Taylor Swift gets cinematic on the wistful new ballad “Beautiful Ghosts,” which highlights the soundtrack for the upcoming film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic musical Cats. The Tom Hooper-directed feature hits theaters December 20th.
“Follow me home if you dare to/I wouldn’t know where to lead you,” Swift sings on the song over simmering strings and piano. “Should I take chances when no one took chances on me?/So I watch from the dark, wait for my life to start with no beauty in my memory.” The track, which Swift co-wrote with Webber, builds to a rousing climax with the singer’s voice in a full roar.
In a video discussing the making of “Beautiful Ghosts,” Swift said, “There was an ambition and an aspiration to have an original song in the movie. Just very much this understanding of like, ‘Let’s write the best song we can.’”
Lloyd Webber said he played the song’s music for Swift. “You said, ‘I’ll do the lyric,’ and you did it then and there, more or less,” he added.
While Swift will appear in the film as the flirty red queen Bombalurina, her character will not be singing the song. Instead, Victoria (played by Francesca Hayward) will deliver the tune after hearing Grizabella (Jennifer Hudson) sing the classic “Memory.” Swift’s version will play over the film’s end credits.
Cats will also feature Jason Derulo, James Corden, Idris Elba, Rebel Wilson, Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen and others. It made its Broadway debut in 1982 after originally running in London. Webber’s show is notable for being one of the longest-running shows in Broadway history, with nearly 8,000 performances.