Taylor Swift fans link lyrics on new album to exes Matty Healy and Joe Alwyn

The singer admits she used new album The Tortured Poets Department to sing about her heartbreaks - and fans are linking tracks to her British exes.

Taylor Swift performs at Accor Stadium on February 23, 2024 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Don Arnold/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)
Taylor Swift fans are decoding which lyrics on Tortured Poets Department are about her celebrity exes. (Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)

Taylor Swift has brought the pop world to a virtual standstill by dropping her new, surprise double, album The Tortured Poets Department.

The Better Than Revenge singer has said she "needed" to write the new album, because writing about "the things I was going through" was a "lifeline" for her. She said: "It kind of reminded me of why songwriting is something that like actually gets me through my life."

Swift, 34, is no stranger to sharing her heartbreak with the world through song, with her 1989 album containing multiple references believed to be about her brief love affair with Harry Styles. And this new album is packed with lyrics that fans are convinced are about her British exes - The 1975 frontman Matt Healy, with whom she had a brief, unconfirmed fling in 2023, and actor Joe Alwyn, who she secretly dated for six years.

Here are all the song lyrics Swift sings in The Tortured Poets Department which are believed to be directed at Healy and Alwyn.

The Tortured Poets Department

The title track of the album appears on the surface to be about British actor Alwyn, 33, who Swift dated for six years. He is credited as a co-writer on her 2020 albums Folklore and Evermore. The Conversations With Friends star revealed in an interview with Variety that he is part of a WhatsApp group chat with actor friends Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott called The Tortured Man Club.

But the song has many lyrics which appear to be about her relationship with Healy. She sings: "Sometimes I wonder if you're gonna screw this up with me/ But you told Lucy you'd kill yourself if I ever leave." This could be a reference to his close friend Lucy Dacus, singer with indie group Boygenius.

TTPD also contains the lyric "Like, 'Who uses typewriters anyway?" Healy told GQ magazine in 2018 that he "really likes typewriters". And the line "tattooed golden retriever" is also supposed to be a hint towards Healy.

Matty Healy of The 1975 performs onstage at the 2024 iHeartRadio ALTer EGO Presented by Capital One at the Honda Center on January 13, 2024 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for iHeartRadio)
Songwriter Matty Healy is thought to be the tortured poet in this song. (Getty Images for iHeartRadio)

I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)

The title of this song is all about dating a bad boy. English rock singer Healy, 35, who is a recovering heroin addict who has spoken openly about his issues with drug addiction.

Swift sings: "The smoke cloud billows out his mouth like a freight train through a small town/The jokes that he told across the bar were revolting and far too loud."

And she adds: "Thеy shake their heads saying, 'God, help her' when I tell 'em he's my man. But your good lord doesn't need to lift a finger / I can fix him, no, really, I can / And only I can."

Taylor Swift performs during
Taylor Swift sings of her love for a bad boy. (Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)

But Daddy I Love Him

Seemingly about a small-town girl dating a bad boy her parents don't approve, this song is thought to be a dig at the fans who disapproved of their pop princess matching with bad boy Healy.

Swift sings the lines: “I'd rather burn my whole life down/ Than listen to one more second of all this b***hin' and moanin'/ I'll tell you something 'bout my good name/ It's mine along with all the disgrace." And in the chorus "No I'm not coming to my senses/I know it's crazy/but he's the one I want."

But another theory is that the title of this song, which is a line from Disney's The Little Mermaid, is about another player Swift dated - Harry Styles. The Watermelon Sugar star was once pictured wearing a T-shirt with this line written on it.

Harry Styles poses with the awards for Album Of The Year for
Is Taylor Swift still singing about Harry Styles? (AFP via Getty Images)

Guilty As Sin

Taylor Swift, Nick Grimshaw and Matt Healy attend the Universal Music Brits party hosted by Bacardi at The Soho House Pop-Up on February 25, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Soho House & Bacardi)
Taylor Swift with Nick Grimshaw and Matty Healy ain 2015. (Getty Images for Soho House & Bacardi)

This song about physical lust and passion starts with the line "Drowning in the Blue Nile/He sent me Downtown Lights/I hadn't heard it in a while." Healy's favourite band is known to be The Blue Nile.


