Taylor Swift dropped many bombshells about her love life in the eleventh studio album, The Tortured Poets Department, which was released on April 19, 2024. There is a lot to unpack in the new album, and many fans are wondering what each song is about based on the lyrics.

Track 1: ‘Fortnight’

The album kicks off with a duet featuring Post Malone, which was cowritten by Taylor, Post and Jack Antonoff.

“I was supposed to be sent away, but they forgot to come and get me,” Taylor sings at the beginning of the song. She eventually starts singing about an unnamed lover, declaring that she touches him “for only a fortnight.”

The story gets more complicated when Taylor reveals that her love interest is married. “Your wife waters flowers, I want to kill her,” she sings.

It’s not clear exactly who inspired the track, though fans may speculate the song is about Matty Healy following their fling that lasted between May and June 2023. After all, fortnight is defined as a period of two weeks.

Track 2: ‘The Tortured Poets Department’

The title track is another collaboration between Taylor and Jack. In the song, the Pennsylvania native seemingly sings about her romance with Matty while insisting they’re unlike writers Dylan Thomas and Patti Smith. At the time of the song, Taylor recalls wanting to “decode” her love interest amid their intense feelings for each other.

“I scratch your head, you fall asleep like a tattooed golden retriever,” she sings at one point. The line hints that the song is about the “Chocolate” singer, who is her most recent ex to have visible tattoos.

Meanwhile, Taylor also sings that he “told Lucy you’d kill yourself if I ever leave. And I had said that to Jack about you, so I felt seen.” While she didn’t confirm exactly who she was singing about, it seems that she was mentioning singer Lucy Dacus and the song’s cowriter.

Track 3: ‘My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys’

Taylor penned track three, “My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys,” by herself. The song is seemingly about her ex-boyfriend  Joe Alwyn, whom she broke up with in April 2023 after six years of dating.

In the song, Taylor details the end of a relationship that was allegedly sabotaged by the other person. “Saw forever, so he smashed it up,” she sings. “Oh my boy only breaks his favorite toys.”

She also implies that the end of the relationship wasn’t mutual with a heartbreaking line at the end of the song. “Stole my tortured heart, left all these broken parts, told me I’m better off but I’m not. I’m not,” Taylor sings.

Track 4: ‘Down Bad’

The “Cornelia Street” singer was likely inspired by Matty in the fourth track, “Down Bad,” which was cowritten with Jack.

Taylor sings about developing intense feelings for someone, only for him to break up with her. “For a moment I knew cosmic love, now I’m down bad crying at the gym,” she sings in the chorus. “Everything comes out, teenage petulance.”

The angry song – which drops several “f–k” bombs – was possibly written after she and Matty ended their romance. Their short-lived fling faced backlash from fans due to The 1975 singer’s many controversial moments, and abruptly ended after he traveled to watch her perform several shows on her Eras tour.

Track 5: ‘So Long, London’

Taylor tends to place her most emotional songs in the track five spot on each album, and “So Long, London” is no exception. In the song, which was cowritten with Aaron Dessner, Taylor sings about saying goodbye to the life she built in London.

While both Joe and Matty are from London, the song was likely inspired by the Harriet actor after the former couple spent much of their time in the European city.

“I’m pissed off you let me give you all that youth,” she sings, seemingly referencing the length of their relationship that began when she was 27.

The song also hints at Joe not wanting to marry her, which she also referenced in the 2023 song “You’re Losing Me.” She sings, “I died on the altar waiting for the proof. You sacrificed us to the gods of your bluest days.”

Track 6: ‘But Daddy I Love Him’

Another song seemingly inspired by Matty is “But Daddy I Love Him,” cowritten with Aaron.

In the song, Taylor details facing backlash for a romance with an unnamed lover. “They slammed the door on my whole world, the one thing I wanted,” she sings. “Running with my dress unbuttoned, screaming, ‘But daddy, I love him, I’m having his baby.’ No I’m not, but you should see your faces.”

