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Every Song About Matty Healy on Taylor Swift’s ‘The Tortured Poets Department’

Many fans were expecting Taylor Swift’s new album, The Tortured Poets Department, to be about her split from Joe Alwyn — but it’s seemingly an ode to her romance with Matty Healy.

While there are a few tracks dedicated to Alwyn, Swift’s main focus appears to be her fling with Healy, which occurred in spring 2023 after the pop star called it quits for good with Alwyn.

Swift and Healy’s relationship, however, traces all the way back to 2014. They were first linked after being spotted in each other’s merch at the time, with Swift attending a bunch of concerts to support Healy and his band, The 1975.

While they never confirmed romance rumors, Healy found himself in hot water when he slammed the idea of dating Swift two years later, calling it “emasculating” to be with someone more famous than him.

Taylor Swift and The 1975 Singer Matty Healy s Relationship Timeline 471

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“It’s just interesting to me how interested the world is about Taylor Swift,” he told Q Magazine in 2016. “The reason I mention that is because if I had [properly] gone out with Taylor Swift, I would’ve been, ‘F–king hell, I am not being Taylor Swift’s boyfriend.’ You know, ‘F–k. That.’”

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Taylor Swift, Matty Healy. Getty Images (2)

He later walked back the comments, and the pair reconnected professionally in 2022 for Swift’s Midnights, although the songs never made it to the album. Speculation the two were dating began to spark when Healy was spotted at several Eras Tour shows in April 2023, and the duo were later seen holding hands at a rooftop bar in NYC.

Shortly after getting together, a resurfaced podcast interview of Healy’s began circulating, where the musician made problematic comments about the rapper Ice Spice — who teamed up with Swift for a remix of her song “Karma” — and her ethnicity. Amid the scandal, Swift and Healy called it quits. (Ice Spice later told Billboard that Healy has apologized “a bunch of times” for his comments.)

With the release of The Tortured Poets Department, Swift seems to be tackling all the ups and downs of her and Healy’s fling — from clapping back at fans’ judgments to him allegedly ghosting her.

Keep scrolling for every song Swift wrote about Healy on TTPD:

‘But Daddy I Love Him’

Possibly the most controversial song on the record, Swift seemingly claps back at her fans for judging her romance with Healy, who has caught heat for his controversial comments in the past.

“I’ll tell you something right now / I’d rather burn my whole life down / Than listen to one more second of all this bitching and moaning,” Swift says on the track, noting that she’s unaffected by “vipers in pale dresses groaning.”

“God save the most judgmental creeps / Who say they want what’s best for me / Sanctimoniously performing soliloquies I’ll never see,” she quips. “Thinking they can change the beat of my heart when he touches me and counteract the chemistry?”

Swift refers to herself as Healy’s “wild child” on the song, before joking that she’s pregnant with his baby. “You should see your faces / Tore thru defenses / No I’m not coming to my senses,” she declares.

Elsewhere, she comes for the “Sarahs and Hannahs” who are “clutching their pearls” over the relationship, claiming, “I just learned these people try and save you / Because they hate you.”

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Getty Images (2)

‘Down Bad’

“Down Bad” also seems to reference the public’s opinion of Healy. “They’ll say I’m nuts if I talk about the existence of you,” she claims in the bridge.

Swift sings about adoring all of someone’s “Indecent exposures,” which could be a reference to Healy’s past behavior. She promises to build them “a fort on some planet where they can all understand it.”

Swift also alludes to their split. “How dare you think it’s romantic leaving me safe and stranded,” she sings.

“For a moment I knew cosmic love, now I’m down bad crying at the gym, everything comes out teenage petulance,” she adds, comparing her feelings on the breakup to “teenage petulance.”

‘I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)’

Seemingly another reference to dating someone perceived as a “bad boy” by others, Swift spends “I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)” trying to convince the listener that she is the only one who can tame her partner’s wild ways.

