Taylor Swift - tHe LaSt GrEaT aMeRiCaN dYnAsTy
Rebekah rode up on the afternoon train, it was sunny
Her saltbox house on the coast took her mind off St. Louis
Bill was the heir to the Standard Oil name and money
And the town said, "How did a middle-class divorcée do it?"
The wedding was charming, if a little gauche
There's only so far new money goes
They picked out a home and called it "Holiday House"
Their parties were tasteful, if a little loud
The doctor had told him to settle down
It must have been her fault his heart gave out
And they said
"There goes the last great American dynasty
Who knows, if she never showed up, what could've been
There goes the maddest woman this town has ever seen
She had a marvelous time ruining everything"
Rebekah gave up on the Rhode Island set forever
Flew in all her Bitch Pack friends from the city
Filled the pool with champagne and swam with the big names
And blew through the money on the boys and the ballet
And losing on card game bets with Dalí
"the last great american dynasty" is the third track from Taylor Swift’s eighth studio album, folklore. It was released on July 24, 2020, through Republic Records. This song was confirmed on Taylor’s social media accounts on July 23, 2020. “the last great american dynasty” follows the story of Rebekah Harkness, a patron of the arts, and founder of the Rebekah Harkness Foundation. In 2013, Swift bought a Rhode Island mansion once owned by Rebekah Harkness. The mansion is known as “Holiday House.” Taylor draws subtle comparisons between herself and Rebekah Harkness in the song. She likens her star-studded parties to the bevy of famous composers and and dancers that once frequented Holiday house in Harkness' days. Also similar to Taylor Swift, Rebekah Harkness was often a target of harsh criticism from the tabloids, and people alike. This song is reminiscent of “The Lucky One” from her album "Red" where Taylor Swift sang of an unnamed Hollywood star who moved away from the limelight and from under the microscope of the media, into a life of solitude. The style of the song follows Taylor Swift’s familiar contemporary pop sound. She spends most of the song singing in a low octave, transitioning to a higher octave only towards the end of the song. The song has elements of folk music in it too, matching the overall theme of the album. Swift told People in March 2021: "I’m really proud of [the lyric] ‘She had a marvelous time ruining everything’ from "the last great american dynasty" because it’s about what happens when women step out of their cages and run. It can be a real pearl-clutching moment for society when a woman owns her desires and wildness. And I love the idea that the woman in question would be too joyful in her freedom to even care that she’s ruffling feathers, raising eyebrows or becoming the talk of the town. The idea that she decided there were marvelous times to be had, and that was more important." “the last great american dynasty” debuted at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 during the chart week of August 8, 2020.