Taylor Swift: What her lyrics say about Matty Healy and Joe Alwyn

Taylor Swift: What her lyrics say about Matty Healy and Joe Alwyn

Taylor Swift has released her latest album, The Tortured Poets Department, and while fans were expecting a fair few songs about her ex-boyfriend of six years, Joe Alwyn, some were surprised to find that Matty Healy has appeared to inspire a number of tracks.

The Tortured Poets Department is the first album Swift has released since her breakup with Alwyn was first reported in April 2023. But since then, she briefly dated The 1975 frontman before beginning a relationship with the Kansas City Chiefs’ Travis Kelce.

But it was the short-lived (but much talked about) relationship with Healy that is chronicled across several songs on her latest album, including the title track itself.

So what have we learned about Swift’s relationships with Alwyn and Healy? Read on to see her lyrics decoded…

Matty Healy

Matty Healy claimed The 1975 were ‘briefly imprisoned’ by the Malaysian authorities, as he defended kissing his bandmate on stage during a festival in the country (Lesley Martin/PA) (PA Wire)
Matty Healy claimed The 1975 were ‘briefly imprisoned’ by the Malaysian authorities, as he defended kissing his bandmate on stage during a festival in the country (Lesley Martin/PA) (PA Wire)

The Tortured Poets Department

Although fans thought the album’s title was taking a dig at ex-boyfriend Joe Alwyn’s group chat name, The Tortured Man Club, the title track of the album appears to be all about Matty Healy, whom Swift briefly dated last year.

On it, she sings: “You smokеd then ate seven bars of chocolate/We declared Charlie Puth should be a bigger artist” and

“I scratch your head, you fall asleep/Like a tattooed golden retriever”

Firstly, Healy’s band The 1975 has a song called Chocolate that’s really about smoking weed.

Secondly, fans were surprised by the Charlie Puth reference, but the See You Again singer has previously covered both The 1975 and Taylor Swift.

Lastly, the “tattooed golden retriever” lyric is surely referring to Healy, who has quite the collection of ink.

But Daddy I Love Him

Inspired by Disney’s 1989 film The Little Mermaid, But Daddy I Love Him sees Swift hit back at those who criticised her fling with The 1975’s frontman.

Swift sings “Sarahs and Hannahs in their Sunday best/Clutchin' their pearls sighing, ‘What a mess’” and later “No, I'm not coming to my senses/I know it's crazy/But he's the one I want.”

Fans raised their eyebrows when reports that the pair were dating emerged in May 2023. Others feared for Swift’s reputation, due to Healy’s bad boy image and string of controversies; a stark contrast to Joe Alwyn’s private, clean-cut image.

On But Daddy I Love Him, Swift defends her relationship with Healy, despite acknowledging that it’s “crazy.”

I Can Fix Him, No Really I Can

I Can Fix Him, No Really I Can is likely at least partly inspired by Healy. She sings about a “smoke cloud [billowing] out of his mouth” and telling jokes that were “revolting and far too loud.”

Put simply, Healy is a known smoker, and has had his fair share of controversial moments.

Similarly to But Daddy I Love Him, I Can Fix Him, No Really I Can also sees Swift defending her relationship, with Swift singing “They 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.”

The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived

The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived seems to be an attack on Healy and how their relationship ended. She sings about a man in a “Jehovah's Witness suit,” and “rusting my sparkling summer.”

Healy almost exclusively wears a suit and tie while performing, and the pair dated during the summer of the first leg of Swift’s Eras Tour.

She later sings “'Cause it wasn't sexy once it wasn't forbidden, I would've died for your sins,” which could refer to how the relationship lost appeal once it became public and people made their judgments, and also to how Swift defended Healy’s endless string of bad press.

Joe Alwyn

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

So Long, London

So Long, London sees Swift sing about saying goodbye to a city that she called home with her boyfriend of six years, Joe Alwyn.

She sings “I left all I knew, you left me at the house by the Hеath/I stopped CPR, after all it's no use” referring to the home she and Alwyn shared in north London’s Hampstead Heath.

One of the most heartbreaking lyrics on this song is “I'm pissed off you let me give you all that youth for free,” referring to how they met when she was around 26 and broke up six years later.


Loml (love of my life) is likely about her relationship with Alwyn, and how she thought they’d always be together: “What we thought was for all time was momentary.”

Swift also seems to divulge how she thought they were close to getting married and having children with the line “You shit-talked me under the table/Talking rings and talking cradles.”

Another clue that hints to this song being about Alwyn is “You cinephile in black and white/All those plot twists and dynamite,” which could refer to him being an actor (and his fondness for black and white photography as evidence by his Instagram).