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What Is Hidden In Taylor Swift ‘cardigan’ Lyrics Meaning From Folklore?


Taylor Swift – cardigan Lyrics Meaning

Taylor Swift has finally released her surprise album, folklore, and today we are going to explore the hidden meaning from the lyrics of ‘cardigan’ song. What exactly is ‘cardigan’ or even ‘folklore’? Cardigan is a knitted sweater with long sleeves. Folklore is a custom or a tale that has been followed by a community for a long period of time. Hello everyone, this is Patrick for Laviasco providing you with the most intellectual analysis of the song. You can find us on Twitter @laviasco as well.

The combination of ‘cardigan’ with ‘folklore’ is a way for Taylor Swift to reconnect with her past memories. In the song, she basically explains a relationship triangle and how hard it was for her to accept the heartbreak.

Introduction: cardigan Lyrics

In the lyrics for ‘cardigan’, we find Taylor Swift talking about the love triangle that she once had when she was young. She talks about letting someone set the standards for her self-worth. The singer really dives deep into what she felt like in her younger days. Obviously, we cannot ignore how we feel about someone. This might make us lower our standards in order to please what our romantic interest wants, I have been there too. This backfired on Taylor Swift and this is what she is talking about in the song.

And when I felt like I was an old cardigan

Under someone’s bed

You put me on and said I was your favorite

Notable Lyrics For ‘cardigan’ by Taylor Swift

cardigan Lyrics Meaning

Let’s dissect the meaning behind the lyrics of the song ‘cardigan’ by Taylor Swift section-wise. Before that let’s point out a few facts from the song.

Facts About ‘cardigan’ Song By Taylor Swift

  1. ‘cardigan’ is the lead single from the eighth studio album, folklore, by Taylor Swift.
  2. The lyrics of the song as well as the music video for the song were jotted down and produced respectively in the lockdown.
  3. Taylor Swift is the director of the music video for the song.
  4. The entire video shoot was monitored closely for precautions against the COVID-19 pandemic.

[Verse 1]

Taylor Swift tries to recollect the way she was used to feeling around her romantic interest. These were the moments when she knew she was falling in love with him. His appearance on a vintage t-shirt as well as on a brand new phone, she was impressed with the way he was. This is when she began to give away her self-worth to trade her time for her romantic interest. Then, people around her stopped to put some worth on her words.

She is seen as a young female who puts too much worth on someone if she happens to fall in love with someone. Her political beliefs were laughed at and her appearance was objectified. As she grew older, she could recall what the problem was. Her doubt in herself led this behavioral change on other people that she thought she could count on. Someone like her and her opinions was dismissed as if they had no worth.


However, despite the mistreatment, she felt as though she knew who she was falling for. Despite not being able to understand what she fell for at the time, she felt as though she knew him. He wasn’t someone judgmental who would mistreat someone that loves him. At least she took the moments with him in this manner. She liked everything about him, his jeans, his smile. Her naive younger-self gave in a kiss when he needed it without asking for her desires to be fulfilled.


In the refrain section, the singer lets us know that her happiness was tied to the opinion of her romantic partner. She was like an old cardigan sweater which he would occasionally wear. But that would make her immensely happy for the moment. Taylor was a choice of her romantic interest but he was everything for her. When he gave that validation of “this is my favorite sweater” referring to her, she felt happy. But his wordings were sharp enough for me to understand that he had many sweaters and Swift was one of them.

[Verse 2]

In the second verse, we can see that Taylor Swift is contemplating her life choices when she was young. Now, here, she seems to have understood that she was an option for him. He could replace her with anyone but she chose to give in. For her, he was the winning prize. Therefore, she wholeheartedly tried to impress him. However, as she showed interest in him, she was of less value to her. He would rather pursue someone more of a challenge, which sadly wasn’t her at the time.


As in the chorus section, Taylor Swift recalls that while trying to pursue both people, her romantic interest lost the touch of one, i.e. her. She began to understand that she was perceived as someone with low value. Her self-worth was kicked down and pushed off the cliff. While she was wounded, her romantic interest only cut the wound deeper by playing with her wounds. All she wanted for herself was his kiss, which sadly turned into a nightmare for her.

[Verse 3]

As she put herself first, she began to understand that her actions were going to hurt her in the long run. The past of people shapes their present and their future. She knows the reason why she still gets goosebumps when she thinks about him. But she knew he would come back to her when his spark with other romantic interest would die. Her hope really doesn’t show the progress she had with her self-worth. But inconsistency is exactly what the beauty of life lies within.

Conclusion: cardigan Meaning

‘cardigan’ represents a cultured and ignored item which turned out to be a valuable asset someone can have later on. Taylor Swift considers herself to be a naive yet valuable piece of the vintage sweater, warm, cozy, and luxurious.

What do you think is the meaning behind the lyrics of the song ‘cardigan’ by Taylor Swift? Let us know in the comments section below.

Read the meaning behind the lyrics of the song ‘cardigan’ by Taylor Swift on Genius in detail.


Laviasco is an entertainment website run by a single person, the Admin himself, Mr. Suraj Marahatta, from research to blogging to website maintenance. Here, I have been providing the meaning of the lyrics of the songs little by little since 2019. My goal is to provide authentic sources for the facts and stay up-to-date.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Hari

    it was good that i fell in love with the song as well as the Taylor with one of reason due to this website

  2. payton

    Love the meaning behind this song. I can connect in my own way helping me understand my own self-worth.

  3. payton

    Love the meaning behind this song. I can connect in my own way helping me understand my own self-worth.

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