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Idris Elba's cameo on Taylor Swift's "London Boy" nearly makes up for its impossibly lame lyrics

Screenshot: Cats (YouTube)

Today, Taylor Swift released her much-anticipated Lover, an 18-track collection of sparkly love songs featuring production by Jack Antonoff and collaborations with St. Vincent and Panic! At The Disco’s Brendon Urie. Give “London Boy” a spin and you might recognize another voice in Swift’s Cats co-star Idris Elba.

“We could go driving on my scooter, you know, just around London,” the Hackney-born actor exudes at the song’s outset, helping usher in the song’s daylong exploration of the city. He didn’t record it specifically for the album; rather, the soundbite comes from a 2017 interview Elba did with James Corden, another Cats co-star. This delighted many, but disappointed those who hoped for a cameo from Swift’s boyfriend, English actor Joe Alwyn, as the song is clearly about the pair’s idyllic, probably heavily fortified trips throughout the city.


Still, plenty of Swift’s English fans wish she and Joe had taken Elba’s scooter elsewhere, pointing out that bouncing between Highgate, Brixton, and Shoreditch sounds like a miserable day spent sweating in a crowded train.


Of course, what the above tweets fail to acknowledge is that Swift, star that she is, probably travels via teleportation or, at the very least, inside a suitcase in a helicopter, cutting down travel times significantly. The real issue, others argue, is that nobody in their right mind would want to do the basic-ass shit she sings about.


Of course, they could just be trying to avoid her ex, Tom Hiddleston, who we assume is far too classy for such touristy activities.


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About the author

Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.