Analysis | Taylor Swift's Lover: A track-by-track breakdown, from scrambled lyrics to Leonardo DiCaprio and Drake references (2023)




The Last Time Taylor Swift Released an Album ("Ruf"2017) she was just recovering from the biggestsetbackher career. She refused to give interviews. She deleted her social media accounts and uploaded videoshissing snakes. The album cover was black and white, suggesting dark songs pondering their reputation; which, as she put it, "had never been worse."

WPGet the full experience.Choose your subscriptionArrowRight

Then the record sold a million copies in the first week. She went on onerecord breakingstadium tour. Your Redemption Victory Round complete. And now, starting Friday, there's Lover.

In stark contrast, this album rollout came with a dreamy, sparkling pastel palette that Swift shared via Instagram. The cover image shows Swift against a pink and yellow sky, glitter around her eye in the shape of a heart. Inan interview with VogueShe called her seventh studio album "a new beginning... a declaration of love to love, in all its maddening, passionate, exciting, enchanting, horrifying, tragic, wonderful glory."


So what does this love letter from Swift — one of the world's best-selling artists — have to say? Here is a brief overview of each song:

1) "I forgot you existed"(written by Swift, Louis Bell, Adam Feeney)

Swift is known for writing about real friends, enemies and everyone in between, but who expected Drake shouts on the very first song? "in my feelingsmore than Drake,” Swift sings in this upbeat track that centers around the classic adage that the opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference. Here, Swift insists she no longer bothers with various entanglements; That's quite an accomplishment for a grudge holder. She alludes to the decline of her "rep," an obvious reference to the aftermath ofthe incident between Kanye West and Kim Kardashian in 2016– which might be another reason why she mentions Drake, a westNemesis.

REVIEW | Taylor Swift is getting older without growing up

2) "Cruel Summer"(written by Swift, Jack Antonoff, Annie Clark)


Finally an explanation for thismysterious cubeson Swift's Instagram. "Devils roll the dice, angels roll the eyes," Swift proclaims in her first collaboration with Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent), which describes a doomed summer romance involving secrecy, drunkenness, crying and screaming: "I love you! ” Into the void. In other words, extremely relatable.

3) "lover"(written by Swift)

During a YouTube live stream with fans Thursday, Swift said she originally intended to title her album "Daylight." However, after she wrote "Lover," the entire record fell into place. This waltz begins with classic Swiftism, as the opening line mentions Christmas lights (and lasts them through January, of course) and is full of specific details and wedding images: "Ladies and gentlemen, please stand up... my heart was on loan and yours was blue." .” Expect this to be chosen as the first dance at wedding receptions from now on.

4) "The Man"(written by Swift, Joel Little)


Swift, who frequently describes media coverage as sexist,said Voguethat she reflects on how her career would have been if she had been a male artist: "If I had made all the same decisions, all the same mistakes, all the same achievements, what would it be?" She imagines that world in "The Man" and berates Leonardo DiCaprio and his many girlfriends: "They would toast me, oh let the players play" / I would be just like Leo in St. Tropez." (Swift, you may remember, isoften mockedfor her string of famous friends.) The rest of the text tears down similar double standards: "You'd say I pushed, brought in the work / You wouldn't shake your head and ask how much of this I make."

5) "The Archer"(written by Swift, Antonoff)

In an Instagram live stream last monthSwift admittedthat their "very vulnerable, personal, honest, emotional songs" always end up being track 5 for whatever reason. This melancholy edit is a meditation on a troubled relationship, partly related to her own fame;Swift always talked about itthe challenges of dating when you're a celebrity. As she sings here, "Who could ever leave me darling, but who could stay?"


6) "I think he knows"(written by Swift, Antonoff)

Will Swift ever return to Nashville? Who knows! But she mentions "16th Avenue," one of the main streets of Music Row, in this flirtatious track. The up-tempo beat almost segues into spoken word as Swift ticks off everything she likes about this boy who looks boyish with "indigo eyes." However, she warns, "He knows he'd better wrap it up or I'm not staying here."

