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cowboy like me

evermore (2020)

“cowboy like me” is the eleventh track on Taylor’s ninth album, evermore (2020). It tells the story of two swindlers who fall in love through a cat-and-mouse fling “while hanging out at fancy resorts trying to score rich romantic beneficiaries”. The song was written by Taylor and Aaron Dessner, the latter of whom also produced the track. Backing vocals are also provided by Marcus Mumford, lead singer of the band Mumford & Sons.
Narrating the fictitious story of two rogue con artists from one of their perspectives, “cowboy like me” has the characters fall in love while frequenting resorts to impress, deceive and scam rich beneficiaries of high society, whilst dealing with their own problems.

Background and Release

Taylor released her eighth studio album, folklore, on July 24, 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic. The majority of it was produced by American producer Aaron Dessner. Taylor continued to work with Dessner remotely even after releasing folklore, who would send her his instrumental tracks, to which she would write the lyrics. These sessions spontaneously resulted in a set of songs that were a natural extension of folklore. One such song was “cowboy like me”. Josh Kaufman played three instruments on the song, while Justin Vernon played drums.

Taylor announced and released her ninth studio album in the same year, titled evermore, her second product of remote collaboration and virtual communication after folklore. “cowboy like me” placed as the eleventh track on the record’s track-listing. It was recorded at Scarlet Pimpernel Studios, a recording studio in the UK owned by Marcus Mumford, the frontman of English folk rock band Mumford & Sons. Mumford also contributed uncredited backing vocals to the song. He had alluded to the collaboration in an Instagram post from inside the studio.

Critical Reception

Writing for Billboard, Jason Lipshutz deemed the song “an ambitious mix of folk, sun-kissed alternative and a whiff of the country music that Swift was once rooted in”. Pitchfork‘s Sam Sodomsky called the track “gorgeous”, and one of the closest things to country music Taylor had written in years. Chris Willman of Variety praised Mumford’s “lovely harmony vocal”, opining that it “might count” as the second country track on the record — labelling “no body, no crime” as being the other country track — but stated that the song’s narrative is “more determinedly Western than C&W”.

Commercial Performance

All of the tracks on evermore debuted inside the top 75 of the Billboard Global 200 chart simultaneously; “cowboy like me” was at No. 62. In the US, the song opened at No. 71 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 15 on the Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart. The song reached No. 43 on the Canadian Hot 100.

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
And the tennis court was covered up
With some tent-like thing
And you asked me to dance
But I said, “Dancin’ is a dangerous game”

[Verse 2]
Oh, I thought
This is gonna be one of those things
Now I know
I’m never gonna love again

[Chorus]
I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve
Takes one to know one
You’re a cowboy like me

[Verse 3]
Never wanted love
Just a fancy car
Now I’m waiting by the phone
Like I’m sitting in an airport bar

[Chorus]
You had some tricks up your sleeve
Takes one to know one
You’re a cowboy like me

[Post-Chorus 1]
Perched in the dark
Telling all the rich folks anything they wanna hear
Like it could be love
I could be the way forward
Only if they pay for it
You’re a bandit like me

[Post-Chorus 2]
Eyes full of stars
Hustling for the good life
Never thought I’d meet you here
It could be love
We could be the way forward
And I know I’ll pay for it

[Chorus]
You’re a cowboy like me

[Post-Chorus 1]
Perched in the dark
Telling all the rich folks anything they wanna hear
Like it could be love
I could be the way forward
Only if they pay for it
You’re a bandit like me

[Post-Chorus 2]
Eyes full of stars
Hustling for the good life
Never thought I’d meet you here
It could be love
We could be the way forward
And I know I’ll pay for it

[Bridge]
And the skeletons in both our closets
Plotted hard to fuck this up
And the old men that I’ve swindled
Really did believe I was the one
And the ladies lunching have their stories about
When you passed through town
But that was all before I locked it down

[Verse 4]
Now you hang from my lips
Like the Gardens of Babylon
With your boots beneath my bed
Forever is the sweetest con

[Chorus]
I’ve had some tricks up my sleeve
Takes one to know one
You’re a cowboy like me

[Outro]
And I’m never gonna love again
I’m never gonna love again
I’m never gonna love again

General Information
Albumevermore
BackupMarcus Mumford
ReleasedDecember 11, 2020
RecordedNovember, 2020
StudioScarlet Pimpernel (UK)
Marcus Mumford’s Studio (UK)
Long Pond (Hudson, New York)
GenreBlues
Country
Length4:35
LabelRepublic Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Aaron Dessner
ProducersAaron Dessner
Taylor Swift
EVERMORE CHRONOLOGY
ivycowboy like melong story short
Song Artwork
Lyric Video
Official Audio