November 24, 2020

Taylor Swift on Joe Alwyn and How Their Four-Year Relationship Changed Her

3 min read

Taylor Swift has made a point of not talking about her relationship of four years with British actor Joe Alwyn in interviews. But for her conversation with Paul McCartney for Rolling Stone, the singer made a little exception and discussed—without naming Alwyn, of course—how being with her current partner and having a more private relationship has changed her.

Swift was discussing her song “Peace” and how her relationship with Alwyn helped inspire it. The song addresses Alwyn choosing to be with her even if it means he’ll never have peace because of her A-list fame. “All these people think love’s for show/But I would die for you in secret/The devil’s in the details, but you got a friend in me/Would it be enough if I could never give you peace?” Swift sings in the chorus. She hints at how serious they’ve privately become in the song’s second verse, adding, “And you know that I’d swing with you for the fences/Sit with you in the trenches/Give you my wild, give you a child/Give you the silence that only comes when two people understand each other/Family that I chose, now that I see your brother as my brother.”

taylor swift and joe alwyn

Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn in October 2019.

Jackson LeeGetty Images

Swift told McCartney, when discussing “Peace,” that the song “is actually more rooted in my personal life. I know you have done a really excellent job of this in your personal life: carving out a human life within a public life, and how scary that can be when you do fall in love and you meet someone, especially if you’ve met someone who has a very grounded, normal way of living. I, oftentimes, in my anxieties, can control how I am as a person and how normal I act and rationalize things, but I cannot control if there are 20 photographers outside in the bushes and what they do and if they follow our car and if they interrupt our lives. I can’t control if there’s going to be a fake weird headline about us in the news tomorrow.”

McCartney asked Swift, “So how does that go? Does your partner sympathize with that and understand?”

She responded, “Oh, absolutely.”

Then she addressed just how the relationship has changed her, saying, “But I think that in knowing him and being in the relationship I am in now, I have definitely made decisions that have made my life feel more like a real life and less like just a storyline to be commented on in tabloids. Whether that’s deciding where to live, who to hang out with, when to not take a picture—the idea of privacy feels so strange to try to explain, but it’s really just trying to find bits of normalcy. That’s what that song ‘Peace’ is taking about. Like, would it be enough if I could never fully achieve the normalcy that we both crave? [McCartney’s designer daughter] Stella always tells me that she had as normal a childhood as she could her hope for under the circumstances.”

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