7) "Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince"(written by Swift, Little)

All the high school phrases (homecoming queen, marching band, scoreboard, prom dress, "voted most much to") sound like they're reminiscent of Swift's high school days, which she sang about so often as a country artist . Then the lyrics seem to take a political turn in the second chorus: "American stories burn before me, I feel helpless, the virgins are down / boys will be boys then, where are the wise men? Darling, I'm scared."


8) "Paper rings"(written by Swift, Antonoff)

This frantic tune corresponds to the exciting energy of a new relationship — a relationship that's working after months of cat-and-mouse games and internet stalking, wondering if the other person likes you. "I like shiny things, but I'd marry you with paper rings," Swift proclaims. On "New Year's Day"the last trackOn "Reputation," Swift sang "I Want Your Midnights." This time, she wishes for "dreary Mondays" and "complications."

9) „Corneliastraße“(written by Swift)

Everyone knows that Taylor Swift is obsessed with New York City (she isa tourism ambassador!) and apparently heronce rented a $24 million houseon Cornelia Street in the West Village. That makes the line "I rent an apartment on Cornelia Street" an easy solution. Who is she talking about when she says "I hope I never lose you, I hope it never ends, I would never walk down Cornelia Street again"? Well, about the same time she was living there,She met British actor Joe Alwyn, who she's reportedly been dating for three years... so draw yoursownConclusions.


10) "Death by a Thousand Cuts"(written by Swift, Antonoff)

As the flimsy title would suggest, this isn't one of the "happy" songs. In fact, it's a very devastating breakup. "I get drunk but it's not enough 'cause morning's coming and you're not my baby," Swift sings sadly. Also "Paper Cut Stains from my Paper-thin Plans"... great pun and definitely not for the faint of heart.

11) "London Boy"(written by Swift, Antonoff, Cautious Clay, Mark Anthony Spears)

"They say home is where the heart is, but gosh I love the English," Swift sighs, making Anglophiles everywhere very happy. It's hard to imagine it's about anyone other than Alwyn (she even mentions his accent) as Swift explains what she loves across the pond: high tea, watching rugby in pubs, strolling around Camden Market. She gives America some obligatory shouts, including SoCal and "Tennessee whiskey."


12) "You'll be better soon"Sleight of hand. Dixie Chicks (written by Swift, Antonoff)

During Thursday's YouTube live stream, Swift admitted that this was the most emotionally difficult song to write — she almost didn't include it on the album. In fact, it is a devastating balladher mother's cancer diagnosis, along with Swift's own fault: "I hate making this all about myself, but who am I supposed to talk to? What am I supposed to do if you don't exist?" Finally, she concludes on a note of desperation: "You'll be better soon...because you have to."

13) "False Good"(written by Swift, Antonoff)

A relationship seems to crumble in this slow jam mixed with all sorts of religious metaphors about false gods and worship. "I know heaven's a thing, I go there when you touch me," she sings. "Hell is when I fight you." There's also another West Village/New York City reference to decipher.


14) "You need to calm down"(written by Swift, Little)

After years of being silent about politics, Swift took an abrupt turn last year; She has been particularly outspoken about LGBTQ rights. The music video for "You Need to Calm Down"stars a long listof gay cultural icons (Ellen DeGeneres, RuPaul, the cast of Queer Eye, etc.) celebrating life while ignoring protesters who carry signs that read "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." ("Shade never made anyone less gay!" Swift screams happily in a verse, a line that hasdrawn some criticism.) The lyrics encourage everyone to ignore the haters and maybe even settle feuds, as Swift and her former enemy Katy Perry embrace in the video.