While Taylor doesn’t directly name the “Girls” singer in the song, she infamously faced backlash from fans and the media for dating him during the short lived romance.

Track 7: ‘Fresh Out the Slammer’

“Fresh Out the Slammer,” which was cowritten with Jack, seems to reference both Joe and Matty. In the song, Taylor contemplates leaving her partner to start dating someone new. Fans will likely speculate that the song is about her wanting to leave Joe in order to be with Matty due their blurry relationship timeline.

“No matter what I’ve done, it wouldn’t matter anyway. Ain’t no way I’m gonna screw up now that I know what’s at stake,” she sings. “Here at the park where we used to sit on children’s swings wearing imaginary rings.”

Track 8: ‘Florida!!!’

While Swifties will think that some of the songs are easy to decode, “Florida!!!” will likely leave even some of Taylor’s biggest fans stumped. Cowritten and sang as a duet with Florence Welch, the women sing about spending their time in Florida to escape the drama in their hometowns.

“You can beat the heat if you beat the charges too. They said I was a cheat, I guess it must be true,” the song begins. They later sing, “Little did you know your home’s really only a town you’ll get arrested. So you pack your life away just to wait out the shitstorm back in Texas. Florida is one hell of a drug. Florida can I use you up?”

Track 9: “Guilty as Sin?”

“Guilty as Sin?” is another song Taylor cowrote with Jack, which seemingly references her relationship with Matty.

The song begins with Taylor explaining the “boredom” in her relationship, which was likely with Joe, and her desire to hook up with someone new. “I dream of cracking locks, throwing my life to the wolves or the ocean rocks,” she sings. “Crashing into him tonight, he’s a paradox, I’m seeing visions.”

While Taylor sings about having “fatal fantasies” with the other man, she assures herself that she’s done nothing wrong because she hasn’t acted on her desires. “Without ever touching his skin, how can I be guilty as sin?” she sings.

Track 10: ‘Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?’

The second self-written song on the album is “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?” The tenth track is another song that will likely leave fans unsure of who it is about. However, she seems to be singing about how she composes herself after a scandal.

“The scandal was contained, the bullet had just grazed. At all costs keep your good name, you don’t get to tell me you feel bad,” she sings. “Is it a wonder I broke? Let’s hear one more joke.”

Track 11: “I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)”

“I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can),” which was cowritten with Jack, tells the story of Taylor wanting to fix her boyfriend who has been deemed as bad news by the public.

The track, which fans will likely speculate is about Matty, features Taylor telling her critics that she had a handle on the problems caused by her partner. “I can fix him, no really I can, and only I can,” she sings. However, she seems to start second guessing herself by the end of the song when she adds the line, “Whoa, maybe I can’t.”

Track 12: ‘Loml’

“Loml” is another song that could be about her relationships with either Joe or Matty. The song, which was cowritten with Aaron, looks back at a relationship that she once believed was the great love of her life.

The song makes many references to rings and marriage, which is a hint that the song is about Joe. “If you know it in one glimpse its legendary. You and I go from one kiss to getting married,” she sings. “Still alive, killing time at the cemetery.”

Later in the song, she implies that she was led on in the relationship. “You said I’m the love of you life,” Taylor recalls. “You s–t talked me under a table talking rings and talking cradles.”

While the marriage references are seemingly about Joe, the song also discusses a romance being rekindled. The comment may prove the song is about Matty, who briefly dated Taylor in 2014 before they got back together in 2023.

Whether the song is about Joe or Matty, fans know that the relationship that inspired “Loml” ultimately didn’t work out. “Your arson’s match, your somber eyes,” she sings at the end of the song. “And I still say it until I die, you’re the loss of my life.”

Track 13: ‘I Can Do It With a Broken Heart’

Cowritten with Jack, “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart” is another song that could be about either Joe or Matty.

The song catches up with Taylor as she tries to put up a good image following a breakup while on tour. “Cause I’m a real tough kid, I can handle my s–t. They said babe you gotta fake it til you make it and I did,” she sings. “Lights camera, bitch smile, even when you wanna die. He said he’d love me all his life, but that life was too short.”