Swift and Healy were first linked in 2013. and Then had a brief romance ten years later in May 2023 when they were pictured together several times. The opening track on the album is thought to be about this short, passionate fling.

The song goes: "And no one here's to blame/ But what about your quiet treason? /I took the miracle move-on-drug/ The effects were temporary/ And I love you, it's ruining my life.I touched you, for only a fortnight."


Taylor Swift performs during
Taylor Swift lays all her cards on the table in her songs. (Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)

The title of this track is believed to stand for Love Of My Life. IN the lyrics Swift hints at Healy ghosting her after their brief romance in May 2023. She sings: "Was any of it true?/ Gazing at me starry-eyed/ In your Jehovah’s Witness suit/ Who the f*** was that guy?/ You tried to buy some pills/ From a friend of friends of mine/ They just ghosted you/ Now you know what it feels like."

The Black Dog

Matty Healy attends The Royal Academy of Arts summer preview party at Royal Academy of Arts on June 15, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Matty Healy is thought to be the subject of several tracks on the new album. (Getty Images)

Fans believe this is another heartbreak track about Healy.

Swift includes the lines: "I just don’t understand how you don’t miss me/ In The Black Dog when someone plays The Starting Line / And you jump up, but she’s too young/ To know this song/ That was intertwined in the magic fabric of our dreaming." The 1975 covered The Starting Line's 2002 track The Best of Me while on tour in 2023, just days before Swift and Healy were first spotted holding hands.

Fresh Out The Slammer

Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 5, 2020. -- (Photo by Christopher Polk/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)
Taylor Swift dated Joe Alwyn for six years. (Getty Images)

This song is thought to be the bridge between Swift ending her six-year relationship with Alwyn and jumping into a fling with Healy. The lyrics about Alwyn are thought to be: "Another summer taking cover/ Rolling thunder, he don't understand me/ Splintered back in winter/ Silent dinner, bitter he was with her in dreams". And then jumps to Healy hits: "Now we're at the starting line / I did my time."

So Long, London

 Joe Alwyn attends the 2022 Gotham Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on November 28, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
Did Joe Alwyn break Taylor Swift's heart? (Getty Images)

There are clear links to Swift's break-up with Alwyn in this song. The pair lived together in London, spending parts of the COVID pandemic lockdown with one another. Swift sings about leaving her home behind for someone: "I left all I knew, you left me at the house by the Heath" - a reference to London's Hampstead Heath. And she also hints at trying to save a dying relationship and a romance fizzling out in lines such as: "I stopped CPR, after all it's no use/the spirit was gone."

My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys

Taylor Swift, Joe Alwyn Where: London, United Kingdom When: 10 Feb 2019 Credit: WENN.com
Taylor Swift's track The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived is a savage break-up song. (Alamy)

Swift sings about a toxic relationship that left her broken after the other person ended it with her. Fans are linking this track to Alwyn. The lyrics include: "I felt more when we played pretend than with all the Kens/ 'Cause he took me out of my box/ Stole my tortured heart/ Left all these broken parts/ Told me I'm better off/ But I'm not."

The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived

This savage break-up song contains an allusion to being sexually unsatisfied. Swift sings: "Once your queen had come / You treat her like an also-ran / You didn’t measure up / In any measure of a man."

I Can Do It With a Broken Heart

Taylor Swift performs during
Taylor Swift shows she can still perform with a broken heart. (Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)

This upbeat track is actually filled with sadness, as Swift spent the last year performing her Eras tour, following her break-ups from Alwyn and Healy. She writes: "I'm so obsessed with him, but he avoids me like the plague / I cry a lot, but I am so productive, it's an art. You know you're good when you can even do it with a broken heart."

The Tortured Poets Department by Taylor Swift is out on Friday, 19 April

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