15) "Afterglow(written by Swift, Bell, Feeney)

Almost 10 years ago, Swift released Back to December.For the first time she apologizedin a song for the way she treated someone. "Afterglow" has similar echoes as she admits she is to blame for a relationship falling apart. “Why did I have to destroy what I love so much? ... I'm the one who burned us down," she admits, then asks if the spurned party "will meet me at dusk."

16) "I!"Sleight of hand. Brendon Urie from Panic! at the Disco (written by Swift, Little, Urie)

As the album's lead single, Swift set the tone for her new era with this sugary duet and fever dreama music video. "'ME!' is a song about embracing your individuality and really celebrating and owning it," Swift explained at the time. The lyrics are quite basic, literally; One line reads, “Hey, kids! Spelling is fun!” The choruses double down on Swift's common themes of fretting over insecurities in relationships (“I know I've been going crazy on the phone”) and bickering in extreme weather (“When we had that fight in the rain, you ran after me and called my name.")

17) "It's nice to have a boyfriend"(written by Swift, Bell Feeney)

This ballad is strangely haunting, considering the simple title - perhaps it's the constant repetition of "It's nice to have a friend" while a background choir chants "oooohhhh oohhhh". Although the line "something gave you the nerve to touch my hand" makes it seem like that's the theme of the songmorethan just a friend.

18) "Daylight"(written by Swift)

Again, "Daylight" was almost the album's name, and it makes sense when you hear the song: After years of mistakes and wrong turns and self-doubt, Swift is in a much happier place. "It's brighter now," she sings. "I don't want to look at anything else now that I've seen you." She also calls out a song ("Red") she wrote when she was much younger: "I once believed that love would beburning red." Now she's older, wiser, and knows better: "But it's golden... like daylight."

Continue reading:

Taylor and Kanye: How Two Superstars, Four Words and 15 Seconds of TV Shaped a Decade of Pop Culture

Can Taylor Swift Really Re-Record Her Entire Music Catalog?

What led to Taylor Swift posting her political Instagram message?


What Taylor Swift song is about Leonardo DiCaprio? ›

Song: “The Man

One of the most amusing lyrics on all of "Lover," this line from "The Man" trots in Leonardo DiCaprio – who never had a romantic history with Swift, as far as the public knows – to reference his famous reputation as a lothario, who parties in luxe locales with decades-younger models.

What does just like Leo in Saint Tropez mean? ›

She points to Leo because he's basically the mascot, or poster-boy for a ubiquitous cultural trope wherein a man dating lots of women, (and not deciding to “settle down” with one) is lionized. Pun definitely intended there! Related questions (More answers below) How many of you like Taylor Swift and her songs?

What is the meaning behind Taylor Swift's song Look what you made me do? ›

'Look What You Made Me Do' is about revenge and how rough times turned Taylor into a smarter, tougher and stronger person. Swift is standing up and defending herself even if it means that she has to stand alone against the world.

Which of Harry's songs is about Taylor Swift? ›

"Perfect" The second single from One Direction's fifth and final studio album, Made in the A.M., "Perfect" was co-written by Harry and Louis Tomlinson and is widely believed to be about the pop star, with James Corden directly asking Harry about the song's inspiration in a 2015 interview.

What song did Harry Styles inspire Taylor Swift? ›

In an interview in 2015, Swift addressed the turbulence of her relationship with Styles when discussing the inspiration of “Out of the Woods.” “The number one feeling I felt in the whole relationship was anxiety,” she said. “Because it felt very fragile, it felt very tentative.

Who was Taylor Swift's song style written about? ›

The official music video was premiered on February 13, 2015, and features Shadowhunters actor Dominic Sherwood. Taylor confirmed the song was about Harry Styles in her 2014 interview with Rolling Stone.

Does Leo wear deodorant? ›

9. Leonardo DiCaprio. A source revealed that Leo showers only a couple of times a week for environmental reasons and doesn't use deodorant because it's "unnatural."

