Taylor Swift Reveals the Identity of folklore's Mystery Co-Writer William Bowery

During Taylor Swift's new concert film folklore: the long pond studio sessions, the singer shared the identity of writer William Bowery. Is it really her boyfriend Joe Alwyn? Find out below!

By Jess Cohen Nov 25, 2020 12:52 PMTags

Taylor Swift just spilled a major folklore secret!

Since of the release of the superstar singer's eighth studio album in July, fans have wondered about the identity of writer William Bowery, who is credited on two folklore songs. When fans couldn't find out any information about this person online, Swifties became convinced that this mystery co-writer was none other than the Grammy winner's boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. Why? Well, it just so happens that the actor is the great-grandson of composer William Alwyn and—as fans may recall—one of Joe and Taylor's first public sightings together was at a Kings of Leon concert at The Bowery Hotel in 2016. 

So, were fans correct? Is William Bowery really Joe's pseudonym? Yes! According to T.Swift herself.

The 30-year-old star, who has previously used her own pseudonym—Nils Sjöberg—in the past, confirmed the identity of William Bowery during her new Disney+ concert film folklore: the long pond studio sessions.

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While talking to fellow folklore creators Jack Antonoff and The National's Aaron Dessner, Taylor addressed the speculation about the mystery co-writer. "There's been a lot of discussion about William Bowery and his identity, because...it's not a real person," she admitted, though Jack and Aaron were already in on the bit. "So, William Bowery is Joe...as we know."

On folklore, William Bowery is credited for co-writing songs "exile" and "betty."

"Joe plays piano beautifully and he's always just playing and making things up and kind of creating things," Taylor said of her boyfriend. "And 'exile' was crazy because Joe had written that entire piano part."

Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images Todd Williamson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

In addition to playing the piano, Taylor said that Joe was also singing Bon Iver's part of the song, sharing, "He was just singing it the way that the whole first verse is."

"I was entrenched and asked if we could keep writing that one," she said, noting that it was "previous obvious" that it should be a duet.

Taylor went on to note that both she and Joe are both big fans of Bon Iver, but she was too nervous to try to get him involved with the song. But after Aaron Dessner suggested the artist, he became a part of the fan favorite track.

Later on in the concert film, T.Swift talked about writing the beloved folklore song "betty" with Joe. So, how did that track come to be? Taylor explained that, after hearing Joe sing the chorus of the track, they had a conversation about writing a song together. As she noted, "It was a step that we would have never of taken because why would we have ever written a song together."

folklore: the long pond studio sessions is out now on Disney+.