"The Tortured Poets Department" Is Out And Better Than Any Of Us Could've Imagined, So Here Are The Most Poignant Lyrics

    Taylor Swift, the woman that you are.

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    Happy The Tortured Poets Department release day to all who celebrate! Boy, oh boy, it's like Christmas morning! Not only did we get an album, we got a damn ANTHOLOGY. We thought we were getting 16 gorgeous songs, but instead, we got 31. I don't know what to do with myself. Does Taylor Swift rest?!

    "The Tortured Poets Department" artwork

    As expected, the album is emotional, cathartic, romantic, restless, mournful, reflective, intense, and, above all else, poetic. After my first listen, I wanted to take this opportunity to round up the lyrics that sat with me the most — the real "gut punch" lyrics, if you will. Let's dive in:

    Hand holding a phone with Spotify on screen, displaying Taylor Swift's album 'The Tortured Poet's Department'

    1. "And I love you, it's ruining my life."

    —"Fortnight" (feat. Post Malone)

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    2. "But you awaken with dread, pounding nails in your head. / But I've read this one where you come undone. / I chose this cyclone with you. And who's gonna hold you like me? / And who's gonna know you like me?"

    —"The Tortured Poets Department"

    3. "There was danger in the heat of my touch. / He saw forever, so he smashed it up."

    —"My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys"

    4. "Once I fix me, he's gonna miss me. / Just say when, I'd play again. He was my best friend."

    —"My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys"


    Textured paper background with text: "'Cause he took me out of my box. Stole my tortured heart. Left all these broken parts. Told me I'm better off. But I'm not"

    6. "Down bad, waking up in blood. / Staring at the sky, come back and pick me up. / Fuck it if I can't have us. I might just not get up. / I might stay down bad."

    —"Down Bad"

    7. "Pulled him in tighter each time he was drifting away. / My spine split from carrying us up the hill."

    —"So Long, London"

    8. "And my friends said it isn't right to be scared every day of a love affair. / Every breath feels like rarest air when you're not sure he wants to be there."

    —"So Long, London"

    9. "You swore that you loved me, but where were the clues? / I died on the altar waiting for the proof."

    —"So Long, London"


    The image is a texture or background with the text: "Growing up precocious sometimes means not growing up at all"

    11. "Here at the park where we used to sit on children's swings, wearing imaginary rings. / But it's gonna be alright. I did my time."

    —"Fresh Out the Slammer"

    12. "Barricaded in the bathroom with a bottle of wine. / Well, me and my ghosts, we had a hell of a time."

    —"Florida!!!" (feat. Florence + the Machine)

    13. "Little did you know, your home's really only a town you're just a guest in."

    —"Florida!!!" (feat. Florence + the Machine)

    14. "What if he's written 'mine' on my upper thigh only in my mind? / One slip and falling back into the hedge maze. Oh, what a way to die."

    —"Guilty as Sin?"


    Textured beige paper background with the text, "I was tame, I was gentle till the circus life made me mean. don't you worry, folks, we took out all her teeth. who's afraid of little old me?"

    16. "You wouldn't last an hour in the asylum where they raised me."

    —"Who's Afraid of Little Old Me?"

    17. "'Cause you lured me, and you hurt me, and you taught me. / You caged me, and then you called me crazy. I am what I am 'cause you trained me."

    —"Who's Afraid of Little Old Me?"

    18. "They shake their heads, saying, 'God, help her' when I tell 'em he's my man. / But your good Lord doesn't need to lift a finger. I can fix him, no really, I can."

    —"I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)"

    19. "Dancing phantoms on the terrace, / are they second-hand embarrassed that I can't get out of bed / 'cause something counterfeit's dead?"



    Blank parchment paper texture, with the text, "our field of dreams, engulfed in fire. your arson's match, your somber eyes. and I'll still see it until I die. You're the loss of my life"

    21. "Lights, camera, bitch, smile. / Even when you want to die."

    —"I Can Do It with a Broken Heart"

    22. "I cry a lot, but I am so productive. It's an art. / You know you're good when you can even do it with a broken heart."

    —"I Can Do It with a Broken Heart"

    23. "You hung me on your wall, stabbed me with your push pins. / In public, showed me off. Then sank in stoned oblivion."

    —"The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived"

    24. "You said normal girls were 'boring,' but you were gone by the morning. / You kicked out the stage lights, but you're still performing. / And in plain sight you hid, but you are what you did. / And I'll forget you, but I'll never forgive. / The smallest man who ever lived."

    —"The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived"


    Textured beige paper background with vignette edges with the text, "This happens once every few lifetimes. These chemicals hit me like white wine"

    26. "'This town is fake, but you're the real thing. / Breath of fresh air through the smoke rings. / Take the glory, give everything. Promise to be dazzling.'"

