Baltimore knows what it feels like to have a reputation.
While “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” didn’t pass through here, some are speculating the singer-songwriter will finally stop by Baltimore this weekend to watch her tight end boyfriend Travis Kelce play a little football. The Chiefs, including Kelce, are scheduled to take on the Ravens on Sunday in the first AFC championship to be played in the city since 1971.
To our knowledge, Swift has never written a song about Baltimore (even though she grew up in Pennsylvania, which neighbors Maryland). We’ll let that slide, since more than a few of her lyrics still give us strong Charm City vibes.
These are the songs we’ll be listening to this week ahead of the Ravens-Chiefs showdown. We recommend scream-shouting the “ohhhs” to make them true Baltimore bangers.
Swift’s sweetie might play for Kansas City, but she’ll feel the “lavender haze” creeping up on her if she comes to Baltimore to watch them play this weekend. Ravens fans have long worn purple on game days to support the team.
“They’re bringin’ up my history (yeah, oh, yeah),” the song lyrics state. “But you aren’t even listening (yeah, oh, yeah).”
‘King of My Heart’
If you’ve ever found yourself on the rooftop deck of a Baltimore rowhome, this Swift song is for you. When Maryland summers go from warm to melt-your-face-off hot, locals like to climb above street level to catch a breeze.
“Up on the roof with a school girl crush, drinking beer out of plastic cups,” Swift croons in the song. “Say you fancy me, not fancy stuff. Baby, all at once, this is enough.”
We picture a Fourth of July in Federal Hill when we hear this song.
Baltimore locals often joke that only tourists would dare take a dip in the murkwater that is Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Swift’s song “Gold Rush” mentions a coastal town and waters so inviting “I almost jump in.” Girl, let us be the first to tell you it’s not safe (yet).
Advocates are working hard to make Baltimore waterways swimmable, but there’s still a lot of work to do. A public swim is planned for this spring under certain conditions including bacterial testing. So let’s assume until then that the water is closer to day old tea than a gold rush.
“I don’t like anticipating my face in a red flush, I don’t like that anyone would die to feel your touch,” the song lyrics state.
‘I Knew You Were Trouble’
Have you ever spotted a box of Berger cookies in a Baltimore grocery store and heard Taylor Swift sing “trouble, trouble, trouble” in your head?
If these deliciously sinful cookies came with a mixtape, we’d include this song.
“A new notch in your belt is all I’ll ever be,” the lyric states. We still think the Berger cookies are worth it.
‘Shake It Off’
Taylor Swift has cultivated an incredible knack for turning her biggest haters into inspiration. Many of her songs are an exercise in finding self-confidence and hope amid intense public scrutiny.
Baltimore City knows a thing or two about that. This city is often considered synonymous with crime and grime while its rich culture, proud neighborhoods and tight-knit communities go unnoticed.
But Baltimore keeps on cruising. We can’t stop, won’t stop moving.
“It’s like I got this music in my mind,” Swift sings, “sayin’, ‘It’s gonna be all right.’”
Baltimore Banner reporter Jess Nocera contributed to this article.