Cardigan: a song as warm as its title


Photo courtesy of CNN

Taylor Swift gazes up at the clouds in the music video of “Cardigan”, a song in her latest album, “Folklore”.

Karolin Kleiber, Staff Writer

A view of vibrant foliage mingles with dense fog. A woven wool cardigan lies on the smooth wood of a piano bench. The scent of salty ocean water swirls around, and dust settles as each breath is inhaled. Taylor Swift’s new song, Cardigan, appeals to all five senses. The calming, coffee shop vibe of the song reduces anxiety and provides comfort to fans worldwide. 

It’s music video begins in a dimly lit cottage, where Taylor sits down at an antique piano. The piano glows a brilliant gold as Taylor is transported to a mystical forest. Then the piano glows again. This time she’s drowning, and the piano is her only way back to the safety of her cardigan. The sudden change between forest and vast ocean reminds us that life keeps moving,  and we’re just along for the ride. Although the video’s aesthetic adds to the overall theme, it doesn’t tie to the lyrics. The song discusses relationships between other people, but Taylor is the only person in the video. 

The cardigan represents home to many of her fans, and to the songwriter herself. In my opinion, this song does a strikingly accurate job of illustrating Taylor’s journey through the music industry. The lyrics, “When you are young, they assume you know nothing,” details the misogyny and ageism Taylor has faced as a female singer in the American music industry. 

Another line that’s special to me is “You put me on and said I was your favorite,” which highlights that feelings of home can be found not just in the physical houses we live in, but also in other people. These lyrics are easily relatable, conveying both the generic and unique moments of Taylor’s relationships. The music and lyrics work together, to form another masterpiece. 

“Cardigan” symbolizes something unique for every listener. The colors and design of this video remind me of autumn; the cottage reminds me of a warm respite before homework in the evenings. The song is threaded with mellow tones, making it perfect for relaxing after an exhausting day of virtual school.