Taylor Swift wrote “Beautiful Ghosts” with Andrew Lloyd Webber for ‘Cats the Movie’ directed by Tom Hooper. The song is written for the role of Victoria in the movie played by Francesca Hayward.
Taylor Swift previewed the song on October 24, with an interview with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tom Hooper. The official lyric video released on November 15, 2019. This video shows picturesque snapshots from the movie throughout.
The song takes a very moody melody purrfect for the cats casting. The song speaks about the inner feelings of the character of Victoria. Listen to the track below.
In the first verse of the song, Victoria sings of her loneliness. She talks about how she has no roof over her head. Even if she finds a lover to take home, she does not know where to take her. This verse also mentions an important plot in the movie surrounding the cat named Grizabella. In the movie, “Beautiful Ghosts” follows Jennifer Hudson’s “Memory” performed for Grizabella, a rich and an endowed cat. She has made and lived many great memories which she proudly sings about in “Memories.” Victoria’s response to her is this song and she talks about how she has not been so fortunate.
In the chorus of the song, we fully understand the context of these lyrics and what the life of Victoria has been. She was born into nothing–probably abandoned when she was a kitten. She tells how she had to walk the cold streets of London all by herself to find her some food and shelter. Cold streets of London are no place for a little kitten. Victoria knows Grizabella had a wonderful life in a lavish mansion. So her ghosts are beautiful, to say the least. Victoria’s ghosts are of the crooks and thieves and the underbelly of London.
The second verse of “Beautiful Ghosts” paints a picture of the life Victoria had to live on the streets. Every night is a perilous night, not knowing if she would live to see the daylight. She had no friends growing up as she was always scared of the street cats who always looked dangerous.
In the lyrics to the bridge, we can hear Victoria trying to make the best of her worse situation. She might not have had the loving family she wanted, but she is at least free and wild. We do not hear Victoria being envious of Grizabella for her fortunes. But she has no choice but to console herself and pick herself up like she has done all her life.
The ‘Cats’ movie releases on December 20, 2019.