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Paper Rings

Lover (2019)

On “Paper Rings”, a song on Taylor’s seventh studio album Lover (2019), Taylor reveals her committment to her lover, recounting the story of their love and declaring that she wants to stay with him forever. She would even forgo any formalities and marry him with homemade paper rings.

Background and Release

Taylor released Lover on August 23, 2019. In an interview with Vogue, she called her seventh studio album “a new beginning…a love letter to love, in all of its maddening, passionate, exciting, enchanting, horrific, tragic, wonderful glory.” “Paper Rings” was written and produced by Taylor and Jack Antonoff, who worked on most of the album together.

Taylor first teased the song title in the lyric video for the album’s lead single “ME!”, where she is seen writing down lyrics while wearing a paper ring.

Lyrical Theme and Production

“Paper Rings” is likely about Taylor’s feelings for her longterm boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. The frenetically paced song matches the thrilling energy of their relationship — one that worked out after months of cat-and-mouse games and Internet stalking and wondering whether the other person likes you. Taylor further shared the concept of this song at the iHeartRadioLover Secret Session“:

«Part of the template for what I wanted to do with some of the songs [on Lover] was imagining that I was in a wedding band at a reception, playing the love songs that the bride and groom wanted to hear in 1978 or something. 'Paper Rings’ is basically just reminiscing on fun memories. Your whole life you talk with your friends about, ‘Oh my God, do you wanna get married? What would you want your ring to look like?’ I don’t know, I feel like if you really love someone you would be like, ‘I don’t care’. The bridge was inspired by some fun punk girl groups, in the way they used to sing and shout in a really unapologetic way. I made this one with Jack [Antonoff] and you can hear him counting in the chorus – like that’s how much we wanted to sound like a wedding band. It’s a really fun one, I really like this one.»

Taylor Swift

Commercial Performance

Upon the release of Lover, during the week ending September 7, 2019, “Paper Rings” peaked at No. 45 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
The moon is high, like your friends were the night that we first met
Went home and tried to stalk you on the internet
Now I’ve read all of the books beside your bed
The wine is cold, like the shoulder that I gave you in the street
Cat and mouse for a month or two or three
Now I wake up in the night and watch you breathe

[Pre-chorus]
(Aye!) Kiss me once ’cause you know I had a long night
(Oh!) Kiss me twice ’cause it’s gonna be alright
(Ugh!) Three times ’cause I waited my whole life
(One, two, one, two, three, four!)

[Chorus]
I like shiny things, but I’d marry you with paper rings
That’s right, darlin’, you’re the one I want
I hate accidents except when we went from friends to this
Uh-huh, that’s right, darling
You’re the one I want
Paper rings
In picture frames
In dirty dreams
Oh-oh, you’re the one I want

[Verse 2]
In the winter, in the icy outdoor pool
When you jumped in first, I went in too
(I’m with you) Even if it makes me blue
Which takes me back to the color that we painted your brother’s wall
Honey, without all the exes, fights, and flaws
We wouldn’t be standing here so tall

[Pre-chorus]
So (Aye!) kiss you once ’cause I know you had a long night
(Oh!) Kiss you twice ’cause it’s gonna be alright
(Ugh!) Three times ’cause you waited your whole life
(One, two, one, two, three, four)

[Chorus]
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
Uh-huh, that’s right, darlin’
You’re the one I want
Paper rings
In picture frames
In dirty dreams
Oh-oh, you’re the one I want

[Bridge]
I want to drive away with you
I want your complications too
I want your dreary Mondays
Wrap your arms around me, baby boy
I want to drive away with you
I want your complications too
I want your dreary Mondays
Wrap your arms around me, baby boy
Uh-huh

[Breakdown]
I like shiny things, but I’d marry you with paper rings
Uh-huh, that’s right, you’re the one I want
I hate accidents except when we went from friends to this
Uh-huh, darlin’
You’re the one I want

[Chorus]
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
Uh-huh, that’s right
Darlin’, you’re the one I want
Paper rings
In picture frames
In all my dreams
You’re the one I want
Paper rings
In picture frames
In all my dreams, oh-oh
You’re the one I want

[Outro]
You’re the one I want
You’re the one I want
You’re the one I want

General Information
AlbumLover
ReleasedAugust 23, 2019
StudioElectric Lady (New York City)
GenreNew Wave
Length3:42
LabelRepublic Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Jack Antonoff
ProducersJack Antonoff
Taylor Swift
LOVER CHRONOLOGY
Miss Americana & The Heartbreak PrincePaper RingsCornelia Street
Song Certification
RIAA 1
Official Audio