Taylor Swift’s ‘Last Wonderful American Dynasty’ is about Rebekah Harkness

Taylor Swift's 'Last Great American Dynasty' is about Rebekah Harkness

While caught at household in quarantine, Taylor Swift looked to a fitting source of inspiration for her new album “Folklore”: her dwelling by itself.

One of her residences, anyway. Again in 2013, the 30-calendar year-aged singer-songwriter splashed out a reported $17 million for a stately oceanside mansion in Check out Hill, Rhode Island. Now, her home’s past operator, the notorious late socialite Rebekah Harkness, has an complete Swift track in her honor.

The subject of “Folklore” music “The Final Great American Dynasty,” Harkness — née Rebekah Semple West — was born in 1915 to “a prosperous, emotionally frigid St. Louis household,” in accordance to the New York Situations, and in 1947 married William Hale Harkness, her 2nd spouse and heir to the Common Oil fortune.

Though the few were only married for seven years — “The wedding was charming, if a minimal gauche / There’s only so significantly new money goes,” Swift sings — it was in the course of that time that they ordered their so-called “Holiday Dwelling,” wherever the pop star now resides.

Even immediately after her husband’s loss of life in 1954 (“It should have been her fault his coronary heart gave out,” Swift muses), Harkness threw wild events that plainly ruffled her neighbors’ feathers, with company her son Allen Pierce once explained as “all the fairies traveling off the floor, the blackmailing attorneys, the weirdos, the persons in the trances,” in accordance to the Instances. On any given evening, J.D. Salinger or Andy Warhol may quit by.

Taylor Swift's home in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, which was previously owned by Rebekah Harkness.
Taylor Swift’s household in Enjoy Hill, Rhode Island, which was beforehand owned by Rebekah Harkness.Carol Ann Mossa/Shutterstock

As Swift mentions, Harkness was also helpful with Salvador Dalí immediately after she died of most cancers in 1982 at the age of 67, she even requested her ashes be retained in a $250,000 custom made urn of the artist’s structure. Unfortunately, in accordance to the Times, “just a leg … or perhaps 50 percent of her head, and an arm” basically healthy in the jeweled vessel, prompting Harkness’ daughter to tote the remaining ashes residence in a Gristedes browsing bag.

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As Swift recounts in her song, Harkness was a notorious (if properly-intentioned) spendthrift a patron of the arts, she launched her individual Harkness Ballet in the 1960s and poured many millions into the enthusiasm challenge, but it folded in 1975.

Rebekah Harkness and her Harkness Ballet in 1966.
Rebekah Harkness and her Harkness Ballet in 1966.Getty Illustrations or photos

Swift also mentions the debutante’s “bitch pack,” referring to her genuine-everyday living group of prankster friends from university who relished spiking punch bowls with mineral oil, filling swimming swimming pools with Dom Perignon and swearing aloud on ocean liners.

In her lyrics, the star will make it crystal clear how Harkness was perceived in the higher-crust coastal community. “There goes the maddest woman this city has at any time noticed / She had a wonderful time ruining all the things,” Swift sings.

The Grammy winner herself has triggered a stir between Look at Hill locals considering the fact that snapping up Harkness’ abode, turning the town into a vacationer and paparazzi hotspot, web hosting star-studded Fourth of July get-togethers for a number of several years in a row and even inspiring a person neighbor to suggest a “Taylor Swift” tax on 2nd homes valued at over $1 million. (It was sooner or later withdrawn.)

By the conclusion of “The Past Terrific American Dynasty,” Swift has woven her have tale alongside one another with Harkness’, with their shared status for “madness” bridging the many years amongst the two.

“Who understands, if I under no circumstances confirmed up what could’ve took place?” she asks, shifting the pronouns of the earlier refrain. “There goes the loudest girl this city has ever witnessed / I had a marvelous time ruining every thing.”

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As for the line about Harkness after dyeing a neighbor’s puppy “key lime environmentally friendly?” That actually transpired — but in accordance to the Instances, it was really a cat. No wonder Swift, a mentioned cat fancier, selected to tweak the tale.

Rebekah Harkness in 1966.
Rebekah Harkness in 1966.Getty Illustrations or photos
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