Who are the
Reputation Songs About? Decoding Taylor Swift’s New Album
November 9, 2017
Taylor Swift‘s album is FINALLY out, and TBH, we’ve been waiting Reputation years to hear what Taylor’s been working on. Just like all of the albums that came before it, it seems like Tay drew her inspiration for her new tunes from a bunch of different people in her life. Now comes the fun part: DECODING! Every. Single. Song.
Of course, it’s going to take a while to fully flesh through all of these AMAZING songs and the incredibly thought-provoking lyrics in them, but so far, we think we’ve got a pretty good idea who these new tracks are about. Are you… ready for it? Let’s begin!
Big Machine Records
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1. Joe Alwyn
Fans were SHOOK when Taylor released "...Ready for It?" late last month, and honestly, we can't think of a better intro for this album! Of course, minutes after its release, fans began speculating about who the song's about, but TBH, the lyrics are pretty clear.
In the song, Taylor sings, "Some boys are tryin' too hard // He don't try at all, though // Younger than my exes but he act like such a man, so," so basically, the song is about Tay's boyfriend,
There are way more clues that the song is about Joe in the "...Ready for It?" music video, too... so we're pretty confident about this one!
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2. Cherry Seaborn... and Joe Alwyn?
Interestingly enough, it kinda seems like
"End Game" may be about Ed Sheeran's fiancée more so than anyone in Tay's life at the moment.
In Ed's feature, he talks about knowing
Cherry Seaborn from when he was young and reconnecting with her once they got older. Their relationship seems super sweet, with Ed saying, "Even when we'd argue we'd not do it for long // And you understand that good and bad end up in this song." Aww... so sweet!
But even though there are no surefire signs this song is about Taylor's bae, Joe Alwyn, we really think she wants him to be her "End Game," so, you know... it could very well be about him, too!
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3. Calvin Harris
Remember when Taylor came forward with the cold, hard truth that she wrote ex-boyfriend
Calvin Harris's hit song, "This is What You Came For," under the pseudonym Nils Sjoberg? Well, we think "I Did Something Bad" is her way of never letting him live it down.
When Taylor revealed that she was Nils, Calvin defended himself on Twitter, saying, "Initially she wanted it kept secret, hence the pseudonym. Hurtful to me at this point that her and her team would go so far out of their way to try and make ME look bad at this stage though."
It appears that Taylor responds in this song, saying, "If he drops my name then I owe him nothing // If he spends my change then he had it coming." He name-dropped her in his tweets, and it's her change because she wrote the song. There you have it, folks!
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4. Joe Alwyn
"Don't Blame Me," Tay acknowledges the fact that she's been a heartbreaker for a while because she's never been with the right one. She sings, "I've been breaking hearts a long time // And toying with them older guys // Just play things for me to use." She goes on to explain that someone (a.k.a. Joe), who just so happened to be much younger than the guys she's dated in the past, came around and changed that.
This matches up with what we've been hearing from the lucky fans who went to the Secret Sessions who've said that Taylor believes Joe is really the one. She goes on to sing, "Lord save me // My drug is my baby // I'll be using for the rest of my life." The rest of her life? Yup... sounds like a commitment that's definitely reserved for her current beau, Joe Alwyn!
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5. Joe Alwyn
Since the start of this new era, it hasn't been a secret that one of the biggest themes is how the media has tarnished her reputation over the years, making her dating life almost impossible. In
"Delicate," Taylor acknowledges that her "reputation's never been worse." Even though that's both sad and true, this actually seems to be a really sweet song about how Joe likes her for who she really is, and not for who the media says she is. GOALS.
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6. Kanye West
When Taylor released
"Look What You Made Me Do," as the first single off Reputation, fans knew she wasn't playing around. This era, Tay would be coming for blood, and in seconds they were able to put together the pieces and figure out that this song is a direct response to her ongoing feud with Kanye West.
Throughout the song, Tay makes several references to the rapper, including one very specific reference to the "tilted stage" he used on his
Saint Pablo Tour. With this single, one thing was made very clear: Taylor would NOT be holding back on this album, no matter how direct and scathing it may be.
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7. Joe Alwyn
Of course, every relationship has its complications, but in
"So It Goes...," Taylor seems to be talking about how, although her and Joe's relationship isn't perfect (because no relationship ever is), it all seems to come together and fall into place when they see and spend time with another. TBH, if they weren't already our couple goals before, they definitely are now with the release of this FIRE album... don't you think?
