Every Reference to Drugs and Alcohol on Taylor Swift’s ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ (2024)

Taylor Swift’s latest body of work features some of her most mature lyrics to date.

Swift released her 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department, and a bonus extended version titled TTPD: The Anthology, on Friday, April 19. Touching on themes of love, heartbreak and angst, Swift, 34, made several references to drugs and alcohol (plus cigarettes) across the album’s 31 brand-new songs.

In the song “Florida!!!,” a collab between Swift and Florence and the Machine, Swift and Florence Welch sing “Florida is one hell of a drug” while singing about a breakup. The track is heavily rumored to be about Swift’s ex Joe Alwyn: how her Eras Tour shows in Tampa, Florida, marked the first she performed after news of their split broke in April 2023.

“Tell me I’m despicable, say it’s unforgivable / What a crash, what a rush, f—k me up, Florida,” the pair sing in the song’s bridge. “It’s one hell of a drug / It’s one hell of a drug/ Love loves me like this and I want to resist / So take me to Florida.”

Every Song About Matty Healy on Taylor Swift’s ‘The Tortured Poets Department’

Keep scrolling to read every reference Swift makes about substances in the lyrics of The Tortures Poets Department album:


The album’s first single is speculated to be about Swift’s whirlwind romance with The 1975’s Matty Healy. The song’s title could be a reference to the length of their relationship as they dated for less than two months in spring 2023.

“I was a functioning alcoholic / ‘Til nobody noticed my new aesthetic,” Swift sings in the song’s opening verse, going on to state in the second verse, “All my mornings are Mondays stuck in an endless February / I took the miracle move-on drug, the effects were temporary.”

'The Tortured Poets Department'

“You smoked, then ate seven bars of chocolate / We declared Charlie Puth should be a bigger artist,” Swift sings in the second verse of the breakup track, which is also rumored to be inspired by Healy, 35.

'But Daddy I Love Him'

Another potential track inspired by Healy, Swift seemingly shaded critics of her relationship with the musician. The duo’s romance was slammed by many Swifties because of controversial comments made by Healy in the past.

“All the wine moms are still holdin’ out, but f—k ‘em, it’s over,” Swift sang in response to haters.


“You can beat the heat if you beat the charges too / They said I was a cheat, I guess it must be true,” Swift opens the song. “And my friends all smell like weed or little babies / And this city reeks of driving myself crazy.”

Calling the song’s titular state “one hell of a drug” in the chorus, Swift goes on to sing, “The hurricane with my name when it came / I got drunk and I dared it to wash me away / Barricaded in the bathroom with a bottle of wine / Well, me and my ghosts, we had a hell of a time.”

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'Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?'

“I’m always drunk on my own tears, isn’t that what they all said?” Swift sings in the bridge of song, in which she discusses rumors about her life. “That I’ll sue you if you step on my lawn. That I’m fearsome and I’m wretched ad I’m wrong. Put narcotics into all of my songs / and that’s why you’re still singin’ along.”

'I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)'

In the track 11 tune, Swift seemingly states that is the only one who can tame her bad boy partner, leading many to believe the song was written about Healy.

“The smoke cloud billows out of his mouth / Like a freight train through a small town,” she sings in the song’s opening line. “The jokes that he told across the bar / Were revolting and far too loud.”

Every Reference to Drugs and Alcohol on Taylor Swift’s ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ (2)

'The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived'

Unlike other songs rumored to be about Healy, Swift appears to express her disappointment about certain aspects of their relationship in this track.

“You tried to buy some pills / From a friend of friends of mine,” she states in the first verse. “They just ghosted you / now you know what it feels like.”

'The Alchemy'

Given the title’s connections to chemistry, Swift makes several references to substances in TTPD’s penultimate song. In the tracks’ opening line, she sings, “This happens once every few lifetimes / These chemicals hit me like white wine.”

She goes on the state in the chorus: “He jokes that ‘It’s heroin, but this time with an E / ‘Cause the sign on your heart / Said it’s still reserved for me.” In the tune’s bridge, she also makes a reference to “beer stickin’” to the floor.”

Taylor Swift’s Best Friends React to ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ — From Keleigh Teller to Jack Antonoff

'Clara Bow'

“This town is fake, but you’re the real thing / Breath of fresh air through smoke rings,” Swift sings in the chorus of TTPD’s ending track, which is inspired by the life of silent film star Clara Bow.

'The Black Dog'

Kicking off TTPD: The Anthology’s bonus tracks, the pop star mentions a bar called The Black Dog while singing about struggles experienced after a breakup.

“Six weeks of breathin’ clean air / I still miss the smoke,” the bridge states. “Were you makin’ fun of me? / With some esoteric joke?”

Every Reference to Drugs and Alcohol on Taylor Swift’s ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ (3)

'The Albatross'

“Cross your thoughtless heart / Only liquor anoints you,” Swift sings on the revenge-themed track. “She’s the albatross / She is here to destroy you.”

