taylor swift coney island

Taylor Swift – coney island Ft. The National | Lyrics Meaning & Song Review

“coney island” is the ninth track on Taylor Swift’s second 2020 album ‘evermore.’ ‘Coney Island is a peninsular in Brooklyn, New York City. The collaborator on this track, The National, is a band formed in Brooklyn in 1999. During the live stream leading to the release of the album, Taylor Swift mentioned that The National was one of her all-time favorite bands.

Taylor Swift announced her 9th studio album ‘evermore‘ in quick succession to her previous studio album ‘folklore‘ which was released in July 2020. Both albums follow a similar theme and Taylor called them ‘sister-records.’ “To try and put it more poetically, it feels like we were standing on the edge of the folklorian woods and had a choice: to turn and go back or to travel further into the forest of this music. We chose to wander deeper in,” said Taylor Swift announcing the album. The ‘evermore’ album releases on December 11, 2020.

The songwriting credits on the song extend to Bryce Dessner, and Aaron Dessner of The National, Taylor Swift and her boyfriend Joe Alwyn.

Listen to “coney island” by Taylor Swift

Buy ‘evermore’ Album on Apple Music and Amazon

“coney island” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review

Verse 1

Taylor Swift describes a relationship that is decaying right in front of her eyes. What were once the golden hooks that kept them together, are turning into iron and rust away. Taylor cannot understand how things evolved into such a dark place so fast. She was ready for the long haul, but already it feels like a lifetime has passed. Taylor cannot relate to her partner anymore, and she feels lost. She wonders why their relationship was so delicate that it broke down so soon. Delicate is also a reference to Taylor’s song of the same name from 2017.


Taylor loses herself in thoughts on a bench in Coney Island. All these thoughts flush down her head, and she barely has any answers for them. She wonders if making him the centerfold of her life would have helped saved this relationship in any way. A centerfold in a magazine is the exact middle two pages with the most illustrious and highlighted content of the magazine.

Taylor sits on the bench, looking at all the people, and couples wandering about and getting colder and colder in her thoughts and around her as the Sun sets down.

Verse 2

Matt Berninger of The National takes on the vocals of the second verse alongside Taylor Swift. He takes on the guy’s POV of the song. He knows that this relationship is pushed to the edge and he feels responsible. Despite having built a world of success for them, they could not enclose themselves within that success. Taylor Swift, too, apologizes for showing him what life could be and then letting it all go.

Taylor Swift asks for his forgiveness when he is “too wise to trust me and too old to care?.” These lyrics are a reference to the “tolerate it” song on the album.

Towards the end of the song, both Matt Berninger and Taylor Swift join vocals for the chorus of the song, thus both seemingly apologizing to each other for not making each other a bigger priority in their lives.

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

2 thoughts on “Taylor Swift – coney island Ft. The National | Lyrics Meaning & Song Review

  1. The whole song is directed and sung to her younger, naive self. It’s an apology to herself for a lifetime of achievement and prominence in the amusement park of the entertainment business at the cost of its scars she carries with her for life. She’s sorry for not making herself the centerfold. Everybody cared more about her than she cared about herself. She’s apologizing to herself for her life as a Wonder Woman carnival attraction and for the reckless indulgence and all the fun and mischief that’s kept her so entertained that she doesn’t have the arcade ring she came to “ Coney Island” to win. The wedding ring and happily ever after. And now Coney Island is a baron ghost park in real life. But beyond that, the song expresses self love and worth which every child who hasn’t had a perfect childhood deserves. Yes there are references to boyfriends of the past, but Coney Island, I feel was a song she wrote for herself, about herself, and to herself. It’s an apology for not caring enough about herself and that’s a form of accepting blame for her past and the still present pain that haunts her. It’s also a declaration of personal growth and understanding herself as an artist and as a partner. I wonder if she wrote this while thinking about how she would raise her own child, knowing her mistakes and knowing the love her mom had for her and how helpless mom must have felt trying to reason with her in her Coney Island heyday. Swift always seemed to know she was a force not to be reasoned with. Now she’s the force finally reasoning with herself. This epiphany has brought a startling new depth and strength to the last two albums she’s made. This song, for me, is her best ever.

  2. this is one of the strongest lyrically on the album. An apology for taking your partner for granted. This song then goes on to speak about from her perspective, treating people like that and then from Matt’s perspective, treating her like that. The delicate reference is also a reference about Joe, the song delicate is about him. In her lines, she apologizes to her past loves, but also just metaphors for realizing a pattern of behaviour of not putting your partner first and then wondering why it didn’t last, where did my baby go? She apologizes to at least 3 different loves for taking them for granted. But, Matt’s lines are specific apologies to Taylor from 3 of her past loves, I imagine apologies that she wishes she had received but never did. Basically this song has many layers and metaphors. It is a great song

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