Considering how excited Swifties have been to Taylor Swift’s latest album release, there’s no doubt that this singer is a visionary when it comes to keeping her fans excited. So it only makes sense that “Mastermind” is one of the tracks on “Midnights”… but what is the song really about?
A quick refresher on Mastermind. Swift premiered her TikTok series Midnights Mayhem back in September. Each episode revealed a song on the “Midnights” track listing, through a “technologically advanced device to help me allow destiny to decide exactly which tracks I’ll announce and in what order.” That device was a cage with ping-pong balls – and in the first episode of the series she was given Ball 13. That prompted the singer to pick up a red phone before revealing the corresponding song title as “Mastermind”. Of course, the video sparked a lot of debate in the comments section. One asked if every ball in the cage was 13 – certainly not much of a challenge for a true, well, mastermind. Others focused more on using a phone, although interpretations have varied.
Midnights promises to be Swift’s most personal album yet, so there’s no denying that what Swift was getting at in that first-ever Midnights Mayhem episode meant something…but what was it?
Taylor Swift is a mastermind — and Joe Alwyn knew it all along
“Mastermind” tells the story of Swift’s first meeting with her actor boyfriend Joe Alwyn — but it’s far from a sweet encounter! On the contrary, Swift sings that every detail of that first meeting was planned and directed by the star — though the song opens with a playful reference to her “Midnights Mayhem” commentary on “Destiny.” She sings: “Once upon a time, the planets and the destinies and all the stars aligned.” However, this is quickly followed: “What if I told you that none of this was accidental / And the first night you saw me, nothing would stop me… What if I told you that I was a.” am a mastermind?
That said, just as some Swifties on TikTok caught her sly ways, Alwyn seemed to have a clue what was going on, too. Later in the song, she shares that in the real conversation she had with Alwyn about that first (not so fateful) meeting, he was aware of her plans all along. “I saw a huge grin on your face / You knew all along / You knew I was a mastermind,” she sings. Swift is a mastermind, okay – and everyone knows it!
Jokes aside, the song takes a darker turn when Swift sings, “No one wanted to play with me when I was a little kid / So I’ve been making plans like a criminal ever since / To make her love me and make it seem effortless / is this the first time I’ve felt the need to confess?” It seems Swift is suggesting that her purposeful actions have a complex and painful origin — giving her more depth than ever.