What did Leonardo DiCaprio do in Saint Tropez? ›

Leonardo DiCaprio cut a casual figure as he and Tobey Maguire enjoyed lunch at Club 55 restaurant in St. Tropez on Thursday. The actors appeared in good spirits as they left the popular venue alongside a group of pals during their stay in the French commune.

Did Blake Lively and Leonardo DiCaprio date? ›

Blake Lively had a short fling with DiCaprio for a year in 2011, when she was 23. The pair jet-setted around the world from Cannes to New York to Los Angeles. The actress even visited him on set in Australia when he was filming The Great Gatsby.

Why did Taylor Swift have to rewrite her songs? ›

Swift is re-recording her earlier albums because this will allow her to own their masters — that is, the songs' original recordings. Owning her masters means Swift can control the way those particular versions of the songs are used, like granting permission for the music to appear in advertising.

What does the scarf symbolize in Taylor Swift's song? ›

9 to promote her 10-minute short film All Too Well, the singer spoke about the scarf she references in the song, which many of her fans have long suspected is about her ex, Jake Gyllenhaal, who she briefly dated in 2010.

Who is Taylor Swift talking about in her documentary? ›

Speaking about the surprise collaboration in her new documentary, folklore: the long pond studio sessions on Disney+, Taylor said: "There's been a lot of discussion about William Bowery and his identity. He's not a real person... William Bowery is Joe, as we know.

How old was Harry Styles when he dated Taylor Swift? ›

Harry and Taylor dated for over a year, when he was 18 and she was 22. Their relationship and eventual separation apparently inspired songs from both singers.

Which Taylor Swift song is about Tom Hiddleston? ›

Swift's track "Midnight Rain" appears to be a track about the demise of her 2016 relationship with Hiddleston and how both sides wanted different things at the time. "He wanted it comfortable, I wanted that pain," Swift, who traveled the world with Hiddleston during their brief yet public romance, sings.

What happened between Tom Hiddleston and Taylor? ›

However, Taylor wasn't happy with Tom's desire to make their relationship so public and they ended up breaking up in August 2016. A source told Us Weekly: "She was the one to put the brakes on the relationship. Tom wanted the relationship to be more public than she was comfortable with.

Who did Harry Styles date after Taylor Swift? ›

After Swift, Styles romanced Kendall Jenner, who remains one of his close friends today, and was briefly linked to models including Nadine Leopold, Sara Sampaio and Georgia Fowler. He then dated French stunner Camille Rowe, who lent her voice to his 2019 album, Fine Line, for the song “Cherry.”

Did Harry Styles ever write about Taylor Swift? ›

Did Harry write any songs about Taylor? While Harry hasn't released as many songs allegedly inspired by his romance with Taylor, this track off his 2017 self-titled debut solo album is the most clear reference to it and is basically a counter-argument to "Style." Just read this lyrics: "Same lips red, same eyes blue.

What is Taylor Swift's favorite song that she has written? ›

Taylor Swift Says This 'Midnights' Track Is One of Her 'Favorite Songs' She's Ever Written.

How long did Harry Styles date Taylor? ›

Styles dated Taylor Swift for a year. While their romance was short-lived, their relationship lives on forever in the songs each singer allegedly wrote about each other. Several say Swift's “… Ready For It” is about Styles, while some believe his “Two Ghosts” is about the “Willow” songstress.

Who is the male model in style Taylor Swift? ›

Dominic Sherwood plays her boyfriend.

What does the style of a song mean? ›

Style refers to characteristic features of how music (of a certain era, or within some particular genre) is played or expected to sound, i.e. its actual musical content - the set of expected musical patterns, mannerisms, expressive devices it conventionally makes use of.

What celebrity does not wear deodorant? ›

When asked what a man should smell like during a 2005 interview, McConaughey famously said: “A man. I haven't worn deodorant in 20 years.” In the years following, Cameron Diaz, Julia Roberts, and Bradley Cooper revealed that they, too, don't deem deodorant a staple in their daily routines.

