"Betty" is part three of a trilogy of songs on Folklore about a doomed summer romance between two classmates, Betty and James. The relationship ended because James was seeing another unnamed girl. "Cardigan" is from Betty's perspective, "August" from the other girl's point of view, and this song is from James'. We learn here that James wants Betty back in his life, but Betty has moved on and there's little likelihood of a reconciliation.
Swift penned the song with a little-known songwriter named William Bowery. She later revealed the mysterious name is a pseudonym for her actor boyfriend, Joe Alwyn.
This is the one track on Folklore where both of Swift's principal collaborators on the album are credited: The National's Aaron Dessner and frequent Swift producer Jack Antonoff. Dessner told Vulture, "Both Jack and I worked on it. We all kind of passed it around."
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