Taylor Swift's Midnights Album Decoded: Breaking Down All the Hidden Easter Eggs

Taylor Swift's Midnights is officially here! The Grammy winner dropped her 10th studio album on Oct. 21—and E! News is decoding all of the lyrics below.

By Jess Cohen Oct 21, 2022 12:02 PMTags
Watch: Taylor Swift Drops Midnights Bonus Tracks & New Music Video

Taylor Swift has our hearts and now we have her Midnights.

At the stroke of—you guessed it, midnight—on Oct. 21, the superstar singer officially dropped her 10th studio album. The record features 13 new tracks—and surprise! seven bonus songs—each telling a story of sleepless nights throughout the course of Swift's life. 

"We lie awake in love and in fear, in turmoil and in tears," T.Swift wrote in a message to fans in August after announcing the album at the MTV Video Music Awards. "We stare at walls and drink until they speak back. We twist in our self-made cages and pray that we aren't-right in this minute-about to make some fateful life-altering mistake."

"This is a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams," she continued. "The floors we pace and the demons we face. For all of us who have tossed and turned and decided to keep the lanterns lit and go searching-hoping that just maybe, when the clock strikes twelve…we'll meet ourselves."

Fascinating Facts About Taylor Swift

If you're ready for a breakdown of Swift's new songs, keep scrolling!

"Lavender Haze":

Taylor Swift first discovered the phrase "lavender haze," the name of her opening track, while watching Mad Men. As the singer recalled in an Oct. 7 Instagram video, she soon learned "it's a common phrase used in the ‘50s where they would just describe being in love."

"Like, if you were in the lavender haze, then that meant you were in that all-encompassing love glow," she explained. "And I thought that was really beautiful." Swift added, "I guess, theoretically, when you're in the lavender haze, you'll do anything to stay there and not let people bring you down off that cloud."

Swift went on to reference her and Joe Alwyn's six-year romance. "We've had to dodge weird rumors, tabloid stuff and we just ignore it," she noted. "And so this song is sort of about the act of ignoring that stuff to protect the real stuff."

In one lyric on the track, Swift directly references rumors about the couple's relationship status. "All they keep asking me," she sings, "Is if I'm gonna be your bride / The only kinda girl they see / Is a one-night or a wife."

Fun fact: "Lavender Haze" was co-written by Swift's friend, actress Zoë Kravitz.


Swift takes Red to the next level with "Maroon," a look back at a former relationship that she "lost," according to the lyrics. "And I lost you / The one I was dancing with / In New York, no shoes," Swift—who infamously danced with ex Tom Hiddleston at the 2016 Met Gala in NYC—sings on the track. "Looked up at the sky and it was, maroon."


Weeks before the release of Midnights, Swift declared "Anti-Hero" one of her favorite songs she's "ever written" because of its honesty.

"I really don't think I've delved this far into my insecurities in this detail before," Swift explained in an Oct. 3 Instagram video. "You know, I struggle a lot with the idea that my life has been unmanageably-sized. And not to sound too dark, but I just struggle with the idea of not feeling like a person."

"This song is real guided tour throughout all the things I tend to hate about myself," she added. "We all hate things about ourselves and it's all of those aspects of the things we dislike and like about ourselves that we have to come to terms with if we're gonna be this person."

"Snow on the Beach" (Featuring Lana Del Rey):

Swift teamed up with Lana Del Rey for the fourth track on Midnights. "The song, is about falling in love with someone at the same time they are falling in love with you," Swift told fans on Instagram Oct. 12. "It's in this sort of cataclysmic, fated moment where you realize someone feels exactly the same way that you feel at the same moment."

As Swift sings on the track, "And it's like snow at the beach / Weird, but f--king beautiful / Flying in a dream / Stars by the pocketful / You wanting me / Tonight feels impossible / But it's coming down / No sound, it's all around."

Swift's pal Dylan O'Brien, who co-starred in her "All Too Well (10 Minute Version)" short film, is credited for playing the drums in "Snow on the Beach."

