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Everyone seems to know the score, they’ve seen it all before…

Except this time, maybe, they haven’t. England. Are. In. The. Final. Of. Euro 2020. Could football (whisper it) actually be coming home?

We have David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and The Lightning Seeds’ Ian Broudie to thank for that central refrain now synonymous with England and football; a song full of unashamed nostalgia for the days of our World Cup victory (1966, you might have heard of it), perfectly capturing the mix of “oh-so-nears” pessimism and cautious hope that comes with being an England fan.

Released for Euro ’96, back when it was only 30 years of hurt, Three Lions is still the ultimate anthem for English football. But Sunday’s match against Italy will be the men’s team’s first international tournament final since 1966; a historic moment, which means you may want a whole soundtrack to mark the occasion.

From a homage to Sven-Goran Eriksson to a celebration of baked goods, here are a few official and unofficial songs to add to the playlist. After Three Lions, of course. And Three Lions ’98, because no one likes change. We still believe…

This Time (We’ll Get It Right)

After failing to qualify for the World Cup in 1974 and 1978, 1982 was not only a big year for football but a big year for England in the charts. Frontman Kevin Keegan was no stranger to the Top 40, having released the single Head Over Heels In Love a few years earlier, and he led the squad in their promise to “get it right… this time”. Sadly, it wasn’t to be; England failed to progress beyond the second group stage, despite remaining unbeaten throughout the tournament in Spain. The song charted at number two though, so every cloud.

We’ve Got The Whole World At Our Feet

“There’s not a single team that we can’t beat,” sang the England squad ahead of Mexico 1986. Unfortunately, they hadn’t reckoned with Maradona and his Hand of God. To add insult to injury chart success also eluded them, with We’ve Got The Whole World At Our Feet only reaching number 66 (as if they needed another reminder). However, Gary Lineker did win the tournament’s Golden Boot for top scorer.

All The Way

For the Euros in West Germany in 1988, Stock, Aitken and Waterman took charge of the music, which led to this upbeat number that epitomised the pop sound at the time. Sadly, it only reached number 64 in the charts – mirroring England’s success in the tournament (they went out early after failing to win any of their games in the group stage).

World In Motion

England’s second-finest track comes from New Order and a magnificent rap from John Barnes, with minimal input from the rest of the squad. Released for Italia 90, this was the World Cup of Gazza’s tears, of England’s first heartbreaking penalties defeat – losing 4-3 to West Germany in the semi-finals – and of Gary Lineker infamously getting caught short on the pitch. There aren’t many football songs that break out of the novelty bracket but this is definitely one of them, encapsulating the hopeful optimism of England fans perfectly without, for the most part, really sounding like a football song at all.

Eat My Goal

Not an official England track but Collapsed Lung’s football anthem Eat My Goal, released in 1996, became the soundtrack to Coca-Cola’s “Eat Football, Sleep Football, Drink Coca-Cola” advertising campaign that tied in with Euro 96.

Vindaloo

As well as the revived Three Lions, the France 98 World Cup also brought us Fat Les, aka Blur bassist Alex James, actor Keith Allen and artist Damien Hirst. Thanks to its easy to chant “nah nah nahs” and triumphant “we’re gonna score one more than you”, Vindaloo was an affectionate parody that became the unofficial hit of the tournament. Featuring comedian Paul Kaye (best known as Dennis Pennis) in a video sending up The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony, also look out for David Walliams and Matt Lucas, and a young Lily Allen, who are in there somewhere.

(How Does It Feel To Be) On Top Of The World

This one was actually the official song for 98, even though it’s Vindaloo you remember. Featuring a medley of artists including The Spice Girls, Echo And The Bunnymen, Space and Ocean Colour Scene – aka England United – but no actual England players (apart from a few cameos in the video), the song featured a nice sing-song chorus but wasn’t quite as memorable or rousing as the other offerings that year, and charted at number nine. This was the World Cup of Michael Owen’s incredible goal against Argentina – and David Beckham’s infamous red-card kick in the same game.

Meat Pie, Sausage Roll

After the success of Three Lions, football songs were cool again – which meant everyone wanted to release one. Contenders in 1998 also included Granddad Roberts And His Son Elvis, with this ridiculous song that should have been sponsored by Greggs. “Ooh, we got a corner,” is the refrain, while it ends with the bizarre line: “No wonder my wee smells like Sugar Puffs, the stress I’m under.”

