Who Are These Taylor Swift Songs Really About?

Illustrated by Mallory Heyer
Love her, hate her, or feel crazy jealous of her Rhode Island manor, everyone has an opinion on Taylor Swift. As these song lyrics show, she has an opinion on just about everyone, too.
Swift doesn't shy away from weaving her life story into country-pop tracks, and that's the great joy of listening to her autobiographical lyrics. Instead of turning to paparazzi photos and shady quotes from anonymous "sources," we can piece together Taylor Swift's life through subtle clues embedded into her songs. Sure, the tabloids told us she dated Harry Styles. But her songs told us how she felt about Harry Styles.
As pop culture archaeologists, it’s our job to put Taylor Swift’s broken heart back together, using the fragments and shards she’d embedded into her songs. Can we really piece together a complete picture of a love life from hazy references scattered in pop songs? The answer, likely, is no. But, of course, we’re going to try anyway.