Taylor Swift Fans Think Her Boyfriend Joe Alwyn Co-Wrote Two Songs on Her New Album

Taylor Swift credited "William Bowery" as a co-writer on two songs on her new album, folklore—and fans think Bowery might actually be Joe Alwyn.

beverly hills, california january 05 taylor swift attends the 77th annual golden globe awards at the beverly hilton hotel on january 05, 2020 in beverly hills, california photo by axellebauer griffinfilmmagic
(Image credit: Jackson Lee)

Taylor Swift is a big fan of meticulously secreting Easter eggs in her music for her most devoted fans to discover. And she's also a big fan of pseudonyms (remember Nils Sjöberg?) So it's little wonder that Swifties already have a theory about one William Bowery, who Swift credited as a co-writer on her surprise eighth album, folklore. Specifically, they think William Bowery could actually be one Joe Alwyn, Swift's boyfriend. Let's unpack!

In her Instagram post announcing the then-impending release of folklore, Swift named four collaborators on the album, who she called her "musical heroes": The National's Aaron Dessner, Bon Iver, William Bowery, and Bleachers' Jack Antonoff. Dessner, Bon Iver, and Antonoff all have sizeable discographies and an awful lot of Google results to their name, but before the album's release, there was next to no trace of Bowery.

So why do fans think Bowery could actually be Joe Alwyn? Firstly, there's the name itself. Swifties quickly pointed out that one of Swift and Alwyn's first encounters was at the Bowery Hotel in New York City, where they saw a Kings of Leon concert. It seems fair to assume, therefore, that the Bowery is a pretty special place for the couple—which could have inspired the name "William Bowery."

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What's more, the mysterious musician co-wrote two songs on folklore: "Exile" and "Betty," as the Independent reports. And according to E!, Joe Alwyn's mother is called Elizabeth—a name frequently shortened to Betty. Did Swifties crack the case? Is Joe Alwyn a songwriter on the side? What does this all mean, Taylor?! 

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Emily Dixon
Emily Dixon

Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.