Taylor Swift Confirms Connections Between 'folklore' and 'evermore' Songs

Ever the meticulous artist, Taylor Swift has a tendency to sneak Easter eggs into her work for diehard fans to scope out. With the album evermore, a companion piece to July's folklore, the singer appears to have expanded on some of the characters that were introduced in the first quarantine album and drawn connections from one album to the next.

While some of the tracks have stylistically similar sister songs ("long story short" to "the last great american dynasty," "evermore" to "exile"), two of the tracks people have honed in on for their connections to folklore are "dorothea" and "marjorie." The two have obvious parallels to moments from July's release, and they've given way to another fan theory that the album regularly references the still-unsolved disappearance of Marjorie West, a 4-year-old who went missing in 1938.

so @taylorswift13 will be giving us an-unsolved-mistery like album? so here's the picture of Dorothea and Marjorie West, and there is "no body, no crime" track? fuck i'm scared #evermoreAlbum 😭😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/uGRi4I2UdJ

— august πŸ‘οΈ | flop πŸ˜” (@theluckyjuans) December 10, 2020

One of the first obvious connections that crops up on evermore is in the barroom piano ballad "dorothea," which expands on something of a Taylor Swift Extended-Universe, where she draws a line between folklore's "betty" and the new song.

"Betty" details a high school romance between Betty and a boy named James, and Dorothea is one of their classmates. In a YouTube chat, prior to the music video for "willow" premiering, Swift said that the song isn't "a direct continuation" of its predecessor, but confirmed that she thinks of "dorothea" as a song about a girl who went to the same school as the characters mentioned in "betty."

Dorothea went to the same school as Betty James and Inez #evermorealbum pic.twitter.com/ijrm5dynxn

— Joanna | stream evermoreπŸŒΌπŸ§šβ€β™€οΈβœ¨ (@joanderer24) December 11, 2020

Swift also explained more about Dorothea in the evermore digital booklet. According to Genius, she wrote, "Dorothea [is a] girl who left her small town to chase down Hollywood dreams—and [the song is] what happens when she comes back for the holidays and rediscovers an old flame."

The other two songs that mirror each other are folklore's "epiphany" and evermore's "marjorie," both track 13 (which Swift considers her lucky number) on their respective albums. "Epiphany" begins with a short tribute to the singer's grandfather Dean, a World War II vet who died when Swift was very young:

"Keep your helmet, keep your life, son
Just a flesh wound, here's your rifle
Crawling up the beaches now
'Sir, I think he's bleeding out'
And some things you just can't speak about."

Fans immediately saw the connection between the songs about grandparents, and their respective locations in the track list.

epiphany is the 13th track of the album #folklore which talks about Taylor's grandfather, while marjorie also the 13th track of her new album #evermore which is same name of Taylor's grandmother.
Awwwww Taylor Swift 😭😭😭β™₯️β™₯️β™₯️ pic.twitter.com/CaPPfehbqQ

— Pola Swift β€’ π’‡π’π’π’Œπ’π’π’“π’† (@SwiftPola) December 10, 2020

πŸ” | Track #13 on both "folklore" and "evermore" references Taylor's grandparents!

"epiphany" – inspired by Taylor's grandfather's WWII battle
"marjorie" – Taylor's grandmother's name pic.twitter.com/dFE4oAR1hL

— Taylor Swift News | TSwiftinAsia (@TSwiftinAsia) December 10, 2020

Swift spoke about why she wanted to write a song about her paternal grandfather in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly. "[M]y dad would always tell this story that the only thing that his dad would ever say about the war was when somebody would ask him, 'Why do you have such a positive outlook on life?' My grandfather would reply, 'Well, I'm not supposed to be here. I shouldn't be here,'" she said.

Keeping in the tradition of the early 13th track, "marjorie" is a tribute to Swift's grandmother Marjorie Finlay, who died in 2003. The song is about how those we've lost often stay with us. "What died didn't stay dead/You're alive, you're alive in my head," she sings in the chorus.

The lyric video for the song features photos and videos of Finlay (plus some of an infant/toddler Taylor Swift). Swift's connection to her grandmother is made all the more special when you realize that she was also a singer. A news clip featured in the lyric video covers a concert that Finlay performed at in Puerto Rico.

According to the Independent, Swift does confirm that there's a song on the album about her grandmother "who still visits me sometimes…if only in my dreams." In the liner notes, Finlay also has background vocals on the song attributed to her (along with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon).

As fans listen more to evermore, hopefully more connections spring up between the two albums (and maybe some more of her past albums), but regardless more Swift is always welcome.

Taylor Swift ACMAS evermore dorothea betty
In this screengrab, Taylor Swift performs onstage during the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards at the Grand Ole Opry on September 16, in Nashville, Tennessee. The song "marjorie," a tribute to Swift's grandmother Marjorie Finlay who died in 2003, is about how those we've lost often stay with us. ACMA2020/Getty