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Dear Reader

Bonus Track | Midnights (3am Edition) [2022]

“Dear Reader” is track twenty on Taylor’s tenth studio album, Midnights (2022). It is also the seventh and final bonus track on the 3am Edition of the album. Written and produced by Taylor and Jack Antonoff, the song hesitantly attempts to give the listener (or reader) advice on life.
Table of Contents

Background and Release

On August 28, 2022, Taylor announced her tenth studio album, Midnights, set for release on October 21, 2022. On October 16, she posted a short video on her social media that presented a schedule of the days leading up to the album release, entitled “Midnight Manifest”. On it, Taylor also teased a “Special very chaotic surprise” happening 3 hours after the albums release. This materialized into a digital and streaming only version of the album titled Midnights (3am Edition), containing an additional seven songs that according to Taylor were written but removed to keep the album at 13 songs. One of those songs is “Dear Reader.” Taylor said:

«I think of Midnights as a complete concept album, with those 13 songs forming a full picture of the intensities of that mystifying, mad hour. However! There were other songs we wrote on our journey to find that magic 13. I’m calling them 3am tracks. Lately I’ve been loving the feeling of sharing more of our creative process with you, like we do with 'From The Vault' tracks. So it’s 3am and I’m giving them to you now.»

Lyrical Theme

In “Dear Reader,” Taylor advises the listener to, among other things, be wary, reinvent themselves, bend when they can but not to bend over for others completely. However, she doesn’t want the reader to listen to her because she can’t be trusted. She feels like she’s in a very isolated, desperate place in life, plagued by self-doubt, mistrust, and pain. It is a thought provoking closing to an album full of dark storylines.

Commercial Performance

In the United States, songs from Midnights occupied the entire Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100; a historic feat. “Dear Reader” debuted at No. 45 on the chart. Taylor became the first artist to simultaneously occupy the Top 10 spots of the Hot 100; the female artist with the most Top 10 songs (40); and the first act to occupy the entire Top 10 of the Hot 100, Streaming Songs, and Digital Songs charts simultaneously. Midnights also became the first album in history to contain ten Top 10 songs.


[Verse 1]
Dear reader
If it feels like a trap
You’re already in one
Dear reader
Get out your map
Pick somewhere and just run
Dear reader
Burn all the files, desert all your past lives
And if you don’t recognize yourself
That means you did it right

Never take advice from someone who’s falling apart
Never take advice from someone who’s falling apart

[Verse 2]
Dear reader
Bend when you can
Snap when you have to
Dear reader
You don’t have to answer
Just ’cause they asked you (You should find another)
Dear reader
The greatest of luxuries is your secrets
Dear reader
When you aim at the devil
Make sure you don’t miss

Never take advice from someone who’s falling apart
Never take advice from someone who’s falling apart

So I wander through these nights
I prefer hiding in plain sight
My fourth drink in my hand
These desperate prayers are the cursed man
Spilling out to you for free
But darling, darling, please
You wouldn’t take my word for it
If you knew who was talking
If you knew where I was walking
To a house, not a home, all alone, ’cause nobody’s there
Where I pace in my pen and my friends found friends who care
No one sees when you lose when you’re playing solitaire

You should find another guiding light
Guiding light, but I shine so bright
You should find another guiding light
Guiding light, but I shine so bright
You should find another
You should find another (Guiding light)
Find another
You should find another

General Information
ArtistTaylor Swift
ReleasedOctober 21, 2022
StudiosRough Customer (Brooklyn)
Electric Lady (New York)
GenreIndie Pop
LabelRepublic Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Jack Antonoff
ProducersJack Antonoff
Taylor Swift
Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’veDear ReaderHits Different
Song Certification
Song Artwork
Lyric Video
Official Audio