While Taylor Swift often gets cryptic in her lyrics, she sometimes is more direct than listeners may think.

Swift, 34, put her love life under a microscope on her 11th album, The Tortured Poets Department, making references to exes Joe Alwyn and Matty Healy (and even giving subtle nods to current boyfriend Travis Kelce). On “Fresh Out the Slammer,” Swift seemingly details how she reconnected with Healy, 35, after splitting from Alwyn, 33.

“Now, pretty baby / I’m runnin’ back home to you,” she sings. “Fresh out the slammer / I know who my first call will be to.”

Us Weekly confirmed in April 2023 that Swift and Alwyn called it quits, with a source exclusively revealing that Swift’s stardom contributed to the breakup. Throughout “Fresh Out the Slammer,” Swift alludes to feeling trapped in her relationship with Alwyn.

“Gray and blue and fights and tunnels / Handcuffed to the spell I was under / For just one hour of sunshine,” she sings, seemingly continuing her lyrical trend of using shades of blue to refer to Alwyn. “Years of labor, locks and ceilings / In the shade of how he was feeling / But it’s gonna be alright, I did my time.”

When Swift and Alwyn began dating, she was avoiding the spotlight in the wake of her drama with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. She and the Conversations With Friends actor were notoriously private about their romance, something Swift hinted at in her December 2023 TIME Person of the Year cover story.

“Over the years, I’ve learned I don’t have the time or bandwidth to get pressed about things that don’t matter. … Life is short. Have adventures,” she said at the time. “Me locking myself away in my house for a lot of years — I’ll never get that time back. I’m more trusting now than I was six years ago.”

Swift and Healy, meanwhile, rekindled their old flame in May 2023 — the musicians were first linked back in 2014 — but their paths crossed again months prior. Healy claimed in 2022 that his band, The 1975, collaborated with Swift on an unreleased Midnights track. In January 2023, Swift crashed one of The 1975’s concerts in London to perform her hit “Anti-Hero” for the very first time.

In the opening verse of “Fresh Out the Slammer,” Swift hints at facing troubles in her relationship with Alwyn. “Another summer, takin’ cover, rolling thunder / He don’t understand me,” she sings, likely referring to the summer of 2022 or earlier. (On Friday, Swift clarified the TTPD timeline, saying she’d “written so much tortured poetry over the past 2 years.”)

Swift’s lyrics also point to a relationship that “splintered back in winter,” indicating that her strife with Alwyn was ongoing. Fans will recall producer Jack Antonoff — who also works with The 1975 — revealing the breakup anthem “You’re Losing Me” was written in December 2021.

Fans have theorized Healy is the one Swift was returning “home” to after breaking free of “the slammer,” and the clues continue in the bridge. Swift sings about being referred to as “the girl of his American dreams.” (The 1975 fans will remember the band’s 2016 song “She’s American,” widely believed to be inspired by either Swift or Healy’s ex Halsey.)

Following the release of TTPD, a source exclusively told Us that Healy “couldn’t be happier” with the record. “Matty still thinks very highly of Taylor but we were all nervous about what she might have said on the album,” the insider continued, adding that Healy was “really appreciative” about getting a heads-up from Swift’s team before the songs were out.

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