Despite having her heart broken, Taylor sings about putting on a good show for her fans and acting as if everything’s OK.

The song could easily be about the Boy Erased actor or “Robbers” singer, as both of the splits took place when she was on the Eras tour.

What Is Taylor Swift's 'Tortured Poets Department' About? Inside the Lyrics and Song Meanings
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Track 14: ‘The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived’

Taylor reunited with Aaron to write “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived.” The song details the “Love Story” singer being blindsided following a split, adding that the unnamed ex acted as if everything was OK when their romance ended.

“You hung me on your wall, stabbed me with your push pins,” she sings. “In public showed me off then sank in stoned oblivion.”

The song is likely about Matty, as Joe famously stays out of the spotlight and has not revealed many details about the end of their romance. Plus, Taylor sings a line about a “Jehovah’s Witness suit.” Matty often dons a simple black suit when he performs with The 1975 that is similar to those Jehovah’s Witnesses have been  known to wear.

Track 15: ‘The Alchemy’

“The Alchemy,” which was cowritten with Jack, tells the story of Taylor falling in love at an unexpected time. While she insists she wasn’t looking for anything serious, the “Sparks Fly” singer explains that meeting the love interest was like having “these chemicals hit me like white wine.”

The song could possibly be about her current boyfriend, Travis Kelce, who she has been dating since summer 2023. The track makes many football references, including, “Touch down call the amateurs and cut ’em from the team. Ditch the clowns, get the crown, baby I’m the one to beat.”

“Shirts off and your friends lift you up over their heads. Beer sticking to the floor, cheers chanting cause they said there was no chance,” she continues. “Trying to be the greatest in the league, where’s the trophy?”

Track 16: ‘Clara Bow’

The album concludes with the song “Clara Bow,” which was cowritten with Aaron. Taylor sings about achieving success as a singer after many people told her she wouldn’t make it, while she also details the downside of fame.

“Beauty is a beast and roars down on all fours, demanding more. Only when your girlish glow flickers just so do they let you know,” she sings. “It’s hell on earth to be heavenly, that’s the race they don’t come gently. ‘You look like Taylor Swift in this light, we’re loving it.’”

The song was named after Clara, who was one of the biggest stars of the silent film era in the 1920s. Throughout her career, Clara became an icon of sexual freedom for women among her fans.

Track 17: ‘The Black Dog’

Taylor looks back at a past relationship in “The Black Dog,” which she wrote by herself. The phrase is often used as a way to refer to depression, implying that she’s upset the relationship is over.

“Old habits die screaming,” she declares. “I move through the world heartbroken. My longings stay unspoken. And I may never open up the way I did for you.”

Shortly after the song was released, many fans took to X to speculate that the song is about Matty. After pointing out that she sings, “You can have the of me,” one fan explained that the “Somebody Else” singer performed a cover of “The Best Of Me” by The Starting Line in May 2023 when they were dating.

Track 18: ‘Imgonnagetyouback’

The “Mean” singer continues to reflect on a breakup in “Imgonnagetyouback,” cowritten with Jack. Taylor explains her desires to get back with an ex, though contemplates if she wants a reconciliation or to get revenge.

“Whether I’m gonna be your wife or gonna smash up your bike, I haven’t decided yet. But I’m gonna get you back,” she sings. “Whether I’m gonna curse you out or take you back to my house. I haven’t decided yet, but I’m gonna get you back.”

This song could also be about Matty, as it parallels The 1975 song “Fallinforyou.” Matty sings, “All we need’s my bike and your enormous house.”

Track 19: “The Albatross”

Cowritten with Aaron, Taylor discusses the misogyny she’s faced in “The Albatross.” The song references many male literary figures that Taylor has been inspired by, though notes that she has been mocked for using the same metaphors and symbolism they have been praised for.

“I’ll tell you how I’ve been there too. And that none of it matters,” she says about her work.

