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Taylor Swift Lyrics: Who’s Talked about on ‘Tortured Poets Division?


When Taylor Swift launched “The Tortured Poets Division,” on Friday at midnight, her fan base shortly started working decoding the album, searching for layers of that means and perception into Ms. Swift’s life. In fact, that features the pop singer’s romantic historical past.

Like lots of her previous works, the songs on this album — which options over a dozen further tracks as a part of an prolonged album known as “The Tortured Poets Division: The Anthology” — are laden with names and references, lots of which seem like to actual folks from Ms. Swift’s universe and the literary canon. At the very least two poets, Dylan Thomas and Patti Smith, are talked about.

Right here’s a have a look at a few of these characters.

Loads of traces from “Tortured Poets” have followers guessing that sure songs — together with “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived,” “The Black Canine” and “Down Dangerous” — could also be about Matty Healy, the frontman for the 1975 who was noticed out and about with Taylor on a number of events final spring. One clue Swifties are latching on to: On the “The Black Canine,” Ms. Swift refers back to the band the Beginning Line. Mr. Healy lined one of many band’s songs whereas he was touring final spring. After which there’s the much-discussed reference to an individual Ms. Swift describes as a “tattooed golden retriever” on the album’s title monitor. Mr. Healy appears to suit the invoice, in line with her followers.

Ms. Swift’s followers have been floating the notion that the various sports activities references within the monitor “The Alchemy” allude to the soccer participant Travis Kelce, the singer’s present boyfriend. “So after I / Contact down, name the amateurs and reduce ’em from the crew / Ditch the clowns, get the crown, child, I’m the one to beat,” she sings within the refrain. “The place’s the trophy? / He simply comes working over to me,” she provides within the bridge. However there’s some debate, with some followers noting that her use of the time period “blokes” would appear to indicate the tune isn’t about an American. (A winking line about “heroin however this time with an E” has some guessing the tune is about Mr. Healy, who has beforehand spoken about his drug use.)

Ms. Swift and the actor Joe Alwyn broke up final 12 months after a prolonged relationship. Within the lead-up to the discharge of “Tortured Poets,” many followers believed this new album would course of the tip of that relationship. (Mr. Alwyn mentioned in a 2022 interview that he was in a gaggle textual content chat with the actors Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott known as “The Tortured Man Membership.” Some followers imagine Ms. Swift was nodding to this title along with her newest album title.) There may be some hypothesis that Observe 5, “So Lengthy, London,” is about Mr. Alwyn, who’s British.

A longtime collaborator of Ms. Swift’s, Jack Antonoff, who’s credited as a producer on most of the new album’s songs, seems to get a lyrical shout out on the album’s title monitor.

The musician Lucy Dacus additionally seems on that very same monitor. (Along with her work as a solo artist, Ms. Dacus is a member of the supergroup boygenius, who stunned followers with a efficiency throughout a cease on Ms. Swift’s Eras tour final 12 months.) “Generally, I’m wondering should you’re gonna screw this up with me / However you instructed Lucy you’d kill your self if I ever go away / And I had mentioned that to Jack about you, so I felt seen,” Ms. Swift sings.

Ms. Swift usually leaves clues for followers by capitalizing seemingly random letters in phrases which, when strung collectively, spell a unique phrase. Within the case of this album, the tune “thanK you aIMee,” appears to disclose the title Kim. (Ms. Swift and Kim Kardashian have a protracted and unfriendly historical past.)

In Greek mythology, Cassandra is given the present of prophecy by Apollo, however is cursed such that nobody will ever imagine her. On a tune with the identical title because the goddess, Ms. Swift sings, “In order that they killed Cassandra first / ’Trigger she feared the worst / And tried to inform the city / In order that they stuffed my cell with snakes, I remorse to say / Do you imagine me now?” Snake emojis have additionally performed a key position within the feud between Ms. Swift and Ms. Kardashian.

The singer-songwriter Charlie Puth will get a reputation drop on the title monitor: “You smoked then ate seven bars of chocolate / We declared Charlie Puth needs to be an even bigger artist.” Mr. Puth, by means of a consultant, declined to remark.

The tune “Peter” seems to discuss with the storybook character Peter Pan. “You mentioned you had been gonna develop up / Then mentioned you had been gonna come discover me,” Ms. Swift sings. She has made related allusions prior to now, together with a line about “Peter dropping Wendy” on her tune “cardigan” in 2020.

The American singer, songwriter, poet and writer Patti Smith will get a reputation examine on the title monitor in a line about New York’s iconic Chelsea Resort, the place she as soon as lived. Ms. Smith has been hailed because the “punk poet laureate.”

The Welsh poet, identified for works like “Don’t go mild into that good evening,” can be talked about together with Ms. Smith. “You’re not Dylan Thomas / I’m not Patti Smith / This ain’t the Chelsea Resort / We’re fashionable idiots,” Ms. Swift sings. Thomas, who was additionally a resident on the Chelsea, is legendary for his work as a neo-Romantic poet. (Ms. Swift has an older tune, from her album “1989,” titled “New Romantics.”)

Clara Bow, an actress from the silent movie period often called the primary “it lady,” has a complete tune devoted to her on “Tortured Poets.” In 1927, Bow starred in a movie titled “It” and have become a nationwide intercourse image earlier than leaving the trade. Followers have identified that Ms. Swift’s thinly drawn eyebrows in a video teasing a brand new music video to accompany the tune “Fortnight” bear a hanging similarity to Ms. Bow’s.

Stevie Nicks is known as on the tune “Clara Bow.” Ms. Nicks has mentioned that Ms. Swift’s tune “You’re on Your Personal Child” reminds her of Christine McVie, her Fleetwood Mac bandmate who died in 2022. “You appear to be Stevie Nicks / In ’75, the hair and lips,” Ms. Swift sings within the tune. (Ms. Nicks additionally wrote an authentic poem that accompanies a particular vinyl version of “Tortured Poets.”)





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