The Real Meaning Behind Taylor Swift's No Body, No Crime Lyrics - Nicki Swift (2024)

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The Real Meaning Behind Taylor Swift's No Body, No Crime Lyrics

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The Real Meaning Behind Taylor Swift's No Body, No Crime Lyrics - Nicki Swift (4)

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ByMichelle McGahan/

Taylor Swift fans everywhere are taking a deep dive into the lyrics of her ninth studio album, Evermore, which dropped at midnight on Dec. 11, 2020 — a "sister album" to her surprise eighth record, Folklore. (If there's one thing that can save us from quarantine, it's Swift's nuanced songwriting and her captivating ability to spin a yarn into a yearning tune.)

"To put it plainly, we just couldn't stop writing songs," Swift said of her decision to come out with this new companion LP. "To try and put it more poetically, it feels like we were standing on the edge of the folklorian woods and had a choice: to turn and go back or to travel further into the forest of this music. We chose to wander deeper in."

Already, one standout track on Evermore is "No Body, No Crime," which calculates a murder (or two), and mentions at least two of the HAIM sisters, who collaborated on the tune with their longtime friend. Plus, it may very well reference a few other songs on the album... and even possibly a real-life missing persons case.Let's take a look below.

Taylor Swift's No Body, No Crime could be the plot of a Lifetime movie

The Real Meaning Behind Taylor Swift's No Body, No Crime Lyrics - Nicki Swift (5)

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Track No. 6 on Evermore trended on Twitter immediately after the release of the album, with countless users sharing their reactions to "NO BODY" (yes, in all caps) on the site. It's no surprise that the tantalizing tune is getting so much attention, especially because it details a deliciously devious plot to commit the most serious of crimes, Lifetime movie-style (Taylor Swift herself revealed it was inspired by her "obsession with true crime podcasts/documentaries.")

Swift tweeted that a series of songs on the album detail "'the unhappily ever after' anthology of marriages, [which] include infidelity, ambivalent toleration, and even murder.'" And "No Body, No Crime" certainly fits that description.

The track talks of Swift's friend Este (of HAIM, who collabs on the song). As Swift sings, Este is convinced her husband is cheating on her ("Este's been losin' sleep / Her husband's actin' different, and it smells like infidelity / She says, 'That ain't my merlot on his mouth / That ain't my jewelry on our joint account'"). And when Este disappears, Swift vows revenge, even getting Este's sister to be her alibi.

"Good thing my daddy made me get a boating license when I was 15 / And I've cleaned enough houses / To know how to cover up a scene / Good thing Este's sister's gonna swear she was with me ... Good thing his mistress took out a big life insurance policy."

Does No Body, No Crime connect to the Evermore songs Marjorie and Dorothea?

The Real Meaning Behind Taylor Swift's No Body, No Crime Lyrics - Nicki Swift (6)

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As evidenced by Folklore, Taylor Swift likes to write songs that intertwine (see: "Betty," "Cardigan," and "August.") She even said that numerous tracks on Evermore are "mirrored or intersecting with one another." Onefan theory connects "No Body, No Crime" to "Marjorie" and "Dorothea." And it's a pretty unsettling story, if true.

Here's an eerie tale: According to The Guardian, in 1938, a 4-year-old girl from a "small town" in Pennsylvania went missing. Her name? Marjorie West, who had an 11-year-old sister, Dorothea. Marjorie disappeared after she and her sibling went to pick wildflowers on the side of the road. The case garnered enormous attention, and Swift is from Pennsylvania, so she feasibly could have heard about it.

So: "No Body, No Crime" is about a missing woman. And in "Marjorie," Swift sings on the chorus: "What died didn't stay dead," while the opening lines of "Dorothea" are: "Hey, Dorothea, do you ever stop and think about me? / When we were younger down in the park."

Still, note that Swift explicitly said that "Marjorie" is about her late grandmother. She also noted that "Dorothea" tells the story of a "girl who left her small town ... and what happens when she comes home for the holidays and rediscovers an old flame." (That probably directly correlates to "'Tis the Damn Season.")

So though this theory may seem like a stretch, it's certainly something to speculate about.


The Real Meaning Behind Taylor Swift's No Body, No Crime Lyrics - Nicki Swift (2024)


What does that ain't my merlot on his mouth mean? ›

The line, “that ain't my Merlot on his mouth" simply means that Esté's husband is drinking someone else's wine. This line is followed up with another line that says, “that ain't my jewelry on our joint account" and that pretty much lays it out as plainly as can be.