How does Johnny Depp smell like? ›

Johnny Depp smells like Dior most of the time and has a few firm favorites that he switches between. When he's not wearing Sauvage, Dior Homme Intense by Christian Dior is another cologne that Johnny Depp smells like regularly.

What actress doesn t wear deodorant? ›

Julia Roberts

The actress surprisingly responded with: “I don't actually use deodorant. I don't like to share that with a lot of people, but it's just never been my thing.”

What does Leonardo DiCaprio fight for? ›

DiCaprio has worked to bring attention and funding to the protection of biodiversity, ocean and forest conservation, and climate change. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation supports over 35 innovative conservation projects around the world that protect fragile ecosystems and key species.

What role did Leonardo DiCaprio turn down for Titanic? ›

If it wasn't for director James Cameron, Leonardo DiCaprio may have missed out on one of his biggest standout roles as Jack in 1997's Titanic.

Where does Leonardo DiCaprio spend most of his time? ›

In addition to his Hollywood Hills compound, DiCaprio also has lavish homes in Beverly Hills, Malibu, Palm Springs, Los Feliz and New York City, and he's long owned a vacant island off the coast of Belize.

What is Leonardo DiCaprio's longest relationship? ›

2017 — August, 2022

Leonardo DiCaprio's longest relationship since Gisele Bündchen was with model-turned-actress Camila Morrone. She was just 20 when they started dating, meanwhile DiCaprio was 42.

Who did Leo DiCaprio love? ›

He went on to date Gisele Bündchen, Bar Refaeli, Blake Lively, Toni Garrn and Nina Agdal, among others, before finally settling down with current girlfriend Camila Morrone, who is 23 years his junior.

How old was Leo when he dated Blake Lively? ›

Blake Lively and Leonardo DiCaprio dated for a few months in 2011. Blake and Leo dated for a few months in 2011 when they were both 23 and 36 respectively. The pair had a 13-year age difference. They struck up a romance after Blake auditioned for the role of Daisy Buchanan for Leo's The Great Gatsby.

What is the point of Taylor's Version? ›

The people who sold and bought the songs had no involvement in making the songs. It's not fair for them to own it when they didn't put any work into it.” So whenever you see an album with Taylor's Version in parenthesis next to the name, know that Taylor Swift owns it!

What did Kanye West say about Taylor Swift? ›

Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift as she tried to accept her award for Best Video by a Female Artist and said, " I'mma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time, one of the best videos of all time! "

Why Taylor's version is important? ›

(Taylor's Version) is simply an exemplification of the ownership that she now has over her own music. It is the physical embodiment of how she finally received the rights that she was long denied, and is an addition to her titles that could be used to support her!

How old was Jake Gyllenhaal when he dated Taylor Swift? ›

Swift and Gyllenhaal began dating when she was 19 and he was 28. When they broke up, she was 20 to his 29. The age difference matches that of Dylan O'Brienand Sadie Sink, who star in the short film for "All Too Well."

Who did Taylor Swift date at 19? ›

John Mayer (2009 - 2010)

In "Dear John," Swift points to a couple's age gap, which matches up with their relationship: She was 19 when she dated Mayer, who was 32.

What does the red scarf mean in Taylor Swift video? ›

The 'Shake It Off hitmaker alleges in the lyrics that she left a scarf at the house of a sister to a man she was dating and fans believe that she is hinting at the 'Brokeback Mountain' actor, whom she dated from October 2010 until January 2011, and his sister Maggie.

Who stopped Taylor Swift speech? ›

Taylor Lautner says he thought Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs was a 'skit' Taylor Lautner is well aware that he dropped the ball when it came to stopping Kanye West from interrupting Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the 2009 Video Music Awards.

How many boyfriends has Taylor Swift had? ›

Without including the ones who have not been confirmed to have been dating her, Taylor Swift has had 9 boyfriends.

