Taylor Swift’s “evermore,” but greener

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Cassie Kavanagh

A Swiss Cheese plant sits in Merrifield Garden center. This plant is liked by many, similar to “gold rush” on Taylor Swift’s latest album “evermore.”

Taylor Swift’s surprise album, “evermore, a sister album to her previous “folklore,” is absolutely riveting. As a long-time Swiftie, I have been listening to Taylor for many years and this album is my favorite yet. “Evermore has the same captivating vocals and relaxing rhythms as “folklore,” but brings more of an uplifting beat. The “folklore” album has made me teary-eyed, but the “evermore” album brought peace and happiness. “Evermore fits into the folk indie genre, and I believe that there truly is a song on there for everyone, whether it is “long story short,” the dreamlike single “willow” or the murder mystery hymn “no body, no crime.” 

Other than not being able to recommend it enough, “evermore” also appears to the plant lover side of me with song track titles like “ivy” and “willow” and a fall and nature-esque themed cover. I knew it was impossible for me not to love it even before I pressed play. After listening to the tracks for the billionth time, I am convinced that each “evermore” song represents a specific plant. Plants that I have grown in the past, failed to grow or admired before in a greenhouse. Hopefully, the plant fanatics reading this will be encouraged to listen to “evermore” (seriously, please do), and the Swifties will be encouraged to add greenery to their lives that will remind them of their favorite songs. Without further ado, here is what the “evermore” songs have reminded me of in the plant kingdom. 

*Note: this does not include the witch versions of “due to the similarity of the remixes to the original “willow”, or the extra tracks on the deluxe version of the album, as they have not been released without purchase required.* 

source: https://www.thesill.com/collections/live-plants 

 

willow: oxalis 

The lead single from “evermore,” this track is gentle and soothing but contains hints of sass, with lines like “I come back stronger than a 90’s trend.” This single talks about resilience and bouncing back stronger with the help of others, particularly with the man Swift sings about. “Willow” also conveys peacefulness and content with the melodious indie background music, as well as the lyrics like “life was a willow and it bent right to your wind.” Coming in a variety of stunning colors, Oxalis take the previous line into reality, because they fold their leaves in as the sun goes down, and open for the start of a new day. Despite closing themselves off at night, and in my experience, looking almost dead for a period of time, they come back bright and perky yet again, “stronger than a 90’s trend.” 

 

champagne problems: blue job’s tears 

One of the most raved about songs on “evermore,” “champagne problems,” begins with a soft piano ballad that is continuous throughout as Swift moves from octave to octave. “Champagne problems” pin points heartbreak and desperation after things don’t work out between a longtime lover and how both parties deal with it, including the reactions of those on the outside, and not being able to move on. Somehow, however, this song is not a total mood killer and instead feels more thoughtful and reflective than outright depressing. Aside from having the word “tears” in its name, blue job’s tears are the perfect combination of almost saddening, yet still tranquil and reflective of calm after the storm. The strands of leaves droop, and an owner of the plant myself and am figuring out how to get them to perk up just a bit more. They truly are the picture of a sort of sorrowful yet beautiful thing, just like “champagne problems.”

 

gold rush: swiss cheese monstera 

My personal favorite on “evermore,” “gold rush,” continues the same dreamy indie tune heard on the rest of the album, yet adds in some more pep. In “gold rush,” Swift sounds almost angelic, and the beginning sounds just like a dream. She sings about a love interest being too good looking or too sought after among others for her to pursue successfully, and how she did not want to compete, yet is still in awe of this person. This sounds familiar — in my case when plant shopping. I almost always come across the swiss cheese monstera, a plant I find so gorgeous but almost too pretty to buy (and almost always too expensive.) However, I am not the only one with their eye on this plant, as it often appears on interior design magazine covers, photoshoots, and is extremely trendy. Obviously, this plant is glamorous and so sought out for the price for getting is usually out of my budget and therefore not worth purchasing, similar to the predicament sung about in “gold rush.” Maybe one day I’ll spend a bit more than I would like to own a swiss cheese monstera, but for now, I’ll have to admire it from afar. 

 

‘tis the damn season: poinsettia

The fourth track on “evermore,” “‘tis the damn season,” is not your typical holiday song, yet it focuses on a very typical pattern. In “‘tis the damn season,” Swift sings about the lover she keeps coming back to in her hometown, again and again, only to always leave feeling heartbroken. This reminded me of the classic holiday plant, the poinsettia, and how it’s beautiful bracts and colors always bring such joy during the winter season, yet they always go away once it is over, and leave me feeling somewhat sad. However, despite this sadness, I always continue to keep mine without its gorgeous bracts that disappear, hoping that they will return again. Or I simply go back the next winter and purchase a new one at a garden center, well aware that they will cause me that same sadness when they go away once more. 

