On Friday at midnight, the singer, 29, released her new original song, “Beautiful Ghosts”, from the upcoming film adaptation of the Tony-winning musical.
The haunting melody — which she co-wrote with the musical’s legendary composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber — speaks to a feeling of longing to be wanted and reminiscing on better memories.
In the ballad, Swift is given an opportunity to show off her impressive pipes beyond her typical country-pop style, and the star certainly delivers.
While the entire song is chillingly beautiful, it’s the final note of the song that Swift belts that truly stands out among the rest.
“All that I wanted was to be wanted/too young to wander London streets, alone and haunted/Born into nothing/At least you have something to cling to,” she sings. “Visions of dazzling rooms I’ll never get let into/and the memories were lost long ago/but at least you have beautiful ghosts.”
The Lover singer announced the release of her new song “Beautiful Ghosts” at the crack of dawn on social media Thursday morning writing, “‘Beautiful Ghosts’ out tomorrow at 12:01 a.m. EST 😺 @catsmovie.”
She shared the tweet with an accompanying video previewing the ballad. A silhouette photo of what appears to be Swift in costume as her film character, Bombalurina, is seen in the clip. In the song preview, Swift is heard singing, “Follow me home, if you dare to.”
Swift gave fans an inside look at the creative process behind the song last month.
“We’re actually gonna be recording a song that Andrew Lloyd Webber and I wrote together,” Swift said in a Cats featurette that was released by Universal Pictures in October, which also included footage of the pair working together.
In the featurette, Webber, 71, revealed that the character Victoria, played by Francesca Hayward, is the inspiration behind the film’s new original song.
“When I first read the screenplay — and the film is seen through Victoria’s eyes — the first thing I said was, ‘We have to have a song for Victoria. It’s an incredibly important central part of the whole film,’” the legendary musical creator said.
“There was an ambition and aspiration to have an original song in the movie,” Swift added. “Just very much this understanding of, ‘Let’s write the best song we can.’”
Webber went on to recall the “You Need to Calm Down” singer’s speedy ability to write song lyrics. He said Swift came up with lyrics almost immediately after hearing the tune.
“I played it to you and I said, ‘This is a new song,’ and you said, ‘I’ll do the lyric[s]’ and you did it then and there,” Webber said of his interaction with Swift at the time.
“When you started playing the music, it was just this beautiful, haunting melody,” Swift added. She also sang the studio recording of the original song.
The film’s director, Tom Hooper was very impressed by her work. He described the “extraordinary beauty” of the lyrics, and added that the singer had a “profound understanding of what we’re trying to do with the movie.”
Swift also revealed that she was inspired by T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats — which the text of the original musical was based on — as she wrote the song.
“T.S. Eliot is such a specific type of writer and uses such specific language and imagery, so reading through his work and everything, I just really wanted to reflect that within,” she explained.
“You can’t write a modern lyric for Cats, so if you can’t get T.S. Eliot, get T.S.,” Swift jokingly added, referring to her initials. “I’m here for you!”
The release of “Beautiful Ghosts” comes hours after Swift wrote a letter on social media detailing more drama with Scooter Braun and Big Machine Label co-founder Scott Borchetta. In a post shared on Tumblr, the singer accused the pair of blocking her from performing her old hits at the American Music Awards later this month.
Cats the movie debuts in theaters on Dec. 20.