Song Analysis: Seven, Taylor Swift
By: Rose Fennessy
Photo Credit: Rolling Stone Magazine
“seven” is the seventh song on Taylor Swift’s eighth album folklore. It was co-written by Swift and Aaron Dessner of The National. Throughout the song, the perspective flickers between an older, wiser narrator and their much younger selves. The older narrator tells the story of a girl they knew and it is implied they lived in an abusive household. The younger version of the narrator knows that something is wrong, but isn’t yet capable of understanding it. This is well shown in the lyrics “And I’ve been meaning to tell you / I think your house is haunted / Your dad is always mad and that must be why”.
Despite the older version of the narrator hating how naive and ignorant they were to the situation, they are also envious of their younger self. “Please picture me in the weeds / Before I learned civility / I used to scream ferociously / Any time I wanted”. The narrator wishes they could see the world the way they used to, before they grew up, and could no longer be ignorant.
The narrator looks back on the past relationship, saying “And though I can’t recall your face / I still got love for you / Your braids like a pattern / Love you to the moon and to Saturn / Passed down like folk songs / Our love lasts so long”. Even though this was so far in the past, the narrator has never forgotten about it and will continue to tell the story.
Swift also uses double entendres multiple times throughout the song. A double entendre is when a word or sentence has multiple meanings or interpretations. This was showcased in the use of “seven” during Swift’s “The Era’s Tour”. On tour, the song is performed as a spoken word poem. For example, in the song, it is sung as “I hit my peak at seven feet in the swing”, while in the tour version, it is performed as “I hit my peak at seven. Feet in the swing”. The use of this literary element gives the song more meaning.
“seven” is wistful, moving, and emotional. folklore is one of Swift’s best albums and contains some of her best lyrical work.