Which TTPD Songs Are About Joe Alwyn, Matty Healy, And Why Is Charlie Puth Name Dropped?

Fans have already labelled Track Five her most heartbreaking yet


by Charlotte Roberts |
Updated on

Today marks a big day for Swifties around the world: Not only has Taylor Swiftreleased her new album, The Tortured Poets Department, but the star has also dropped a secret double album. Taking to social media, Taylor wrote, ‘It’s a 2am surprise: The Tortured Poets Department is a secret DOUBLE album’

‘I’d written so much tortured poetry in the past 2 years and wanted to share it with you, so here’s the second instalment to TTPD: The Anthology. 15 extra songs. And now the story isn’t mine anymore… it’s yours.’

Taking to social media to gush about the new album, one fan wrote, ‘This is a whole new level for Taylor – I can’t even begin to think how she’ll ever top TTPD. It’s genuinely the peak of her career, her songwriting, her vocals, everything is just perfect.’

Earlier this year, Taylor opened up to fans on her Eras tour about her upcoming The Tortured Poets Department album, describing it as ‘really a lifeline.' ‘Tortured Poets is an album – I think more than any of my albums that I’ve ever made – I needed to make it. It was really a lifeline for me. Just the things I was going through and the things I was writing about.’

‘It reminded me of why songwriting is something that actually gets me through my life, and I never had an album where I needed songwriting more than I needed it on Tortured Poets.'

Of course, many Swifties took this to mean we’d be getting more than one good old breakup song. While she’s happily loved up with Travis Kelce now, it appears many of the songs were penned during her past heartbreak – and in true Swift fashion, she’d no doubt take some real life inspiration from her ex's.


Last year, Taylor split from actor Joe Alwyn after six years together. Certain songs such as ‘So Long, London,’ and ‘I Can Do It With A Broken Heart,’ seemed to hint towards the British born actor, however the biggest easter egg came in the name.

In 2022, Joe revealed that he was in a group chat called The Tortured Man Club with fellow actors Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott. The Tortured Poets Department may be nothing more than a catchy album name, but Swifties know nothing is ever simply a coincidence when it comes to Taylor.

However, upon streaming the album, fans were also shocked to see hints of another famous ex in the lyrics. Some of the lyrics seemed to hint at Taylor’s rekindled fling with The 1975’s Matty Healy that took place last year.

With The Tortured Poets Department and TTPD: Anthology hitting streaming platforms, here’s a deep dive into all of Taylor’s lyrics that could hint at Joe Alwyn, Matty Healy, and just why Charlie Puth is namedropped in a song.

Which Taylor Swift songs are about Matty Healy?

'Fortnight (feat. Post Malone)'

Subject: Matty Healy

'Fortnight' is the album’s lead single featuring rapper and singer Post Malone, but far from being only about Joe Alwyn, Taylor seems to point towards Matty Healy.

In the lyrics, Taylor sings, ‘And no one here’s to blame / But what about your quiet treason? / I took the miracle move-on-drug / The effects were temporary / and I love you, it’s ruining my life.’

While some fans have interpreted the song to be a lament of how Taylor’s hearbreak with Joe played in the back of her head as she attempted to move on, others suggested it might actually be a nod to her fling with Matty Healy. Noting the title, one fan questioned, ‘I have a theory, how long did the relationship with Matt last? What if it was… for a fortnight.’

'I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)'

Subject: Matty Healy

In ‘I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)’, Taylor’s lyrics appear to give an insight into a whirlwind romance with a bad boy – specifically one that she felt she could ‘fix.' Looking at Taylor's list of ex's, The 1975's Matty certainly fits the bill. After all, his career hasn't come without a handful of controversies.

Taylor sings, ‘The smoke billows out his mouth / Like a freight train through a small town / The jokes that he told her across the bar were revolting / And far too loud’

‘They shake their heads saying ‘God help her’ when I tell ‘em he’s my man / But your good Lord doesn’t need to / I can fix him / No, really I can.’

