1989 (Taylor’s Version) by Taylor Swift has officially hit physical and digital shelves and BOY is there a lot to chat about. It’s Taylor’s world and we’re all just living in it, so who exactly is occupying her world on these newly released vault tracks?
Let’s start with “Slut!”.
From the outset, there are a bunch of references to Los Angeles.
References to “Sunrise Boulevard” (the highway in California), and a “moonlit swimmin’ pool” have us highly doubting it’s set in New York City.
The original 1989 was released nine years ago in 2014. So who was Taylor dating back then?
A few Hollywood hombres in her life around that time included Jake Gyllenhaal and Harry Styles.
Tom Hiddleston and her former long-term partner Joe Alwyn came on the scene a few years later so when the actual song was written could dictate who it was about.
In particular, the line “In a world of boys, he’s a gentleman,” is intruiging.
Out of all those men, surely Hiddleston has the best shot at being referred to as a “gentleman”?
Much speculation to follow…
Rolling on to “Is It Over Now?”
Fans are pretty certain this one is about Harry Styles.
This is mostly due to the line “you search in every maiden’s bed for somethin’ greater, baby” which reads like the hardest Comedy Central Roast Battle line you’ve ever heard.
The lyric is thought to be a play on the One Direction song “Something Great”, which was coincidently written by Harry.
The line “whеn you lost control (Uh-huh) red blood, white snow (uh-huh),” could also be referencing the infamous snowmobile accident the two were involved in back in 2014.
Yep, we’re fairly certain this is a Harry song.
“Suburban Legends”, let’s do this.
Again, fans are pretty decisive that this is a Joe Alwyn-inspired choon.
Taylor is a Sagittarius, a fire sign. Meanwhile, Joe is a Pisces, a water sign.
According to Cosmopolitan, and you know … the universe, these two signs “possess a deep desire for flexibility and versatility” and “the ability to go over the top at any given moment”.
It’s also typically thought that fire signs pair best with other fire signs or even air signs.
Not exactly the ideal fit.
The most telling clue, however, is the timeline.
“I had the fantasy that maybe our mismatched star signs / would surprise the whole school / when I ended up back at our class reunion / walkin’ in with you,” Taylor sings.
Her 10-year reunion would’ve been in the year of our lord 2018, AKA the Joe Alwyn era.
Elle Magazine certainly seems to think so.
Case closed? Not really.
Our best guess is that the this vault track (and the four others) were set to be released with the original album back in 2014. Joe and Taylor didn’t start dating until 2016.
Ugh! Now, we’re all confused again.
Alrighty, song number four, “Now That We Don’t Talk”.
We think this one might also be Harry-coded.
“You grew your hair long. You got new icons,” feels like a dead giveaway considering Harry’s aesthetic and musical evolutions during that time.
Harry reached peak shaggy hair shortly after their split. Don’t believe us? See a painfully detailed chronology of his hairstyle changes here.
OKAY LAST ONE. Let’s do “Say Don’t Go”.
I think we’re set for another “inconclusive” conclusion.
Regardless, the chorus features some pretty hectic imagery.
“Why’d you have to lead me on? Why’d you have to twist the knife? Walk away and leave me bleedin’, bleedin’?”
I think this Tweet sums it up best.
If you’re fangin’ for more 1989 (Taylor’s Version) goodness, we penned a deeper exploration into “Slut!” for those of us who crave such ~depth~.
Please enjoy (Pedestrian’s Version).