We’re On The Ball

Ant & Dec took over official duties for the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan, hailing then manager Sven-Goran Eriksson as England’s “super Swede” and referencing captain Golden Balls and the 5-1 win over Germany in the qualifiers the previous year. Despite the single essentially being PJ and Duncan’s musical revival, England were not quite ready to rhumble and lost 2-1 to eventual winners Brazil in the quarter-finals

Sven, Sven, Sven

Released a year earlier, Sven, Sven, Sven, by comedy duo Bell & Spurling, was also inspired by the 5-1 victory and the nation’s love for Eriksson at the time. Featuring women in England bikinis and dressed in Bavarian costume, the video is a reminder of how much times have changed in the last 20 years. The pair released an updated version, Gareth, Gareth, Gareth, for the World Cup in 2018, but it wasn’t quite as successful as their top 10 debut.

All Together Now

Written about the Christmas truce in the First World War in 1914, when soldiers from both sides put their weapons down to exchange gifts and play football, this song by The Farm was released in 1991 and has been used by numerous football teams since. Re-released for the 2004 Euros in Portugal, England were beaten by the hosts on penalties in the quarter-finals.

World At Your Feet

The official England song for the Germany 2006 World Cup was released by Embrace, best known for hits including All You Good Good People, Come Back To What You Know, Ashes and Gravity in the 1990s and 2000s. “With the world at your feet, there’s no one you can’t beat/ Yes it can be done,” sang frontman Danny McNamara. A nice effort that charted at number three and spent six weeks in the Top 40, but England were not so successful. Wayne Rooney was red-carded in the quarter-final against Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo became known as the winker – and once again they were knocked out on penalties.

Shout

While the only music people really remember from the South Africa World Cup in 2010 is Shakira’s Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) and the deafening sound of vuvuzelas, Dizzee Rascal and James Corden did also team up to release this unofficial song for England. Sampling Tears For Fears’ Shout and also including the line “come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough”, the song did top the charts but probably won’t be remembered as one of the England greats. England went out 4-1 to Germany in the final 16, so it wasn’t the team’s greatest performance, either.

Sing 4 England

Chris “Unbelievable, Jeff” Kamara released Sing 4 England for the Euros in 2012, co-hosted in Poland and Ukraine. Harking back to the naff but lovable-sounding typical football songs of the 80s and 90s, it gets full marks for rousing positivity. “Come on and sing for ENG-ER-LAND”. We were all encouraged; sadly, we’d seen it all before, and England lost in the quarter-finals, to Italy, on penalties.

Ole (We Are England 21)

Released during this year’s tournament, Ole is the Euro 2020 (yes, it’s still Euro 2020, even though it’s now 2021; blame COVID) effort from Krept & Konan. A contemporary rap track that – ole, ole, oles aside – moves away from the traditional football song but still reflects the mood of the nation.

Sweet Caroline

Neil Diamond’s 1969 hit Sweet Caroline became a feel-good hit again all over again during the pandemic in 2020, and has now become a hit at this year’s Euros, too. DJ Tony Perry made the decision to play the song after England’s win over Germany, and a fan favourite was born. In a video message, the US singer-songwriter told The Telegraph he was “thrilled” to see fans belting the song out at Wembley, saying: “Well, I hope you can do it again – here’s to England.” Because good times never seemed so good – so good, so good…

Whole Again

This sugary Atomic Kitten hit from 2000 has found a new audience thanks to a reworked version paying tribute to current England manager Gareth Southgate; so much so that Natasha Hamilton and Liz McClarnon went viral after performing it live to football fans watching the quarter-final victory over Ukraine in Croydon, and have now released it as a new single. While some might say they could have put a bit more effort in and changed the rest of the lyrics, now is not the time for nitpicking. Altogether now: “Southgate, you’re the one, you still turn me on – football’s coming home again.”

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Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department analysed: Marriage, babies, bad boyfriends and the price of fame

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Taylor Swift's The Tortured Poets Department analysed: Marriage, babies, bad boyfriends and the price of fame

As the title suggests, The Tortured Poets Department is a break-up album, and one that doesn’t disappoint in deconstructing Taylor Swift’s failed relationships and old boyfriends gone bad.

We hear about a chain-smoking man who tells jokes that are “revolting and far too loud” in I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can); a “coward” who pretends to be a “lion” in loml; and we learn about a ghosted Swift in I Can Do It With A Broken Heart, as she sings “I’m so obsessed with him but he avoids me like the plague”.

We’ve all been there, and that’s the trick to Swift‘s wide appeal.

