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Taylor Swift on the Eras Tour

Taylor’s "I Can Do It With A Broken Heart" Has A Subtle, Sad Detail

You might have missed it.

As you can probably tell from the name, Taylor Swift’s Tortured Poets Department doesn’t lack heartbreak. The 31-track double album details plenty of devastating details, seemingly about Swift’s past romances with Joe Alwyn and Matty Healy. For Swifties, especially those who attended the Eras Tour, there’s one song that hits a little deeper than the rest: “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart.”

In the track, Swift details the pain of putting on a show — or, you know, a record-breaking world tour — while heartbroken. After spending some time with the album, Swifties are picking up on a subtle detail in the song that makes it even more painful.

Throughout the song, fans can hear a countdown: “One, two, three, four.” That same count is actually what in-ear monitors play during live concerts, adding another layer of heartbreak to the song. As the song explores what it’s like to perform for crowds while hiding your pain, this added detail underscores what the experience was like for Swift to put on a smile and perform on stage even after she broke up with Alwyn and split from Healy during her tour.

One fan on TikTok pointed out the detail in a video that now has over 560,000 likes. The creator wrote alongside the clip, “The moment we realized that the beat in ‘I Can Do It With A Broken Heart’ is ear monitors. Taylor Swift you are a GENIUS!!!”

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Other Swifties shared their thoughts in the comments section. “The in-ear monitor!! Yes! Like the show literally must go on, the metronome beat really pushes that,” one replied to the video. “No time to be sad, chorus is coming, 1234 go.” Another fan commented, “Yes. It’s like we’re in her head 😭.”

X: @hellohalseys/

Let’s be real: Even if you missed the countdown on your first listen, it’s still clear that this song is a sad one — even reading the title makes that abundantly clear. In it, Swift sings:

“'Cause I'm a real tough kid, I can handle my sh*t / They said, "Babe, you gotta fake it 'til you make it" and I did / Lights, camera, b*tch smile, even when you wanna die / He said he'd love me all his life / But that life was too short / Breaking down, I hit the floor / All the pieces of me shattered as the crowd was chanting, “More” / I was grinning like I'm winning, I was hitting my marks / 'Cause I can do it with a broken heart.”

Ouch. At another point, Swift adds, “I'm so depressed, I act like it's my birthday every day ... I cry a lot but I am so productive, it's an art.”

TLDR; If you’re looking for a pick-me-up, maybe just focus on this song’s peppy beat and not its seriously depressing lyrics.