I don’t want to say that I have two Taylor Swift posts scheduled for this week, but I’d be lying if I pretended that wasn’t the case. This one, however, I’ve managed to make about books so I hope you appreciate my dedication here. This is based off a reel I made a while ago, but I wanted to talk a bit about what made me pair each book up with each song from evermore, and the process I went through trying to match up the songs and the books.
The thing that first inspired me to match up these songs to classic books was hearing that Taylor apparently used Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier as inspiration for tolerate it. I loved that idea, and I wanted to look for more parallels to literature throughout the album. I chose to stick with classics because I actually thought that it would be fun at some point to work my way through Taylor’s back catalogue of albums and match each album to a different genre and find some fun song pairings. Once I’d decided to give it a go, and decided that it would be an Instagram reel, I went through the album and pulled out the themes or storylines behind each song, and from there tried to find a classic book that matched up. This did cause one pairing that I find utterly hilarious, but there was logic behind it, I swear. I haven’t matched up every song to a book, partly because I’ve not read enough classics to do that and partly because Instagram reels are only 30 seconds long so I didn’t want to overdo it. So, here are my pairings, and my thought process behind them.
The first book I matched up I actually found pretty easy. The song is champagne problems and the book I matched it to was The Great Gatsby. The reason I went for The Great Gatsby here was mostly to do with the vibes and aesthetic I got from both the book and the song. I felt like the song could kind of encompass Daisy’s relationship with Gatsby that takes place prior to the book, with her leaving him ‘crestfallen on the landing’ a bit more indirectly by marrying another man while Gatsby was gone. Gatsby’s wealth also suits the vibe of this song, with the idea of ‘champagne problems’ being a way for the song to minimise the struggles that the narrator of the song faces due to their privilege.
Lyrical parallel “Crestfallen on the landing/Champagne problems… Your heart was glass, I dropped it/Champagne problems”.
The next song I matched was gold rush with Carol by Patricia Highsmith. My thinking here was because of the hidden desire this song addresses, along with the possibility of such a relationship. While in Carol, the relationship does transpire into something real, I feel like gold rush fairly well sums up Therese’s feelings towards Carol in the earlier stages of their relationship, when she’s starting to feel attraction towards her, but is convinced that nothing can ever happen.
Lyrical parallel “And then it fades into the grey of my day old tea/Cause it could never be/Cause I don’t like a gold rush, gold rush”.
The next one is the obvious one. Sorry for the low-hanging fruit! I had to match up tolerate it to Rebecca. The song is about a woman who’s husband puts up with her, and it perfectly encapsulates the pain and fear that Mrs de Winter goes through in the middle of the book when Maxim is always out of her reach. Of course, in Rebecca some kind of understanding and (I hope) a happy future is ahead of Maxim and his wife, but this ending doesn’t quite get reached in tolerate it.
Lyrical parallel “You’re so much older and wiser and I/I wait by the door like I’m just a kid/Use my best colours for your portrait/Lay the table with the fancy ****/And watch you tolerate it”.
The next book I matched up to a song was actually a book I’ve not read, but from what I know about it, the song fits it, so I shall have to read it and see if it works out. The song is ivy, and the book I picked is Frenchman’s Creek, also by Daphne du Maurier. The song is about someone who is married (or perhaps engaged), but in love with someone else. In Frenchman’s Creek, Lady St. Columb visits her husband’s estate in Cornwall to escape London, and finds a dashing young pirate has been using it as his base. Love ensues, of course.
Lyrical parallel “Taking mine, but it’s been promised to another/Oh, I can’t/Stop you putting roots in my dreamland”.
Next, I paired up cowboy like me with Pride and Prejudice. Since then, I’ve decided that coney island perhaps fits Darcy and Lizzie better. I was thinking about the way Darcy and Lizzie fall out and lose one another before they are able to find each other and fall in love again, like the couple in coney island mourning the loss of one another and regretting their choices. I also like that coney island is a duet, because I feel like both Darcy and Lizzie are very strong voices that would be difficult to silence.
Lyrical parallel “Will you forgive my soul/When you’re too wise to trust me and too old to care?”
Finally, a pairing that really made me laugh, because the relationship I picked to match to the relationship in the song really just… isn’t what the song was about. But the dynamic fits. So, I matched up Frankenstein with closure. Hear me out: closure is about someone you really don’t want to hear from again reaching out and bringing up old pain. In Frankenstein, Victor tries to put the creation of his creature behind him, but the creature reaches out to him, desperately trying to make contact. Much like an ex trying to get you back, except your ex is a giant green patchwork monster who learnt English by reading Paradise Lost.
Lyrical parallel “It’s been a long time/And seeing the shape of your name/Still spells out pain”.