Taylor Swift, Nick Grimshaw and Matt Healy in 2015 ©David M. Benett/Getty Images for Soho House & Bacardi

'The Tortured Poet's Department'

Subject: Matty Healy

While the name appears to nod towards Joe Alwyn’s group chat, the lyrics of this song seem to reference a certain boyband singer...

In the lyrics, Taylor appears to hint that she knew Matty was never right for her. She sings, ‘But you’re in self sabotage mode throwing spikes down the road / But I’ve seen this episode and still loved the show.’

Taylor Swift and Matty Healy in May, 2023 ©Getty

The song also opens with the reference of a ‘typewriter,’ with Taylor singing, ‘You left your typewriter at my apartment / Straight from the tortured poets department / I think some things I never say / like who uses typewriters anyway?’

In a 2018 interview with GQ, Matty Healy included a typewriter in his list of 10 things he couldn’t live without, saying ‘And the thing is with typewriters and writing with pen to paper, there’s a kind of element of commitment that goes with the ceremony of it, therefore, it requires you to concentrate a bit better.’

Why is Charlie Puth named on Taylor Swift's new album?

In a move Swifties never saw coming, Taylor also namedrops singer Charlie Puth in the song, singing ‘You smoked then ate seven bars of chocolate / We declared Charlie Puth should be a bigger artist.’

Not only is ‘Chocolate’ the name of The 1975’s hit song, but Swifties have also unsurfaced a 2018 tweet in which Matty appears to declare himself a Charlie Puth fan.

‘That Charlie Puth and Boyz II Men track is harrrd,’ Matty shared.

Elsewhere, Taylor sings, ‘I scratch your head, you fall asleep/ Like a tattooed golden retriever.’ Joe Alwyn doesn’t seem to have any tattoos, but do you know who has plenty? Matty.

Which Taylor Swift songs are about Joe Alwyn?

'My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys'

Subject: Joe Alwyn

In 'My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys,' Taylor seems to reflect on her notoriously ‘secretive’ relationship with Joe. Her lyrics read, ‘Put me back on my shelf/ But first, pull the string and I’ll tell you that he runs because he loves me.’

‘I felt more when we played than with all the Kens / ‘Cause he took me out of my box / stole my tortured heart / left all these broken parts /told me I’m better off, but I’m not.'

Indeed, Taylor and Joe's romance was kept largely under wraps. A mile away from her calm and collected Coachella appearance with Travis, Taylor and Joe were rarely seen together - with him often spotted 'running' away from paparazzi and into waiting taxis.

'So Long, London'

Subject: Joe Alwyn

Track fives have become infamous among Swifties for being filled with Taylor’s most gut-wrenching songs, with previous track fives including sob-your-heart-out anthems such as ‘tolerate it’ and ‘All Too Well.'

And The Tortured Poet’s Department finds its track five in the equally heartbreakhing ‘So Long, London.’

Taylor sings, ‘I stopped CPR after all it’s no use / The spirit was gone, we would never come to / And I’m pissed off you would let me give you all that youth for free / So long, London.’

The song certainly appears to read as a sister song to Midnights’ ‘You’re Losing Me,’ where Taylor once again sang about her relationship slowly dying.

Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn, 2022

Elsewhere, Taylor sings about her ‘quiet resentment’ towards her ex, saying ‘You swore that you loved me but where were the clues / I died on the alter waiting for proof / You sacrificed us to the God of your bluest days.’ Taylor made no secret of her dreams to build a life with Joe – and marriage was a part of that plan she didn’t shy away from, as seen in in songs such as ‘Paper Rings’ and ‘Lover.’

With her London boy no more, Taylor heartbreakingly bids farewell to ‘the house in the Heath’, singing, ‘Had a good run, but I’m not the one, London.’

Disussing the song, one fan wrote, ‘I don’t even care about the whole Tyalor Joe situation but going from ‘London Boy’ to ‘So Long, London’ is devastating.’

'Fresh Out The Slammer'

Subject: Joe Alwyn... And Matty Healy... Or maybe Travis Kelce?

If there’s one song that seems haunted with the ghost of Taylor and Joe’s relationship, it’s ‘Fresh Out The Slammer,' which sees Taylor sing of the isolation she felt following her breakup.

