Taylor Swift’s “The Black Dog” Has Made a London Pub the Hottest New Swiftie Spot

Taylor Swift’s “The Black Dog” Has Made a London Pub the Hottest New Swiftie Spot
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Leave it to Taylor Swift to make a London pub the hottest spot in town with just one mention.

Last Friday, April 19, the singer-songwriter dropped her highly-anticipated eleventh studio album, The Tortured Poets Department, and then a mere two hours later, she released a double album, which she deemed “The Anthology.” Among those 15 bonus tracks, one of them is titled “The Black Dog,” and it tells of a moment Swift was looking at her boyfriend’s location on her phone, and tracked him as he walked “into some bar called The Black Dog.”

In classic Swiftian fashion, there are lots of hidden meanings in the song. First off, a “black dog” has often been used to refer to depression, and some claim Winston Churchill helped popularized the phrase. Of course, it also just sounds like the name of a classic British pub, and Swift may not have been thinking about any place in particular when she wrote it, but now, she’s had an impact on the actual Black Dog that sits in Vauxhall, South London.

The Marketing Manager of the pub, Amy Cowley, revealed to People that the demand since the song’s release has been “surreal.” Cowley said, “We’re quite lucky because we’re a well-established and well-loved local pub already, but that’s the key word, we’re a local pub, so to get this worldwide attention has been crazy.”

She added, “We’ve had people from all over. We’ve had interest from the States, Spain, Germany and Australia. It’s been far-reaching...Every single day since the album has been released we’ve had to turn people away as we’re at max capacity, so that shows the levels that we’re talking about.”

The manager also noted that Swifties have been the most gracious of guests, as she said, “What’s been great though is that the fans have been amazing. We’ve had them shifting up to share tables with strangers to let people get in the door which is really cool.”

As pop music fans storm the London pub, there’s always lots of interest as to who “The Black Dog” is really about, be that Swift’s ex of six years, Joe Alwyn, or the 1975 frontman, Matty Healy, who Swift had a short relationship with following her split from Alwyn.

Many of the lyrics seem to suggest a more serious relationship, indicating that it’s about her longtime boyfriend. “I move through the world with the heartbroken / My longings stay unspoken / And I may never open up thе way I did for you,” Swift sings.

Meanwhile, the singer appears to be making a reference to her Lover track “Daylight” with the lines “Six weeks of breathin’ clean air / I still miss the smoke,” as there’s a sentence in “Daylight” that goes, “Clearing the air, I breathed in the smoke” (and that album centered around Swift’s relationship with Alwyn).

Plus, the owner of The Black Dog, Lily Bottomley, hinted that Alwyn is a “regular” in an interview with Sky News Monday. “I don’t want to give too much away,” she said. “We do have a certain blond regular who frequents, let’s just say that.”

And while that seems like pretty clear evidence, there are also a few Healy allusions in the track. For instance, Swift makes a couple references to the band The Starting Line, which Healy’s group The 1975 covered during shows in New Zealand and the Philippines. Then, there’s also the reference to a woman “too young” to know the song that Swift’s ex loves, which may be a reference to Healy’s current girlfriend, Gabbriette Bechtel (who is nearly a decade Healy’s junior).

Perhaps Swift used experiences from both these relationships when writing “The Black Dog,” and we’ll probably never know for sure. But what we do know is that The Black Dog in London will probably have Swifties busting down its doors for weeks to come.

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