Song of the Day #4,565: ‘Ivy’ – Taylor Swift

After Taylor Swift blessed fans with two surprise full-length albums in 2020, the records were invariably paired up in interesting ways.

Swift called the second album, Evermore, a “sister record” to the earlier Folklore, prompting fans to match “sister songs” on the albums. Track 13 on one is about Swift’s grandfather, while track 13 on the other is about her grandmother. The video for ‘Willow’ picks up where ‘Cardigan’s video left off. Both albums feature duets with Bon Iver. And so on.

My favorite trend is the fan creation of Folkmore playlists, combining songs from the two albums into one master tracklist bringing out the best in both.

This exercise appeals to my love of mixtapes, as well as my belief that every Taylor Swift album runs at least a few songs too long.

Below is my personal Folkmore playlist, along with a few notes on how I approached it.

The two albums combined feature 31 songs (not counting bonus tracks). I limited myself to just 15. I consider Folklore the better album and that’s reflected here, with that album leading the count nine songs to six.

1. the 1

Hard to top Folklore‘s opener as a kick-off track, both musically and lyrically. I tried some other songs here but none worked as well, and this one didn’t work as well in any other position.

2. the last great american dynasty

The strength of both of these albums is in the storytelling, and Swift’s adoption of other personas. I put this song second to ease us into that space, because this song does a little of that while still leaving room for Taylor to reference her own role in the story.

3. ivy

Here’s our first of several complicated love stories that will dominate the middle section of my playlist.

4. cowboy like me

Here’s the second, and a little taste of Taylor’s country roots.

5. august
6. betty
7. cardigan

I offered up the teenage love triangle trilogy from Folklore in chronological order, telling the story of Betty, James, and ‘August’ in one tight set.

8. gold rush
9. seven

These songs are very different at first glance, but I think they complement each other musically, each packing distinct movements into their short running times.

10. dorothea
11. ’tis the damn season

Here’s Evermore‘s answer to the “Betty” saga, the tale of Dorothea and her hometown ex hooking up over Christmas.

12. invisible string

We leave storytime and come back to Taylor’s own life here, with this sweet love song.

13. mirrorball

Now Taylor contemplates her work, her stardom, and the way both complicate the way she views herself.

14. marjorie

Taylor finds solace in the memory of her grandmother, who has helped her be a better person and a better artist.

15. peace

I felt this quiet beauty should have closed out Folklore, so it will close out my Folkmore.

[Verse 1]
How’s one to know?
I’d meet you where the spirit meets the bones
In a faith-forgotten land
In from the snow
Your touch brought forth an incandescent glow
Tarnished but so grand

[Pre-Chorus]
And the old widow goes to the stone every day
But I don’t, I just sit here and wait
Grieving for the living

[Chorus]
Oh, goddamn
My pain fits in the palm of your freezing hand
Taking mine, but it’s been promised to another
Oh, I can’t
Stop you putting roots in my dreamland
My house of stone, your ivy grows
And now I’m covered in you

[Verse 2]
I wish to know
The fatal flaw that makes you long to be
Magnificently cursed
He’s in the room
Your opal eyes are all I wish to see
He wants what’s only yours

[Chorus]
Oh, goddamn
My pain fits in the palm of your freezing hand
Taking mine, but it’s been promised to another
Oh, I can’t
Stop you putting roots in my dreamland
My house of stone, your ivy grows
And now I’m covered

[Verse 3]
Clover blooms in the fields
Spring breaks loose, the time is near
What would he do if he found us out?
Crescent moon, coast is clear
Spring breaks loose, but so does fear
He’s gonna burn this house to the ground
How’s one to know?
I’d live and die for moments that we stole
On begged and borrowed time
So tell me to run
Or dare to sit and watch what we’ll become
And drink my husband’s wine

[Chorus]
Oh, goddamn
My pain fits in the palm of your freezing hand
Taking mine, but it’s been promised to another
Oh, I can’t
Stop you putting roots in my dreamland
My house of stone, your ivy grows
And now I’m covered in you
And I’m covered in you

[Bridge]
So yeah, it’s a fire
It’s a goddamn blaze in the dark
And you started it
You started it
So yeah, it’s a war
It’s the goddamn fight of my life
And you started it
You started it

[Chorus]
Oh, I can’t
Stop you putting roots in my dreamland
My house of stone, your ivy grows
And now I’m covered
In you, in you
Now I’m covered in you
In you

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,565: ‘Ivy’ – Taylor Swift

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    A solid playlist. We might have to create it in our library.

  2. Maddie says:

    Love your choices here! This is a fun exercise and I can’t say I would have done too much differently. Although it would be fun to take a shot at creating my own. Definitely see your reasoning for these, although I think you left mirrorball on an island alone. my tears ricochet would definitely make its way onto my playlist, as I view it as the most powerful song from folklore.

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