", While Swift is clearly not a Rebekah clone, she does draw some similarities between herself and her home's previous owner towards the end of "the last great american dynasty.". Discussion. “Rebekah rode up on the afternoon train / It was sunny,” Taylor Swift croons in her new song “The Last Great American Dynasty”. Taylor Swift’s estimated net worth of $360 million includes a $80 million+ property portfolio including her two Beverley Hills homes, a Nashville penthouse and mansion, New York duplex and the colossal Watch Hill estate that Swift decamps to in the summer, most … She … In 2020, Swift wrote the song "The Last Great American Dynasty" for her eighth studio album Folklore (2020), in which she tells Harkness' life story. Here’s the best article I found. But equally unapologetic as Swift. But why? The idea of a "mad woman" haunting an estate, bringing in men and causing controversy. https://books.google.ca/books?id=h7sBAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA45&lpg=PA45&dq=edith+harkness&source=bl&ots=XqEj1HgkIZ&sig=ACfU3U1_Pewkgp3lmZIxYJ4ZrjuwlLe4aw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjtsfaB0-nqAhWphOAKHRJ6Cw4Q6AEwEXoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=edith%20harkness&f=false. Taylor Swift was inspired by the former owner of her 40 room mansion in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Though William died in 1954 after just seven years of marriage, Rebekah kept her last name and status, and proceeded to become legend among the East Coast upper crust. Thank you!! Rebekah died in 1982 at the age of 67. : Beth Garrabrant, A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on Jul 23, 2020 at 9:06pm PDT. "I found myself not only writing my own stories, but also writing about or from the perspective of people I've never met, people I've known, or those I wish I hadn't," Swift wrote in a recent Instagram post. A subreddit for Taylor Swift news, music, discussion, etc. Swift moved into Holiday House in 2013 for $17.75 million, and it caused some drama at the time. Swift also shared that every single room of Holiday House “has a different anecdote about Rebekah Harkness.” Clearly, Swift is fascinated with the home's former owner, and … Swift bought her "Holiday House" in 2013 for $17 million. Would someone post the article here in the comments please? I’ve told these stories to the best of my ability with all the love, wonder, and whimsy they deserve. While the hubbub surrounding Swift's presence in the beach town has since died down, the pop star ends her song by subverting her own lyrics, turning the Rebekah narrative onto herself. Swift explains it briefly in a verse—Harkness once owned Holiday House, the singer’s current Watch Hill, Rhode Island, home. While stuck at home in quarantine, Taylor Swift looked to a fitting source of inspiration for her new album “Folklore”: her house itself.. One of her houses, anyway. She sings, "Who knows, if I never showed up, what could've been / There goes the loudest woman this town has ever seen / I had a marvelous time ruining everything. / The wedding was charming, if a little gauche / There's only so far new money goes.". I love the history that she put in the song and everything. Oh my god, I wanted to know the backstory when I heard this song! Rebekah died in of cancer in 1982. How quickly society judges those that live lives different from the norm. Here, we explore who Rebekah was, and why she captured Swift's attention. Her son Allen, who was interviewed by The New York Times after her death, described the crowd as "all the fairies flying off the floor, the blackmailing lawyers, the weirdos, the people in the trances.". "Holiday House sat quietly on that beach / Free of women with madness, their men and bad habits / And then it was bought by me," Swift sings. It's safe to assume that what drew Swift to Rebekah in the first place was their shared residence. 143. The house sat empty on the beach until Taylor bought it in 2013 for an alleged all-cash deal of $17 million. Rebekah was not a person most people would want to emulate. In fact, Rebekah was a musician, another connection with Taylor. The Harkness couple purchased a waterfront mansion in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, which the two nicknamed the "Holiday House." Very tragic story. Holiday House is one of Taylor Swift’s many homes, and it encompasses 11,000 square feet and sits on 5.23 acres. She filled the estate's pool with Dom Perignon. Part of the theory behind "folklore" is that these songs test the boundaries of self, as Swift writes about historical figures, fictional characters, and her own life, dissolving the lines between those stories. Rebekah, who also founded her own ballet company, died of cancer in 1982. https://www.rollingstone.com/.../rebekah-harkness-taylor-swift-1033497 “I wonder if Taylor Swift might like to hear the story of the time a body washed up on the beach under her Watch Hill mansion,” wrote a reporter for the New London Day at the time. Close. Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article. Swift sings, "They picked out a home and called it "Holiday House" / Their parties were tasteful, if a little loud. The New York Times, commemorating her death, noted that in addition to being a dance patron, she was a sculptor and composer. Log in sign up. I think we might be following the same people on Tumblr! The dark story behind Taylor Swift’s $17m Holiday House mansion The Rhode Island property, once owned by an eccentric socialite, is now visited by Swift's 'squad' - … Picking up a pen was my way of escaping into fantasy, history, and memory. 