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Image / Living / Culture

Taylor Swift namechecks Wicklow beach in ‘Midnights’, and Irish Swifties are yet to recover


By Sarah Gill
22nd Oct 2022

@taylorswift

Taylor Swift namechecks Wicklow beach in ‘Midnights’, and Irish Swifties are yet to recover

It only took her ten albums, but Taylor Swift has name dropped a romantic trip to an Irish beach in ‘Sweet Nothings’ from her new album, Midnights.

Please check in on the Swifties in your life, it’s likely that they haven’t slept since 5am on Friday.

Before the clock struck midnight (EST) in the States — 5am Irish time — Taylor Swift’s new album Midnights broke the record for most-streamed album in a single day in Spotify history.

Following up just three hours later with seven more surprise songs released From The Vault, which she’s calling the ‘3am tracks’, Swifties around the globe have been theorising and dissecting, musing and memorising ever since.

Of the album, the true pop icon has said it tells the story of “13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life” and “a journey through terrors and sweet dreams”. Never one to shy away from wearing her heart on her sleeve, the record offers an insight into her relationship with British actor Joe Alwyn.

The album is co-written with long time collaborator Jack Antonoff, with whom she has been making music with for almost a decade now, Midnights is the first album created with just the two of them as main collaborators.

“We’d been toying with ideas and had written a few things we loved, but Midnights actually really coalesced and flowed out of us when our partners (both actors) did a film together in Panama,” Swift wrote on Instagram. “Jack and I found ourselves back in New York, alone, recording every night, staying up late and exploring old memories and midnights past.”

Describing the album as “a collage of intensity, highs and lows and ebbs and flows,” the singer-songwriter says the music draws parallels with life itself, which can be “dark, starry, cloudy, terrifying, electrifying, hot, cold, romantic or lonely.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/Cj9Yy52MKjD/

A pop album by anyone’s estimation, the lyrics do tend towards the darker side in parts and — get this — she actually does cuss a little. Midnights opens with ‘Lavender Haze’, a track that sees Swift rail against “the 1950s shit” faced by many women, particularly those in the public eye. It seems apparent that she’s referencing the speculation surrounding her potential engagement to beau Alwyn when she sings: “All they keep asking me is if I’m gonna be your bride/The only kinda girl they see is a one night or a wife.”

However, it’s the penultimate track on the album that grabbed Irish listeners’ attention. ‘Sweet Nothing’ is co-written by William Bowery — Joe Alwyn’s pseudonym — and describes a trip to the beach in county Wicklow.

The song lyrics go: “I spy with my little tired eye, tiny as a firefly, a pebble, that we picked up last July. Down deep inside your pocket, we almost forgot it, does it ever miss Wicklow sometimes?”

The things she’s done for Wicklow tourism!

During the filming for the television adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends, fans had their suspicions that Swift had accompanied her partner Alwyn to Donegal. Due to the fact that precisely nothing gets by those eagle-eyed Swifties, her location in an Instagram post was quickly identified as Ballymastocker Bay in Portsalon.

The singer was also reportedly spotted out and about with Alwyn in Belfast when a TikTok claiming that the singing sensation was visiting Ireland went viral, and was then corroborated by several locals asserting that they, too, had seen her near Victoria Square.

Though that was, in fact, all hearsay, we do thoroughly enjoy the idea of Miss Swift sojourning on the emerald isle, hidden in plain sight amongst us mere mortals. As you stream Midnights today, spare a thought for that little pebble stolen from its resting place on an Irish beach. Where is it now? Does it miss Wicklow sometimes?