"You're on Your Own, Kid":

As Swifties may know, the superstar singer has reserved the fifth spot on her albums for her most heartbreaking tracks. And Swift continued that tradition on her Midnights album. "From sprinkler splashes to fireplace ashes / I gave my blood, sweat, and tears for this," she sings on this track about learning lessons with age. "I hosted parties and starved my body / Like I'd be saved by a perfect kiss / The jokes weren't funny, I took the money / My friends from home don't know what to say / I looked around in a blood-soaked gown / And I saw something they can't take away."

"Midnight Rain":

Swift's track "Midnight Rain" appears to be a track about the demise of her 2016 relationship with Hiddleston and how both sides wanted different things at the time. "He wanted it comfortable, I wanted that pain," Swift, who traveled the world with Hiddleston during their brief yet public romance, sings. "He wanted a bride, I was making my own name / Chasing that fame, he stayed the same / All of me changed like midnight."


Swifties, if a part of this song sounded familiar, that's because it features a 1989 track. That's right, Swift sampled her song, "Out of the Woods," on her new song "Question...?"

"Vigilante S--t":

Swift did not mince words when it came time to write "Vigilante S--t," her take on getting revenge after being scorned. "You did some bad things, but I'm the worst of them," Swift, presumably referencing her music battle with Scooter Braun and Big Machine Records' Scott Borchetta, sings. "Sometimes I wonder which one will be your last lie."


Swift's track "Bejeweled" is about finding her light even when a partner tried to dim it. "Baby love, I think I've been a little too kind," she sings. "Didn't notice you walkin' all over my peace of mind / In the shoes I gave you as a present / Puttin' someone first only works when you're in their top five / And by the way, I'm goin' out tonight."

"Best believe I'm still bejeweled," she continues. "When I walk in the room / I can still make the whole place shimmer / And when I meet the band, they ask, 'Do you have a man?' / I could still say, 'I don't remember.'"


This track is about trying to move on from a past love. "Breathe in, breathe through, breathe deep, breathe out," Swift sings. "I'll be gettin' over you my whole life." If the "breathe" lyric sounds familiar, it's because Swift actually teased the line in her NYU graduation speech in May.


Swift raised eyebrows in early October when she revealed the title of track 11, "Karma," with fans quickly theorizing that the song is about Kanye West. However, it could also be aimed at Braun and Borchetta over her masters battle. "Spider boy, king of thieves / Weave your little webs of opacity," she sings. "My pennies made your crown / Trick me once, trick me twice / Don't you know that cash ain't the only price? It's coming back around."

"Sweet Nothing":

For her 12 track, Swift once again collaborated with her longtime love, Alwyn. Of course, he's not credited by his legal name on Midnights. Instead, he's credited under his now-infamous pseudonym, William Bowery.

"They said the end is coming / Everyone's up to something," Swift sings. "I found myself a-running home to your sweet nothings / Outside they're push and shoving / You're in the kitchen humming / All that you ever wanted from me was sweet nothing."

While this song is a love letter to her relationship with Alwyn, it's interesting to note, Swift's ex Calvin Harris has a track also called "Sweet Nothing," released exactly a decade ago in Oct. 2012.


Attention, Joe Alwyn! Swift admits on this track that she put in work on your relationship, specifically in those early days. "What if I told you none of it was accidental? And the first night that you saw me / Nothing was gonna stop me," Swift sings. "I laid the groundwork, and then / Just like clockwork / The dominoes cascaded in the line / What if I told you I'm a mastermind? And now you're minе / It was all by design / 'Cause I'm a mastermind."

“Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve”

One of T.Swift's "3 a.m. tracks," includes the song "Would've, Could've, Should've," which references a relationship she had at the age of 19. Given that age detail, Swift fans are convinced the track is about her romance with singer John Mayer, which reportedly took place around 2009 and 2010 and inspired her song "Dear John," when Mayer was 32.

"If you would've blinked then I would've looked away at the first glance," Swift sings on the track. "If you tasted poison you could've spit me out at the first chance / And if I was some paint, did it splatter on a promising grown man? And if I was a child did it matter if you got to wash your hands?" 

Later, Swift asks, "Give me back my girlhood, it was mine first."

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