In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Taylor Swift shared more about her four-year love story with British actor Joe Alwyn, revealing just how serious they've become, and how their private relationship has changed her. For the magazine's cover story, the 30-year-old sat down with The Beatles' Paul McCartney, opening up about how Alwyn had inspired her song, "peace", a fan favourite from folklore. Without naming Alwyn outright, the lyrics in "peace" speak to her next-level fame, and how that impacts their relationship.
Swift told McCartney: "I know you have done a really excellent job of this in your personal life: carving out a human life within a public life, and how scary that can be when you do fall in love and you meet someone, especially if you've met someone who has a very grounded, normal way of living."
"I, oftentimes, in my anxieties, can control how I am as a person and how normal I act and rationalise things, but I cannot control if there are 20 photographers outside in the bushes and what they can do and if they follow our car and if they interrupt our lives. I can't control if there's going to be a fake weird headline about us in the news tomorrow."
McCartney then asked her how Alwyn responded to that. Did he sympathise? "Oh, absolutely," Swift answered.
As for how the relationship is different to others in the past, Swift said: "But I think that in knowing [Alwyn] and being in the relationship I am in now, I have definitely made decisions that have made my life feel more like a real life and less like just a storyline to be commented on in tabloids. Whether that's deciding where to live, who to hang out with, when to not take a picture—the idea of privacy feels so strange to try to explain, but it's really just trying to find bits of normalcy."
She finished: "That's what that song 'peace' is talking about. Like, would it be enough if I could never fully achieve the normalcy that we both crave? Stella [Paul McCartney's daughter] always tells me that she had as normal a childhood as she could her hope for under the circumstances."
Some of "peace"s most poignant lines about Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn's relationship are as follows.. "All these people think love's for show/But I would die for you in secret/The devil's in the details, but you got a friend in me/Would it be enough if I could never give you peace?".
"And you know that I'd/Swing with you for the fences/Sit with you in the trenches/Give you my wild, give you a child/Give you the silence that only comes/When two people understand each other/Family that I chose now that I see your brother as my brother/Is it enough?"
Listen to "peace" here.
Written by Sangeeta Kocharekar, an American-born, Sydney-based writer at MTV. Photos from her pre-COVID-19 days as a travel writer are here.