The July-released ‘folklore’ was written and recorded while in quarantine, with the singer collaborating remotely primarily with the National’s Aaron Dessner.
The singer-songwriter goes all out on the Romantic poet references in the song, framing an unconditional love within a controversial life and experiences of heartbreak.
The lakes of the title are those of England’s scenic Lake District, a national park famed for getaways both romantic and Romantic.
Swift and boyfriend Joe Alwyn apparently visited the area last year for what the song ‘invisible string,’ says was a third-anniversary trip.
Like the love songs on Reputation and Lover, her personal experiences are intertwined with intelligent lyricism and references to artists, novels or cinema.
“I’m not cut out for all these cynical clones/These hunters with cellphone,” she sings in the first verse.
She later alludes to a “namedropping sleaze” who wants to “tell me what are my words worth,” a clever reference to the Romantic-era poet William Wordsworth.
For much of the Jack Antonoff-produced song, Swift describes wanting to be near her “muse,” crying near England’s Windermere Lake.
“Take me to the lakes, where all the poets went to die/I don’t belong and my beloved neither do you,” she sings on the string-laden chorus.
Listen to newly-dropped poetic track ‘The Lakes’ below: