Taylor Swift is a mastermind when it comes to hidden meanings within her music. Fans enjoy the Easter eggs just as much as the songs themselves.

While mentions of ex-boyfriends and frenemies are easier to pinpoint, sometimes it takes a history lesson to understand Swift’s references.

I’m looking at you, “Clara Bow.”

After watching the music video for the album’s first single, “Fortnight,” I came up with a theory.

Did Taylor Swift take inspiration from infamous Massachusetts resident Lizzie Borden for her latest single?

I think so.

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The Meaning Behind “Fortnight” with Post Malone

Thanks to Amazon Music, Swifties can listen to their idol give insight into each track from the Tortured Poets Department. Fans simply have to say to Alexa, “I’m a member of the ‘The Tortured Poets Department,” and they will be treated to the new album accompanied by commentary from Swift.

The singer gives insight into several tracks, one being "Fortnight" with Post Malone.

'Fortnight’ is a song that exhibits a lot of common themes that run throughout the album. One of them being fatalism – longing, pining away, lost dreams. I think that it’s a very fatalistic album in that there are lots of very dramatic lines about life or death.

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Is Taylor Swift Channeling Lizzie Borden?

Lizzie Borden knows a thing or two about life and death. She will always be remembered as the woman who was tried and acquitted of the 1892 hatchet murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River.

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The late 19th century was years ahead of Instagram, so there are only a handful of known photographs of Borden, but in each one, she can be seen in elaborate Victorian gowns with wide-set bangs and well-kept curls.

When I watched the music video for "Fortnight" and saw Swift sitting behind her typewriter in an extravagant black dress, I immediately thought of Lizzie.

Taylor Swift/Youtube
Taylor Swift/Youtube

Then, I looked closer at the lyrics: “I want to kill him” and “I want to kill her.”

Borden was certainly accused of killing a “her” and a “him." While she was never institutionalized the way Swift was in the music video, history shows that Borden thought about it.

While awaiting trial in a Taunton jail cell, she once wrote to a friend saying, “I think soon they can take me up the road, to the insane asylum."

That sounds eerily similar to Swift’s lyrics, “I was supposed to be sent away / But they forgot to come and get me.”

Borden was 32 when she was accused of the crimes. Swift turned 34 in December 2023.

I'll let you be the judge of the correlation, but if Swift took the time to learn more about actress Clara Bow, who famously got her start in a film set in New Bedford, it's not all that crazy to think her research brought her to Fall River and Lizzie Borden.

After all, they're practically neighbors. Swift's Rhode Island home is just 58 miles away from the scene of the crime. 

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