Rebekah Harkness, who also went by Betty, was the previous owner of Taylor Swift's Rhode Island home and serves as the inspiration for the third track on her latest album

By Nicholas Rice
July 24, 2020 03:20 PM
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Taylor Swift has once again drawn inspiration from her own personal life to use within her songs.

The Grammy-winner, 30, just released her new album Folklore on Friday, where she alludes to an array of stories in her eighth studio album — among them that of the real-life owner of Harkness Ballet, Rebekah Harkness.

Harkness, who also went by Betty, was the previous owner of Swift's Rhode Island home and serves as the inspiration for the third track on Swift's latest LP, "The Last Great American Dynasty," where she tells the story of Harkness while mixing it in with her own.

On the track, Swift reflects on Harkness' life and her marriage to Standard Oil heir William Harkness, crooning on the chorus, "There goes the last great American dynasty / Who knows, if she never showed up, what could've been / There goes the maddest woman this town has ever seen / She had a marvelous time ruining everything."

Taylor swift
Taylor Swift
| Credit: Beth Garrabrant

According to the New York Times, Harkness was born in 1915 to "a rich, emotionally frigid St. Louis family." She and her second husband William bought the massive house on the Rhode Island coast during their seven-year marriage, which they nicknamed "Holiday House."

Back in 2013, Swift bought Harkness' former home in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, for a reported $17 million in cash, according to TMZ.

Taylor Swift Rebekah Harkness
Taylor Swift; Rebekah Harkness
| Credit: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/Shutterstock; Jack Mitchell/Getty

The house has played host to many of the pop songstresses Fourth of July parties and previously sat empty before she bought it, as Swift mentions on the song.

"Fifty years is a long time / Holiday House sat quietly on that beach,” she adds. "Free of women with madness, their men and bad habits/And then it was bought by me."

RELATED VIDEO: Taylor Swift Announces Release of 'Surprise' New Album Folklore

Swift debuted her brand-new album, which is the superstar's follow-up to August 2019's Lover, on Friday after she announced its arrival only hours before on Thursday morning.

The album comes with a decidedly moody black-and-white aesthetic and features 16 tracks, with other song titles like "Illicit Affairs," "Mad Woman" and "Betty."

Taylor swift
Taylor Swift
| Credit: Beth Garrabrant

Swift also noted that she worked on the project in quarantine amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, writing in an Instagram post, "Before this year I probably would've overthought when to release this music at the 'perfect' time, but the times we’re living in keep reminding me that nothing is guaranteed."

The star also released a video for her first single "Cardigan" as well as lyric videos for all her new songs.