How Taylor Swift's Cruel Summer became the song of the season 4 years after its release

Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour - Detroit, MI
Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour - Detroit, MI / Scott Legato/TAS23/GettyImages

Apologies to Dua Lipa's "Dance the Night Away" and early condolences to Olivia Rodrigo's impending single "Vampire," but Taylor Swift has officially released the song of summer 2023: "Cruel Summer," the fifth single off of 2019's Lover.

That's right, the beloved bop was finally sent to radio, much to the delight of Swifties who have been blasting "Cruel Summer," preferably with their car windows down and the volume turned all the way up in the four years since its release, despite it being cruelly looked over in favor of—no offense to "Me" and "You Need to Calm Down"—lesser songs. (Forget the angels, fans were rolling their eyes.)

So, how the hell did this happen? Well, even Taylor herself is surprised by the hold the tune has had on her fanbase.

"You guys have streamed 'Cruel Summer' so much right now in 2023 that it's like at the top," Taylor said on stage during the Pittsburgh stop of her Eras Tour June 17 show. "It's, like, rising on the streaming charts so crazy."