This Week In Taylor Swift: What if she told you she’s a ‘Mastermind’?

Swift in the music video for ME!, with the infamous “Lover” neon sign in t he background. (PROVIDED / REPUBLIC RECORDS)

This week in Swiftstory, fans of Taylor Swift worldwide united to solve Google-based word scrambles (33 million, to be exact) to unlock four songs from the 1989 (Taylor’s Version) vault. Once the number reached 38 million, the fifth and final vault track was revealed. Although it is fun and exciting for Swifties to solve puzzles in order to receive the tracklists of unreleased albums, Swift has not always made it so easy or straightforward to decode her clues. 

In 2014, Swift teased lyrics and song titles with posts on her Instagram account, posts that were sadly lost to the Taylor Swift Social Media Purge of 2017, but many fans kept screenshots from those days. During the rollout of “reputation” in 2017, Swift began more directly teasing fans with easter eggs. 

The music video for “Look What You Made Me Do” confirmed the title of the upcoming album, while the later music video for “…ready for it?” included lyrics from an unreleased “reputation” song. 

The lead single for 2019’s “Lover” was “ME! (feat. Brendon Urie)” and it received a kaleidoscopic music video full of references. Possibly the most infamous easter egg from the video is the giant neon sign reading “Lover.” After numerous people guessed that this was the title of the album, Swift went to social media to say nobody had guessed the name of the album. As any Swiftie can tell you, she was lying; the album is called “Lover.” 

The music video for “You Need To Calm Down” included an archer hitting a target with the number five on it; “The Archer” would be track five on “Lover.” Ellen Degeneres is seen receiving a tattoo reading “Cruel Summer” in the same video. Track two on “Lover” is titled “Cruel Summer.” 

Swift did say there were easter eggs in Lover-era music videos that would not be revealed until Loverfest in 2020. Due to COVID-19, Loverfest was entirely canceled, and Swift’s next tour would be the Eras Tour. It is unclear if Swift incorporated these easter eggs into her current tour or whether she scrapped them altogether. 

The “Bejeweled” music video released shortly after the release of “Midnights” in 2022 was filled with easter eggs, per Swift’s own confession. These easter eggs were used to point toward the next re-recording to be released after “Midnights.” With two song snippets and a decade’s worth of purple, fans were absolutely certain the next re-record would be Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). 

Swifties are not always the best at accurately identifying easter eggs, though, with a few infamous failures. The best-known attempt at solving a puzzle left by Swift is perhaps an Instagram post in which she stands behind a lattice fence. Fans were certain this was part of a countdown because, as so many will still protest, “there were five holes in the fence.” Additionally, the music video for “I Can See You” had a timestamp in it: July 8, 2023, at 1:38 a.m. Fans desperately searched Swift’s socials and website at the time from the video. It seems Swift was just attempting to make a nod to her song “Last Kiss,” as nothing happened at the time in the video. 

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