It’s been less than a year since Taylor Swift released Lover, a vibrant, colorful album that was packed full of nods to her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. Now, Taylor, 30, has followed up her 2019 release with the indie-folk-tastic folklore, but though her style has changed, her love for Joe, 29, is still going strong. The pair’s hot and heavy relationship is evident in several of the songs, but Taylor really touches on their future together on track 15, “Peace.”
“And you know that I’d swing with you for the fences,” she sings. “Sit with you in the trenches. Give you my wild, give you a child, give you the silence that only comes when two people understand each other.” The line about a ‘child’ really had fans going crazy on Twitter. “GIVE YOU A CHILD. TAYLOR SWIFT SAID THAT,” one person wrote. Some even speculated that the singer may already be pregnant, although that has not been confirmed.
GIVE OYU A CHILD????????? im leaving
— taylors manager (@vocalistaylor) July 24, 2020
It’s been about four years since Taylor and Joe started dating, and it seems the key to their romance’s success is that it’s been kept far, far away from the spotlight. Taylor said to The Guardian in 2019 that it helps to maintain boundaries between their public and private lives. “I’ve learned that if I do, people think it’s up for discussion, and our relationship isn’t up for discussion. If you and I were having a glass of wine right now, we’d be talking about it – but it’s just that it goes out into the world. That’s where the boundary is, and that’s where my life has become manageable. I really want to keep it feeling manageable.”
Though Taylor has worked hard to keep this part of her private life private, she has woven this romance into her music. Fans thought that Taylor’s 2019 album, Lover, was full of references to Joe. “Paper Rings” indicated that wedding bells were in the future for these two. “I like shiny things, but I’d marry you with paper rings,” she sings in the chorus. In “London Boy,” she sings about how she considers the British city feels more like “home” than New York, Nashville, or LA (and, keep in mind, Joe is British.) “You know I love my London boy,” she croons. She also seemingly addresses their relationship on “Cornelia Street,” singing how she stuck with the relationship even though, in the beginning, she didn’t think it would last. “I hope I never lose you, I hope it never ends, I’d never walk Cornelia Street again,” she says. “That’s the kind of heartbreak, time could never mend.”
Yet, it was the title track that fans thought was explicitly about Joe. “With every guitar string scar on my hand, I take this magnetic force of a man to be my lover,” she sings on “Lover,” adding, “My heart’s been borrowed and yours has been blue, all’s well that ends well to end up with you, swear to be overdramatic and true to my lover.”
While Lover has all these potential, subtle nodes to Joe, perhaps folklore’s biggest reference to Mr. Alwyn comes in the form of “William Bowery.” When Taylor announced the album, she said she worked with “some musical heroes of mine.” She listed off names like The National’s Aaron Dessner, Bon Iver, Jack Antonoff, and …William Bowery. Though Taylor said he “co-wrote two [songs] with me,” fans think that “William” is a pseudonym for Joe. The theory, per Stylecaster, is that “William” comes from Joe’s great-grandfather, William Alwyn, who was a composer, conductor and music teacher. The “Bowery” might reference the Bowery Hotel. In 2016, following a Kings of Leon show, Taylor and her squad — Dakota Johnson, Cara Delevingne, Lorde, Zoe Kravitz, Suki Waterhouse, Lily Donaldson, and Martha Hunt – went there for an afterparty. Joe was also there, and it was the first time these two ever crossed paths.
Taylor is no stranger to pseudonyms, having written Calvin Harris’s “This Is What You Came For” under the name Nils Sjoberg. Fans also think Austin Swift is behind Jack Leopards & The Dolphin Club, who covered Taylor’s “Look What You Made Me Do.”