    —"Clara Bow"

    27. "'You look like Taylor Swift. In this light, we're loving it. / You've got the edge she never did. The future's bright, dazzling.'"

    —"Clara Bow"

    28. "Old habits die screaming."

    —"The Black Dog"

    29. "And it kills me. I just don't understand how you don't miss me."

    —"The Black Dog"


    Textured beige background with the text, "And I'll tell you one thing, honey. I can take the upper hand and touch your body. Flip the script and leave you like a dumb house party. Or I might just love you 'til the end"

    31. "We broke all the pieces but still want to play the game. / Told my friends I hate you, but I love you just the same."


    32. "Cross your thoughtless heart. Only liquor anoints you. / She's the albatross. She is here to destroy you."

    —"The Albatross"

    33. "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. And I couldn't watch it happen."

    —"Chloe or Sam or Sophia or Marcus"

    34. "Could it be enough to just float in your orbit? / Can we watch our phantoms like watching wild horses? / Cooler in theory, but not if you force it to be. / It just didn't happen."

    —"Chloe or Sam or Sophia or Marcus"


    A textured beige paper background with the text, "So if you want to break my cold, cold heart, say you loved me. And if you want to tear my world apart, say you'll always wonder. 'Cause I wonder. Will I always, will I always wonder?"

    36. "Come one, come all. It's happening again. / The empathetic hunger descends. / We'll tell no one except all of our friends. / We must know, how did it end?"

    —"How Did It End?"

    37. "Say it once again with feeling. / How the death rattle breathing silenced as the soul was leaving. / The deflation of our dreaming, leaving me bereft and reeling. / My beloved ghost and me, sitting in a tree, D-Y-I-N-G."

    —"How Did It End?"

    38. "And in the blink of a crinklin' eye, I'm sinkin', our fingers entwined. / Cheeks pink in the twinklin' lights. Tell me 'bout the first time you saw me."

    —"So High School"

    39. "I hate it here, so I will go to secret gardens in my mind. / People need a key to get to. The only one is mine. / I read about it in a book when I was a precocious child. / No mid-sized city hopes and small-town fears. / I'm there most of the year 'cause I hate it here."

    —"I Hate It Here"


    Old paper with text: "But I dreamed that one day I could say all that time you were throwin' punches, I was buildin' somethin.' And I can't forgive the way you made me feel"

    41. "I wrote a thousand songs that you find uncool. / I built a legacy that you can't undo. / But when I count the scars, there's a moment of truth, / that there wouldn't be this if there hadn't been you."

    —"thanK you aIMee"

    42. "And one day your kid comes home singing a song that only us two is gonna know is about you."

    —"thanK you aIMee"

    43. "I look in people's windows in case you're at their table. / What if your eyes looked up and met mine one more time."

    —"I Look in People's Windows"

    44. "Please, I've been on my knees. Change the prophecy. / Don't want money, just someone who wants my company. / Let it once be me."

    —"The Prophecy"


    Textured beige paper background with the text, "A greater woman has faith, but even statues crumble if they're made to wait. I'm so afraid I sealed my fate"

    46. "They say what doesn't kill you makes you aware. / What happens if it becomes who you are?"


    47. "Blood's thick but nothin' like a payroll. / Bet they never spared a prayer for my soul. / You can mark my words that I said it first. / In a mourning warning no one heard."


    48. "I hoped you'd return with your feet on the ground. / Tell me all that you'd learned 'cause love's never lost when perspective is earned."


    49. "But as she was leaving, it felt like breathing. / All her fuckin' lives flashed before her eyes. / It feels like the time she fell through the ice, then came out alive."

    —"The Bolter"


    old paper, with text: "She's been many places with men of many faces. First they're off to the races, and she's laughing, drawing aces. But none of it is changin' that the chariot is waitin'. Hearts are hers for the breakin'. There's escape in escaping"

    51. "You got the dragonflies above your bed. / You have a favorite spot on the swing set. / You have no room in your dreams for regrets. / You have no idea. The time will arrive for the cruel and the mean. / You'll learn to bounce back, just like your trampoline. / But now we'll curtail your curiosity in sweetness."


    52. "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."

    —"The Manuscript"

    53. "And the years passed like scenes of a show. / The professor said to write what you know. / Looking backwards might be the only way to move forward."

    —"The Manuscript"

    54. "And, at last, she knew what the agony had been for."

    —"The Manuscript"


    Textured plain background with text: "Now and then I re-read the manuscript, but the story isn't mine anymore"

    How are you liking The Tortured Poets Department so far? Tell us all your feelings!

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