Who was Taylor Swift's first love? ›

Lucas Till (March 2009-April 2009)

Who did Harry Styles date before Olivia Wilde? ›

Harry Styles famously dated stars like Taylor Swift and Kendall Jenner before he was most recently linked to Olivia Wilde for nearly two years.

What did Jake Gyllenhaal say about Taylor Swift song? ›

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal has now reacted to claims that Taylor Swift's song All Too Well was for him. He has said that it has “nothing to do with him.” Jake Gyllenhaal and Taylor Swift dated for 3 months. In 2021, singer Taylor Swift released a 10-minute version of her song All Too Well.

What song did Taylor write about Harry Styles? ›

"Style" Arguably the most infamous song to come out of Taylor Swift and Harry Styles' short-lived 2012 romance is this absolute banger off of her 2014 album 1989.

Are Tom Hiddleston and Taylor Swift still friends? ›

Phew. It may have been the breakup that rocked the world.

What happened between Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner? ›

Swift and Lautner dated for several months in the fall of 2009, calling it quits that December. “He liked her more than she liked him. He went everywhere he could to see her, but she didn't travel much to see him,” a source told Us Weekly at the time. “They decided they were better as friends.”

Was Tom Hiddleston going to propose to Taylor Swift? ›

'She would say yes': Tom Hiddleston is 'planning to propose' to Taylor Swift as friends say romance is the real deal.

Did Elizabeth Olsen dated Tom Hiddleston? ›

Elizabeth Olsen

In September 2015, the WandaVision star shut down speculation, telling Refinery29, "I mean, we definitely are friends and we've known each other for about four years. And we happened to be at a restaurant at a wrong time having dinner. We all go out to dinner."

Which one of Taylor Swift's songs is about Taylor Lautner? ›

Swift's breakup ballad "Back to December" (on her 2010 Speak Now album, which she is rumored to re-record in the near future) was widely assumed to be about her relationship with Lautner.

Why did Taylor Swift apologize to Taylor Lautner? ›

The singer admits that she's sorry for the way she ended a certain relationship. The tale of the two Taylors began in love and ended in friendship – or so the story goes. But it looks like the brief romance between Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner may have not ended so smoothly.

Who is Taylor Swift's favorite song? ›

Taylor Swift Says This 'Midnights' Track Is One of Her 'Favorite Songs' She's Ever Written.

What is Taylor Swift's most listened to song ever? ›

Taylor Swift most streamed tracks (EAS)
  • Blank Space [1989] – 1,706,000.
  • I Don't Wanna Live Forever [Orphan] – 1,678,000.
  • Shake It Off [1989] – 1,610,000.
  • Love Story [Fearless] – 1,528,000.
  • Look What You Made Me Do [Reputation] – 1,185,000.
  • Wildest Dreams [1989] – 1,177,000.
  • You Belong with Me [Fearless] – 1,091,000.
Nov 3, 2022

Who has Leonardo DiCaprio loved? ›

A Deep Dive into Leonardo DiCaprio's Dating History
  • Gisele Bündchen (2000-2005) ...
  • Bar Refaeli (2005-2011) ...
  • Blake Lively (2011) ...
  • Erin Heatherton (2012) ...
  • Toni Garrn (2013-2014) ...
  • Kelly Rohrbach (2015) ...
  • Nina Agdal (2016-2017) ...
  • Camila Morrone (2017-2022)

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Geoffrey Lueilwitz

Last Updated: 04/08/2023

Views: 5483

Rating: 5 / 5 (80 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Geoffrey Lueilwitz

Birthday: 1997-03-23

Address: 74183 Thomas Course, Port Micheal, OK 55446-1529

Phone: +13408645881558

Job: Global Representative

Hobby: Sailing, Vehicle restoration, Rowing, Ghost hunting, Scrapbooking, Rugby, Board sports

Introduction: My name is Geoffrey Lueilwitz, I am a zealous, encouraging, sparkling, enchanting, graceful, faithful, nice person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.