Pic: Beth Garrabrant
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Pic: Beth Garrabrant

The not-so-subtly titled The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived paints a picture of a drug-taking partner who: “In public, showed me off, then sank in stoned oblivion,” tried to “buy some pills from a friend of friends” and “didn’t measure up in any measure of a man”.

Amid dealing with these waste-of-space men, we learn about a Swift – who contrary to her sparkling and strong public persona – is “depressed,” “crying at the gym,” eating “kid’s cereal,” “unstable… on my knees” and very much the owner of a “broken heart”.

Of course, not all of her songs are purely confessional – she also adopts different personas (for example in But Daddy I Love Him which shares the basic storyline of Madonna’s Papa Don’t Preach), but in each track, we firmly return to Swift and parallels in her much-publicly dissected ‘private’ life.

With a history of writing about her exes (past examples include Joe Jonas, Harry Styles, Jake Gyllenhaal and John Mayer), Swift hasn’t disappointed with seeming allusions to former British boyfriends Joe Alwyn and Matty Healy, plus throws forward to current beau NFL star Travis Kelce.

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So Long, London – positioned fifth in the tracklist, a spot Swift reserves for her most meaningful songs – is a choral ballad and seems to be about the end of her six-year relationship with The Favourite star Alwyn.

Her lyric – “I left all I knew, you left me at the house by the Heath” – references Hampstead Heath in north London where she lived with the star in the early 2020s.

As much a break-up song with the city as the man, she tells us “I’m just mad as hell cause I loved this place”.

In this song, we also get one of many references to marriage across the album – a theme which might be at the forefront of Swift’s mind?

Pic: Beth Garrabrant
Image:
Pic: Beth Garrabrant

Wedding bells and babies

So Long, London’s emotional lyric – “You swore that you loved me but where were the clues, I died on the altar waiting for the proof” – rings out loud and clear.

The song that gave the album its title – The Tortured Poets Department – describes a moment that paints a vivid picture: “At dinner you take my ring off my middle finger and put it on the one people put wedding rings on, and that’s the closest I’ve come to my heart exploding.”

In loml (an acronym which stands for Love Of My Life) she sings: “You and I go from one kiss to gettin married… you told me I’m the love of your life.”

In But Daddy I Love Him – a ballad with country tones – she sings: “No, you can’t come to the wedding.”

And in imgonnagetyouback she says: “Whether I’m gonna be your wife or gonna smash up your bike, I haven’t decided yet.”

There’s even a reference to future family in The Manuscript – the final song on the album – with the lyric: “He said that if the sex was half as good as the conversation was, soon they’d be pushing strollers. But soon it was over.”

In Florida!!! (featuring Florence + The Machine) the topic of children comes up again, with Swift escaping to the Everglades, running from friends who “all smell like weed or little babies”.

Taylor Swift is expected to attend the Super Bowl to watch her boyfriend Travis Kelce play, both pictured. Pic: AP
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Swift and Travis Kelce in February. Pic: AP

Loves old and new

The 1975 singer Healy, who Swift is rumoured to have briefly dated following her split from Alwyn, appears to be alluded to in Fortnight – a song featuring Post Malone which will be the first single from the album.

She sings: “I touched you for only a fortnight… I love you, it’s ruining my life.”

In Guilty As Sin, a slow, drum-backed track, Swift describes “fatal fantasies,” “recalling things we never did” and looking back on a past relationship – “how I long for our trysts… How can I be guilty as sin?”

And in But Daddy I Love Him, it’s possible Swift’s hitting back at criticism of her never-officially-confirmed relationship with Healy, telling naysayers: “I’ll tell you something about my good name, it’s mine alone to disgrace.”

The penultimate track on the initial album, The Alchemy, pulls in a wealth of American Football terms – seeming to mark the introduction of her latest relationship with NFL star Travis Kelce.

A swirl of “chemicals” – including “white wine” and “heroin” – are used as metaphors to describe the rush of first attraction amid a slew of sporting analogies.

Read more:
‘Secret’ double album announced in ‘2am surprise’
The hidden meanings in the album’s lyrics

Pic: Beth Garrabrant
Image:
Pic: Beth Garrabrant

‘Self-harm’ and ‘wounds’

Swift told her social media followers the album was a reflection of “events, opinions and sentiments from a fleeting and fatalistic moment in time,” calling them “both sensational and sorrowful in equal measure”.

