Universal PicturesIn the midst of the drama surrounding Taylor Swift and her former record company, it’s easy to forget that Taylor did release a new song on Friday: “Beautiful Ghosts,” from the soundtrack of her upcoming movie CATS. Billboard has also posted an essay she’s penned about her experience co-writing the song with CATS composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Taylor describes how she’d heard a rumor that Webber was writing a new, original song for the character of Victoria, played by Francesca Hayward. She then relates what happens when she went to Webber’s house.
“He was sitting at the piano, playing a new melody I hadn’t heard before…when Andrew asked, from behind his piano, if I had any ideas on what Victoria might say if she had a song, I knew what he was asking. He was asking to help him write it.”
She then describes, “feeling this immediate intuition about what this character would say, feverishly writing lyrics, my brain churning them out quicker than my pen could keep up with,” and says she’ll never forget “singing the song live for the first time” for Hayward and director Tom Hooper.
“The looks on their faces told me it was the right song for this character at that exact point in her story,” she recalls.
Taylor compares “Beautiful Ghosts” to CATS‘ best-known song, “Memory.”
“[That song] is about missing your glory days, wishing you could go back in time and relive those magical times from your past,” she writes. “‘Beautiful Ghosts’ is sung from a young voice who is wondering if she will ever have glory days.”
“Longing for the sense of belonging she sees everyone else finding. Reaching for it, desperately afraid of never having beautiful ghosts of days gone by to cling to in her older years.”