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Taylor Swift Plays ‘I Hate It Here’ Live for the First Time, Paired With ‘The Lakes’

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The Tortured Poets Department met Folklore, on which Taylor Swift sings wistfully of “the lakes, where all the poets went to die,” at the star’s Eras Tour stop in Cardiff, Wales, Tuesday night (June 18).

Swift’s surprise song set, which is the acoustic section of the show, featured the live debut of The Anthology edition of Tortured Poets‘ “I Hate It Here” paired in a melancholy piano mashup with Folklore bonus track “The Lakes” at Principality Stadium.

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At her piano Tuesday night, Swift checked to make sure her mic was working and then playfully commented, “This is a song I’ve never played live before. Wish me luck!”

“Quick, quick, tell me something awful/ Like you are a poet trapped inside the body of a finance guy,” she sang.

The “I Hate It Here” chorus followed verse one: “I hate it here so I will go to secret gardens in my mind/ People need a key to get to, the only one is mine/ I read about it in a book when I was a precocious child/ No mid-sized city hopes and small-town fears/ I’m there most of the year ’cause I hate it here/ I hate it here.”

Instead of singing the song’s second verse, though, she switched over to “The Lakes”: “Is it romantic how all my elegies eulogize me?/ I’m not cut out for all these cynical clones/ These hunters with cell phones/ Take me to the lakes, where all the poets went to die/ I don’t belong, and my beloved, neither do you/ Those Windermere peaks look like a perfect place to cry/ I’m setting off, but not without my muse.”

Later in the performance, she again pleaded, “I hate it here, so take me to the lakes/ Take me to the lakes where all the poets went to die/ I don’t belong, and my beloved, neither do you.”

Like she’s done several times on the European leg of the tour, with its general admission, standing room-only floor setup, Swift paused mid-performance to flag security for someone in the crowd who needed help.

“I’m not gonna sing until they get help,” she said, “but you guys are so awesome and so on top of it.”

Before her piano number, Swift played an acoustic mashup of Lover‘s “I Forgot That You Existed” with Reputation‘s “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things,” complete with audience-amplified laughter as she tried to sing, “And here’s to you, ’cause forgiveness is a nice thing to do,” topping it off with “I can’t even say it with a straight face.” (Fans pointed out the timing of Swift’s song choice falling on June 18, which happens to be Scooter Braun’s birthday.)

Watch Swift’s Cardiff acoustic set below. The clip to the left includes “I Forgot That You Existed” with “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things,” while the video on the right has “I Hate It Here” with “The Lakes.”

The Eras Tour next visits Wembley Stadium in London for three consecutive nights, from June 21-23.

Surprise songs for #CardiffTSTheErasTour

🎸 I forgot that you existed x This is why we can’t have nice things 🩷🖤

🎹 I hate it here x The Lakes 🤍🩶 pic.twitter.com/0Bz2sAGFVP

— Kush |Edinburgh N3|Liverpool N3|Cardiff|London N1 (@kush07_) June 18, 2024

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