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The Story Behind Taylor Swift’s Cryptic Messages

I swear Swifties could double as FBI agents with how many messages they decode.

Taylor Swift
Credit: Shutterstock/DFree

Part of being a Swiftie involves the full-time job of decoding messages. This may be strange to the average non-Taylor Swift fan but the artist is a well-known cryptic messenger.

Her fans have become fully immersed in her secretive world by analyzing and noting her every word, post, and lyric. It sounds mad but for the true Swiftie, it yields the great reward of allowing them to know potential information before the average public would. This past week Taylor is back at it again with her cryptic messaging regarding her new album ‘Midnight’. So what exactly are the reasons for cryptic messaging? Why are her fans so obsessed with it? And what is Taylor’s latest cryptic message that fans are trying to decode?

Cryptic Messages

Cryptic messages date as far back as the Victorian era. People would send hidden messages through bouquets of flowers. Each type of flower had a different meaning and it served as a subtle way of telling someone you cared or despised them. Things are not so simple in the age of technology, however. Creating hidden meaning in curated content has become one of the leading obsessions of internet goers.

Just two years ago Tik Tok users became obsessed with decoding the meaning behind the date August 27, 2020. Several Tik Toks Although no one really knows where the trend of

Taylor’s Most Notable Cryptic Messages

Taylor’s love for hidden messages dates back to her first album. She would highlight random letters in the lyric booklets that came with her CDs. Such messages would reveal words of encouragement, mention names, and give advice. In Taylor Swift Wiki, fans can find a typed-up list of Taylor’s hidden messages from her albums.

Since then Taylor’s cryptic message game has only gotten better. When news broke out that she would be rereleasing her albums fans were showered with plenty of hidden messages to decipher. Taylor would drop hints left and right for her fans to figure out which re-recorded album would be next to debut. Just last year Taylor sent her fans into a frenzy with a cryptic video of a vault that contained letters for viewers to unscramble.

The color of the video and the level of difficulty described as “casually cruel in the name of being honest” gave fans the hint that her album ‘Red’ would be the next to be re-released. Upon further decoding, fans also realized that the letters spelled out some of the features they can look forward to. “Phoebe Bridgers”, “Stapleton” (Christ Stapleton), and “Ed Sheeran”. The unscrambled words also spelled out the titles of additional tracks that were not originally part of ‘Red’.

Taylor’s Latest Cryptic Message For Fans

Taylor announced her new 10th studio album, ‘Midnights’, back in August at the MTV VMA’s to come out on October 21st. No hidden messages there from Taylor who typically loves to tease release dates and album names but she had other plans up her sleeve. It seems she loves to keep her fans on their toes and recently has taken up dropping messages on Tik Tok.

Taylor posted a Tik Tok last week teasing ‘Midnights’ with a 15-second video compilation of her working on the album. The video includes producer Jack Antanoff and Taylor recording some vocals for the album. The biggest teaser from Taylor however is the song she paired with the video. The song in question titled “life you lead” by niceboy ed is of unknown origin.

The song had its release everywhere including Youtube, Spotify, and Apple Music the same day Taylor posted the Tik Tok. It is also the artist’s first and only single. The problem is, no one has ever heard of niceboy ed. The voice is seemingly unidentifiable as well as the boy in the photo that serves as the artwork for the single.

Swifties online have conjured many theories since Taylor’s video. Some suspect it may be Taylor’s boyfriend Joe Alwyn’s friend “Ed”. The theory started after a Joe Alwyn Twitter account @joealwyndrunk tweeted saying, “This guy Ed is one of Joe’s close friends and he released his first song” and later tweeted, “there’s a lot of evidence of their friendship”.

Their evidence is that Joe is one of the few accounts that niceboy ed follows on Instagram. The accounts that were praising niceboy ed whom he reposted are all accounts that Joe follows. @joealywndrunk also later posted a photo they claim is Joe and Ed as kids. They claim “Ed” is part of Joe’s longtime friend group called “Frosty Crew”.

To address the question of whether or not this could be Joe, people have also taken social media to dispel this rumor by pointing out a few key things. Niceboy ed has a clear English accent. The Youtube video of the song contains the UK copyright symbol meaning it was released in the UK.

The Plot Thickens

Although the speculations that niceboy ed could either be Joe or his lifelong friend ed are fun and interesting to think about, a lot of Swifties aren’t convinced. Many were quick to also point out the emphasis Taylor drew to the song itself. Liking around 95 TikTok videos that used the sound. This doesn’t seem like the behaviour of just doing a boyfriend’s friend a favor.

A few days ago niceboy ed posted the title of the trakc on his Instagram story with (1/3) next to it. Fans are now speculating what the (1/3) could mean. 13 is infamously Taylor’s lucky number. This now has led many to believe it’s more connected to Taylor than originally suspected.

A lot of fans have gone on to look into the lyrics of the track. Many feel it’s the writing of Taylor and contains secret messages within them. One TikTok user remixed the letters to follow morse code and came up with the line “uk ed is me”. Another user claims the lyrics are clues to the tracklist.


Basically Taylor swift definitely wrote the life you lead but it could be someone else singing. Maybe it’s someone covering an actual song from midnights 🫢 @Melissa Stewart #taylorswift #midnights #gaylor #swifttok #niceboyed #ts #ts10 #morsecode #easteregg #cracked #code #greenscreenvideo

♬ original sound – SwiftieNina
Credit: TikTok/swiftienina

taylor is sneakier than ever but i think we got something here 🕵🏻‍♀️ #taylorswift #swifttok #midnights #taylornation #tsmidnights #greenscreen @taylorswift

♬ life you lead – niceboy ed
Credit: Tiktok/actuallyshook

Other Fun Fan Theories Relating to ‘Midnights’

Credit: Tiktok/ thethrifyswiftie
Credit: TIktok/ thethrifyswiftie

Written By

Hey! I'm Luciana, a recent graduate with a degree in English who loves delving into all things entertainment. When I am not reading or writing, you can definitely catch me watching a series. I love well-scripted plots and dialogue but I also love trashy reality tv, what can I say?

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