'Chloe or Sam or Sophia or Marcus'

While telling the story of discovering a partner had cheated, Swift sings, “You said some things that I can’t unabsorb / You turned me into an idea of sorts / You needed me, but you needed drugs more.”

'So High School'

In one of the album’s more upbeat tracks, Swift seemingly compares her current romance with Travis Kelce to being similar to a high school power couple. “From smokin’ your jokes all damn night / The bring of a wrinkle in time / Bittersweet 6 suddenly,” she sings in the chorus.

'I Look in People’s Windows'

Reminiscing about a past relationship, Swift sings in the song’s chorus, “I look in people’s windows / Transfixed by rose golden glows / They have their friends over to drink nice wine.”

Every Reference to Drugs and Alcohol on Taylor Swift’s ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ (2024)


Who are the songs in The Tortured Poets Department about? ›

The title track of the album is one of the songs that seems to most directly reference Swift's past relationship with The 1975 frontman Matty Healy, a main character on this record. It does not paint a positive depiction, to say the least.

Why is it called The Tortured Poets Department? ›

A fan theory posits that the title references a group chat shared between Andrew Scott, Paul Mescal, and Joe Alwyn titled "The Tortured Man Club".

Is The Tortured Poets Department new? ›

The Tortured Poets Department is the latest album from Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift dropped an epic new album that spans two hours — and two high-profile breakups.

How to listen to Taylor Swift's tortured poets department? ›

Stream The Tortured Poets Department by Taylor Swift | Listen online for free on SoundCloud.

What poet went to jail? ›

Away from the Parisian cafes, the beer and, particularly, the absinthe that was to destroy his health, Verlaine converted to Roman Catholicism and spent his 555 days behind bars reading, and writing work that would later earn him the title of “prince of poets” among his peers.

What does Taylor Swift's song "Florida" mean? ›

The singer also details “Florida,” featuring Florence + the Machine. Swift said she's an avid Dateline watcher, and drew inspiration from the people escaping law, eager to start a new life. “I think when you go through a heartbreak, there's a part of you that thinks, 'I want a new name. I want a new life.

How many songs tortured poets department? ›

Here's the list of all 31 songs: "Fortnight" "The Tortured Poets Department"

What are the bonus tracks on tortured poets? ›

However, on February 16, Swift announced an extra bonus song titled “The Bolter.” She followed suit with “The Albatross” on February 23 and finally “The Black Dog” on March 3.

Did the tortured poets department break records? ›

“The Tortured Poets Department” also broke Swift's own sales records in addition to several platforms' single-day streaming records, with Billboard reporting the album sold 1.4 million copies in traditional album sales on the day of its release, marking the biggest sales week in the U.S. for any of her albums.

How many tortured poet albums have been sold? ›

The Tortured Poets Department's sales are aided by its availability across more than 20 different editions among physical and digital configurations (see earlier story, April 20). Further, of the 1.5 million sold, vinyl sales represent 700,000.

How long is the tortured poets department album? ›

It became especially apparent that this album was a lifeline for her when, at two a.m. on April 19, she released “The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology” which doubled the number of tracks released, bringing the album to 31 songs within two hours and two minutes runtime.

Did Taylor Swift take voice lessons? ›

At age 9, Swift started taking vocal and acting lessons in New York City and later decided to shift her focus toward country music, inspired by Shania Twain and Faith Hill.

What rights does Taylor Swift have to her music? ›

The producer or record label usually contracts all rights to songs to themselves. Taylor owns all her derivative rights and master rights so she can do anything with her songs. She probably sold the right to distribute as is to the recording studio and retained all other rights.

How many hours is Taylor Swift's entire discography? ›

In my mission to fully immerse myself in the world and wonder of Taylor Swift, I dived into the Spotify playlist 'Taylor Swift Complete Collection', where 20 hours and 46 minutes of listening time lay in wait.

What was Anne Sextons poetry about? ›

I wrote two or three a day for about a year.” Eventually, Sexton's poems about her psychiatric struggles were gathered in her first book, To Bedlam and Part Way Back (1960), which recounts, as James Dickey wrote, the experiences “of madness and near-madness, of the pathetic, well-meaning, necessarily tentative and ...

How many songs are there in The Tortured Poets Department? ›

'The Tortured Poets Department': All the Records Taylor Swift's New Album Has Broken (So Far) The 31-track LP sold 1.4 million copies in its first day.

Who is the narrator in songs of Innocence What does he sing about? ›

In this poem, the narrator is described as a piper. He is happily piping when he sees a child on a cloud. The child asks him to pipe a song about a lamb, when he does sing, the child weeps on hearing it.

Who is the rapper in the noble poets? ›

NOBLE POETS are a rap duo formed out of Northern California, comprised of rapper Jevon 'ODW' Barnes and singer Caleb May. The intense heart felt lyrics, heavy hitting subs, and angelic melodies invite the listener to a front-row experience of the ups and downs of life.

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