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Taylor Swift debuted the song “Beautiful Ghosts” and its lyric video on Thursday night.
The singer wrote the original song with Andrew Lloyd Webber for the upcoming Cats film adaptation. Lloyd Webber adapted the musical from T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. The musical made its debut on London’s West End in 1981 and has since been seen by 81 million people worldwide.
In the song, Swift sings about feeling like an outsider. “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,” Swift sings on the track.
In addition to writing the lyrics for the song, Swift will appear in the film as Bombalurina. The flirtatious feline character makes advances on many male cats throughout the film.
Lloyd Webber previously spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about his collaboration with Swift. “I think she’s written lyrics that are first, dramatic, and secondly, it’s almost as if she’s read T.S. Eliot herself. Maybe she had, because she’s so thorough and professional,” he said of Swift.
“Beautiful Ghosts” will be performed by the graceful white cat Victoria (Francesca Hayward) in the film. Cats follows Victoria’s journey from being abandoned as a kitten and encountering the curious tribe of cats known as the Jellicles and their annual Jellicle Ball.
Lloyd Webber said the new song offers an inspirational counterpoint to the washed-up glamour cat Grizabella (Jennifer Hudson), who has become an outsider to the Jellicle tribe after aging.
“What she’s saying is, ‘OK, it’s all very well for you. But you’re looking back on a life where you did have something wonderful in your life. You were glamorous. You had beautiful ghosts. I’ve had nothing at all. I’ve been abandoned,'” the composer explained about Victoria’s point of view in the song. “Victoria is saying, ‘Maybe one day I will dance as you did’ with ‘Beautiful Ghosts.'”
Cats will be in theaters on Dec. 20. Watch the full lyric video for “Beautiful Ghosts” below.
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