All the Joe Alwyn References in Taylor Swift's "...Ready For It?" Lyrics

Taylor Swift reveals a lot about her latest boyfriend.

Taylor Swift's new single is about Joe Alwyn
Getty

Right on the dot at 8 a.m. this morning, Taylor Swift released the full audio to her second single, "...Ready For It?" after sharing a teaser last night. And, while Swift never names names, it would appear this song may be her very first about current boyfriend Joe Alwyn. (Swift and Alwyn have been quietly dating for months so this would also be the first time she's spoken about him.)

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Swift wrote the single with Ali Payami, Shellback, and Max Martin so of course, all their experiences may have inspired the final product. Here, the lyrics (via Genius) annotated with any references to him:

Knew he was a killer

First time that I saw him

Last November, Swift was photographed leaving the screening for Alwyn's movie Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. Alwyn literally plays a killer—private Billy Lynn—in the military film.

Wonder how many girls he had loved and left haunted

But if he's a ghost then I can be a phantom

Holding him for ransom

As Genius users point out, this idea of haunting an ex echoes the lyrics in Swift's "Wildest Dreams" ("Someday when you leave me/I bet these memories/Follow you around.")

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Some, some boys are trying too hard

He don't try at all though

Younger than my exes but he act like such a man so

Alwyn is just 26 years old. By comparison, Swift's last two boyfriends, Calvin Harris and Tom Hiddleston were are 33 and 36 respectively. The "trying too hard" line could be a generic observation about what men have done to try to impress her or a subtle jab at what Hiddleston did (taking her all around Europe, wearing the "I Heart T.S. tank, etc. as they had a very showy romance.)

I see nothing better, I keep him forever

...like a vendetta

The "vendetta" could actually be hers against the media or anyone who paints her as a serial dater unable to keep a man ("I go on too many dates/but I can't make them stay," Swift sang in "Shake It Off" mocking this false characterization of her.)

Swift spoke about those people's mischaracterization of her love life when discussing "Blank Space" at the Grammy museum in September 2015. "It got pretty out of control there for a couple of years. ... Every article was like, 'Taylor Swift, standing near some guy—watch out, guy!'" she said. "My first reaction was to be like, 'That's a bummer. This isn't fun for me.' But then my second reaction ended up being like, 'Hey, that's actually a really kind of interesting character they're writing about. She jet sets around the world, collecting men, and she can get any of them ... but she's so clingy, so they leave and she cries and then she gets another one in her web and she traps them and locks them in her mansion and then she's crying in her marble bathtub surrounded by pearls.' So I was like, I can use this."

Pre-Chorus:

I-I-I see how this is gonna go

Touch me and you'll never be alone

I-Island breeze and lights down low

No one has to know

Swift has kept her romance with Alwyn very low profile. It wasn't reported they were dating until May, and at that point, The Sun reported it had been for several months(perhaps after she went to his screening in November, though they were spotted together as early as October. Outlets have tried to put together timelines, but none are confirmed.). Most recently, a source close to Swift told People that "her decision to keep her relationship with Joe quiet is making her happy."

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The "i-island breeze" Swift is talking about could be a quiet vacation they took in a tropical paradise or just a veiled way of referring to England (and London), which is an island. Alwyn is British, and Swift spent an extended amount of time there in the U.K. during the spring while he was shooting his film The Favourite.

Chorus:

In the middle of the night, in my dreams

You should see the things we do, baby

In the middle of the night in my dreams

I know I'm gonna be with you

So I take my time

No matter how wild Swift's fantasies about him are ("in the middle of the night, in my dreams" is similar in tone to "Wildest Dreams" ("Say you'll see me again even if it's just in your wildest dreams"), Swift's assertion she takes her time matches People's recent report that she and Alwyn have "have been getting to know each other slowly without any pressure." Her last romance with Tom Hiddleston, conversely, became very intense fast. (They were quickly meeting the others' parents weeks after first being photographed together.) She may be suggesting here that she learned that doesn't work for her.

In the middle of the night

(Are you ready for it?)

Verse 2:

Me, I was a robber

First time that he saw me

Stealing hearts and running off and never saying sorry

A reference here to her serial dater reputation and the eight high-profile relationships that came before Alwyn (Tom Hiddleston, Calvin Harris, Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner, Harry Styles, Conor Kennedy, Jake Gyllenhaal, and John Mayer).

But if I'm a thief then

He can join the heist

And we'll move to an island

And, and he can be my jailerBurton to this Taylor

Swift had a jailbird aesthetic in her "Look What You Made Me Do" music video.

YouTube

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Every lover known in comparison is a failure

I forget their names now

I'm so very tame now

Never be the same now

Swift's way of saying she's completely over Harris and Hiddleston, even if they may not be completely publicly.

Pre-Chorus

I-I-I see how this is gonna go

Touch me and you'll never be alone

I-Island breeze and lights down low

No one has to know

Chorus:

In the middle of the night, in my dreams

You should see the things we do, baby

In the middle of the night in my dreams

(Are you ready for it?)

(Ooh, are you ready for it?)

Post-Chorus:

Baby, let the games begin

Let the games begin

This song seems to be Swift's first public comment on her and Alwyn. The two were photographed together by paparazzi for the first time in July before her Colorado trial. "Let the games begin" could be the game of love, the consummation of their relationship that she fantasized about, etc. But it could also be her saying let their public relationship begin and their dealing with the press coverage of it. She's serious about him.

Let the games begin

(Are you ready for it?)

Baby, let the games begin

Let the games begin

Let the games begin

(Are you ready for it?)

Bridge:

I-I-I see how this is gonna go

Touch me and you'll never be alone

I-Island breeze and lights down low

No one has to know

Chorus:

In the middle of the night, in my dreams

You should see the things we do, baby

In the middle of the night in my dreams

I know I'm gonna be with you

So I take my time

In the middle of the night

Post-Chorus:

Baby, let the games begin

Let the games begin

Let the games begin

(Are you ready for it?)

Baby, let the games begin

Let the games begin

Let the games begin

(Are you ready for it?)

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