Taylor Swift’s long-awaited 10th studio album, Midnights, has finally arrived, and it’s giving us more raw insight than ever before.
The first 13 songs dropped as the clock struck 12 on Friday morning. But, being the master of surprise that she is, Taylor didn’t stop there, releasing a further seven tracks just three hours later.
Spoilt for choice, fans launched straight into lyrical analysis, peeling back the layers of each song in search of the behind-the-scenes insight we’ve come to expect from Taylor’s music.
However, there was one emotional track that immediately moved people.
“Bigger Than The Whole Sky,” which was one of the seven songs released in the 3am Edition, explores themes of loss, with its heartbreaking lyrics prompting fans to theorize it might be about the subject of miscarriage.
It’s important to note that over recent years, Taylor has started exploring songwriting from the perspective of others — be it people she knows, or fictional characters she’s created — and the song therefore may not be about her own experience.
In the first verse, Taylor tells the story of heartache in the wake of a significant life event, singing: “No words appear before me in the aftermath / Salt streams out my eyes and into my ears / Every single thing I touch becomes sick with sadness / ‘Cause it’s all over now, all out to sea.”
It’s fairly evident that the song is about the experience of losing something or someone. However, many fans began interpreting the song to be about miscarriage after hearing the chorus which reflects on never getting to “meet” the person in question after a “short time” together.
“Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye / You were bigger than the whole sky / You were more than just a short time,” she sings. “And I’ve got a lot to pine about / I’ve got a lot to live without.”
The chorus concludes: “I’m never gonna meet / What could’ve been, would’ve been / What should’ve been you / What could’ve been, would’ve been you.”
Then, in the second verse, Taylor seems to explore notions of blame and religion related to loss, asking: “Did some force take you because I didn’t pray? / Every single thing to come has turned into ashes / ‘Cause it’s all over, it’s not meant to be / So I’ll say words I don’t believe.”
Before long, fans gathered on Reddit forums to discuss the song, with many people relating the lyrics to their own experiences of pregnancy loss.
“This is so sad,” one user wrote. “It completely reads as about a miscarriage/pregnancy loss.”
In reply, another added: “Came here to say this. Going through a miscarriage rn and this hit me hard.”
One mother opened up about having felt similar emotions to those described in the song, saying the lyrics matched her experience “perfectly.”
“To me, this song is about losing a pregnancy,” she wrote, prefacing that she’s reluctant to speculate about such a sensitive issue. “A miscarriage, a loss. You were bigger than the whole sky. You were more than just a short time. A lot to live without. I’m never gonna meet what should have been, could have been YOU. Even the self-punishing, did this happen because of me?”
Echoing this, another fan described the song as “achingly heartbreaking.”
“That’s what I thought too,” they responded. “I’m not speculating either because Taylor can clearly write about experiences that aren’t her own so well, and her personal life is nothing to do with me. That’s exactly what I thought too — it’s so desperately, achingly heartbreaking.”
It’s also interesting to note here that this isn’t the first time Taylor’s fans have had these discussions. Her song “Hoax,” from the 2020 album, Folklore, sparked conversations about miscarriage, after some fans interpreted that the lyrics were telling the story of a profound and painful loss.
In fact, there were several fans who said that hearing “Bigger Than The Whole Sky” made them interpret “Hoax” completely differently, and vice versa.
“I remember when I read someone’s interpretation of ‘Hoax’ saying it could be about a miscarriage. This was the first time the song really made sense to me,” they said. “Now hearing ‘Bigger Than The Whole Sky’ it seems even more credible.”
Someone else added that the connection between the two songs was “blowing my mind and breaking my heart.”
Elsewhere, people made the important point that even if the song isn’t about pregnancy loss, the lyrics still serve as a “valid interpretation,” which could be of comfort to those mourning a loss of any kind.
With that in mind, fans were prompted to share their personal experiences with loss, be it the death of a friend or family member, a miscarriage, or even a breakup.
“This song hits harder than anything she’s ever written,” wrote one user, who proceeded to open up about their own fertility struggles.
“Knowing she is sharing something so personal and traumatic with us makes me feel unworthy of her music,” they said. “Recently decided to stop trying after 5 years of infertility with my husband. Mourning what should have been is some of the worst kind of pain. This song broke me.”
Someone else said: “I miscarried my first baby 10+ years ago and I’ve always said they were my ‘could have been, should have been’ so these lyrics stopped me in tracks and took me back.”
“Beautifully heartbreaking lyrics,” they added. “Written in a way it can be widely interpreted for any loss, as this thread shows.”
In turn, others spoke candidly about losing family members, and how their interpretation of the long reflects their experiences.
“The chorus started and I felt my eyes water — lost my dad early 2020 and it hit in every way I needed it,” one user said. “The 3am edition really said time to get comfortable with our emotions huh.”
“This song hits so hard. I’m pretty sure this songs about a miscarriage but for me, my brother (25) died 2 years ago,” some else added, proceeding to reflect on their personal tragedy.
“We didn’t have the best relationship because of drugs/mental illness issues but it really makes me think about how I’ve got a lot to live without him. Also just what could’ve been if we had more time or if I tried a little harder in our relationship,” they said.
Having read through the various interpretations, some even felt that listening to the song might prove difficult in light of their personal experiences.
“I think I need to wait on this one,” one person admitted. “My boyfriend died earlier this year and the emotions are bubbling up too high for me needing to go to sleep.”
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