All The Times Taylor Swift Sang About Joe Alwyn In Her Songs

Their love might not have lasted but at least we have these songs to remember it by.

Joe Alwyn, Taylor Swift Featureflash Photo Agency, Andrea Raffin / Shutterstock & StediaCo via CanvaPro

It's no secret that Taylor Swift has drawn from her past relationships when it comes to penning the lyrics to her songs. In fact, the majority of Swift's tunes are about the men she's dated from Jake Gyllenhaal to John Mayer. While some of Swift's songs have been about love and romance, it seems the majority have been about relationships that have soured.

In recent years, Swift has been in a relationship with Joe Alwyn, and, at one point, the two were very much in love, which provided fans with some love songs. 


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Swift and Alwyn are believed to have started dating sometime in early 2017 but kept their relationship with Alwyn hush-hush for several months. 

In April 2023, Swift and Alwyn's split was reported by several media outlets. "They've had rough patches before and always worked things out, so friends thought they would take some time apart but eventually come back together. Ultimately wasn't the right fit for one another," a source told People magazine. The news came just weeks after Swift had embarked on her highly anticipated "Eras" tour.


Swift and Alwyn may be going their separate ways, but Swifties still have nearly a dozen songs to remember their romance by — and we're sure we'll be getting some new music with some not-so-hidden details about what went wrong. 

For now, let's take a look back at the songs that Swift wrote about Alwyn. 

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Here are all of Taylor Swift's songs believed to be about Joe Alwyn:

‘....Ready For It’ from Reputation

"...Ready For It," from Swift's "Reputation" album had plenty of hints about Swift's new relationship. The album was released in 2017, about a year after the two began dating, and features many references to a budding romance and lessons learned from past loves.


"Every love I've known in comparison is a failure / I forget their names now, I'm so very tame now" could suggest that Swift saw Alwyn as a significant improvement over her past relationships—many of which played out in the lyrics of her previous songs.

The music video for the track also features Easter eggs about the actor such as his birth year and his name in Chinese letters.

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‘End Game’ from Reputation

The song, which features Future and Ed Sheeran, refers to a desire for a lasting relationship in its title. Several of Swift’s lyrics appear to be about a new love.


"Big reputation, big reputation / Ooh, you and me, we got big reputations," she sings, likely referring to the public scrutiny on their romance.

"And I can't let you go, your handprint's on my soul / It's like your eyes are liquor, it's like your body is gold / You've been calling my bluff on all my usual tricks / So here's the truth from my red lips."

The music video for the track is set in London, England and sees Swift donning a “J” necklace—could she give any more clues?

‘Delicate’ from Reputation

In "Delicate," Swift sings about feeling vulnerable and cautious in a new relationship.


The lyrics "Is it cool that I said all that? / Is it chill that you're in my head? / 'Cause I know that it's delicate" suggest that she's worried about being too open and scaring off her new partner.

The song also includes the lyric: "My reputation's never been worse, so / You must like me for me." At the time of the romance beginning, Swift was at the height of her fame and at the center of a narrative around her love life and dating habits which often caused her to get shamed as a serial dater.

Frequently forced to defend herself against largely misogynistic scrutiny, Swift appears to embrace Alwyn’s ability to look past the rumors about her and not judge her dating history.

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‘So It Goes’ from Reputation

Swift sings: "Met you in a bar / All eyes on me, your illusionist / All eyes on us / I make all your gray days clear and / Wear you like a necklace."

We know she has that “J” necklace so perhaps that’s what she’s referring to here? Swift and Alwyn are reported to have met at the Met Gala… not a bar. But, who knows, maybe they first spoke at a bar there?

‘King Of My Heart’ from Reputation

The repeated references to monarchy in this track could be a nod to Alwyn’s British roots.


Swift also sings, "'Cause all the boys and their expensive cars / With their Range Rovers and their Jaguars / Never took me quite where you do." Ironically, or perhaps not knowing Swift’s ability to include hidden references in her songs, Range Rovers and Jaguars are the cars speculated to have been driven by several of Swift’s exes including Tom Hiddleston, Calvin Harris, and Harry Styles.

Swift also says that her partner tells her that they “fancy” her in this song – this use of British slang makes sense considering Alwyn is English.

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‘Dancing With Our Hands Tied’ from Reputation

The title, and the track, reference a forbidden or secret love that fans often speculate to be about Alwyn since Swift was technically dating Tom Hiddleston for a couple of months after first meeting Alwyn.


Swift tried to keep her relationship with Alwyn a secret for as long as she could, and considering the scrutiny she’s faced in the past for her dating history, it’s no wonder she’d want to keep aspects of her personal life to herself.

"I loved you in secret / First sight, yeah, we love without reason / Oh, twenty-five years old / Oh, how were you to know, and / My, my love had been frozen / Deep blue, but you painted me golden."