27 days ago. And one of those stories is about Holiday House, Swift’s vacation home in wealthy Watch Hill, R.I. — or, more specifically, one of its former owners. References. Though Rebekah grew up in a wealthy St. Louis family, her social status was elevated when, after her first divorce, she married William "Bill" Hale Harkness, the son of William Lamon Harkness and the heir to the Standard Oil empire. Who Is Rebekah from Taylor Swift's 'The Last Great American Dynasty'? Press J to jump to the feed. Locals were concerned the pop superstar would disrupt the quiet seaside town, which, in some ways, she did. The Swift connection is that the superstar bought Holiday House for a reported $17 million in 2013. Salinger, and Alvin Ailey. This album marks a departure for Swift, not only in the music itself—these songs have a distinctly moody, indie tone—but also in Swift's storytelling. Posted by. Harkness had a strained relationship with her children, building additions to her home so she could see them as little as possible. Together, the pair resided in Rhode Island, in a home called "Holiday House" that Swift now owns. Rebekah married William Hale Harkness, the heir to the Standard Oil fortune. More posts from the TaylorSwift community. The Rhode Island estate sat empty for years, until Swift's arrival. In three minutes 51 seconds, Swift tells the story of Harkness’s legacy through lyrics. Swift caused quite the stir when moved into Holiday House, filling the beaches with paparazzi and the estate with celebrities. User account menu. In isolation my imagination has run wild and this album is the result, a collection of songs and stories that flowed like a stream of consciousness. folklore is out now. Unlike many of Swift's hyper-personal songs, " The Last Great American Dynasty " is inspired by the true story of another woman: socialite Rebekah Harkness, also known as "the maddest woman this town has ever seen." 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 Swift illustrated this union with her lyrics, "Bill was the heir to the Standard Oil name and money / And the town said, 'How did a middle-class divorcée do it?' Swift writes: Swift … Rebekah West Harkness (April 17, 1915 – June 17, 1982) also known as Betty Harkness, ... Harkness' "Holiday House" in Watch Hill, Rhode Island was acquired in 2013 by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. Holiday House, part of which was torn down in the 1970s because it was so big, had 40 rooms and 21 bathrooms in Rebekah Harkness' day. ", Even after Bill died, Rebekah remained in the home and her life in Holiday House became the stuff of legend. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts, https://books.google.ca/books?id=h7sBAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA45&lpg=PA45&dq=edith+harkness&source=bl&ots=XqEj1HgkIZ&sig=ACfU3U1_Pewkgp3lmZIxYJ4ZrjuwlLe4aw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjtsfaB0-nqAhWphOAKHRJ6Cw4Q6AEwEXoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=edith%20harkness&f=false. And then in 2020, the house’s owner, Taylor Swift, wrote a song about Rebekah Harkness, called The Last Great American Dynasty.The music video featured the beach and the waves from the house, just as Rebekah Harkness would have seen it. The album loops itself blurry, and we’re back to “The Last Great American Dynasty”, a song about Rebekah Harkness, a “middle class divorcée” who married the heir to Standard Oil money, bought a Rhode Island mansion and dubbed it “Holiday House.” By the end of the song, Holiday House lands neatly in Taylor’s custody. hold on to the memories . Oh wow, no wonder this song became an instant favorite for me. She was patron of her own failing ballet company, the Harkness Ballet. Taylor Swift bought Holiday House for US$17 million in 2013. Fast forward 60 years, and another thin, rich, beautiful white woman bought Holiday House. Taylor Swift - the last great american dynasty (Official Lyric Video) In a nutshell, Swift purchased Harkness's former home—nicknamed the Holiday House—for about $17 million back in … Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts . “Holiday House sat quietly on that beach, free of women with madness, their men and bad habits; then it was bought by me,” Swift sings. The Holiday House was once owned by Rebekah Harkness The mansion was once owned by Rebekah Harkness, a high profile socialite who famously married into the Standard Oil fortune. Some people of the small beach community … The other piece of it, though, is about reputation (also, of course, the name of Swift's 2017 album). On the track, Swift sings: Rebekah rode up on the afternoon train, it was sunny / Her saltbox house on the coast took her mind off St. Louis / Bill was the heir to the Standard Oil name and money / And the town said / “How did a middle-class divorcée do it?” It’s got … a lengthy semi-nonfictional track about Rebekah Harkness, a St. Louis–born debutante who married the heir to Standard Oil, bought a giant house in … It doesn't appear in any feeds, and anyone with a direct link to it will see a message like this one. One song, "the last great american dynasty" exemplifies this new style of songwriting, as it tells the story of 20th century American socialite Rebekah "Betty" Harkness. Folklore, Taylor Swift's latest album, is officially out, which means it's time to close-read the lyrics and find the hidden meaning. Notably, when her younger daughter, Edith, died by suicide, Harkness' simple response was, "I can't believe it took her this long to succeed. 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