Swift admits that she’s dating a rebel, singing, “The smoke cloud billows out his mouth like a freight train / The jokes he told across the bar were revolting and far too loud.”

She mentions onlookers shaking their heads, saying, “God help her,” when she “tells them he’s my man,” but promises: “Trust me, I can fix him, I can.”

Although she declares that his issues are “a perfect case for my skillset” to fix, she changes her mind by the song’s end. “Well, maybe I can’t,” she decides.

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‘The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived’

While many of the Healy-inspired tracks point fingers at haters, “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived” seemingly takes a dig at the musician himself.

Swift spends most of the song seething over allegedly being ghosted by her ex, asking if “rusting my sparkling summer was the goal?”  (Swift and Healy dated in spring/summer of 2023.)

“In public showed me off, then sank in stoned oblivion because once your queen had come, you treat her like an ulcer. You didn’t measure up in any measure of a man,” she says. “You said normal girls were boring but you were gone by morning.”

She also insinuates that the romance was only exciting for her former partner when it was being kept under wraps, singing, “Because it wasn’t sexy once it wasn’t forbidden.”

In the song’s bridge, Swift declares she would have “died” for his sins, but “instead I just died inside. And you deserve prison but you won’t get any time. You’ll slide into inboxes and slide through the bars.”

‘Guilty as Sin?’

“Guilty as Sin” seems to revolve around Swift having forbidden feelings about someone she shouldn’t. While who the song is about — or when her feelings developed — is unclear, Swift and Healy were first romantically linked in 2014 but never confirmed their relationship, later reconnecting professionally in 2022 to work music. Swift and Alwyn, meanwhile, didn’t call it quits for good until April 2023.

“I keep recalling things we never did / How I long for our trysts / Without ever touching his skin, how can I be guilty as sin?” Swift asks on the track, sharing that she keeps her “longings locked in lowercase inside a vault” because “someone told me there’s no such things as bad thoughts, only actions.”

Still, the fantasies seem to get the best of her, “giving way to labored breath / Taking all of me.” She confesses “We’ve already done it in my head,” noting that the imagined love affair feels like “a vow we’ll both uphold.”

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‘The Tortured Poets Department’

Many fans were convinced that the album’s title track would be about Alwyn, who once admitted he has a group chat titled “The Tortured Men’s Club” with Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal.

The first hint that TTPD is actually about Healy, however, is the song’s instrumentals, which are eerily similar to that of a 1975 tune. (Swift has replicated exes music before, like on “Dear John,” a ballad about her split from John Mayer.)

The lyrics only uphold the theory further, where she claims she and Healy aren’t Dylan Thomas and Patti Smith but simply “idiots” together.

Swift laments on bonding moments with her “tattooed golden retriever” — Alwyn has no noticeable body art, while Healy is covered in it — referencing a conversation about how “Charlie Puth should be a bigger artist.” (Healy once tweeted his praise about Puth’s talent.)

“Sometimes I wonder if you’re gonna screw this up with me / But you told Lucy that you’d kill yourself if I ever leave / And I had said that to Jack so I felt seen,” she says in the bridge, referencing producer Jack Antonoff, their mutual friend. “Everyone that we know understands why it’s meant to be. Cause we’re crazy.”

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Getty Images (2)


While it’s hard to tell exactly who “Fortnight” is about, Swift was only linked to Healy for less than two months in spring 2023.  On the track, she sings, “And for a fortnight there, we were forever running.” (A fortnight is approximately two weeks time.)

It’s also possible Swift hints that Healy was a rebound fling after her split from Alwyn, as she says, “I took the magical move on drug / The effects were temporary.”

‘Fresh Out the Slammer’

Although the song largely details her split from Alwyn, Swift seemingly gives Healy a shoutout when she claims he will be the first person she contacts after her breakup is official.

“Fresh out the slammer, I know how my first call will to,” she sings. “All those nights he kept me lonely, I swirled you into all my poems. Now we’re at the starting line, I did my time.”

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