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Fans think Taylor Swift wrote ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ about Matty Healy

Taylor Swift‘s 11th album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department’, has arrived and fans have taken to social media to theorise what some songs mean, and who the albums was written about.

Shortly after the album’s release earlier today (April 19), Swifties took to X (formerly Twitter) to theorise that despite her lengthy relationship with English actor Joe Alwyn, Taylor’s new album is seemingly more about her brief relationship with The 1975‘s Matty Healy. The pair were romantically linked for a short period time in 2023.

According to fans, the title track ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ sees Swift reference Healy, with a lyric seemingly describing an ex-lover as a “tattooed golden retriever”. She also seemingly makes smaller hints at Healy, singing: “You smokеd then ate seven bars of chocolate / We declared Charlie Puth should be a bigger artist / I scratch your head, you fall asleep / Like a tattooed golden retriever“.

Fans have pointed out Healy is a notorious smoker, often smoking onstage while performing, while “chocolate” is seemingly a reference to The 1975’s song of the same name.

Elsewhere on the title track, Swift seems to namedrop Lucy Dacus – with whom Healy used to be close friends – and Swift’s close friend and collaborator Jack Antonoff. 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 / And I had said that to Jack about you so I felt seen / Everyone we know understands why it’s meant to be / Because we’re crazy“.

Other fans seem to think ‘The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived’ suggests why Swift and Healy’s relationship came to an end and further references Healy. The incendiary track opens with the biggest reference to Healy thus far, as Swift sings: “Was any of it true? / Gazing at me starry-eyed / In your Jehovah’s Witness suit“. This seems to point at Healy’s onstage outfit, in which he typically wears a suit that has been historically donned by Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Matt Healy of The 1975 headlines Radio 1 Stage during BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2023 at Camperdown Wildlife Centre on May 27, 2023 in Dundee, Scotland. (Photo by Roberto Ricciuti/Redferns)

Later in the track, Swift seems to confirm the timeline of their romance, which took place over the summer of 2023 – during which Healy found himself embroiled in a string of controversies, including making racist remarks about Ice Spice, a friend of Swifts.

And I don’t even want you back, I just want to know / If rusting my sparkling summer was the goal / And I don’t miss what we had, but could someone give / A message to the smallest man who ever lived?,” Swift sings on the track’s chorus. Additionally, on ‘Clara Bow’, Swift sings “But I think I might die if I made it, die if I made it“, which seems to be a dig at The 1975’s ‘Love It If We Made It’.

However, the entire album isn’t targetted at Healy, fans have pointed out. The track ‘So Long, London’ allegedly references Joe Alwyn, who lived in London – where Swift spent a good amount of time during their six-year relationship. Swift sings on the track: “I left all I knew / You left me at the house by the Hеath“. “By the Heath” may refer to the park Hampstead Heath.

Swift has also in the past referred to Alwyn as “London”, namely in the track “London Boy” on her ‘Lover’ album.

Taylor Swift’s ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ is out now. The album scored a three-star review from NME upon its release, with Laura Molloy writing: “The pitfalls that mire her 11th studio album are all the more disappointing — she’s proven time and time again she can do better. To a Melbourne audience of her Eras Tour, Swift said that ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ came from a “need” to write. It’s just that maybe we didn’t need to hear it.”

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