And for Swift, the album itself appears to be a form of closure – in her words: “This period of the author’s life is now over, the chapter closed and boarded up. There is nothing to avenge, no scores to settle once wounds have healed”.

She also refers to personal wounding in the cover slip for the album, calling the period of her life one of “self-harm” and “cardiac arrest”. And on her love battle wounds she told fans: “A good number of them turned out to be self-inflicted”.

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It’s a self-reflection she shares in Who’s Afraid Of Little Old Me, calling herself “fearsome,” “wretched” and “wrong,” singing in the chorus “I was tame, I was gentle, til the circus life made me mean”.

After over two decades in the music industry – a notoriously tough one to survive in let alone thrive in – we perhaps see a glimpse into Swift’s psyche in I Can Do It With A Broken Heart. She sings: “They said, ‘Babe, you gotta fake it til you make it’. And I did. Lights, camera, bitch smile. Even when you want to die.”

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The album features a song inspired by her NFL superstar boyfriend Travis Kelce

The original It Girl

And in Clara Bow (the name of a 1920s American actress for whom the term ‘It Girl’ was coined), the final track of the original album, she gives us a self-referring dig which touches on both the fickleness of the music industry and pokes fun at her own ever-inflating success.

We hear a young wannabe praised by “suits in LA,” telling her: “You look like Taylor Swift in this light, we’re loving it. You’ve got edge she never did.”

Always looking ahead, to her next era, perhaps when her “girlish glow flickers”, a now 30-something Swift is always one step ahead of the industry she’s currently dominating.

As she tells us: “The future’s bright… Dazzling.”

The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology, featuring 31 tracks, is out now.

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Taylor Swift: How a country girl took over the world – as new album The Tortured Poets Department released

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Taylor Swift: How a country girl took over the world - as new album The Tortured Poets Department released

Taylor Swift is one of the world’s best-selling artists, a billionaire, and a record breaker. And she’s just 34.

With her 11th studio album – The Tortured Poets Department – out today (her follow up to 2022’s Grammy winning Midnights) the buzz around the singer is at fever pitch.

Update:
Swift reveals ‘secret double album’

Taylor Swift accepts the Global Icon award during the Brit Awards 2021
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Swift accepts the Global Icon award at the Brit Awards 2021. Pic: PA

Fans can expect 16 new tracks (addressing the five stages of heartbreak) and collaborations from the likes of Florence + The Machine and Post Malone.

With a history of writing about her exes (you know who you are, Joe Jonas, Harry Styles, Jake Gyllenhaal and John Mayer), there’s much interest over whether any songs will refer to her English ex-boyfriend, actor Joe Alwyn who she dated for six years until their split last year.

There’s a strong suggestion track number five (the slot she always gives to her most meaningful songs) – So Long London – may do just that.

And the very title of album may be referring to a WhatsApp group Alwyn previously set up with fellow actors Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal, called The Tortured Man Club.

More on Taylor Swift

Speaking about it in 2022, the actors joked that they’d not been using it much since becoming less tortured. Four months later news of Swift and Alwyn’s split emerged.

Meanwhile, in current boyfriend news, Swift’s latest beau – Travis Kelce – says he’s had a listen to parts of the album and says it’s “unbelievable”.

The US star’s rise from teen country pop singer to all-round global phenomenon has been – well – swift.

We take a look at the unstoppable rise and rise of Taylor Swift.

Taylor Swift was there to support Travis Kelce. Pic: Reuters
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Swift with boyfriend Travis Kelce in February. Pic: Reuters

Moving forward while reclaiming her past

She started out Taylor Alison Swift, born in Pennsylvania and named after singer-songwriter James Taylor.

Inspired to become a country singer after watching a documentary about Faith Hill (one of the genre’s best-selling stars), her parents upped sticks to move to Tennessee in 1993 to help her forge her music career, and Swift landed her first record deal aged just 13.

A musical chameleon, she’s switched up her genre a few times since then, moving from country to pop to alternative and folk.

And as well as moving forward artistically, she’s quite literally reclaimed her past too, re-recording her back catalogue since 2021 as a way to regain ownership of her music following a spat with talent manager Scooter Braun, who bought her former label Big Machine Records.

The MTV VMAs moment in 2009 when Kanye sparked his feud with Swift. Pic. Reuters
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The MTV VMAs moment in 2009 when Kanye stormed the stage. Pic. Reuters

Earlier this year, Swift made Grammy history when she became the first person to win album of the year four times with Midnights.