Whose pov is "No body, no crime"? ›

The song is written from the perspective of Este's friend. The meaning of the chorus changes every time. In the first chorus, Este refers to her husband cheating when she says "I think he did it but I just can't prove it". The second chorus refers to Taylor suspecting the husband having murdered her friend.

What song does "No Body, No Crime" sound like? ›

The song drew comparisons to the Chicks' "Goodbye Earl" (2000) and Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" (2006) among others.

What is the meaning behind Taylor Swift's song Bad Blood? ›

In her 2014 Rolling Stone cover story, Swift revealed that “Bad Blood” was written about a fellow female pop star, a year after Perry had supposedly poached three of her dancers from Red World Tour to bring on her own California Dreams tour.

What happens in No Body, No Crime? ›

Este disappears and Taylor realizes that she was murdered by the cheating husband, but no one else is going to figure this out because there's no corpse/the husband covered his tracks, so it's up to her to get revenge. Taylor murders the husband and covers her own tracks.

Has No Body, No Crime been a surprise song? ›

Swift also made another addition to the setlist alongside the surprise songs: "No Body, No Crime," featuring Haim. SEATTLE — Taylor Swift does two surprise songs that aren't on the Eras Tour setlist at every concert. Here's what Swift played for a sold-out crowd at Lumen Field in Seattle on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Who is Taylor Swift's sister? ›

Austin Swift
Alma materUniversity of Notre Dame
OccupationsProducer actor
Years active2016–present
RelativesTaylor Swift (sister) Marjorie Finlay (grandmother) Charles C. A. Baldi (great-great grandfather)
1 more row

Why is No Body, No Crime not in the Eras Tour movie? ›

The Songs That Were Originally Missing From the Eras Tour Movie. Before we get into it, please note: The Eras Tour Concert Film was shot during Taylor's performances on August 3-5 at Los Angeles' So-Fi stadium, where she sang a few songs not on the usual set list—including “No Body, No Crime” with HAIM.

What is the Latin word for No Body, No Crime? ›

In essence corpus delicti of crimes refers to evidence that a violation of law occurred; no literal 'body' is needed.

What song does brutal sound like? ›

"Brutal" features a guitar riff similar to that of Elvis Costello's 1978 song "Pump It Up", leading to accusations of plagiarism. Costello—who cited Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" as inspiration for "Pump It Up"—replied to a tweet about the topic, "This is fine by me ...

Is No Body No Crime on the Eras Tour setlist? ›

The initial theatrical release of the "Eras Tour" film saw several songs cut from the set list, including "The Archer," “No Body, No Crime," “Cardigan," and “Wildest Dreams." “Long Live,” featured in the 2010 album “Speak Now,” was not shown during the movie, but it played during the credits.

What song sounds like Killing Me Softly? ›

Was Zendaya in Taylor Swift's Bad Blood? ›

Zendaya's fame continued to skyrocket after her appearance in the “Bad Blood” video. She first portrayed Mary Jane Watson in the 2017 film Spider-Man: Homecoming and went on to star in its sequels alongside boyfriend Tom Holland, whom she began dating in 2021.

Who features in Taylor Swift Bad Blood? ›

Cast (24)
  • Taylor Swift. Catastrophe. Selena Gomez. Arsyn.
  • Kendrick Lamar. Welvin Da Great. Lena Dunham. ...
  • Hailee Steinfeld. The Trinity. Serayah. ...
  • Gigi Hadid. Slay-Z. Ellie Goulding. ...
  • Martha Hunt. HomeSlice. Cara Delevingne. ...
  • Zendaya. Cut-Throat. Hayley Williams. ...
  • Lily Aldridge. Frostbyte. Karlie Kloss. ...
  • Jessica Alba. Domino. Mariska Hargitay.

What is the meaning of Merlot? ›

mer·​lot mer-ˈlō mər- often capitalized. : a dry red wine made from a widely grown grape originally used in the Bordeaux region of France for blending. also : the grape itself.

What is the meaning of Merlot wine? ›

What does “Merlot” mean? The word Merlot is French for “the little blackbird.” Merlot also refers to a red grape variety used to make wine around the world.


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