For.

PA Media