She’s come a long way since Kanye West infamously stormed the stage at the 2009 VMAs as Swift accepted her award for best video by a female artist, a stunt he later claimed in a lyric “made that b**** famous“.

Her fame has been on the rise ever since – reaching peak Swift over the last few years.

Taylor in 2006, when she was seen as the sweet girl of country music. Pic: Reuters
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Taylor in 2006, when she was seen as the sweet girl of country music. Pic: Reuters

Billionaire status

Swift is a billionaire, according to Forbes magazine, accumulating $1.1bn (£875m), based on earnings from her Eras Tour and the worth of her pop music catalogue.

It makes her the first musician to hit 10-figure status solely based on her songs and performances.

Following the start of her Eras Tour, kicking off in March 2023, she became the first artist to surpass $1bn (£800m) in revenue, breaking the Guinness World Record for the highest-grossing music tour.

Plus, she was the biggest-selling global recording artist of 2023, breaking another record by topping the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s (IFPI) global artist chart for a fourth time.

Taylor Swift accepts the award for Album of the Year for Midnights during the 66th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 4, 2024. REUTERS/Mike Blake
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Swift making Grammy history. Pic: Reuters

In 2023 Swift was ranked as Spotify’s most popular artist, and she became the first female artist to have four albums on Billboard’s top 10 list concurrently.

Her Eras Tour – which started out with 53 shows played across the US before expanding to include 78 international dates – has sold out stadiums around the world, with an estimated $900m in ticket sales last year, according to Billboard.

It’s projected to become the highest-grossing tour in history by the end of this year, forecast to push Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour into second place.

Plus, the Swift magic touch has boosted the local economies her tour has passed through.

Fans arrive at the Tokyo Dome, for the Taylor Swift concert, as part of the Eras Tour .
Pic:AP
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Fans at the Tokyo Dome, for the Eras Tour. Pic:AP


Economic angel with the power to shake cities

Her seven sold-out concerts in Sydney and Melbourne in Australia in February were credited by the Australian Bureau of Statistics with increasing spending on clothing, merchandise, accessories and dining out across the month.

Six nights near Los Angeles added $320m (£257m) and 3,300 jobs to the area, according to the California Center for Jobs and the Economy.

And not content with ruling the music world or mending the economy, she has conquered the silver screen too, with a movie version of her concert tour taking over $250m (£200m) in ticket sales.

The movie generated the highest ticket sales at the UK and Ireland box office on its opening day, according to Vue International.

And did I mention, she can also cause minor natural disasters?

In July 2023, a Swift concert in Seattle was pointed to for setting off a nearby seismometer, registering the equivalent of a magnitude 2.3 earthquake.

A fan shows off his Taylor Swift T-shirt at a sing-a-long event in Singapore. Pic: Reuters
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A fan’s Taylor Swift T-shirt at a sing-a-long event in Singapore. Pic: Reuters

She’s across politics and sport too – and fellow celebs love her

While never telling her fans who to vote for, Swift has encouraged voter registration, with Vote.org reporting 35,000 signups after Swift urged her 282 million followers on Instagram to vote in Super Tuesday primary contests across the US in March.

And putting the super into Super Bowl, her high-profile relationship with Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce has been credited with bringing more viewers to American Football. Indeed, sales of Kelce jerseys jumping 400% in one day, according to online seller Fanatics.

While she never went to college herself, numerous US colleges offer courses on her, including Harvard, Stanford and Bentley, while a university in Belgium offers a Swift-inspired literary class. Avoiding the hassle of years of study, in 2022 she received an honorary doctor of fine arts degree from New York University.

And earlier this year the Victoria And Albert Museum recruited for a Taylor Swift superfan adviser to help develop future Swift-themed programming.

Teenagers trade bracelets while waiting for the beginning of Taylor Swift's Eras Tour concert movie in a cinema in Mexico City, Mexico October 13, 2023. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
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Teenagers trade friendship bracelets at an Eras Tour concert movie in Mexico City. Pic: Reuters


It’s no surprise that Time magazine named her 2023’s person of the year.

Known for her dedication to her fans – inspiring friendship bracelets, handmade signs, and all sorts of memorabilia – she has a legion of celebrity fans too including Jennifer Lopez, Julia Roberts and Adam Sandler.

And in good news for UK fans – she’ll be coming soon to a city near you.

This summer she will play 15 UK shows as part of her Eras Tour, kicking off on 7 June in Edinburgh before coming to London on 21 June. Her extended London run will conclude at Wembley Stadium on 20 August.

