A Swift Shift: Looking at K-Dramas with a Taylor Swift Album Lens

Last month, Taylor Swift saved 2020’s string of bad luck with a surprise release of her eighth studio album “folklore.” It’s so massive that she announced it without any teaser or anything hinting that she’s currently (and apparently) working on her newest baby while we’re all on quarantine. While many of us fans were well spending our lockdown days watching (guess what?) ~K-dramas~, our squad’s favorite American superstar kept herself busy writing songs that would get us by in this pandemic. And as a fun tribute, we thought of looking into Korean dramas that would best represent each Taylor Swift era. Here’s what we came up with! Have fun, ahjummamshies!

Who Are You: School 2015 – Taylor Swift (2006)

Tim McGraw – Eun-byul x Yi-an

school 2015
“And I was right there beside him all summer long
And then the time we woke up to find that summer had gone”

Teardrops on My Guitar/A Perfectly Good Heart – Tae-kwang

“(S)he says (s)he’s so in love,
(S)he’s finally got it right,
I wonder if (s)he knows (s)he’s all I think about at night,
(S)he’s the reason for the teardrops on my guitar,
The only thing that keeps me wishing on a wishing star,
(S)he’s the song in the car I keep singing, don’t know why I do”
“Maybe I should’ve seen the signs, should’ve read the writing on the wall
And realized by the distance in your eyes that I would be the one to fall.”
“Why would you wanna break a perfectly good heart
Why would you wanna take our love and tear it all apart now
Why would you wanna make the very first scar”

Stay Beautiful – Tae-kwang x Eun-bi

“If you and I are a story
That never gets told
If what you are is a daydream
I’ll never get to hold, at least you’ll know”
“And when you find everything you’ve looked for
I hope your love leads you back to my front door
Oh, but if it don’t
Will you stay beautiful?”

Our Song – Han Yi-an x Lee Eun-bi

“I’ve heard every album, listened to the radio,
Waiting for something to come along,
That was as good as our song.”

A Place In This World – Eun-byul x Eun-bi

school 2015 twins
“I don’t know what I want, so don’t ask me
Cause I’m still trying to figure it out
Don’t know what’s down this road, I’m just walking
Trying to see through the rain coming down
Even though I’m not the only one
Who feels the way I do”
“I’m alone, on my own, and that’s all I know
I’ll be strong, I’ll be wrong, oh but life goes on
Oh, I’m just a girl, trying to find a place in this world”

My ID is Gangnam Beauty – Fearless (2008)

You Belong With Me – Mi-rae x Kyeong-seok x Soo-ah

“She wears high heels, I wear sneakers
She’s cheer captain and I’m on the bleachers
Dreamin’ ’bout the day when you wake up and find
That what you’re looking for has been here the whole time”

The Best Day – Kyeong-seok’s eomma, Na Hye-sung

“There is a video I found from back when I was three
You set up a paint set in the kitchen and you’re talking to me
It’s the age of princesses and pirate ships and the seven dwarfs
And Daddy’s smart and you’re the prettiest lady in the whole wide world
And now I know why all the trees change in the fall
I know you were on my side even when I was wrong
And I love you for giving me your eyes
Staying back and watching me shine”

Love Story – Mi-rae x Kyeong-seok

“This love is difficult, but it’s real
Don’t be afraid, we’ll make it out of this mess”

Fearless – Woo-young

“We’re drivin’ down the road I wonder if you know
I’m tryin’ so hard not to get caught up now
But you’re just so cool
Run your hands through your hair
Absentmindedly makin’ me want you”

White Horse – Kim Tae-hee

“Say you’re sorry
That face of an angel comes out just when you need it to
As I paced back and forth all this time
‘Cause I honestly believed in you”
“Maybe I was naive,
Got lost in your eyes
And never really had a chance
My mistake I didn’t know to be in love
You had to fight to have the upper hand”

Reply Series – Speak Now (2010)

Back to December – Jung-hwan x Duk-seon / Chil-bong x Na-jung

“Because the last time you saw me
Is still burned in the back of your mind
You gave me roses, and I left them there to die”
“And then the cold came
The dark days when fear crept into my mind
You gave me all your love, and all I gave you was goodbye”

Enchanted – Si-won x Yoon-je

eunji seo inguk kiss
“This night is sparkling
Don’t you let it go
I’m wonderstruck
Blushing all the way home”

Mine – Na-jung x Trash

“As everything was slipping right out of our hands
I ran out, crying, and you followed me out into the street
Braced myself for the goodbye
‘Cause that’s all I’ve ever known
Then, you took me by surprise
You said, “I’ll never leave you alone.”

Ours – Taek x Duk-seon

“Seems like there’s always someone who disapproves,
They’ll judge it like they know about me and you,
And the verdict comes from those with nothing else to do,
The jury’s out, and my choice is you.”

