Taylor Swift’s surprise album is now out. Let the investigations begin!
As diehard Swifties are well aware, the pop star is known for shrewdly divulging details of her love life in her songs, so every time Taylor releases music, her lyrics are dissected… It’s basically a rite of passage.
Now that “Folklore” has been released, fans are wondering if Taylor and Joe Alwyn have broken up after three years together.
Exhibit A: In “The 1,” the album’s opening track, Taylor sings of “waking up alone.” She asks, “If one thing had been different, would everything be different today?”
Back in April, Joe posted photos of Taylor’s cats, suggesting that he and his lady love were quarantining together. Why would she be waking up alone if they’re together? That’s what fans wonder.
In another deeply personal song titled “Exile,” Taylor sings about the end of a relationship; her song “Hoax” details a fairly toxic relationship.
Of course, there is no concrete evidence proving Taylor and Joe split (because maybe they didn’t). It’s also not unheard of for Taylor to write songs based on someone else’s perspective. In the case of “Death By a Thousand Cuts” from her “Lover” album, the breakup song was influenced by a Netflix film.
Since Taylor and Joe began dating in 2017, they’ve been intensely private about their romance, rarely speaking about each other in interviews. In the past, Taylor has said that she prefers to let her songs speak for her in regards to her love life. And, for every lyric that seems to question the state of her and Joe’s relationship, there are just as many to imply that all is well.
In “Invisible String,” Taylor speaks of “our three-year trip,” a likely reference to the length of the relationship. In the same song, Page Six notes that the 30-year-old sings about a boy who works in a frozen yogurt shop, as Joe once did, and says, “a string that pulled me out of all the wrong arms, right into that dive bar.” That line is believed to be a nod to the “dive bar on the east side” which she sang about in 2017’s “Delicate,” a song widely believed to be about Joe.
There’s also an online theory that Joe helped write two songs under the pseudonym William Bowery. If that’s true, it would certainly hint that Taylor and Joe are still in lockstep.
Further, Taylor has said she wanted to branch out when it came to “Folklore” and not necessarily focus so much on her personal life.
“I found myself not only writing my own stories, but also writing about or from the perspective of people I’ve never met, people I’ve known, or those I wish I hadn’t,” she said on social media. “In isolation my imagination has run wild and this album is the result, a collection of songs and stories that flowed like a stream of consciousness. Picking up a pen was my way of escaping into fantasy, history, and memory.”
Translation: Maybe don’t look to this album for clues about Taylor and Joe.