Swift references the secrecy surrounding her relationship with Alwyn with the line “Picture of your face in an invisible locket,” and she stated why she was so reluctant to go public in another line: “I loved you in spite of / Deep fears that the world would divide us.”

‘Dress’ from Reputation

“Dress” is a steamy song all about the pining in the early stages of Swift’s relationship with Alwin, before they were publicly dating.


"Flashback when you met me / Your buzzcut and my hair bleached / Even in my worst times / You could see the best of me."

Swift bleached her hair an almost white blonde for the 2016 Met Gala and there are no prizes for guessing how Alwyn wore his hair at the event.

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‘Call It What You Want’ from Reputation

"'Cause my baby's fit like a daydream / Walkin' with his head down, I'm the one he's walkin' to / So call it what you want, yeah, call it what you want to."


Swift also references that very special necklace once again when she sings that she wants to wants to "wear his initial on a chain round my neck."

‘New Year’s Day’ from Reputation

With lines like, “I stay when you're lost, and I'm scared, and you're turning away / I want your midnights / But I'll be cleaning up bottles with you on New Year's Day,” and “Please don't ever become a stranger,” Swift seems to be fearful of losing Alwyn and expresses her plans to be there during the good and the bad times.

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‘Gorgeous’ from Reputation

According to fans who attended Swift’s secret listening sessions for “Reputation,” Swift basically confirmed that this song was about Alwyn.

Even before she confirmed that Alwyn inspired “Gorgeous,” fans had put the pieces together from lines like “Ocean blue eyes looking in mine / I feel like I might sink and drown and die.”


‘Lover’ from ‘Lover’

Released in 2019, this album is dripping with references to Alwyn and their—by then—well-established romance.

"I've loved you three summers now, honey, but I want 'em all," Swift sings.

Fans speculate that this lyric may refer to the length of time Swift and Alwyn were been together. The couple was official by early 2017, if not before then, which means they would have been together for three summers by the time "Lover" was released in August 2019.


Certain copies of the “Lover” album even came with a diary entry about their romance, in which Swift wrote about her fear of making the relationship public: “We have been together and no one has found out for three months now. I want it to stay that way because I don’t want anything about this to change.”

Swift alluded to the secrecy in the early stages of her relationship in multiple songs from “Reputation,” but since “Lover” was released after the two had been publicly dating for a couple of years, she was able to be more upfront about the details of her relationship.

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‘Cruel Summer’ from ‘Lover’

“Cruel Summer” seems to be about the summer of 2016 and the beginning of Swift’s relationship with Alwyn.


The agonizing uncertainty of a blossoming relationship and the fear of it falling apart is a major theme in this song, calling back to “Delicate” from 2017. 

Swift once again mentions the secrecy of her encounters with Alwyn early in their relationship with the line: “And I snuck in through the garden gate / Every night that summer just to seal my fate.”

The close timing of her budding romance with Alwyn and her relationships with Calvin Harris and Tom Hiddleston may have had something to do with this secrecy, but it’s unlikely that we’ll ever get the full story.

‘I Think He Knows’ from ‘Lover’

“I Think He Knows” is all about Swift’s feelings for Alwyn. She references him directly when singing about his “boyish look” and “indigo eyes,” both descriptors could be applied to Alwyn.


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‘Paper Rings’ from ‘Lover’

“Paper Rings” seems to be yet another “Lover” track about Swift and Alwyn. She talks about how strong her love for him is with lines like “I’m with you even if it makes me blue” and “I like shiny things, but I’d marry you with paper rings.”

Lines like “I want your dreary Mondays” call back to the theme of wanting your lover even through the hard times, which Swift also sang about in “New Year’s Day” in 2017.


‘Cornelia Street’ from ‘Lover’

“Cornelia Street” appears to be about the beginning of Swift and Alwyn’s romance and Swift’s fear of their relationship ending.

This song is said to be inspired by the apartment that Swift rented on Cornelia Street in New York City, close to where fans claim Alwyn lived.

Fans pointed out that windows seem to be a common motif in Swift’s songs about Alwyn, and that the line about open windows in Cornelia Street could be “a representation of honest, true, and happy love.”


"Windows swung right open, autumn air / Jacket 'round my shoulders is yours / We bless the rains on Cornelia Street / Memorize the creaks in the floor" With the lines “Back when we were card sharks, playing games / I thought you were leading me on,” Swift also talks about the uncertainty in the early stages of their relationship.

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‘London Boy’ from ‘Lover’

Even the title of this song is pretty blatantly about Alwyn. “London Boy” is all about Alwyn, right off the bat: “I saw the dimples first and then I heard the accent.”


She uses the term “I fancy you,” British slang for liking someone that she previously used in “King of My Heart” in 2017.

‘Afterglow’ from ‘Lover’

In the music video for Afterglow, Swift plays Scrabble on a board labeled “King of Hearts,” which is likely a reference to her 2017 song about Alwyn, “King of My Heart.” 