Track 20: “Chloe or Sam or Sophia or Marcus”

“Chloe or Sam or Sophia or Marcus,” which was cowritten by Aaron, documents Taylor and an ex watching each other move on with new partners. She sings about how her ex could be hooking up with anyone, including Chloe, Sam, Sophia or Marcus. Despite her attempts to move on, Taylor makes it clear she still has feelings for the ex.

“If you want to break my cold, cold heart, just say I loved you the way that you were,” she sings. “If you want to tear my world apart, just say you’ve always wondered.”

Fans were torn about who this song is about, as many pointed out that Matty has publicly kissed a male fan on stage during concerts. However, Taylor also recalls spending a decade with her ex, meaning the song could be about Joe.

Track 21: “How Did It End?”

“We hereby conduct this postmortem,” Taylor sings at the beginning of “How Did It End?” In the ballad cowritten with Aaron, the “Afterglow” singer admits she doesn’t fully understand why a past relationship ended.

“We were blind to unforeseen circumstances. We learned the right steps to different dances,” she sings. Taylor goes on to note that they paid attention to thoughts from the public, adding, “And fell victim to interlopers glances.”

The song could be about either Joe or Matty, since both romances were highly publicized in the media.

Track 22: “So High School”

Taylor sings about the innocent feeling of developing feelings when you’re younger in “So High School,” which was cowritten Aaron. The track sees Taylor starting to fall for someone as an adult, though explains that the excitement reminds her of how she used to feel when she developed a crush in high school.

“I feel so high school every time I look at you, but look at you,” she sings.

It’s possible that “So High School” is about Travis, as the pair were likely a new item when she wrote the song.

Track 23: ‘I Hate It Here’

In “I Hate It Here,” Taylor looks at all of the parts of her life that she dislikes and shares what she does to escape. “I hate it here so I will go to secret gardens in my mind. People need a key to get to, the only one is mine,” she sings.

Not only does she discuss her own unhappiness in the song cowritten with Aarton, but she wonders if she would be just as unfulfilled in another time. At one point, Taylor recalls playing a game where she and her friends would choose their ideal decade to live in. “I’d say the 1830s, but without all the racists and getting married off for the highest bid,” she sings. “Everyone would look down, ‘cause it wasn’t fun now. Seems like it was never even fun back then.”

Track 24: ‘ThanK You AIMee”

“ThanK You AIMee” appears to be inspired by Kim Kardashian, who Taylor infamously feuded with in 2016 when her then-husband, Kanye West, called the “Our Song” singer a “bitch” in his song “Famous.”

In the song cowritten with Aaron, Taylor sings about a woman named Aimee who bullied her. “All that time you were throwin’ punches, I was buildin’ somethin’, and I can’t forget the way you made me feel,” she sings. “Screamed, ‘F–k you, Aimee,’ to the night sky, as the blood was gushin’, but I can’t forget the way you made me heal.”

Taylor noticeably capitalized the letters KIM in the song title, while she confirms the inspiration’s name isn’t actually Aimee. “I don’t think you’ve changed much and so I changed your name and any real defining clues,” she sings.

Track 25: “I Look in People’s Windows”

Cowritten with Jack and Patrik Berger, Taylor observes how someone lives their life after she lost touch with them in “I Look in People’s Windows.”

“I tried searching faces on streets, what are the chances you’d be downtown?” she sings. “Does it feel all right to not know me?”

Early on in the song she sings, “I look in people’s windows. Transfixed by rose golden glows.” The lyric seems to be inspired by her 2019 song “Death By a Thousand Cuts,” in which she sings, “I look through the windows of this love, even though we boarded them up.” While she never confirmed the 2019 track was about Joe, the song was written when they were in a relationship.

What Is Taylor Swift’s ‘Tortured Poets Department’ About? Inside the Lyrics and Song Meanings
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Track 26: “The Prophecy”

Taylor sings about her desire to find love in “The Prophecy,” which was cowritten with Aaron. While she acknowledges her success as a singer, she wonders if it’s her fate to end up alone.

