Amid her ongoing battle with Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta over rights to her masters, Taylor Swift has gifted Swifties a new track to cry over. “Beautiful Ghosts” is Swift’s original song from Cats, the upcoming movie adaptation of the famous musical, and it’s basically her “All Too Well” for the feline universe.
Swift stars as Bombalurina in the musical, and can be seen in the movie’s (pretty controversial) trailer wearing heels and eating catnip. However, her portrayal of the flirty British cat (did Swift talk to her London boy Joe Alwyn about his English accent?) isn’t her only contribution to the film. She co-wrote “Beautiful Ghosts” with famed musical theater composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, who wrote Cats for the stage.
“Beautiful Ghosts” is a song from a musical, so it’s stylistically different from Swift's usual work. What it does have that fans will find familiar are heartbreaking lyrics that could have easily come off of one of the more emotionally vulnerable tracks on Lover. (Specifically, I’m thinking “The Archer.”) The song is one of loss and longing. Bombalurina sings of how she never had lovely memories to hold onto and reminds the person she’s confiding in that they should at least be grateful for them.
“And the memories were lost long ago,” Swift sings. “But at least you have beautiful ghosts.”
Swift seemingly took a lyric directly from a previous track of hers, off her album Fearless. In her song “Fifteen,” the artist sings: “When all you wanted / Was to be wanted.” Here, the repeating line of the chorus is: “All that I wanted was to be wanted.” An Easter egg for Swifties, possibly, or just a reminder that this desire is universal.
Listen to the new song “Beautiful Ghosts” below, but fair warning: You may want to go somewhere safe so you can get a proper cry in. Cats hits theaters on December 20, 2019.