After Swift, 29, dropped her seventh studio album, fans began theorizing about the inspirations behind “Cruel Summer,” “Death by a Thousand Cuts,” “False God” and “Afterglow.”
Most Swifties are convinced the dramatically breezy “Cruel Summer” reveals she was fighting feelings for Alwyn while dating Tom Hiddleston in 2016. “I’m drunk in the back of the car / And I cried like a baby coming home from the bar / Said, ‘I’m fine,’ but it wasn’t true / I don’t wanna keep secrets just to keep you,” she sings on the bridge.
Tom after hearing her sing about Joe in Cruel Summer pic.twitter.com/joEyDkpe4v— Swiftish Podcast (@swiftishpod13) August 23, 2019
Other Swifties believe “False God” and the apologetic “Afterglow” were also inspired by Hiddleston, who coincidentally — or not — played Loki (the god of mischief) in The Avengers.
“Hey, it’s all me, in my head / I’m the one who burned us down / But it’s not what I meant / Sorry that I hurt you,” sings Swift on the chorus of the latter.
Like in Cruel Summer she was slowly falling in love with Joe while she's with Tom, and then False God, and then in Afterglow she said it was hEr that is wrong, not Tom. I-— look @ my bio (@taylorsdeli) August 23, 2019
Afterglow is 100 percent about Tom hiddleston. No body can change my mind, nobody. Listened to the song twice, thus i'm concluding with confirmation that the song is about tom. 100 percent.— 🥀🥀 (@notetoself099) August 23, 2019
IS AFTERGLOW ABOUT TOM HIDDLESTON IM GONNA CRY OMG WJAJDJSKDK pic.twitter.com/RHO7FeuZgg— surbhi (@caIlitsnake) August 23, 2019
afterglow and false god are about tom hiddleston yall fight me— stream lover (@nanaA__3) August 23, 2019
“Remember how I said I’d die for you / We were stupid to jump / in the ocean separating us,” sings Swift on “False God.”
On the emotionally charged (yet bop-y!) “Death by a Thousand Cuts,” Swift sings about mourning the end of a relationship, but it turns out the song was inspired by the Netflix film Someone Great.
“I cried watching the movie, and so for about a week I started waking up from dreams that I’m living out that scenario,” Swift told Elvis Duran during an interview on Friday morning. “I woke up and was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m writing a breakup song.'”
.@JennKaytin listened to “1989” on repeat to help get over the breakup that inspired her to write “Someone Great.”@taylorswift13 watched “Someone Great” and said she was inspired to write her new song, “Death By A Thousand Cuts.”— Netflix US (@netflix) August 23, 2019
that's just a truly beautiful thing 💕
The song causing the most debate on social media, however, is the album’s first song “I Forgot That You Existed.” On first listen, most fans believe it’s Swift’s final word on her feud with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West.
But others think it was also inspired by her messy breakup with ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris. “I forgot that you existed / And I thought that it would kill me, but it didn’t / And it was so nice / So peaceful and quiet / I forgot that you existed,” she sings on the upbeat anthem.
I Forgot That You Existed.— “I know I never think before I jump” (@MereMother) August 23, 2019
Critics think this song is about Kanye. Swifties all think it’s about Calvin. Too funny.
“It isn’t love, it isn’t hate. It’s just indifference.”
TRACK ONE: I FORGOT THAT YOU EXISTED— katie louise smith (@_katesss) August 23, 2019
"a breezy little summer ditty. this one is either about kanye or calvin. very nice and lowkey for a taylor album opener. essentially, it’s no ‘state of grace’ but it’s...cute!"
"well. maybe she really did write a song about calvin after all"
i forgot that you existed. what are we thinking. kanye? calvin?— Annie 🦋🌈💕 (@anniewtf) August 23, 2019
In a cover interview with Vogue, Swift recently revealed she would be exploring all aspects of love on her new album.
“There are so many ways in which this album feels like a new beginning,” she told the magazine. “This album is really a love letter to love, in all of its maddening, passionate, exciting, enchanting, horrific, tragic, wonderful glory.”