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8. Joe Alwyn
When Taylor released
"Gorgeous," for the world to hear, fans were a little bewildered because in the song she references a love interest who is older. Therefore, many fans ruled out her current BF, Joe Alwyn, as the subject right away.
However, one fan who attended a
Reputation Secret Session revealed, "Basically Taylor made us all promise that if anyone made any accusations of who this song is about, we tell them it is 100% about her angel boyfriend of one year (this isn't a secret, she wanted us to tell people)."
Well, if the lyric about his "ocean blue eyes" didn't give it away, this fan testimony just about solves it!
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9. Calvin Harris
There are a bunch of different references in
"Getaway Car" that make us believe that this song is about her ex-BF, Calvin Harris.
In the song, she alludes to "shades of grey," which conveniently is almost exactly the name of the movie soundtrack she was part of in that same year with her song, "I Don't Wanna Live Forever." She sings, "The ties were black // The lies were white // In shades of grey and candlelight // I wanted a reason // I needed to leave him."
What we're thinking is that
Tom Hiddleston was her "getaway car" from her relationship with Calvin. Why? Because she jumped from one relationship to the other very fast and goes on to sing, "With three of us, honey, it's a sideshow." Hmm...
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10. Joe Alwyn
"King of My Heart" is yet another song on Reputation all about how much she loves her current beau, Joe Alwyn.
In the song, she describes herself as Joe's "American Queen," says they're connected "body and soul" and talks about never letting him go. Yeah... we get it, they're soulmates, and this is another song to let us know... just in case we forgot!
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11. Joe Alwyn
Yes, this is another song about Joe, as far as we can tell, but this time it's not all sunshine and daisies as she expresses some real fears that she had to face at the beginning of their relationship.
"Dancing with Our Hands Tied," she sings about dancing and enjoying their time together despite the "bad feeling" she had that something would come along and ruin it, just like all her past relationships. Ugh, we feel you, Tay!
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12. Joe Alwyn... and Drake?
In what is probably the sexiest and most scandalous Taylor Swift song to ever exist, Tay, once again, references her current boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. How do we know? At one point, she mentions meeting him when he had a buzz cut. Well, flash back to the 2016 MET Gala (which they both attended), and you'll see photos of Joe with the aforementioned 'do.
However, fans have recently come up with another theory that this song is actually about
Drake because of the lyrics about a "golden tattoo." Since tay sported a tattoo of that same color to Drake's birthday party and he also has a buzz cut, many fans are completely convinced this song is about him.
Honestly, though, the lyrics also mentioned that TayTay's hair was bleached on the night they first met, which lines up perfectly with our original theory that it's about Joe. Why? Because Taylor's hair was bleached on the night of the MET Gala. Whoa.
Whoever it's about, the important thing is the feeling you get when you listen. Do you know that feeling you got when you first listened to the part of "Wildest Dreams" about his hands being in her hair and his clothes being in her room? Multiply that feeling times ten for
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13. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
After "Look What You Made Me Do," we've got to be honest... we didn't think we'd get another song about the Taylor and Kimye feud, but alas, it seems that
"This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things" is definitely an ode to their beef as well.
In the song, Taylor sings, "It was so nice being friends again // There I was giving you a second chance // But you stabbed me in the back while shaking my hand." But she doesn't stop there. Taylor adds, "And therein lies the issue // Friends don't try to trick you // Get you on the phone and mind-twist you." Need we say more?
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14. Joe Alwyn
So, yeah... it certainly seems like most of the songs on this album are about Taylor's current dreamboat of a boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, and
"Call It What You Want" is no exception.
After what's been a rocky love life so far, this song is the affirmation fans have been looking for that Taylor is finally in a happy and mature relationship. In one line she sings, "I want to wear his initial on a chain 'round my neck, chain 'round my neck // Not because he owns me // But 'cause he really knows me," and — SHOCKER — she
has been spotted wearing his initial over the past several months. Of course, this is only one of the many subtle clues, but it's also pretty much a dead giveaway... don't you think?
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15. Joe Alwyn
We'll be honest... some of our fave T.S. songs from albums past have been slow ballads. Like, just think about "All Too Well," for example! Well,
"New Year's Day" is another ballad we already love SO much, and it's all about how she will hold on to her relationship with Joe even if things get hard. She sings, "I want your midnights, but I'll be cleaning up bottles with you on New Year's Day."
BRB, crying real tears.