Paris is one of the most catchiest songs on the 3am Edition of Midnights. I love this song because it’s filled with so many metaphors and has a bit of Mastermind in it. I love the idea of if your love is real there’s no need to post it on the net [Thanks, Witt Lowry]. A lot of artists have been singing about the outside voices, social media, the double edge sword of being famous.
Obviously most of us do not know Taylor, but from working with other b/c list celebrities and knowing their truth and then seeing speculation on the internet, in the last four years I have really become sympathetic for celebrities and artists. No one really signs up for the hatred, speculation, wild narratives and conspiracies that come with being famous. People pursue art and music because they love it – but there is a bunch of additional bull shit things that come with it in the age of social media and baseless opinions. Paris is about this time in her life when she was hidden in the world with her loved one. A time she didn’t have to worry about outside narratives or voices. In the private showing of Reputation she had told people that Dancing with our hands tied, was about this fear of the public finding out who she was dating and feeling fear that they would ruin it all. Usually, she is right about this… and unfortunately with her recent break up – she was right. We obviously don’t know the story. I think most relationships end because of some duality – but more than anything I just hope she finds peace.
“Your ex-friend’s sister
Met someone at a club and he kissed her
Turns out it was that guy you hooked up with ages ago
Some wannabe Z-lister
And all the outfits were terrible
Did you see the photos?”
No, I didn’t, but thanks, though
So we start the song with a conversation, or gossip rather. Someone is talking to Taylor, gossiping about an irrelevant person in her life who hooked up with someone else irrelevant in Taylor’s life, asking if Taylor kept up on the news of two people she doesn’t associate with any more. Did you see the photos? Nope. And from this we get the hint that she is ‘offline.’ This song we are assuming is taking place the summer of 2016, the cruel summer, if you will. When she was disconnected from the internet, out of sight, and we assume with Joe Alwyn. Again the footage of the making of “Call it what you want,” with her in her slippers singing to him while she was out of sight of the media is my favorite video of her.
But also if you weren’t alive early 2000’s let me recap some fashion for you lmao
I’m so in love that I might stop breathing
I know people hear this line and take it as the love that could kill them because it’s too much, but I kind of see is as the opposite. The fear of losing someone is often what Taylor writes about – so I see this line as more of, I’m so in love without you I may stop breathing without you.
Drew a map on your bedroom ceiling
The ceiling we stare at together in Lavender Haze – thinking of all the possibilities of the future.
No, I didn’t see the news
‘Cause we were somewhere else
We were together – we were offline – we were living in our own reality where nobody mattered but us.
Stumbled down pretend alleyways
Cheap wine, make believe it’s champagne
I was taken by the view
I love these next set of lines and metaphorical places, because the view isn’t actually Paris. It’s not anything pretty environmentally – it’s the person she is with. We are down pretend alleyways – this is actually a big line because what she means is they are inside probably. I created my image and then reflected on this more. They are probably sitting in their hallway, drinking cheap wine and pretending its more than that. Like they have pretend left the bar, stumbling home through an alley, being normal human beings without anything harming their bubble.
We are pretending the outside world doesn’t exist – like we’re not in a room, inside and hiding, but we are in Paris in an alleyway, living normal lives.
Handsome, you’re a mansion with a view
Like we were in Paris
Like we were somewhere else
Like we were in Paris, oh
We were somewhere else
We were somewhere else. Not caught up in the mess of the world. We were entangled in something enchanted and with each other. The feeling felt like the most iconic romantic city in the world.
Privacy sign on the door
I see this line as many different things – the first could physically mean do not disturb us, but I take that as more metaphorical. Loving in secret without the world knowing, protecting your doors from intruders and their thoughts. Fiercely protecting your love life so it isn’t speculated on.
And on my page and on the whole world
Privacy sign on the door [our lives], my page [my music writing] and on the whole world [keeping everyone out].
Romance is not dead if you keep it just yours
Romance is alive if you protect it – lock outside the voices, do things for each other because you want to – not because the world is watching.
Levitate above all the messes made
Sit quiet by my side in the shade
Rise above the past and the words stated in the present, and move forward together.
Sit by each other during speculation and hatred of the world – but the next verse states how it’s not the kind that’s thrown [it is, she is using this as a double meaning lol], but also this can be when the spotlight isn’t on her. Her person will love her when the dark times come, when it’s a bit chillier, when the sun isn’t on her face.
And not the kind that’s thrown
I mean, the kind under where a tree has grown
Sure, but you definitely mean when it’s thrown too, Tay.
I wanna brainwash you
Into loving me forever
I wanna transport you
To somewhere the culture’s clever
This was actually a sick burn on the United States [lol].
Confess my truth
In swooping, sloping, cursive letters
Let the only flashing lights be the tower at midnight
This could be warning signs, but it also may be- let only the warning signs that come be towers around us and not actually us.
I ask the traffic lights if it’ll be alright
They say, “I don’t know”
-Death by a Thousand Cuts
I don’t know why I always think of this line ^ as blinking lights, probably because of how the melody is sung, but I see the only flashing lights as ‘warning signs’ but she is saying there isn’t any. Let the only flashing lights be letting us know the time at midnight, no other warning signs need to exist.
In my mind
We drew a map on your bedroom ceiling
We already talked about our future and solidified our dreams together.
No, I didn’t see the news
‘Cause we were somewhere else
In an alleyway, drinking champagne
‘Cause we were in Paris
Yes, we were somewhere else
We were together – in our own romantic story, place, time. Ignoring the world and creating our own.
Romance is not dead
If you keep it just yours
When I made these images I was thinking about the lyrics wrong, to be honest. I was thinking about an alleyway, dark or light, that is kind of shitty, with the idea of love existing in the shadows. That two people were pretending they were in Paris, but were actually in the gloomy, covered, trashy areas of NYC. But the lyrics are even beyond that. The lyrics are meaning they are pretending they are in alleyways of Paris, but are actually probably hidden in her home. So in thinking about this image I actually want two people, in their comfy clothes, next to a wall, sharing cheap ass barefoot wine. lol.
However, these images still kind of speak to me. It’s a crappy alleyway in Nashville. Hidden from the scene of the public. Two people having fun and enjoying each other – sight unnoticed – in the place that Taylor feels is her hometown – the first place that accepted her truly.