Taylor Swift’s ‘TTPD’ relationship breakdown: Songs about Joe Alwyn, Matty Healy and Travis Kelce

Taylor Swift’s ‘TTPD’ relationship breakdown: Songs about Joe Alwyn, Matty Healy and Travis Kelce

Taylor Swift’s “The Tortured Poets Department” has arrived two months after she surprised fans at the 2024 Grammys with the announcement of the album.

The global superstar previously described the project as a “lifeline” for her during a February concert in Melbourne, Australia.

“It sort of reminded me of why songwriting is something that actually gets me through life and I’ve never had an album where I’ve needed songwriting more than I needed it on ‘Tortured Poets,'” she explained.

Now, fans are busy decoding the lyrics of the project’s 16 songs — and theorizing who they may be about. Read on to discover which recent exes Swift may have referenced in “TTPD.”

Joe Alwyn

“The Tortured Poets Department” was heavily influenced by Taylor Swift’s long-term relationship with her ex, Joe Alwyn. TheImageDirect.com

“So Long, London”

The track on “TTPD” most likely to be about the actor is “So Long, London,” a heartbreaking tune about Swift saying goodbye to the British city she called her home for six years.

“I left all I knew you left me at the house by the heath,” the songstress croons in the heartbreaking lyrics, perhaps talking about how she moved from the US to Alwyn’s home country to live a quiet, private life with him.


Swift and Alwyn, who began dating in early 2017, faced engagement rumors numerous times over the course of their long-term romance. However, the Grammy winner seemingly confirms on “Loml” that they never got past the stage of ideating about their future.

“You s–t talked me under the table / talking rings and talking cradles / I wish I could un-recall how we almost had it all,” the lyrics say.

The pair dated for six years before news of their split broke in April 2023. / SplashNews.com

“I Can Do It With a Broken Heart”

The “Anti-Hero” singer kicked off her Eras Tour in March 2023, just a few weeks before Page Six confirmed she and Alwyn had split.

While Swift seemed to be having a great time on stage, the lyrics of “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart” — a song about being secretly “miserable” — tell a different, more depressing story.

“Lights, camera bitch smile / even when you want to die,” Swift sings in the tune before adding a direct reference to her concerts: “All the pieces of me shattered as the crowd was chanting, ‘More!'”

They were notoriously private about their romance. GC Images

“The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived”

Swift sends a message to “the smallest man who lived” — likely Alwyn — on the 14th track of her new album, once again referencing how their split affected her in the months that followed.

“I don’t even want you back I just want to know / if rusting my sparkling summer was the goal,” one lyric reads. (The first leg of the Eras Tour spanned across the US from March to August 2023.)

Matty Healy

Swift and Matty Healy were rumored to be an item during the spring of 2023 after she and Alwyn called it quits. TheImageDirect.com

“The Tortured Poets Department”

Swifties believe the “Midnights” singer referenced Matty Healy — whom she never publicly dated but was caught kissing at New York City’s Casa Cipriani in May 2023 — in the title track of her album.

“You smoked 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,” she sings.

The 1975 frontman is known to enjoy a cigarette, even during his shows, and has multiple tattoos. The 1975 also has a hit song titled “Chocolate.”

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“Guilty As Sin?”

While “Guilty As Sin?” could be about anyone, fans on X theorized the emotional cheating discussed in the song has to do with Healy.

Swift describes her sensual daydreams about another person as “fatal fantasies” and admits she and the unnamed person have “already done it” in her head.

Fans were vocal about their distaste for their relationship — which they never confirmed — due to the 1975 singer’s past controversies. GC Images

“What if he’s written ‘mine’ on my upper thigh only in my mind?” she croons at another point.

Fans seem to be enjoying the song, with one quipping, “If emotionally cheating with Matty gave us guilty as sin i say i forgive them.”

“Down Bad”

“Down Bad” seems to be an emotional breakup song about Swift losing someone with whom she shared a “cosmic love.”

While the lyrics could be about a number of people from her past, fans believe they reference Healy because she describes her ex-lover as “hostile” and having “indecent exposures.”

While he has never been caught exposing himself to anyone, he has been involved in several controversial moments, such as when he made out with a security guard during a June 2023 performance and went on a racist podcast rant about Swift’s pal, rapper Ice Spice.

The pair reportedly parted ways by early June 2023. Instagram/emilyadorestay

“I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)”

Swift sings about dating a controversial man — possibly the “Oh Caroline” singer — as people protest in “I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can).”

“They shake their heads, saying, ‘God help her’ when I tell ‘em he’s my man,” she purrs before protesting, “But your good Lord doesn’t need to lift a finger / I can fix him, no really I can.”

Travis Kelce

Swift and Kelce started dating in the summer of 2023, but a song about him seemingly still made her latest album. GC Images “The Alchemy” contains many sports references. Getty Images

“The Alchemy”

Swift didn’t start dating Travis Kelce until the summer of 2023, but their relationship was seemingly still referenced on her latest album.

In the song “The Alchemy,” the pop star makes several sports references about touchdowns, teams, warming benches, winning streaks and trophies that fans think prove it to be about the NFL tight end.

“The references to American football … welcome to your first song, travis,” one Swiftie tweeted on X, while another pointed out a lyric about “beer sticking to the floor,” which could be a nod to the pair’s love of the alcoholic beverage.