The Real Reason Taylor Swift Named Her Album Folklore

Taylor Swift's new album, Folklore, is out and fans couldn't be more excited. Swift launched the album — which was written and recorded in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic — just hours after announcing it. The surprise release wasn't the only thing that had fans buzzing — many of them were also left wondering what the album title means.

According to Merriam-Webster, the word folklore has multiple meanings. The term is defined as "traditional customs, tales, sayings, dances, or art forms preserved among a people" as well as "an often unsupported notion, story, or saying that is widely circulated."

While Swift didn't explain what the album name means in her original announcement, she didn't leave us hanging for long. After Folklore dropped, Swift revealed the significance of its title in an Instagram post. As Swift explained, the songs on Folklore aren't just songs, they're stories. She's created her own folklore with this album. "It started with imagery," she wrote. "Visuals that popped into my mind and piqued my curiosity... Pretty soon these images in my head grew faces or names and became characters. I found myself not only writing my own stories, but also writing about or from the perspective of people I've never met, people I've known, or those I wish I hadn't."

Taylor Swift wants the legacy of Folklore to live on

Swift elaborated on some of the stories she created, including that of "an exiled man walking the bluffs of a land that isn't his own, wondering how it all went so terribly, terribly wrong," and her "grandfather, Dean, landing at Guadalcanal in 1942."

Swift added, "A tale that becomes folklore is one that is passed down and whispered around. Sometimes even sung about. The lines between fantasy and reality blur and the boundaries between truth and fiction become almost indiscernible. Speculation, over time, becomes fact. Myths, ghost stories, and fables. Fairytales and parables. Gossip and legend. Someone's secrets written in the sky for all to behold."

The stories Swift shared on Folklore are just the beginning. The singer is counting on her fans to truly turn them into folklore. "In isolation my imagination has run wild and this album is the result, a collection of songs and stories that flowed like a stream of consciousness," she wrote. "Picking up a pen was my way of escaping into fantasy, history, and memory. I've told these stories to the best of my ability with all the love, wonder, and whimsy they deserve. Now it's up to you to pass them down."