taylor swift betty

Taylor Swift – Betty | Lyrics Meaning & Song Review

“Betty” is the fourteenth track on Taylor Swift’s 2020 album ‘Folklore.’ In the song, Taylor talks about a girl, named Betty, whom Taylor had a serious falloff with.

Taylor Swift announced her 8th studio album ‘Folklore‘ just a few hours ahead of the album release on July 24, 2020. The album had no singles prior to the album release, and Taylor stated the reason for the ‘surprise’ album release as the “uncertainty” surrounding the world right now.

On the album, “Betty, is the aftermath of the track “August,” where Taylor’s Summer love was crushed and torn away.

Listen to “betty” by Taylor Swift

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“betty” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review

Verse 1

Taylor Swift talks about her ‘friend,’ Betty. Although Taylor does not want to admit it, she knows that Betty moved out of the room of her house because of Taylor. Why? We’re about to find out.


Whatever Taylor did, started spreading as a rumor, and Taylor knows it must be Inez who started this rumor. Taylor says that Inez is a liar who actually spreads lies. But this time…it’s true. So what did Taylor do to Betty that has Taylor drown in such guilt?


In the chorus of the song, we finally find out why Betty is super mad at Taylor Swift. It involves a love triangle.

“…it was just a summer thing?
I’m only seventeen, I don’t know anything….”

So Taylor Swift had a Summer fling with the boyfriend of Betty Probably a one-time deal, but the rumor started spreading and now it makes sense why Betty is avoiding Taylor so much. Taylor Swift blames it on being “seventeen,” being naive and stupid.

Oh, and the chorus includes Taylor’s first swear word on her discography. The “F” word. Pretty impressive! Hence, the ‘Folklore’ album comes as Taylor’s first ‘Explicit’ labeled album.

Verse 2

In the second verse of the song, Taylor narrates how the infidelty happened. It was a school dance, and everybodyw as having a good time. Betty was dancing with her boyfriend to their favorite song just a few hours ago. Taylor even saw this. But one thing lead to another and Taylor was in Betty’s boyfriend’s arms a few hours later.


After the fling, Taylor was walking home on “broken cobblestones,” a metaphor for enduring pain from the mistake she just committed. To make things worse, Betty drives by her and offers to give her a ride home. The dialogue in the lyrics goes; “She said “James, get in, let’s drive”.” This makes us wonder if Taylor Swift was so shocked about what she just did and the fact that Betty just appeared in a car out of nowhere, her inner consciousness replaced the sentence “Taylor, get in, let’s drive” to the one above.

Verse 3

Now, Taylor Swift wants to apologize to Betty. So she musters all the courage she has and goes to her doorstep. Taylor can almost see how this encounter is going to go!


Taylor Swift shows up at a party to make ammends.

Now things take a bizarre turn…


Taylor Swift actually does show up at a party…but it’s Betty’s boyfriends party. Betty may or may not be there. A whole lot of emotions start running through Taylor’s head. What would happen when she finally faces him? Would he chase her out? or would he kiss her?

Taylor seems to be in love with this boy whom she had a fling with. Well, in the predecessor track on the album, “August,” we do find that Taylor fascinates about him. So it is natural that the fling had woken up some demons inside Taylor. However, Taylor is coming back for something more longterm and tangible now. She is not thinking about Betty right now.


These lines hint to another song on the album that takes on the love triangle: “Cardigan.”

Let us know what you think about this song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics and further meaning breakdown on Genius.


There are also rumors going around that Taylor Swift actually used the name Betty as a hint of her BFF Blake Lively and Ryan Reynold’s newborn daughter’s name.

Update: 17/09/2020

Taylor Swift delivered the first live performance of a song from ‘folklore’ album with “Betty” at the Academy of Country Music Awards (ACMA) 2020, held on September 16, 2020, in Nashville, Tennessee.

2 thoughts on “Taylor Swift – Betty | Lyrics Meaning & Song Review

  1. Other way around! James is the one singing the song to Betty, “Taylor” was the one driving by and offering a ride. After that, one thing led to another…..

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