Taylor Swift released a new song from her upcoming album, Lover, on Tuesday, July 23. Titled "The Archer," the track is a departure from the first two singles she's put out from Lover: "Me!" and "You Need to Calm Down." The song is subdued and synth-y, and packed with some pretty gut-wrenching lyrics.
Interestingly, "The Archer" is track number five on the album, which is significant if you know anything about Swift's music. The pop icon has historically made the fifth song on her albums emotional, vulnerable, and deeply personal. (Please see "Delicate," "Dear John," and of course, "All Too Well.") This was unintentional at first, but Swift has since caught on and now makes deliberate choices for her fifth tracks.
"So track five is kind of a tradition that really started with you guys because I didn’t realize I was doing this," Swift said Tuesday on an Instagram live-stream. "But instinctually I was putting a very vulnerable, honest, emotional song as track five. So because you noticed this, I started to put the songs that were honest, emotional, vulnerable, and personal as track five."
"The Archer" is all of those things. "I've been the archer, I've been the prey / Who could ever leave me, darling / But who could stay," she sings in the chorus, which some fans are reading as a nod to her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. They say he is the one who has stayed with her.
"Imagine Taylor sitting on her couch with Joe and she says, like, 'I want to show you something,' and she catches her guitar and sings 'The Archer' to him," one fan wrote.
Some people think "The Archer" is a continuation of the "Delicate" music video, in which Swift becomes invisible but then is seen by a mysterious guy at a bar (presumably Joe).
"Taylor was invisible in the 'Delicate' [video] and everyone could see right through her except for Joe, who could see her for who she truly is…. so he stayed," one fan posited.
There are also lyrics in "The Archer" tied to friendship and trust. "All the king's horses, all the king's men / Couldn't put me together again / 'Cause all of my enemies started out friends / Help me hold on to you," she sings, which could be a nod to the celebrity feuds Swift's been involved in over the years—Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Katy Perry, etc. (It's worth noting that Swift and Perry have since buried their hatchet.)
Fans will be reading into this song for days, and their interpretations will be wildly different. But it's safe to say everyone listening to it is in their feelings. Peep some more reactions, below.
Taylor has done it again, my friends. Read all the lyrics to "The Archer" here.
Originally Appeared on Glamour