Sparks Fly – Sun-woo x Bo-ra / Samchunpo x Yoon-jin / Hak-chan x Yoo-jung

sunwoo bora
“Drop everything now
Meet me in the pouring rain
Kiss me on the sidewalk
Take away the pain
‘Cause I see sparks fly whenever you smile”

Long Live – Reply Squads

“It was the end of a decade
But the start of an age”
I was screaming long live all the magic we made
And bring on all the pretenders
One day, we will be remembered
“I said, remember this feeling
I passed the pictures around
Of all the years that we stood there
On the side-lines wishing for right now”

Be Melodramatic – Red (2012)

All Too Well – Jin-joo x Hwan-dong

“Maybe we got lost in translation, maybe I asked for too much
But maybe this thing was a masterpiece ’til you tore it all up
Running scared, I was there, I remember it all too well
Hey, you call me up again just to break me like a promise
So casually cruel in the name of being honest
I’m a crumpled up piece of paper lying here
‘Cause I remember it all, all, all too well
Time won’t fly, it’s like I’m paralyzed by it
I’d like to be my old self again, but I’m still trying to find it
After plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own
Now you mail back my things and I walk home alone”

We Were Never Ever Getting Back Together – Han-joo x Seung-hyo

“I used to think that we were forever ever, ever
And I used to say, “Never say never”
“Huh, so he calls me up and he’s like, I still love you
And I’m like I just I mean this is exhausting, you know
Like we are never getting back together like, ever”

Starlight – Beom-soo x Jin-joo

He said, “Look at you, worrying so much about things you can’t change
You’ll spend your whole life singing the blues
If you keep thinking that way”
He was tryna to skip rocks on the ocean saying to me
“Don’t you see the starlight, starlight
Don’t you dream impossible things”

Sad Beautiful Tragic – Eun-jung x Hong-dae

“‘Cause we had a beautiful magic love there
What a sad beautiful tragic love affair
Distance, timing
Breakdown, fighting
Silence, the train runs off its tracks
Kiss me, try to fix it
Could you just try to listen?
Hang up, give up
For the life of us we can’t get back”

Begin Again – Eunjung x Sang-soo

Melodramatic 1
“But you throw your head back laughing like a little kid
I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny ’cause he never did
I’ve been spending the last eight months thinking all love ever does
Is break and burn and end
But on a Wednesday in a café I watched it begin again”

I Almost Do – Jae-hoon 

“I bet you think I either moved on or hate you
‘Cause each time you reach out there’s no reply
I bet it never ever occurred to you
That I can’t say “Hello” to you
And risk another goodbye”

When The Camellia Blooms – 1989 (2014)

Shake It Off –  Ongsan avengers

WTCB (1)
“Just think while you’ve been getting down and out about the liars and the dirty, dirty cheats in the world, you could have been getting down to this sick beat”

This Love – Dong-baek x Yong-sik

WTCB (5)
“This love is good
This love is bad
This love is a life back from the dead, oh
These hands had to let it go free
And this love came back to me, oh”

Out Of the Woods – Dong-baek

WTCB (4)
“Remember when we couldn’t take the heat
I walked out, I said, I’m setting you free
But the monsters turned out to be just trees
When the sun came up you were looking at me”

How To Get The Girl – Ja-yong x Gyu-tae

WTCB (2)
“And then you say
I want you for worse or for better
I would wait forever and ever
Broke your heart, I’ll put it back together
I would wait forever and ever”

Bad Blood – Jessica

WTCB (6)
“Remember when you tried to write me off?
Remember when you thought I’d take a loss?
Don’t you remember? You thought that I would need ya
Follow procedure, remember? Oh, wait, you got amnesia
It was my season for battle wounds
Battle scars, body bumped, bruised
Stabbed in the back, brimstone, fire jumping through
Still, all my life, I got money and power
And you gotta live with the bad blood now”

New Romantics – Hyang-mi

WTCB (3)
“‘Cause, baby, I could build a castle
Out of all the bricks they threw at me
And every day is like a battle
But every night with us is like a dream”

All You Had To Was Stay – Dong-baek x Jong-ryeol

WTCB (1)
“Here you are now, calling me up, but I don’t know what to say
I’ve been picking up the pieces of the mess you made
People like you always want back the love they pushed aside
But people like me are gone forever when you say goodbye”

It’s Okay Not To Be Okay – Reputation (2017)

Look What You Made Me Do – Ju-ri x Moon-young

“I don’t like your perfect crime
How you laugh when you lie”

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice things – Ju-ri

“This is why we can’t have nice things, darling
Because you break them
I had to take them away”

Call It What You Want – Park Haeng-ja

Nurse Park
“My castle crumbled overnight
I brought a knife to a gunfight
They took the crown, but it’s alright
All the liars are calling me one
Nobody’s heard from me for months
I’m doing better than I ever was”

