What are Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift songs doing in ‘Bridgerton’?

"Bridgerton" features orchestral arrangements of contemporary pop songs. Above: Phoebe Dynevor and Ruth Gemmell.
(Liam Daniel / Netflix)

If you’ve watched even a few minutes of “Bridgerton,” Netflix’s dishy new period piece, you probably noticed something a little familiar on the soundtrack.

The Regency drama created by Chris Van Dusen follows Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), a young aristocratic woman on a quest for love in London high society. Along with the era-appropriate horse-drawn carriages and tightly bound corsets of 1813 England, the show has some anachronistic flourishes — including orchestral arrangements of contemporary songs by Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish.

Executive producer Shonda Rhimes is known for using pop music to emotionally stirring effect in previous shows like “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” and the covers help translate her storytelling style to the 19th century world of “Bridgerton.”


Here’s a guide to the songs you’re pretty sure you heard — and a few you might have missed if you were too busy swooning.

Historians help us sort through fact and fiction in executive producer Shonda Rhimes’ saucy Netflix drama about the 19th century English marriage market.

Dec. 27, 2020

Song: “Thank U, Next,” originally by Ariana Grande, cover version by Vitamin String Quartet
When it plays: Grande’s ode to her past relationships is heard in the pilot episode, “Diamond of the First Water,” as London’s eligible debutantes arrive for a ball at Danbury House.

Song: “Girls Like You,” originally by Maroon 5, cover version by Vitamin String Quartet
When it plays: On the day after the big ball at Danbury House in Episode 1, Daphne waits (and waits) for suitors to arrive and discovers she may be competing for attention with Marina Thompson (Ruby Barker).

Song: “In My Blood,” originally by Shawn Mendes, cover version by Vitamin String Quartet
When it plays: Near the end of Episode 2, “Shock and Delight.” Having effectively dodged a proposal from the loathsome Nigel Berbrooke, Daphne dances with Simon (Regé-Jean Page) and realizes their pretend romance may be the real thing. Now who could have seen that coming?

Song: “Bad Guy,” originally by Billie Eilish, cover version by Vitamin String Quartet
When it plays: As Daphne attends yet another lavish ball and Simon feigns jealousy when another suitor asks her to dance in Episode 3,”Art of the Swoon.”


Song: “Strange,” originally by Celeste, cover version by Kris Bowers featuring Hillary Smith
When it plays: As Daphne and Simon get to know each other on their wedding night in Episode 5, “The Duke and I.”

Song: “Wildest Dreams,” originally by Taylor Swift, cover version by Duomo
When it plays: In Episode 6, “Swish,” the newlywed Duke and Duchess of Hastings ditch their dinner to have sex under some kind of dome thingy in the rain. And the grass. And the library.