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Taylor Swift Recalls ‘Tantrum’ Where She Yelled ‘But Daddy I Love Him’ in Resurfaced Interview

Many Taylor Swift fans believe that her song “But Daddy I Love Him” is inspired from The Little Mermaid — but the actual story is seemingly much more personal.

In a 2008 resurfaced interview with Popsugar, Swift, now 34, opened up about being at odds with her father, Scott, when she was dating someone her parents didn’t approve of. While recalling a particularly bad argument, she shared that she screamed the words, “But daddy I love him,” before running off to write “Love Story,” a hit song off her second studio album, Fearless.

“This song, I wrote it right after my one epic teenage tantrum that I ever threw in my whole life,” Swift explained to the outlet in the resurfaced clip. “And I remember screaming something, like, ‘But daddy, I love him!’ And running out and storming into my room and slamming the door and then I sat down on the floor and wrote this song.”

“But daddy I love him” first became a famous phrase when it was said by Ariel in Disney’s 1989 classic. It’s now also a standout track from Swift’s 2024 album, The Tortured Poets Department — and one of the songs the singer added to the TTPD section of her worldwide Eras Tour.

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Swift released TTPD in April. While some fans believed a majority of the record would be an ode to her six-year relationship with ex Joe Alwyn, many of the songs seemingly focused on The 1975’s Matty Healy, whom she dated following her split from Alwyn, 32.

Taylor Swift Recalls Yelling But Daddy I Love Him During Teen Tantrum
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Swift and Healy, 35, were first linked in 2014, nearly nine years before their brief fling. The duo sparked a romance in April 2023 but had called it quits by that June. While a source exclusively told Us Weekly at the time that the pair were “never serious,” some tracks off TTPD — including “But Daddy I Love Him,” “The Tortured Poets Department” and “Down Bad’ — hint otherwise.

Many fans pushed back on Swift’s decision to get involved with Healy, pointing to his multiple past controversies. The British musician previously mocked Swift’s friend Ice Spice’s heritage and admitted to masturbating to images of brutalized women during a January 2023 radio interview. He eventually apologized to Spice, 24, but didn’t regret his remarks.

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Swift, for her part, never directly addressed her whirlwind romance with Healy or his comments. Eagle-eyed Swifties, however, believe she used the criticism about her dating life to write “But Daddy I Love Him,” which contains lyrics like, “God save the most judgmental creeps / who say they want what’s best for me / sanctimoniously performing soliloquies I’ll never see” and “Undo the death of me / you ain’t gotta pray for me / He’s my wild boy and I’m his wild child.”

As for Healy’s reaction to Swift’s new record, an insider told Us in April that he was “uncomfortable’ with the “renewed attention” to their relationship, “especially because he’s [with someone] new.” (Healy began dating  Gabbriette Bechtel in fall 2023.)

A second source, however, said that Healy “couldn’t be happier” about how TTPD turned out after his family was “worried” Swift would “rip him apart” in her songs.

“Matty has struggled with life in the public eye, and he’s been doing really well, but the last thing that he needs is for every Swiftie in the world to think he’s a villain,” the insider explained.

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Healy’s aunt Debbie Dedes also commented on the record after its release, telling the Daily Mail that her nephew is “happy in his new relationship, so I’m sure he will be focusing on that.”

Dedes added that as a fellow songwriter, Healy likely wouldn’t be surprised by Swift’s approach. “She writes about all her relationships, doesn’t she?” she told the outlet. “I don’t think it will come as a shock to him at all. … He will not be surprised by the song. Him and her know what went on.”

Swift, for her part, moved on with Kansas City Chiefs player Travis Kelce in July 2023. The NFL star also has a few shoutouts on TTPD on songs like “So High School” and “The Alchemy.” Kelce, 34, has attended multiple Eras Tour shows — some alongside Swift’s dad, Scott. He was also in the crowd during Swift’s 87th concert (his Chiefs jersey number) earlier this month, where Swift could be seen blowing him a number of kisses.

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