‘Daylight’ from ‘Lover’

In “Daylight,” Swift makes another reference to the secrecy of her and Alwyn’s early relationship with the line “Back and forth, from New York / Sneaking in your bed.” 


Daylight is an optimistic, hopeful song about love, and there’s little doubt that Swift drew some inspiration for the song from her relationship with Alwyn.

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‘Invisible String’ from ‘Folklore’

Swift expresses her gratitude towards fate for bringing her and Alwyn together in “Invisible String.”


She references the uniform he wore at a summer job when he was 16 and mentions the “dive bar” where she and Alwyn supposedly met at. The same dive bar is referenced in “So It Goes” and “Delicate.”

‘Peace’ from ‘Folklore’

“Peace” is more about love in general than her relationship with Joe, but she references their relationship in the song. As she does in “Archer,” Swift talks about her fears in relationships, including commitment, self-sabotage, and the effect of fame on her private life.

It’s tough looking back at “Peace” now, knowing that fame and publicity likely had a role in the couple’s split.


‘The Lakes’ from ‘Folklore’

While “The Lakes” focuses more on subjects like art and social media than her relationship with Alwyn, the song is set in England, where Alwyn is from. She also refers to him as her “muse” in the song.

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‘The 1’ from ‘Folklore’

Although “The 1” is a song about lost love written before Swift and Alwyn’s breakup, Swift reportedly switched out “Invisible String” with “The 1” in her tour a week before the breakup was publicly announced, foreshadowing the end of the relationship to her fans.


‘Long Story Short’ from ‘Evermore’

While “Long Story Short” is focused more on Swift’s past than the present, Swift still often references her relationship with Alwyn.

“Long Story Short” features romantic lines like “Long story short, it was the wrong guy / Now I'm all about you" and “Rare as the glimmer of a comet in the sky / And he feels like home.”

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‘Evermore’ from ‘Evermore’

Swift could be alluding to Alwyn with these lyrics: “And when I was shipwrecked / I thought of you / In the cracks of light / I dreamed of you / It was real enough / To get me through / But I swear / You were there.”

‘Willow’ from ‘Evermore’

“Willow” is a romantic song, and it’s very likely that Swift was inspired at least in part by her time with Alwyn. “Wreck my plans, that’s my man” seems fitting for Alwyn, as Swift probably met him while still involved with Calvin Harris.


‘Lavender Haze’ from ‘Midnights’

“Lavender Haze” is a passionate song about Swift’s intentionally private relationship with Alwyn. In the song, she praises how Alwyn deals with media scrutiny. She writes about how she’d rather focus on her relationship than worry about societal expectations: “The 1950s sh-t they want from me / I just wanna stay in that lavender haze.”

‘Sweet Nothing’ from ‘Midnights’

Alwyn actually co-wrote “Sweet Nothing” with Swift under the alias William Bowery. The song is a tribute to the relationship they built together, and Swift expresses her appreciation for Alwyn with lines like “All that you ever wanted from me was sweet nothing.”


In the song, Swift describes how she sees Alwyn as a safe respite from the pressures of the outside world. “Everyone’s up to something / I find myself running home to your sweet nothings.”

‘Mastermind’ from ‘Midnights’

One of Swift’s most iconic songs from “Midnights,” “Mastermind,” is about a woman who is the mastermind behind her relationship with her lover; having “laid the groundwork,” the relationship falls into place naturally according to the singer’s plan.

The lines “And the first night that you saw me / Nothing was gonna stop me / I laid the groundwork, and then / Saw a wide smirk on your face / You knew the entire time,” pretty much sum up the song, and it’s not much of a stretch to suggest that Swift may have played a similar role at the beginning of her relationship with Alwyn. She was the mastermind, and he was perfectly fine with that!


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‘Paris’ from ‘Midnights’

Like “Lavender Haze,” “Paris” is another song that refers to Swift and Alwyn’s efforts to keep their relationship private:  “Privacy sign on the door / And on my page and on the whole world / Romance is not dead if you keep it just yours.”

“Paris” is also similar to “Paper Rings” from “Lover” in that it focuses on how romance is based on the feelings you have for the person you’re with rather than the setting, expensive wine, or flashy rings. When you’re in love, drinking cheap wine in an alleyway can feel like being in Paris.


Swift captures the intensity of her feelings for Alwyn in this song, emphasizing how she’d much rather focus on their love than things like media gossip.

‘Glitch’ from ‘Midnights’

Like Swift’s relationship with Alwyn, “Glitch” is about a relationship that was never intended to happen – one that started off as a friendship and gradually evolved into romance.

The line “But it’s been two-thousand one-hundred ninety days of our love blackout” matches up with the amount of time that Alwyn and Swift had been dating, making it pretty clear who this song was about.


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Effie Orfanides has been reporting on celebrity and entertainment news since 2009. She is the former Director of Operations of the Inquisitr and currently has bylines at People, NickiSwift, and Heavy.