 

tolerate it: anything in the Calathea Genus 

I’ll admit, I was not an immediate fan of this song but now I tolerate it (ha). In contrast to what I just said, like all of her music — despite it not being one of my favorites on the album — it is still beautifully written. In this track, Swift sings about putting in more effort toward a relationship than she gets in return, and not being appreciated. Plant-wise, despite my best efforts, I have many times failed at keeping one alive or at least from looking not so dead. By now, I at least know my limitations of plant care, and Calatheas go way past them. I own one, a Calathea rattlesnake, yet still have no clue what I’m doing, as it consistently looks a little… shabby. Despite my best attempts, it only tolerates the care I give it, and is surviving, but not exactly flourishing. Perhaps it is my own fault and not that of the plant, but it is hard not to take these things personally. 

source: https://animals.sandiegozoo.org/plants/american-pitcher-plant 

 

no body, no crime (feat HAIM): pitcher plant 

A song that screams girl power and murder mystery, this track is a favorite among many. In “no body, no crime”, Swift and the band HAIM allude to a woman avenging the death of her friend Este, who was murdered by her husband after confronting him for cheating. Not only is it powerful, but it also is not too serious, as it has some country twang in it as well. While trying to match a plant to this complex song, I envisioned the pitcher plant, a carnivorous one that at first looks rather innocent and pretty, but packs a punch by alluring insects into their leaves. Both “no body, no crime” and the pitcher plant detail something or someone that may seem unsuspicious at first, but are more vengeful and destructive than first thought. 

 

happiness: maidenhair fern 

With an opening line of “honey, when I’m above the trees, I see this for what it is,” “happiness” has a mystical, dreamy, and nature-esque vibe, that I find to be quite captivating. The song showcases that happiness might have been gained from a situation, but recognizes that one will still find ways to have that same happiness even once the situation is over with, no matter how challenging it is to move on. Along with “happiness” being absolutely beautiful, to me, it is the most nostalgic track on the album. The maidenhair fern’s delicacy and quick changing temperament not only sums up the circumstance being left behind so suddenly but when I visualize “happiness,” especially at the beginning, I somehow see a forest filled with birch trees including a variety of ferns. An owner of the lovely looking fern myself, I was warned before purchasing it that it was almost impossible not to kill it, yet I made the decision to give it a shot anyway, knowing that it probably would not last too long, but it was too pretty not to experience at least once. However, despite the likelihood of the plant not lasting for too long, I knew I would not be too crushed without it because there are other plants just as cool, just in a different way that could provide me with the same “happiness.” 

source: https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/aeschynanthus-radicans/ 

 

 

dorothea: lipstick plant

Perhaps the most cheerful track on “evermore,” “dorothea” is a comforting and upbeat hymn that keeps the same peaceful notes found on the rest of the album. Seemingly focused on a loyal friendship that stands the test of time, Swift sings “and if you’re ever tired of being known for who you know, you know, you’ll always know me.” “Dorothea” reminds me of summer and hanging out with friends pre-pandemic, along with just how important friendship is, with lines like “you’re a queen selling dreams, selling makeup and magazines/from you I’d buy anything.” For “dorothea,” I had to find a plant just as gorgeous as the song itself. The lipstick plant was the perfect match. Not only is the plant eloquent and flowing, but it also is quite likely to last just as long as a loyal friendship: a long time. It also reminds me of the Dorothea Swift signs about who, as mentioned previously, sells makeup and magazines. Dorothea lives a rather glamorous life, as it not only has makeup in its name but produces stunning red flowers that are quite eye-catching. 

 

coney island (feat. The National): aloe vera 

I must admit, this song confuses me! I am almost lost for words as to how to describe it. “Coney island” is peaceful yet regretful and reminiscent of something I have not been able to decode. I enjoy listening to it, despite my mixed feelings that I am unable to explain. The National makes me feel even more confused by the song, as it is difficult to group it in with the other tracks on evermore once he begins singing. It is nostalgic, similar to “dorothea”, but in a different way, speaking of repeating toxic patterns again and again like “‘tis the damn season,” yet in a way that is more sad. As you can see, I am in quite the predicament when this song pops up on my playlist! A classic household plant, the aloe vera is one I am surprisingly not that fond of, yet continue buying, similar to how I cannot stop myself from listening to “coney island.” Aloe vera are smooth and help with skincare, so it does not make sense why I dislike them, but I do. I should like “coney island,” yet I do not. Or do I? My feelings on both aloe veras and “coney island” bring out my indecisive side, so they truly are quite alike. Hopefully, other Swift listeners and aloe vera owners kind find a bit more clarity in their opinions on the subjects. 

