willow is the first track and the lead single of Taylor's ninth album evermore. It was released on December 11, 2020, along with the music video and album.
Meaning and Background
Willow is about intrigue, desire and the complexity that goes into wanting someone.
The music video was released on December 11, 2020. It's directed by Taylor Swift herself. The video is a continuation of the cardigan music video. It stars Taeok Lee, one of Taylor's backup dancers during the Red Tour.
The music video picks up where the cardigan music video left off; Taylor is soaking wet, wearing a cardigan and sitting in front of a piano. She finds a golden thread and follows it into the piano. She ends up in a beautiful forest, all by herself. As she looks into the water, she sees a reflection of her and a man. However, when she looks besides her, he isn’t there and now her own reflection has disappeared. She dives into the water, following the golden thread. She ends up in a tent along with the man as children. They play with the golden thread, but al of sudden the man vanishes. Taylor leaves the tent, ends up in a glass box and performs for a crowd. The man appears, but Taylor can’t be with him because she’s still inside the box. She finds a way out through the floor, following the golden thread again. Taylor ends up walking through the woods with a group of people wearing capes and masks. They gather in a circle and play with the golden energy, doing a witchy ceremony. Taylor notices the golden thread, and follows it. Meanwhile, one of the people wearing masks, takes it off and is revealed to be the man. Taylor arrives at the same place she started, but wears a different outfit. At the end of the golden thread, she sees the man again. They are finally together and walk off into the sunny woods.
- In a YouTube Q&A, Taylor said that the music video represents the songs seven, exile, mirrorball, invisible string and mad woman.
- The fire scene represents mad woman.
- One of the scenes shows Taylor and her lover as kids, referring to the song seven.
- Taylor being locked up in a box, performing at an abandoned circus, refers to mirrorball and possibly exile.
- At the end of the video, Taylor finds a golden string and sees her lover. This is a reference to the line One single thread of gold tied me to you from invisible string.
- Taylor and her lover walking into daylight at the end of the video, may be a reference to Daylight.
- Taylor mentioned that one of the scenes (presumably the one where Taylor is locked up in a glass box) represents how she feels about fame. There’s also a scene that represents each season throughout the journey of the video.
- During the glass box scene, a poster of a woman with a snake can be seen in the background, referring to either the Reputation era or people calling her a snake.
- The music video has parallels with the ...Ready For It? music video: Taylor is also wearing a cape, they both refer to witch craft and there's a scene where Taylor is locked up in a box.
|To view the Willow gallery, click here.|
- - Willow YouTube premiere - Taylor Swift Q&A