Shhhhh, did you hear that? Nope, it’s not crickets – it’s the sound of our tears. Taylor Swift took us by surprise at this year’s Video Music Awards and took it upon herself to announce her tenth studio album, Midnights, after winning Video of the Year for her ‘All Too Well’ short film! The moment Taylor stepped out in that glitzy Oscar de la Renta dress, we knew she was up to something.
What we know so far: Midnights has thirteen tracks, and each one discusses a certain midnight of Taylor’s life, whether she was happily staying up late or couldn’t sleep. The cover art has a glitzy, grunge-y aesthetic that we’re in love with already. And one more thing we already know: Taylor kinda has a thing for mentioning late nights in her music.
If we sat here breaking down every late-night reference, we’d probably have to keep you here for at least a few hours. So let’s get a little more specific and explore every pre-Midnights midnight mention in Taylor’s discography!
‘You Belong With Me’
The first iconic midnight reference to break down is from one of Taylor’s first crossover hits: ‘You Belong With Me!’ This adorable tale of friends-to-lovers mentions Tay’s crush hanging out with her late at night while he’s having relationship troubles.
Okay, ‘Untouchable’ is technically a Luna Halo cover, but Taylor gets songwriting credit on her version, so we’re counting it! Much like later songs like ‘…Ready For It?,’ ‘Untouchable’ compares the narrator’s feelings for someone to a sweet dream. It’s simply ethereal and definitely one of our favorite moments of Fearless.
‘All Too Well’
Perhaps one of the most culturally impactful midnight references in any song ever, ‘All Too Well,’ gives us chills every time we listen to it! And that includes the iconic lyric that is “there we are again in the middle of the night, we’re dancing ’round the kitchen in the refrigerator light.” Meet us in the kitchen at midnight.
We’re not gonna lie, Taylor has had us craving “breakfast at midnight” ever since she released ’22’ in 2012. A food-themed sleepover is kinda the coolest 22nd birthday party idea ever! Nothing hits the spot quite like a midnight snack, especially if pancakes are involved.
Okay, now we’re getting to a really sad midnight reference. At least we had ’22’ for a bit of a pick-me-up between ‘Better Man’ and ‘All Too Well!’ On ‘Better Man,’ Taylor finds herself reflecting on a past relationship with a sense of devastation and loss, all while learning to accept that she deserves better than her ex-man was giving her.
We genuinely think ‘Style’ is just the perfect pop song, and it kicks off with a bang thanks to its mysterious nighttime imagery. “Midnight, you come and pick me up no headlights” leaves you curious: why is he picking her up at midnight? Why no headlights? Who are they hiding from? Spoiler alert, the tabloids, forming the ultimate limelight love story.
‘You Are In Love’
‘You Are In Love’ is just pure romance in our books! From the sweet “you can hear it in the silence” to the adorable moonlight date that is “small talk, he drives, coffee at midnight,” please sign us up anywhere we can get this in our lives.
‘…Ready For It?’
The reputation album kicks off with a bang thanks to ‘…Ready For It?’ and its mysterious, dreamy tone. Of course, we know it’s about her longtime partner Joe Alwyn, but the chorus almost sounds like the relationship the song describes is only in Taylor’s dreams. Maybe Midnights will allude to her romance with Joe being like a midnight dream?
‘New Year’s Day’
Staying up until midnight on New Year’s Eve seems like such a normal thing, but ‘New Year’s Day’ makes it sound so romantic! Taylor uses “midnights” as a metaphor for the fun moments of a relationship before promising to be “cleaning up bottles” with her lover after the party ends, meaning she’ll stay with him even when things aren’t so playful or easy.
Taylor inspires us to be defined by the things that we love – not the things we hate, the things we’re afraid of, or the things that haunt us in the middle of the night. -every day, and Lover‘s closing track, ‘Daylight,’ just so happens to be one of the things we love. Come on, you can’t listen to that voicemail outro and tell us that it isn’t one of her most moving songs!
‘the last great american dynasty’
Just based on what we heard from folklore, Rebekah Harness seems like one of the most iconic ladies in history! ‘the last great american dynasty’ is all about her experiences in Rhode Island and how she felt cast out from the community around her… then Taylor buys her house and flips the script.
Finally, we get to this evermore fan favorite that offers a masterclass in how to misleadingly name a song. ‘happiness’ picks up the pieces of a long-term relationship that just ended, reflecting on the good times while recognizing how each party hurt each other.
So there you have it: every pre-Midnights midnight reference in Taylor Swift’s work! Which of these lyrics is your favorite? On a scale from 1 to 13, how excited are you for Midnights? Let us know in the comments below, or hit us up on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! And for more Taylor content while we wait for her tenth studio album, click here.