Taylor Swift has shared the meanings of her lyrics from ‘The Tortured Poets Department‘ in a new track-by-track Amazon commentary.

The track breakdown comes after the release of Swift’s 11th studio album last Friday (April 19). Fans can stream ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ along with the commentary – which sees the pop star explaining the meaning of each song – by saying to their Amazon Alexa “I’m a member of ‘The Tortured Poets Department.’”

Those who do not own an Amazon Alexa can stream the track by track on Amazon Music with their Amazon account.

Swift has revealed the inspirations being the sing ‘Fortnight (Featuring Post Malone)’, ‘Clara Bow’, ‘Florida!!! (Featuring Florence + the Machine)’, ‘Who’s Afraid Of Little Old Me?’ and ‘My Boy Only Breaks His Favourite Toys’.

Speaking about the album’s lead single and opening track, the ‘Bejewled’ singer said: “‘Fortnight’ is a song that exhibits a lot of the common themes that run throughout this album. One of which being fatalism — longing, pining away, lost dreams,” (as transcribed by Variety).

She continued: “I think that it’s a very fatalistic album in that there are lots of very dramatic lines about life or death. ‘I love you, it’s ruining my life.’ These are very hyperbolic, dramatic things to say. It’s that kind of album.”

Opening up about ‘Clara Bow’ – named after the famous silent film actress – Swift explained that the song is “a commentary on what I’ve seen in the industry that I’ve been in over time.”

“I used to sit in record labels trying to get a record deal when I was a little kid. And they’d say, ‘You know, you remind us of’ and then they’d name an artist, and then they’d kind of say something disparaging about her, ‘But you’re this, you’re so much better in this way or that way.’ And that’s how we teach women to see themselves, as like you could be the new replacement for this woman who’s done something great before you,” she said.

Swift added: “I picked women who have done great things in the past and have been these archetypes of greatness in the entertainment industry. Clara Bow was the first ‘it girl.’ Stevie Nicks is an icon and an incredible example for anyone who wants to write songs and make music.”

‘Florida!!! (Featuring Florence + the Machine)’ sees the singer shift gears and not directly focus on a former lover. Swift revealed that the inspiration for the song came from  “always watching Dateline.”

She continued: “People have these crimes that they commit; where do they immediately skip town and go to? They go to Florida. They try to reinvent themselves, have a new identity, blend in. I think when you go through a heartbreak, there’s a part of you that thinks, ‘I want a new name. I want a new life. I don’t want anyone to know where I’ve been or know me at all.’ And so that was the jumping off point. Where would you go to reinvent yourself and blend in? Florida!”

Speaking of ‘Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?’, the singer explained that she created the track while “alone, sitting at the piano in one of those moments when I felt bitter about just all the things we do to our artists as a society and as a culture.”

“There’s a lot about this particular concept on ‘The Tortured Poets Department,’” she continued. “What do we do to our writers, and our artists, and our creatives? We put them through hell. We watch what they create, then we judge it. We love to watch artists in pain, often to the point where I think sometimes as a society we provoke that pain and we just watch what happens.”

Elsewhere, Swift recalled that ‘My Boy Only Breaks His Favourite Toys’ is about “being somebody’s favourite toy, until they break you and then don’t want to play with you anymore.

“Which is how a lot of us are in relationships where we are so valued by a person in the beginning, and then all of the sudden, they break us or they devalue us in their mind. We’re still clinging on to ‘No no, no. You should’ve seen them the first time they saw me. They’ll come back to that. They’ll get back to that.’”

‘The Tortured Poets Department’ scored a three-star review from NME upon its release, with Laura Molloy writing: “The pitfalls that mire her 11th studio album are all the more disappointing — she’s proven time and time again she can do better. To a Melbourne audience of her Eras Tour, Swift said that ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ came from a “need” to write. It’s just that maybe we didn’t need to hear it.”

In other news, fans have speculated that Swift’s 11th studio LP was written about The 1975 frontman Matty Healy. The pair were romantically linked for a short period in 2023.

Elsewhere, Patti Smith responded to Swift’s name-check on the album. Smith has had her say on her name being dropped in the song in a social media post featuring a photo of her reading Thomas. “This is saying I was moved to be mentioned in the company of the great Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. Thank you Taylor.”

Numerous artists are name-checked throughout ‘The Tortured Poets Department’. The title track refers to a “Lucy”, which fans seem convinced is a reference to Lucy Dacus, one third of the Grammy-winning group boygenius. Charlie Puth gets a shout out on the same song, while fans are also speculating about whether ‘thanK you aIMee’ is aimed at Kim Kardashian.

Swift also mentioned the cult Scottish indie band The Blue Nile on ‘Guilty As Sin?’, which appears to be another nod to Healy. American 00’s pop-punk band The Starting Line also responded to Swift after she referenced them on ‘The Black Dog’.

Following the LP’s release, Swift will resume her career-spanning ‘Eras Tour’ in Europe next month before heading to the UK and Ireland in June. Swift is due to play eight shows at Wembley Stadium in London this summer as part of the run, with support coming from Paramore.

The post Taylor Swift shares song lyric meanings for ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ in track-by-track Amazon commentary appeared first on NME.