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Top 3 Songs On ‘The Tortured Poets Department’

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

For millions of people, Taylor Swift’s new album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” has been on repeat since it was released last Friday. Personally, I listened to the album as soon as it came out but little did I know it only contained the first 16 songs.

At 2 a.m. Taylor Swift released a second album, containing 15 more songs, completing the album with a total of 31 songs and making it her longest album yet.

This album contains a unique vibe in comparison to her prior albums. Through her lyrics, it feels as though Swift wants to communicate her life experience with fans, not to mention how healing it is to get heavy emotions off of her chest.

Her long time fans might appreciate this album more than new swifties, since a lot of songs require background knowledge and some FBI skills to figure out what she’s writing about/implying.

Finally, after listening and deciphering lyrics from all 31 songs, I have my initial top three favorites nailed down.

i can do it with a broken heart

I think this is the song from the album, and a lot of fans feel the same way.

Essentially, she writes about the Era’s Tour and how she experienced a breakup while performing. Even though she was “miserable” she still put a smile on each night and pretended everything was okay for the sake of her fans.

This song is upbeat compared to the majority of other songs on this album. It reminds me of the “Barbie” movie, specifically when Barbie is dancing with her friends and pretending to be happy despite actually experiencing anxiety. Though this song’s meaning is masked by a fun beat, the lyrics reveal its sad nature.

Throughout the song, she sings lyrics like: “I cry a lot but I am so productive,” “I’m so depressed I act like it’s my birthday, every day” and “You know you’re good when you can even do it with a broken heart.” My favorite lyric from this song is: “He said he’d love me for all time, but that time was quite short.”

It’s evident that she was not in the best mindset at the start of The Era’s Tour, but now that this song is out and she’s in a new relationship, I’m hoping she’s been able to heal from what she went through.

So long, london

The intro for “So Long, London” shocked me; it sounds so angelic, which I was not expecting for a song about heartbreak.

“So Long, London” is one of the songs that I feel most in my heart. My interpretation of the song is that Swift found a home in London — where her ex boyfriend is from — and was content with living there, but at the same time felt her relationship failing.

It’s almost as if she never wanted to leave London, but still knew it was inevitable at some point.

In this song, her voice cadences in a way I’ve never heard before. When she sings lyrics such as, “My spine split from carrying us up a hill” and “I kept calm and carried the weight of the rift, pulled him in tighter each time he was drifting away,” she sounds incredible. I think these words imply that though her relationship was not going great, she was still doing everything she could in order to hold it together for the both of them.

This song expresses her final goodbye to London and her realization that it’s time for her to leave this place she called home for years.

My favorite lyric from this song is: “I didn’t opt to be your odd man out.”


“You don’t get to tell me about sad.”

If you’re a Swiftie, you might have seen the video of Swift’s ex, Joe Alwan, pointing his finger at her in a restaurant. In the background of the video, when the person recording walks by, it sounds like someone says “You don’t get to tell me about sad.”

There is a lot of speculation about who said it, whether it was him or AI, and if that’s even what was said at all. But when I first heard that lyric, my jaw dropped. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that there’s a video of Alwan (supposedly) saying that to her and now it’s in a song.

My favorite lyric in this song is: “Put narcotics in all of my songs, that’s why you’re still singing along.”

While I keep listening and breaking down the lyrics, I’m sure my favorites list will change, but for now, these three are on repeat.

Caroline is a third-year student at Penn State studying digital and print journalism with a minor in digital media trends and analytics. When she is not doing school work or writing for HER Campus @ PSU, she is at the gym, watching YouTube, cooking/ baking, or hanging out with friends.