The Lyric Translations of Taylor Swift’s “folklore” You’ve Been Waiting For…

Cortney Warner
Cortney Warner
October 15, 2020

If you’ve listened to Taylor Swift’s new album, I am the other woman from the track “betty,” and the song “august” is actually supposed to be from my perspective, and I still have more to say on the matter. The truth is, James cheated on the eponymous Betty with me, so now I’m the “other woman” — how confusing is that?

With all that said, let’s translate some of the lyrics from “august” and “betty.” Now you can finally read my perspective, and I won’t be known as just “her.”


1. LYRIC: “Salt air, and the rust on your door. I never needed anything more.”
TRANSLATION: We were sitting in the last car he totaled. I was driving him to his graveyard shift at Auntie Anne’s, but he made me turn around to get the extra vape cartridge he left in his broken-down car, parked in his parents’ driveway. In retrospect, I did need more. I should have asked for gas money.

2. LYRIC: “Cancelled plans just in case you called.”
TRANSLATION: He had a lot of on-call shifts at the Auntie Anne’s. The pretzel chain was really taking advantage of him, not to mention eating into my time as his main (only) ride. It was a big deal for both of us when he got a part-time job at Pac Sun.

3. LYRIC: “Meet me behind the mall.”
TRANSLATION: I’d always pick him up at aforementioned Pac Sun. We exchanged sweet nothings (body fluids) in the parking lot, with the Chili’s sign glaring through my 2001 tan Subaru’s windows. One night, James splurged on some half-priced mozzarella sticks for us. I was such a hopeless romantic.


4. LYRIC: “You heard the rumors from Inez, you can’t believe a word she says.”
TRANSLATION: Inez has hated me ever since my paper mache volcano beat her tri-fold poster about pugs at the third grade science fair. Inez was eating at Chili’s when we got the mozzarella sticks and saw us from her booth. Apparently it was her stepdad’s birthday. Can you say “I want my baby back baby back ribs,” bitch?

5. LYRIC: “It was just a summer thing.”
TRANSLATION: He cried out, “I love you” after I touched his butthole.

6. LYRIC: “I was walking home on broken cobblestone.”
TRANSLATION: I saw him stumble out of the back of Pac Sun, tripping on the sidewalk. The mall still needs to reseal that concrete. I guess five personal injury lawsuits in the past year doesn’t matter to Putnam County.

7. LYRIC: “When she pulled up, like a figment of my worst intentions.”
TRANSLATION: That doesn’t compare to when I accidentally drove over a curb while James was drinking an iced latte and it went up his nose. He was so upset he sent me a Venmo request for the mozzarella sticks.

8. LYRIC: “Slept next to her, but I dreamt of you all summer long.”
TRANSLATION: I was actually thinking about young Steve Buscemi, but I wasn’t gonna bring it up…

AUTHOR’S NOTE: James obviously sucks, but the actual monster is the Bergwood Outlet Mall.