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Taylor Swift reveals ‘secret’ double album in ‘2am surprise’ – including track inspired by boyfriend Travis Kelce

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Taylor Swift reveals 'secret' double album in '2am surprise' - including track inspired by boyfriend Travis Kelce

Taylor Swift has revealed her latest release is a “secret double album” – with 15 more tracks than fans were expecting.

In a 2am surprise (around 7am UK time), the 34-year-old announced on social media that The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology includes a second instalment.

She wrote: “It’s a 2am surprise: The Tortured Poets Department is a secret DOUBLE album. I’d written so much tortured poetry in the past 2 years and wanted to share it all with you, so here’s the second instalment of TTPD: The Anthology. 15 extra songs. And now the story isn’t mine anymore… it’s all yours.”

It’s the superstar’s 11th studio album and features a bumper 31 songs spilling over two hours.

Swift announced details of the record in February this year when she won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album for Midnights.

At the time, she revealed the new album includes collaborations with Post Malone and Florence + The Machine who feature respectively on the tracks Fortnight and Florida!!!.

Taylor Swift fans check out a new pop-up opening to celebrate Taylor Swift's upcoming album "The Tortured Poets Department," at the Grove in Los Angeles on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
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The Tortured Poets Department features songs about Swift’s love life. Pic: AP

Swift is believed to have included songs about her break-ups with British actor Joe Alwyn and The 1975 star Matty Healy in the album, while a song full of American football references is thought to be inspired by her latest romance with NFL star Travis Kelce.

Read more:
Boyfriend hails ‘unbelievable’ album

Singer Taylor Swift performs at her concert for the international "The Eras Tour" in Tokyo, Japan February 7, 2024. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon ATTENTION EDITORS - NO COMMERCIAL OR BOOK SALES. NOT FOR USE ON ANY PRINT OR ELECTRONIC MAIN COVER OF MAGAZINES. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
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Swift has been travelling the world with her Eras tour. Pic: Reuters

The 15th track, The Alchemy, appears to be a nod to her relationship with the Kansas City Chiefs star with references to American football terms including the team, warm benches, winning streak, and trophy, and also features the line: “So when I touch down, call the amateurs and cut ’em from the team.”

She began dating the athlete last year and her attendance at the Super Bowl made headlines around the world, including that kiss with Kelce after the Chiefs’ victory.

Kelce, who has recently landed a role as host of the game show Are You Smarter Than A Celebrity?, said he listened to parts of the album and said it’s “unbelievable”.

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Taylor and Travis unite after Chiefs win

So Long, London is number five in the tracklist – the slot reserved for the most meaningful song on each of Swift’s albums – and is thought to offer new insight into her split with The Favourite actor Alwyn after six years together.

In the lyrics, Swift hints at wedding plans, singing: “You swore that you loved me but where were the clues, I died on the altar waiting for the proof” – as well as being upset at having to leave London which she said she “loved”.

The very title of the album may be referring to a WhatsApp group Alwyn previously set up with fellow actors Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal, called The Tortured Man Club.

On Healy – who Swift dated for a few weeks last year after her split with Alwyn – several songs seem to reference him, including on Guilty As Sin, where she sings about having “fatal fantasies” for someone from her past while in a relationship.

Joe Alwyn and Matty Healy.
Pic: AP
Image:
Joe Alwyn and Matty Healy.
Pic: AP

Writing songs about past old flames is nothing new for Swift including Joe Jonas (Mr Perfectly Fine), Harry Styles (Style), Jake Gyllenhaal (All Too Well) and John Mayer (Dear John).

The singer posted the significance of the album on X as a flurry of fans commented their love for it.

Swift wrote: “The Tortured Poets Department. An anthology of new works that reflect events, opinions and sentiments from a fleeting and fatalistic moment in time – one that was both sensational and sorrowful in equal measure.

“This period of the author’s life is now over, the chapter closed and boarded up. There is nothing to avenge, no scores to settle once wounds have healed. And upon further reflection, a good number of them turned out to be self-inflicted.

“This writer is of the firm belief that our tears become holy in the form of ink on a page. Once we have spoken our saddest story, we can be free of it. And then all that’s left behind is the tortured poetry.”

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Other songs on the compilation include The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived, The Prophecy and Cassandra, while the bonus song is titled The Manuscript.

Swift’s sold-out Eras tour makes its way to the UK on 7 June, starting with three shows in Edinburgh.

The run of her London shows begins on 21 June.

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