 

ivy: pothos

One of the best and most immediately liked songs on “evermore,” “ivy” reminds me of flowy dresses, stone castles and well, ivy! An idyllic track, “ivy” is the perfect combination of cozy, dreamlike, sassy and tranquil. It reminds me of my trip to Ireland a year ago and just traveling in general, so I find it to be the perfect escape from pandemic life. “Ivy” truly is a must listen on evermore. An obvious choice of a corresponding plant, pothos have many similarities to you guessed, it, ivy! However, that is not all. Easy to care for, pothos are a must-have for anyone wanting some greenery, just like how “ivy” is an essential listen for anyone wanting some T. Swift. Pothos also come in a wide variety of patterns and are to me, a modern-day version of an ivy plant, just like how Swift managed, in my view, to bring old charm into new music. 

 

cowboy like me: bunny ear cactus 

Unlike your usual Swift song of contrasting personalities either making it work or crashing and burning in a relationship, “cowboy like me” details two lovers so similar that they compliment each other perfectly, almost too perfectly for it to seem real. As Swift sings, it is apparent the characters in the song are partners in crime and understand each other because of their being different from the rest. “Cowboy like me” also includes some country twang reminding me of the wild west, so a desert plant seemed like a perfect match. Spiky and unique, the bunny ear cactus is the picture of a cute plant. With little “bunny ears” throughout that are all connected to the larger base of the plant, each “bunny ear” is connected due to their common ground. This creates an absolutely charming and good looking plant, similar to the relationship discussed in “cowboy like me.” Both show that similarities can create something beautiful.

source:  https://thelittlebotanical.com/product/medium-string-of-hearts/

 

long story short: string of hearts

An upbeat tune, almost similar to those heard on the “Reputation” or “Lover” albums, “long story short” is one that is TikTok dance level worthy, as proven by the multiple dances to the song I have noticed on my “for you page.” In the chorus, Swift echoes the lines of “long story short it was a bad time” and “now I’m all about you,” making the message of the song quite clear and also refreshing and bright in comparison to some of the slower and more deep songs on “evermore.” With an Alice in Wonderland feel, “long story short” also feels almost fantastical. Maybe the lyrics “and I fell from the pedestal, right down the rabbit hole” have something to do with it. By association, Alice and Wonderland immediately reminds me of a deck of cards, particularly the Queen of Hearts card. The string of hearts, therefore, is the perfect plant to go along with this melodious song! With stunning heart-shaped leaves that create almost a canopy, this plant is just as fairytale-like as “long story short.” 

source: https://www.almanac.com/plant/african-violets 

 

marjorie: African violet

A stunning song, including vocals from Swift’s late grandmother, an opera singer whom the track is named after, “marjorie” is truly a masterpiece. With lyrics like “never be so kind you forget to be clever” and “if I didn’t know better I’d think you were singing to me now,” it is like Swift’s grandma is in the song giving advice all while her vocals are heard in the background. Hauntingly beautiful, this song is indescribably unworldly, in a peaceful way that feels comforting. It feels wrong to try to label a song so incredible and vast with a plant, but the African violet not only reminds me of my own grandmother, it is timeless, never seeming to lose popularity. Both my grandmother and I own them!  In “marjorie,” the voice of Marjorie is timeless as well, in a way that the African violet is almost reminiscent of. 

 

closure: dwarf Madagascar palm 

An outlier to the rest of “evermore,” “closure” is the definition of wacky and somehow reminds me of the word “eclectic,” as it sounds almost busy and is unlike the rest of Swift’s music. A bit more repetitive than the rest of the album, the line “yes I got your letter, yes I’m doing better” is sung frequently. Despite not being pop, for me, it still falls into the category of being “ear-worm pop.” With a song as unique as “closure”, a weird looking plant was needed, and the Madagascar palm was the perfect fit. Almost stupid looking, the Madagascar palm looks like it has its own hairdo. An owner of this plant myself, I find that it blends in with the other plants I own, but it is so strange that it is hard not to almost admire it on occasion, similar to “closure.” Of course, a Taylor Swift song is not as straight-up weird as a plant this silly looking, but on “evermore,”closure” is the black sheep. 

 

evermore (feat. Bon Iver): creeping fig 

A song similar to those featured in “folklore,” “evermore” is a dramatic yet peaceful song and duet. “Evermore,” while in my opinion is not as good as exile, shares the same tragically beautiful theme and riveting combination of the vocals of Bon Iver and Swift. Keeping the contrasting theme and wordplay, the creeping fig itself has a contradictory name; how does a fig creep? The creeping fig adds more tranquility to my room, yet it is rather dramatic as its leaves almost cling over the edge of its pot, making it obvious that they want to grow “evermore.” Due to the easiness of its care, the creeping fig will also likely be in my possession “evermore.” I’ll stop now, but this plant truly does remind me of something timeless and old, similar to “marjorie”, but even more similar to evermore with its duet, as the plant goes in all different directions, making itself just as uniquely beautiful as “evermore.”