“Please, I’ve been on my knees. Change the prophecy,” she sings. “Don’t want money, just someone who wants my company. Let it once be me.”

Taylor goes on to wonder what she needs to do in order to find what she’s missing, which she believes is a romantic partner. “A greater woman stays cool, but I howl like a wolf at the moon,” she sings. “And I look unstable, gathered with a coven around a sorceress’ table.”

Track 27: “Cassandra”

Taylor continued to join forces with Aaron to write “Cassandra,” in which she analyzes her reputation. It’s likely that Cassandra is not a person, but instead a reference to Greek mythology. Cassandra, the daughter of Priam and Hecuba, displays the gift of prophecy and is cursed by the god Apollo so that everyone believes she’s a liar.

“When the truth comes out, it’s quiet. So, they killed Cassandra first ’cause she feared the worst. And tried to tell the town,” she sings in the chorus. “So, they filled my cell with snakes, I regret to say. Do you believe me now?”

The track could be inspired by either Kanye or Scooter Braun. While Taylor has had a complex relationship with the “Gold Digger” rapper since he interrupted her acceptance speech at the 2009 VMAs, she has also had issues with Scooter after he bought the masters to her first five albums. Both men have tried to paint her in a negative light in the media, so it’s possible one of them inspired the song.

Track 28: “Peter”

The “Speak Now” singer penned “Peter” by herself, and sings about a past relationship that she thought would never end. While referencing Peter Pan, Taylor recalls assuming that her ex simply needed to mature in order to fully commit to her.

“You said you were gonna grow up, then you were gonna come find me. Said you were gonna grow up. thеn you were gonna come find mе,” she sings. “Said you were gonna grow up, then you were gonna come find me. Words from the mouths of babes, promises oceans deep. But never to keep.”

Taylor previously referenced the fairytale in her 2020 song “Cardigan,” in which she compares a romance to Peter Pan and Wendy. Not only was she dating Joe in 2020, but she also recalls her ex being 25 in “Peter,” which was Joe’s age when they began dating.

Track 29: ​​”The Bolter”

In “The Bolter,” Taylor and Aaron write about a woman who begins several secret relationships and eventually runs away from them. Her friends ultimately give her the nickname “the bolter” due to the habit.

The song could be about Taylor jumping from her relationship with Joe to Matty, while she previously shared a similar tale in her 2017 song “Getaway Car” about her romance with Tom Hiddleston following her split from Calvin Harris.

“Started with a kiss. ‘Oh, we must stop meeting like this. But it always ends up with a town car speeding,” she sings in the 2024 track. “Out the drive one evenin’, ended with the slam of a door. But she’s got the best stories , you can be sure, that as she was leaving it felt like freedom.”

Track 30: “Robin”

Taylor seems to be talking to her younger self in “Robin,” which was written with Aaron.

While she encourages a young kid in the chorus to keep doing their best, Taylor continues to cheer her on in several verses. “Long may you roar at your dinosaurs. You’re a just ruler covered in mud, you look ridiculous,” she sings. “And you have no idea.”

She also reflects on her innocence as a kid and says there’s a “secret we all vowed to keep it from you in sweetness.”

Track 31: “The Manuscript”

The final song on the album is “The Manuscript,” which Taylor wrote by herself. She looks back at a relationship with an older man and reflects on him taking advantage of her youth.

“In the age of him, she wished she was thirty. And made coffee every morning in a Frеnch press. Afterwards she only atе kids’ cereal,” she sings. “And couldn’t sleep unless it was in her mother’s bed. Then she dated boys who were her own age with dart boards on the backs of their doors.”

The song concludes with Taylor looking at how the “torrid affair” impacted her future relationships. “The only thing that’s left is the manuscript. One last souvenir from my trip to your shores,” she sings. “Now and then I reread the manuscript, but the story isn’t mine anymore.”

The song is likely about Jake Gyllenhaal, whom dated her when she was 20 and he was 29, or John Mayer, who was 32 when he dated a 19-year-old Taylor.