Taylor Swift's link to Wales ahead of Cardiff Eras Tour concert

Taylor Swift will be bringing her The Eras tour to Cardiff in July | Pictured: Taylor Swift performs at the Paris Le Defense Arena, Paris, May 9, 2024
-Credit: (Image: AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Thousands of people will fill Cardiff's Principality Stadium next month as American music superstar Taylor Swift heads to the city for one night only. Taylor, 34, will be bringing her epic The Eras tour to the capital on June 18, 2024 - and hundreds of fans of all ages are expected to queue for hours ahead of the gig, in the hopes of getting as close to the stage as possible.

It won't be the first time the songstress has performed in Wales, however. Six years ago, Taylor performed in Swansea's Singleton Park as part of BBC's Biggest Weekend 2018. At the time, Taylor praised the crowd as a "level above beautiful," adding: "Alright, Swansea, how nice was it of the BBC to throw this party for all of us tonight? Really, really nice. Me and everybody on this stage, we've never been to Swansea before. So this is our first time here, and we get here and it's packed and you guys are dancing and you're not just singing along but you're screaming along, which is the best!"

Whilst many of Taylor's songs cover themes of love, friendship, heartbreak, loss and revenge, other tracks make reference to special moments in her life in various places around the world. Among them, London Boy, for example, tells of Taylor's relationship with previous partner Joe Alwyn from London, whilst All Too Well tells of Taylor and former beau Jake Gyllenhaal "getting lost Upstate" in New York, and The Very First Night references a "night out in LA," to name a few.

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Remarkably, there's also a song in Taylor's extensive discography that alludes to Wales. Released just a few months before the Cardiff date of The Eras Tour, the title track of Taylor's newest album 'The Tortured Poet's Department' references internationally-renowned Swansea poet Dylan Thomas and American poet Patti Smith.

The lyric, repeated several times in the song, reads: "I laughed in your face and said: 'You're not Dylan Thomas. I'm not Patti Smith. This ain't the Chelsea Hotel. We're modern idiots."

As reported by USA Today, the Dylan Thomas and Patti Smith lyric is understood to be a multi-layered, with several potential meanings including that in the time depicted in the song, Taylor and her partner were struggling to find the words to express their feelings.

Stephanie Burt, a professor at Harvard University who teaches a module on Taylor Swift and her impact on society, further suggested: "Swift is not only telling: [the guy in the song] 'you're not that talented,' she's saying: 'let's not be the kind of artists who make our self-destructive, tortured natures central to our art, which invites everyone to look at what a mess we are.'"

Dylan Thomas was a Welsh poet and writer from Uplands in Swansea whose well-known works include the play Under Milk Wood and the often-quoted poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, which featured heavily in the Christopher Nolan film, Interstellar, whilst Patti Smith is from Chicago in America and is perhaps best known for her modern poetry and her music, including her 1978 song Because the Night.

Whilst The Tortured Poet's Department has not yet featured in Taylor's setlist, it's understood that the pop icon is aiming to perform each and every track from her studio albums across her tour - so she could well sing about Dylan Thomas in his home country. For more Taylor Swift news - including details of her concert in Cardiff - go here.