Gorgeous – Gang-tae

Gang-tae (1)
“You should think about the consequence
Of your magnetic field being a little too strong”
Gang-tae (2)
“You’ve ruined my life, by not being mine”

Don’t Blame Me/I Did Something Bad – Moon-young

Moon-young (2)
“Don’t blame me, love made me crazy
If it doesn’t, you ain’t doin’ it right”
Moon-young (1)
“They’re burning all the witches, even if you aren’t one
They got their pitchforks and proof
Their receipts and reasons
They’re burning all the witches, even if you aren’t one
So light me up'”

Dancing With Our Hands Tied/End Game- Moon-young x Gang-tae

MoonMoon Couple (3)
“I, I loved you in spite of
Deep fears that the world would divide us
So, baby, can we dance
Oh, through an avalanche?
And say, say that we got it
I’m a mess, but I’m the mess that you wanted
Oh, ’cause it’s gravity
Oh, keeping you with me”
MoonMoon Couple (1)
“Knew her when I was young
Reconnected when we were a little bit older
Both sprung, I got issues and chips on both of my shoulders
Reputation precedes me, in rumors I’m knee-deep
The truth is it’s easier to ignore it, believe me
Even when we’d argue, we don’t do it for long
And you understand the good and bad, end up in the song
For all your beautiful traits, and the way you do it with ease
For all my flaws, paranoia, and insecurities
I’ve made mistakes, and made some choices that’s hard to deny”

The King: Eternal Monarch – Lover – (2019)

Lover/Cornelia Street/Daylight – Lee Gon x Tae-eul

“I take this magnetic force of a man to be my lover
My heart’s been borrowed and yours has been blue
All’s well that ends well to end up with you
Swear to be overdramatic and true to my lover”
“And I hope I never lose you, hope it never ends
I’d never walk Cornelia Street again
That’s the kind of heartbreak time could never mend
I’d never walk Cornelia Street again”
“I don’t wanna look at anything else now that I saw you
I don’t wanna think of anything else now that I thought of you
I’ve been sleepin’ so long in a twenty-year dark night
And now I see daylight, I only see daylight”
“I once believed love would be (burnin’ red)
But it’s golden”

I Think He Knows – Jo Young x Seung-ah

Joyoung Seunah
“He got that boyish look that I like in a man”
“He got my heartbeat skipping down 16th Avenue
Got that, oh! I mean wanna see what’s under that attitude”
Like, I want you, bless my soul and I ain’t gotta tell him
I think he knows”

Paper Rings – Eun-sop x Na-ri

Eunseop and Nari
“I like shiny things, but I’d marry you with paper rings
Uh huh, that’s right
Darling, you’re the one I want, and
I hate accidents except when we went from friends to this”

The Man – Koo Seo-ryeong

“They’d say I hustled
Put in the work
They wouldn’t shake their heads
And question how much of this I deserve
What I was wearing, if I was rude
Could all be separated from my good ideas and power moves”

Death By A Thousand Cuts- Shin-jae

“‘Cause the morning comes and you’re not my baby
I look through the windows of this love
Even though we boarded them up
Chandelier still flickering here
‘Cause I can’t pretend it’s okay when it’s not
It’s death by a thousand cuts”

Hospital Playlist – folklore (2020)

the 1 – Ik-jun x Song-hwa

“But we were something, don’t you think so?”
“And if my wishes came true, it would’ve been you”
“But it would’ve been fun, if you would’ve been the one.”
“I persist and resist the temptation to ask you: if one thing had been different, would everything be different today?”

exile – Ik-jun x Hye-jeong

Ikjun divorce
“I think I’ve seen this film before
And I didn’t like the ending
You’re not my homeland anymore
So what am I defending now?
You were my town, now I’m in exile, seein’ you out”

my tears ricochet / Mad Woman – Seok-hyeong’s eomma, Yeong-hye

Seokhyeong Mother
“Even on my worst day, did I deserve, babe
All the hell you gave me?”
“Now I breathe flames each time I talk
My cannons all firin’ at your yacht
They say “move on,” but you know I won’t”

mirrorball – Jun-wan x Ik-sun

“I want you to know
I’m a mirrorball
I can change everything about me to fit in”

invisible string – Jeong-won x Gyeo-ul

Gyeoul Jeongwon Kiss
“Time, mystical time
Cutting me open, then healing me fine
Were there clues I didn’t see?
And isn’t it just so pretty to think
All along there was some
Invisible string
Tying you to me?”
“Hell was the journey but it brought me heaven”

peace – Seok-hyeong x Min-ha

Seokhyeong Minha Gomgom
“The devil’s in the details, but you got a friend in me
Would it be enough if I could never give you peace?”

Hoax – Seok-hyeong

“You knew it still hurts underneath my scars
From when they pulled me apart”

Credit: (1)(2)(3)

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