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gold rush

evermore (2020)

“gold rush” is the third song on Taylor’s ninth album, evermore (2020). The lyrics tell the story of what it’s like to be momentarily consumed by someone, only to realize it would never work out in all practicality.
Taylor has used the color gold to describe her love for her boyfriend Joe Alwyn on several previous occasions. On folklore‘s “invisible string” she uses the color to tie herself to her romantic partner, but here she uses gold to convey a different emotion: jealousy. The lyrics echoe a similar jealous feeling on 2019’s “Lover,” where Taylor worries that she might have competition for Joe’s hand.

Lyrical Theme

The song’s lyrics are written about the narrator’s daydream that references the Califorina Gold Rush, which began on January 24, 1848, when James W. Marshall found a gold nugget at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California. John Augustus Sutter and James Marshall tried to keep the discovery a secret, but when President Polk announced the discovery on December 5th of that year, thousands of miners flocked to California in hopes of becoming rich. This ties into right into the theme of “gold rush”, as the narrator deals with intense jealousy and insecurity towards an attractive person whom the narrator believes to have had an easy life due to their good looks. Taylor herself described the song’s meaning as follows:

«'gold rush' takes place inside a single daydream where you get lost in thought for a minute and then snap out of it.»

Taylor Swift
Eventually, the narrator recognizes they have to stop fantasizing about the other person as there’s too much competition. In realizing they need to snap out of their daydreaming, the lyrics call back the name of evermore‘s sister record, folklore.

My mind turns your life into folklore
I can’t dare to dream about you anymore

“gold rush” is the only song on both folklore and evermore where Taylor actually says the word “folklore.”

Production

“gold rush” is the closest to a pop song on evermore. That makes sense, as it is the only one on the record produced by Jack Antonoff rather than Aaron Dessner. In a YouTube live session celebrating the release of evermore with fans, Taylor noted that “gold rush” is (unsurprisingly) Jack’s favorite track off the album. Taylor wrote the lyrics to a track he was already working on.  Jack himself told The Tennessean in December 2021:

«One of the reasons that I've been able to work with her through many different periods and sounds and whatnot is a deep belief in her process, that really rubs off on the people around her. It feels like we can continue to take these journeys together. 'gold rush' was a pretty different sound than what was on folklore. Even the movement in the chorus and some of the chord changes, they're very outside of the realm for what we've done together. We have different processes. Sometimes we sit in a room, sometimes she'll send me a song, sometimes I'll send her a track. That was one where I had the track going. And she did the classic thing where you send it to her, and a very short time later, she sent back a voice note with all of these brilliant ideas of what the song is.»

Jack Antonoff

Commercial Performance

Upon evermore‘s release, all of the album’s tracks debuted on both the US Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs and the all-genre Hot 100 charts; “gold rush” entered at No. 4 on the former.

Lyrics

[Intro]
Gleaming, twinkling
Eyes like sinking
Ships on waters
So inviting, I almost jump in

[Chorus]
But I don’t like a gold rush, gold rush
I don’t like anticipatin’ my face in a red flush
I don’t like that anyone would die to feel your touch
Everybody wants you
Everybody wonders what it would be like to love you
Walk past, quick brush
I don’t like slow motion, double vision in rose blush
I don’t like that falling feels like flying ’til the bone crush
Everybody wants you
But I don’t like a gold rush

[Verse 1]
What must it be like to grow up that beautiful?
With your hair falling into place like dominoes
I see me padding across your wooden floors
With my Eagles t-shirt hanging from the door
At dinner parties, I call you out on your contrarian shit
And the coastal town we wandered ’round had nеver seen a love as pure as it
And thеn it fades into the gray of my day-old tea
‘Cause it could never be

[Chorus]
‘Cause I don’t like a gold rush, gold rush
I don’t like anticipatin’ my face in a red flush
I don’t like that anyone would die to feel your touch
Everybody wants you
Everybody wonders what it would be like to love you
Walk past, quick brush
I don’t like slow motion, double vision in rose blush
I don’t like that falling feels like flying ’til the bone crush
Everybody wants you
But I don’t like a gold rush

[Verse 2]
What must it be like to grow up that beautiful?
With your hair falling into place like dominoes
My mind turns your life into folklore
I can’t dare to dream about you anymore
At dinner parties I won’t call you out on your contrarian shit
And the coastal town we never found will never see a love as pure as it
‘Cause it fades into the gray of my day-old tea
‘Cause it will never be

[Outro]
Gleaming, twinkling
Eyes like sinking
Ships on waters
So inviting, I almost jump in

General Information
ArtistTaylor Swift
Albumevermore
ReleasedDecember 11, 2020
Recorded2020
GenreIndie Pop
Adult Contemporary
Length3:05
LabelRepublic Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Jack Antonoff
ProducersJack Antonoff
Taylor Swift
EVERMORE CHRONOLOGY
champagne problemsgold rush’tis the damn season
Single Certification
Lyric Video
Official Audio