“Carolina” by Taylor Swift 

The beginning of this song may read like an ode to freedom, albeit a troubled one, that is set in the “Carolina creeks”. Taylor Swift is a country musician, with said genre being the type which idolizes the backwoods or what have you. But as the piece progresses, it becomes increasingly obvious that there’s more to this story than readily meets the eye. For instance, whereas it starts off in the first person, in the second verse it switches to a third-person perspective. This implies that the vocalist is not singing of her own experience per se but is rather likening herself to someone.

And that someone is actually a fictional girl named Kya Clarke, who is the main character in a book/movie called Where the Crawdads Sing, which “Carolina” was made for. As implied by the title, said story is set in the Carolinas and more specifically the wetlands of North Carolina. And as the plot reads, Kya actually grows up in the marsh on her own.

It is her personality which Taylor can relate to, a “juxtaposition of… loneliness and independence” as interpreted by the songstress, which compelled her to pen this piece. Furthermore, as implied earlier, whereas most of the song has a general sort of feel to it, there’s also at least one part which is very specific to the book’s narrative. In other words, Carolina possesses a style and sentiment that Swifties and the like would undoubtedly identify with. But fully appreciating this song would require some foreknowledge of Where the Crawdads Sing.

Lyrics of Taylor Swift's "Carolina"

Facts about “Carolina”

This is a song that Taylor wrote and co-produced for a movie called Where the Crawdads Song

Said film shares its title with the book it is based on, a 2018 novel by Delia Owens. Tay Tay herself is admittedly a fan of said text. So as the story goes, once she heard that the movie was being put together, she wanted to be involved in its soundtrack. She then proceeded to compose this piece unsolicited and personally went about submitting to the team behind the film. 

As such, Swift assembled “Carolina” at the same time she was working on her 2020 album “Folklore”. 

The other producer of “Carolina” is Taylor’s regular behind-the-scenes’ collaborator as of late, Aaron Dessner.

Swift and Dessner have composed tons of songs together, including hits such as:

Apparently, the public became aware of this song after it was featured on the first trailer to Where the Crawdads Sing, with said clip airing in late March, 2022.

“Carolina” was formally released through Republic Records on 24 June 2022.

It has been noted that “Carolina” was recorded in a single take. 

Also quite interestingly, since Where the Crawdads Sing is set in the early 1950s, Tay Tay and co. likewise decided to only use instruments from that era in the recording.


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