The Tortured Poets Department marks Taylor Swift’s first original album she has released since her split from Joe Alwyn in April 2023. Many fans assumed that most of the songs would be about the Conversations With Friends actor, but which tracks were actually inspired by Joe?

Which ‘Tortured Poets Department’ Songs Are About Joe Alwyn?

Fans will be surprised to learn that many of the songs don’t seem to be about Taylor’s relationship with Joe. However, their romance does seem to be mentioned a handful of times in the album, which was released on April 19, 2024.

The third song, “My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys,” seems to be the first track about Joe on the album. In the song, Taylor sings about the end of a relationship after her unnamed ex seemingly sabotaged their love.

Who Is Your Favorite Collaborator on Taylor Swift’s TTPD?

“Saw forever, so he smashed it up,” the Pennsylvania native sings. “Oh my boy only breaks his favorite toys.”

Taylor goes on to imply at the end of the song that their split wasn’t her idea. “Stole my tortured heart, left all these broken parts, told me I’m better off but I’m not. I’m not,” she sings.

The next song that is likely about Joe is “So Long, London,” which details her saying goodbye to the city that they spent a good portion of their relationship in.

“I’m pissed off you let me give you all that youth,” she sings, hinting that the song is about Joe because she was only 27 when they started dating. As the song continues, Taylor states that the ex in question didn’t want to marry her. She shared a similar thought in the 2022 song “You’re Losing Me,” which is also rumored to be about Joe.

“I died on the altar waiting for the proof,” she sings in the 2024 song. “You sacrificed us to the gods of your bluest days.”

Joe is seemingly mentioned again in the song “Fresh Out the Slammer,” which shows Taylor contemplating leaving her then-boyfriend so that she can pursue a romance with someone new. While the “Cruel Summer” singer hasn’t confirmed who the song is about, fans speculated that she wrote the song when she was dating Joe and considering beginning a romance with Matty Healy. She briefly dated The 1975 singer between May and June 2023.

Which ‘Tortured Poets Department’ Songs Are About Taylor Swift’s Ex Joe Alwyn?
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While some songs are clearly about Joe, it’s unclear who the inspiration behind other tracks are. For example, Taylor sings about a failed romance in “Loml.” While she hints at Joe by talking about marriage in the track, fans also might believe the song is about Matty because she mentions a reconciliation. Prior to their brief romance in 2023, Matty and Taylor were romantically linked in 2014.

Which Songs on Taylor Swift’s ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’ Double Album Are About Joe Alwyn?

Two hours after TTPD came out, Taylor surprised fans with a double version of the album. It included 15 more songs and there seem to be more Joe references on some of the tracks.

On “The Black Dog,” Taylor wonders how an ex is able to move on without her. The song’s subject appears to be someone whom she was in a very long relationship with based on the lyrics. “I am someone who until events you shared your secrets with and your location, you forgot to turn it off,” she sings. “And so I watch as you walk into some bar called The Black Dog and pierce new holes in my heart.”

She also says, “I may never open up the way I did for you,” which also seems to be referring to the length of the pair’s relationship and how much she shared with the actor. However, the lyrics also allude to the song’s subject eventually showing his true colors, as she adds, “You said I needed a brave man then proceeded to play him until I believed it too.”

Another song speculated to be about Joe is “The Prophecy.” One lyric features Taylor singing, “A greater woman wouldn’t beg,” which appears to be a callback to her 2023 track “You’re Losing Me,” where she reveals she was begging a partner to notice that the relationship was in trouble.

“You’re Losing Me” also has a lyric where Taylor says, “Don’t you ignore me,” which she seems to refer back to on “The Prophecy” when she sings, “Don’t want money, just someone who wants my company.” 

Taylor has also seemingly hinted on “You’re Losing Me” and other previous tracks that she was ready to marry Joe but he wouldn’t propose. She brings this idea back around on “The Prophecy” by signing, “Even statues crumble if they’re made to wait.”

When Did Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn Split?

The former couple confirmed their romance in 2017, while they shocked fans when they split in April 2023. They both appreciated their privacy throughout their romance, and neither Taylor nor Joe have publicly discussed their split.

However, Joe served as the inspiration for several of Taylor’s songs featured on her albums Reputation, Lover, Folklore, Evermore and Midnights.