‘Another summer taking cover / Rolling thunder, he don’t understand me / Splintered back in Winter / Silent dinner, bitter he was with her in dreams.’

She then recalls ‘running’ to another love after the split, writing, ‘Now we’re at the starting line / I did my time.’

Fans have plenty of theories that this is yet another song covering Taylor’s brief romance with Matty following her split from Joe, writing ‘Is fresh out the slammer literally about her escaping Joe and running to Matty?’ Another questioned, ‘Fresh out the Slammer, meaning she is leaving her relationship with Joe and into the one with Travis.’


Subject: Joe Alwyn

Yet another song that requires an abundance of tissues within reaching distance, ‘loml’ appears to address Taylor’s feelings of betrayal over her relationship with Joe not working out.

Once again alluding to empty promises of a future together, Taylor sings, ‘You shit talked me under the table talking rings and talking cradles’ and ‘What we thought was for all time was just momentary.’

Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn, November 2019 ©GOR/GC Images

The song also seems to reference someone who claimed he was ‘reformed’ – with lyrics such as ‘The coward claimed he was a lion,’ and ‘Mr. Steal Your Girl and then make her cry.’ While Joe certainly seemed to have an innocent enough dating life in the public eye, Taylor had previously hinted that the actor had a rather decorated dating life. In Reputation’s ‘Are You Ready For It?’, Taylor sang ‘Knew he was a killer / first time that I saw him /Breaking hearts and never saying sorry.’

She also dubs her former lover a ‘cinephile’ in the song, singing ‘Impressionist paintings of heaven turned out to be fakes.’ Reading between the lines, it seems the singer is hinting that this was one relationship where promises were left unkept.

'I Can Do It With A Broken Heart'

Subject: Joe Alwyn

One of the album’s more upbeat tracks, ‘I Can Do It With a Broken Heart’ is a classic TayTay song about holding it together while her heart falls apart.

‘I’m a real tough kid, I can handle my shit,’ she sings, ‘They said I gotta fake it till you make it, and baby I did.' Rather than spend the early days of her breakup with Joe curled up on the sofa and sobbing to The Notebook, Taylor dealt with her heartbreak onstage, in front of thousands of paying fans at her record-breaking Eras Tour.

Far from having ‘the time of her life,’ Taylor recalls that she was ‘breaking down.’

‘All the pieces of me shattered while the crowd was shouting more / I was grinning like I’m winning, I was hitting my marks / Because I can do it with a broken heart.’

‘I can hold my breath’ she sings, ‘I’ve been doing it since he left.’

'The Black Dog'

Subject: Joe Alwyn

One of _TTPD’_s bonus tracks, 'The Black Dog' addresses a post-breakup struggle that we all know too well: having your mind run wild.

After her former flame forgot to turn his phone location off, Taylor reveals that she ‘watches him walk into some bar.’

‘Old habits die screaming’ she sings, picturing her ex with another woman. ‘I move through the world heartbroken, longing unspoken / And I may never open up the way I did for you.’

Now, The Black Dog does sound suspiciously like the name of a good old British pub. In fact, there's a Black Dog situated in Vauxhall, just a short tube away from Joe's native Highgate. We'll leave that one with you...

'The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived'

Subject: Unknown

Perhaps the most damning song on the album, ‘The Smallest Man Who Ever Lives’ seems to hint at some form of betrayal in the relationship.

Taylor sings, ‘And you’ll confess why you did it, and I’ll say good riddance / ‘Cause it wasn’t sexy once it was forbidden’

‘You didn’t measure up in any measure of a man / I would have died for your sins but instead I just died inside / You deserve prison, but you won’t get time / You will slide into inboxes and slip through the bars.’

The song led many fans to question whether Taylor’s recent relationships may have come to an end after she was cheated on. Of course, it's not known whether Taylor and Joe's breakup was ever linked to infidelity, with both of them staying relatively quiet regarding the split.

Charlotte Roberts is a News and Entertainment Writer for Grazia, writing interviews and features around everything pop culture.

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