Are Taylor Swift’s ‘The 1’ Lyrics About Joe Alwyn? They Hint At A Former Lover

Are Taylor Swift’s ‘The 1’ Lyrics About Joe Alwyn? They Hint At A Former Lover
Are Taylor Swift’s ‘The 1’ Lyrics About Joe Alwyn? They Hint At A Former Lover

A subtle hint. After news broke of their split and the recent addition to her setlist on her Eras tour, Swifties want to know what Taylor Swift’s “The 1” lyrics really mean.

At her Arlington show during her Eras tour, she surprised the crowd by playing “The 1.” She introduced the song, “You know, I’ve never played that song live before.” Many devoted Swifties came unprepared as they were studying her setlist from the State Farm Stadium and Allegiant Stadium in the last four shows of the tour. She told her fans after performing the song, “You think you can just scroll the setlist? You think you can just come prepared? Let it be said about The Eras Tour … there’s high jinks.” It’s a new song outside of the “Surprise Songs” segment between the 1989 and Midnights sets. Taylor revealed the rarely played Red cut “Sad Beautiful Tragic” for the first time since 2013.

The new addition of the song coincided with the news of Taylor’s 6-year long relationship with Joe Alwyn being over. Fans noticed that she switched the song “Invisible String” with “The 1.” The former song is about finding a lover and the destiny surrounding the events to finding them. Why did Taylor suddenly change the setlist and why do Swifties think it’s a sign? More importantly, what does “The 1” really mean and are there any Easter eggs we can find from it? Read more below to find out.

What does “The 1” by Taylor Swift mean?

Taylor Swift
Image: Courtesy of Disney+.

What does “The 1” by Taylor Swift mean? The song describes a former love and reminisces about how if it could’ve worked out, then they would have been the one. In Disney+’s folklore: the long pond studio sessions, producer and The National frontman Aaron Dressner and Taylor discussed the song in its entirety. “It was funny because I feel like you captured the spirit of the whole record with that song,” Aaron said. “With “the 1” in the sense of, just the way it opens, ‘I’m doing good, I’m on some new shit, been saying yes instead of no,’ and I was like ‘Is she talking about writing songs with me and everything else at the same time or something?’”

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Taylor responded, “I think it has a double meaning. Opening the album with those words, it applies to the situation that the song is written about, where you’re updating a former lover on what your life is like now and trying to be positive about it. But it was also where I am creatively, where it’s, like, “I’m just saying yes, I’m just putting an album out in the worst time you could put one out, I’m just making stuff with someone who i always wanted to make stuff with as long as I’ve been a fan of The National, I’m just gonna say yes to stuff, and it worked out.”

Though Taylor and Aaron are very staunch that she didn’t write it from her POV. Aaron told Vulture, “It’s clear that “the 1” is not written from her perspective. It’s written from another friend’s perspective. There’s an emotional wryness and rawness, while also to this kind of wink in her eyes. There’s a little bit of her sense of humor in there, in addition to this kind of sadness that exists both underneath and on the surface. I enjoy that about her writing.” He also talked about how the song came about. “The song [began from] the voice memo she sent me, and then I worked on the music some and we tracked her vocals, and then my brother added orchestration. There are a few other little bits, but basically that was one of the very last things we did.”

He also recalled that the songwriting process made her ultimately put it on the album. “I think in a way, she didn’t realize she was writing for this album or a future something. She wrote “the 1,” and then she wrote “hoax” a couple of hours later and sent them in the middle of the night. When I woke up in the morning, I wrote her before she woke up in LA and said, “These have to be on the record.” She woke up and said, “I agree” [laughs]. These are the bookends, you know?”

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Just by the pure meaning of the song, fans speculated that the switch of songs on the setlist were because of their split. “thinking about how we all thought Joe was the one for Taylor but now he’s become “the 1”…this is devastating, one fan tweeted with a picture of a crying cat.

Entertainment Tonight broke the news of Joe and Taylor’s breakup on Saturday, April 8, 2023. The two were very private about their relationship, but Joe frequently contributed to Taylor’s albums by being the muse or co-writing her songs with her from Reputation all the way to her recent album Midnights.

According to ET, the relationship “had run its course.” A source told the site that the breakup “was not dramatic.” and “it’s why [Joe] hasn’t been spotted at any shows.” A source also told gossip Instagram Deux Moi on the Tuesday before the news broke, “They broke up a few weeks ago, that’s why he hasn’t been at shows and you won’t see him at any. They weren’t married either so you won’t see him at any. They weren’t married either so you won’t see a divorce. It wasn’t dramatic it just ran its course and she’s clearly in a good place with it.

“The 1” by Taylor Swift lyrics

Here is Taylor Swift’s “The 1” lyrics via Genius.

[Verse 1] I’m doing good, I’m on some new shit Been saying “yes” instead of “no” I thought I saw you at the bus stop, I didn’t though I hit the ground running each night I hit the Sunday matinée You know the greatest films of all time were never made

[Pre-Chorus] I guess you never know, never know And if you wanted me, you really should’ve showed And if you never bleed, you’re never gonna grow And it’s alright now

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[Chorus] But we were something, don’t you think so? Roaring twenties, tossing pennies in the pool And if my wishes came true It would’ve been you In my defense, I have none For never leaving well enough alone But it would’ve been fun If you would’ve been the one (Ooh)

[Verse 2] I have this dream you’re doing cool shit Having adventures on your own You meet some woman on the internet and take her home We never painted by the numbers, baby But we were making it count You know the greatest loves of all time are over now

[Pre-Chorus] I guess you never know, never know And it’s another day waking up alone

[Chorus] But we were something, don’t you think so? Roaring twenties, tossing pennies in the pool And if my wishes came true It would’ve been you In my defense, I have none For never leaving well enough alone But it would’ve been fun If you would’ve been the one

[Bridge] I, I, I persist and resist the temptation to ask you If one thing had been different Would everything be different today?

[Chorus] We were something, don’t you think so? Rosé flowing with your chosen family And it would’ve been sweet If it could’ve been me In my defense, I have none For digging up the grave another time But it would’ve been fun If you would’ve been the one (Ooh)

Midnights (Target Exclusive) by Taylor Swift

Midnights Vinyl
Courtesy of Target.

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