Decoding Taylor Swift’s ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ Album: Fan Theories and Speculations


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When Taylor Swift released “The Tortured Poets Department” on Friday at midnight, her fan base quickly got to work decoding the album, looking for layers of meaning and insight into Swift’s life. The album features over a dozen additional tracks as part of an extended album called “The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology”. Fans are digging deep into the lyrics to uncover hidden references and connections.

Characters in the Album

  • Matty Healy
    Credit: Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images
    Plenty of lines from “Tortured Poets” suggest that songs like “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived,” “The Black Dog,” and “Down Bad” may be about Matty Healy, the frontman for the 1975. Swifties speculate based on references to the band the Starting Line and a “tattooed golden retriever,” a description that fits Mr. Healy according to fans.
  • Travis Kelce
    Credit: Frank Franklin II/Associated Press
    There are hints in the track “The Alchemy” that point to the football player Travis Kelce, who is believed to be Taylor Swift’s current boyfriend. References to sports and winning the crown in the lyrics have fans connecting the dots. However, some debate arises from the use of the term “blokes” in the song.

Interpretations and Speculations

Swift’s fans are actively interpreting and speculating about the meanings behind the songs. References to real people, both from Swift’s life and from literary works, add layers of complexity to the album. The discussions around the lyrics continue as fans unravel the mysteries hidden within the tracks.

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