Breaking Down Taylor Swift's Vulnerable "The Archer"

Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Variety/Shutterstock.
Just one month shy of her seventh album Lover's release date, Taylor Swift has dropped her new song "The Archer" for fans to enjoy — and it might be the most vulnerable track off the new album.
On Tuesday, Swift went live on Instagram to share details about upcoming deluxe additions of her new album, thank fans for supporting her music videos for "ME!" and "You Need To Calm Down," and reveal that she was "imminently" dropping the fifth track off Lover, titled "The Archer." She shared that this particular track was extremely vulnerable, just as, she said, fans noticed the fifth track on her previous albums tended to be.
"The Archer" follows in the steps of songs like "Delicate" (reputation's fifth track), "All You Had To Do Was Stay" (the one off 1989) and "All Too Well" (the deep cut fave of many a Swiftie, from her album Red.)
So, what is "The Archer" about? Despite some fans thinking it would be about Swift's boyfriend Joe Alwyn (did she meet him at the dive bar The Archer, possibly referenced in "Delicate") or even fellow Sagittarius and alleged ex Jake Gyllenhaal, the truth seems to be that the titular Archer is none other than Swift herself.
"I've been the archer/I've been the prey/Screaming 'Who could ever leave me darling?'/But who could stay?"
In "The Archer," Swift seems to note her desire to occasionally go to war with others, even when she claims not to want to.
"Combat/I'm ready for combat/I say I don't want that/But what if I do?"
She also notes times when she's made "enemies," perhaps referring to feuds with stars like Katy Perry.
"All the king's horses/And all the king's men/Couldn't put me together again/'Cause all of my enemies/Started out friends/Help me hold onto you."
The "you" here could be her boyfriend Alwyn, or it could be a new version of Swift that she's hoping sticks with her Lover era. With no forthcoming music video for the song — Swift declared on the live stream that it is not a single, just a track she wished to share — all we have are the lyrics to see exactly what Swift intended. Listen below, and analyze away!
Lover comes out August 23.

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