See, that’s what the app is perfect for.

See, that’s what the app is perfect for.
See, that’s what the app is perfect for.

Break my soul in two

Just like in Dorothea, we have the double meaning of soul here – also meaning “sol” aka sun aka Karlie. Taylor is devastated beyond heartbreak – her actual soul is broken. However, she is also saying that Karlie (the sun/sol) is broken into two – one person who Taylor knows, and one who she doesn’t.

Looking for you but you’re right here

The soul/sol double meaning is reinforced here where “you” is split into two different characters, the one that Taylor knows and the one she doesn’t recognize.

If I can’t relate to you anymoreThen who am I related to?

This line conjures images of divorce – “who am I related to” i.e. who did I marry? Also, if you can’t relate to your spouse anymore then you would wonder who your family is – and who is similar to you.

And if this is the long haulHow’d we get here so soon?

Again, this is an image of divorce – imagining that you would be with someone for the rest of your life and then that forever quickly ending.

Did I close my fist around something delicate?Did I shatter you?This is clearly a reference to Delicate from Rep. Taylor knew the relationship would be hard, and is now worried that she caused the relationship to end by making it try to work at all.

And I’m sitting on a bench in Coney Island wondering where did my baby go?The fast times, the bright lights, the merry go round

Coney Island seems to be a companion song to Mirrorball, but in this rendition its about two people who both have that obsessively people-pleasing, mirrorball inclination. They both have grown up in the circus & rodeo of stardom and entertainment from a young age (like karlie and Taylor). This is about the person who jumped in the fishbowl with Taylor. However, based on the Mirrorball imagery in the Willow mv Taylor is now alone in the fishbowl (which has now become a glass closet).

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Also, the Mirrorball scene from Willow mv looks similar to vintage images of Coney Island.


Sorry for not making you my centerfold

Over and overLost again with no surprisesDisappointments, close your eyesAnd it gets colder and colderWhen the sun goes down

Here we have disappearing sun imagery, which furthers this idea of a Kaylor divorce and Karlie leaving (I know! im sorry!! im just calling it like I see it!!!!!). The phrase “colder and colder” contrasts the “warm bed” referenced in there rest of the album, like in tis the damn season.The question pounds my head“What’s a lifetime of achievement?”

Taylor is high-achieving and has won tons of awards. She also puts a lot of weight on winning awards and approval of other people, as was touched on in Miss Americana. (”I just need to make a better record.”)


If I pushed you to the edge

Taylor is wondering if it’s worth all of the work and the awards and the honors, if she doesn’t have the person she loves beside her. This is also discussed in Miss Americana – “Shouldn’t I have someone to call right now?”

But you were too polite to leave meAnd do you miss the rogueWho coaxed you into paradise and left you there?

Taylor talks about paradise a lot – “darkest little paradise”, “snuck in through the garden gate” (garden being a reference to garden of eden), etc. ALSO interesting to use “Paradise” when there are a lot of theories that the album that was supposed to be after 1989 was called “Paradise” before she pivoted and made Rep.

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Will you forgive my soulWhen you’re too wise to trust me and too old to care?‘Cause we were like the mall before the Internet

August reference here with “meet me behind the mall”. Also a funny nod to the “comeback stronger than a 90s trend” in Willow – and the mall boom in the 80s-90s.

It was the one place to beThe mischief, the gift wrapped suburban dreamsSorry for not winning you an arcade ring

Again – ring imagery indicating failed marriage. The “suburban dreams” also seems to reference marriage – gift wrapped in a neat love story. But Taylor was unable to give Karlie that neat storyline because she is in the fishbowl.{Chorus}Were you waiting at our old spotIn the tree line by the gold clockDid I leave you hanging every single day?

Again – we have august/illicit affairs references with the clandestine meeting. Also, Taylor uses gold to represent true love. A “gold clock” is saying that that true love was counting down to something, and the clock was ticking on the time she and karlie had for their true love.

Were you standing in the hallway

In Exile Bon Iver says ”Holdin’ all this love out here in the hall” as a metaphor for not being able to be with the person you love.

With a big cake, happy birthday

In “The Moment I Knew” Taylor talks about how her lover misses her birthday party and that’s how she knows they’re not The One. In the music video for “Lover” we see that the Lover who Taylor is singing about throws Taylor a birthday party. This references both of these songs, and shows that one person is trying their best to celebrate their lover.

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Did I paint your bluest skies the darkest gray?

Taylor talks about the color of the sky a lot and things being blue or grey. In London Boy there’s a “grey sky”, in invisible string her lover puts “blue in my purple pink skies”, in paper rings her lover makes her “blue like the color we painted your brothers wall” – so here it’s a metaphor for taking something that should be happy and making it sad.

A universe awayAnd when I got into the accident

This also references Taylor’s previous work in “Out of the Woods”, when she says “20 stitches in a hospital room” supposedly referencing a snowmobile accident that she and harry styles got in.

The sight that flashed before me was your faceBut when I walked up to the podiumI think that I forgot to say your nameTaylor is saying that even though Karlie is all she thinks about, and thinks about at the most important times in her life, she can’t publicly declare her love for Karlie.


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