As you are probably aware, Taylor Swift announced her brand new album, The Tortured Poets Department, live at the Grammys on Sunday.
The note reads: “And so I enter into evidence my tarnished coat of arms, my muses, acquired like bruises, my talismans and charms.”
“The tick, tick, tick of love bombs,” it continues. “My veins of pitch black ink, all’s fair in love and poetry… Sincerely, The Chairman of The Tortured Poets Department.”
Suffice to say, fans couldn’t be more excited by the news, with many immediately speculating that The Tortured Poets Department will give us all an insight into the breakdown of Taylor’s relationship with Joe Alwyn, which ended in April after more than six and a half years together.
In the black and white photo, Taylor looks forlorn with her hand to her head while looking down. The words: “I love you, it’s ruining my life” are written over her bare shoulder.
Above the tracklist — which is divided into four “sides” — “The Manuscript” is given as the album’s “file name.” Interestingly, “The Manuscript” is also the name of the bonus song on the album.?
All of this information has given fans a whole lot to delve into, and they have taken to social media in droves to speculate what the inspiration behind each of the songs might be, as well as breaking down the meaning behind the album’s black and white color scheme.
So, without further ado, here is everything that fans are theorizing about The Tortured Poets Department — and while it is important to reiterate that everything mentioned is pure speculation, some of it might just come true…
Ahead of the Grammys, many dedicated Swifties were convinced that Taylor was actually going to announce a release date for her next rerecording, which they predicted would be Reputation (Taylor’s Version).
Discussing what all of this could mean in relation to TTPD, one fan wrote on a Reddit forum: “interesting that rep was also black and white and that was her and joe falling in love and now this is the break up. There were colors in between but now they are gone.”
2. “The Tortured Poets Department”
3. “My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys”
4. “Down Bad”
5. “So Long, London”
6. “But Daddy I Love Him”
The first thing that people thought of when they saw this song title was the Disney movie?The Little Mermaid, where the character Ariel famously says this line to her father in relation to Prince Eric.?
It’s worth mentioning that this particular movie was released in 1989, which is significant as it is not only Taylor’s year of birth but also the name of one of her albums — highlighting its extra special meaning to her.
And the subtext of using a quote from?The Little Mermaid?has not been lost on Taylor’s fans, who have drawn parallels between the film and what Taylor has already implied about her relationship with Joe.
To bring you up to speed,?Taylor and Joe fell in love when?Taylor fully retreated from the public eye amid her infamous 2016 feud with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.?
While she returned to the spotlight the following year, she and Joe made the joint decision to keep their relationship as private as possible — something that Taylor initially appeared to relish.
In many of her love songs, Taylor shares her appreciation for the normalcy of their relationship and how much she enjoys protecting it from the public eye. However, songs from her most recent album,?Midnights, suggest that she?had started to grow tired of?living a low-key lifestyle.
While it is important to note that Taylor literally went on a world stadium tour and steadily released music throughout her relationship with Joe, she definitely did not have the public profile that she is currently enjoying — and that she vowed to “reclaim” in her 2022 single “Bejeweled,” which was released six months before their split.
Pointing out the parallels, one fan wrote: “‘But daddy I love him’ is a line from the little mermaid where Ariel loses her voice in exchange for a chance to be with the man she loves and live a normal, human life.”
Others have also resurfaced?photos of Taylor’s ex Harry Styles wearing a T-shirt with the words “But Daddy I Love Him” printed on it, but it is believed that this is just a coincidence.?
7. “Fresh Out the Slammer”
8. “Florida!!! (Feat. Florence + the Machine)”
9. “Guilty as Sin?”
10. “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?”
11. “I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)”
In case you didn’t know, “loml” is a popular acronym for “love of my life,” and this immediately led to another link to Matty from hardcore Swifties.?
One person said that upon seeing the song title they instantly thought of a viral clip of Taylor seemingly fighting back tears as she sang a poignant line from her 2017 collaboration with Zayn Malik, “I Don’t Want to Live Forever.”
Just days after the news broke that she and Matty had called time on their relationship in June last year, Taylor surprised fans by singing this song on her Eras Tour, and she looked overcome with emotion as she sang the line: “Wondering if I dodged a bullet or just lost the love of my life.”
Somebody else questioned whether the acronym song title is a red herring, and that Taylor will have changed the meaning of it for the song. They queried: “I wonder if she changed the abbreviations for it to mean something different. Like loss of my life or something.”