“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
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“coney island” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
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.
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.