Taylor Swift and The Ides of March


Taylor Swift and The Ides of March

Is this a hint for reputation (Taylor’s Version)

            What do Taylor Swift and Julius Caesar have in common?

            A history of betrayal.

            For history buffs and Roman Empire lovers the world over, the Ides of March has become a tongue in cheek holiday commemorating the assassination of Julius Caesar. The day, which falls on March 15th, is a hallmark of betrayal as Caesar’s assassination was aided by his friend, Brutus.

            For Swifties, these themes are familiar in the worst way. Long before the drama of Taylor Swift losing her original masters with the sale of Big Machine Records to a certain “name dropping sleaze,” her career was nearly destroyed by the infamous TaylorSwiftIsOverParty hashtag and a song to match. In one fell swoop, Swift lost media acclaim and fair-weather friends. Even the most devoted Swifties wondered if, and how, Taylor Swift could return from such a thorough media bashing.

            In 2017, Taylor Swift returned with a vengeance.


Look What You Made Me Do

            In the death of Taylor Swift’s reputation, the release of Look What You Made Me Do came as a cultural reset. One of the most notorious features of the music video that eagle-eyed fans were quick to notice, was the engraving on her golden throne.

            Et tu Brute?

            Literally translated to “and you, Brutus?” the phrase stands in as the alleged last words of Caesar before his assassination, and marks the ultimate betrayal of a friend.  


The Eras Tour (Taylor’s Version)

            While Taylor Swift and Julius Caesar are fascinating discussion topics in their own right, what does any of this have to do with March 15, 2024?

On the surface, nothing, but if we dig a little deeper, we uncover a very clever little switch.

While initially announced for release on March 15, Swift moved up release to March 14th, at 6:00 PM PST (Pacific Standard Time). Swift and her team had months to confirm this date, so why announce it only to change it out of the blue? Perhaps she was trying to send a message. With the Eras Tour concert film clocking in at a little over three hours, those who tune in right at release time will finish the film at midnight eastern time (or 9:00 PM PST).

Sounds like the perfect time to release an album.

This is where the Ides of March comes into play. The rerelease of reputation would coincide perfectly with the day of betrayal, and highlight the motif of the death of Taylor Swift’s reputation. Furthermore, snippets of Ready For It? featured heavily in the early promotional material released by Disney + and clips of the reputation era dominated the initial videos. Reputation even got a mention in Time Magazine’s Person of The Year interview with Swift. To reference the era so heavily in the promotional campaign and then ignore it in favor of a new album, seems unlikely.         

Now, there is always the option of the live concert album becoming available at the stroke of midnight, but it comes across as a lackluster reveal considering how expected the live album is after Swift did the same with folklore: the long pond studio sessions. Furthermore, there is The Tortured Poets Department to consider, and whether Swift would avoid rereleasing another album so close to the release date of a brand new album. However, the amount of streaming revenue that follows the release of concert films could incentivize Swift enough to forgo the worries of closer release dates and instead capitalize on the chance to cut out those who profiteer off her original album.  



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