Thank You, Jack Antonoff
Taylor Swift

Reconsidering Taylor Swift’s Midnights As A Breakup Album

Stop, you’re losing me.

Buda Mendes/TAS23/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

When Taylor Swift released Midnights in October 2022, she prefaced the record by posting on Instagram. “Midnights, the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life, will be out October 21,” she wrote in August of that year.

With Swift’s words in mind, when the album came out, fans didn’t necessarily see her heartbreaking lyrics as a reference to her relationship with Joe Alwyn — especially considering his pen name William Bowery is listed as a co-writer for one of the album’s most romantic songs: “Sweet Nothing.”

But one year later, Swifties have a new perspective on Midnights — one that recategorizes the record as a breakup album. Some fans — nicknamed “Midnights breakup album truthers” — have always felt that way. Other Swifties came to the realization when Jack Antonoff, Swift’s producer, posted a telling IG story on Nov. 29. He confirmed that Swift wrote “You’re Losing Me,” a not-subtle-at-all heartbreak anthem, back in December 2021.

After Antonoff’s big reveal, Swifties jumped to take a closer at Midnights. “MIDNIGHTS IS A BREAKUP ALBUM CONFIRMED,” one fan wrote. Another wrote, “I AM A MIDNIGHTS BREAKUP ALBUM TRUTHER!!! yes the concept is sleepless nights ‘over the years’ but bejeweled, lavender haze, YLM, the great war, maroon BREAKUP SONGS.” (The “Lavender Haze” point seems a little murkier than the rest, but to each their own.)

Here’s a full breakdown of this theory, and how it changes the meaning of some of Midnights most beloved bops.

Twitter: @harrypurplebow

“You’re Losing Me”

“And I wouldn’t marry me either / A pathological people pleaser / Who only wanted you to see her.”

Swift first dropped “You’re Losing Me” in May, seven months after Midnights was released in October 2022. The song describes a painful breakup, and Swifties assumed it was written after the initial Midnights release, around the time outlets first started reporting her split from Alwyn in April 2023.

But Swift didn’t put the track on a streaming platform until Nov. 29, releasing it as a celebration of being Spotify’s Top Global Artist of 2023. The song’s release prompted Antonoff to share a BTS photo, taken right before writing “You’re Losing Me” — something that he said happened way back on Dec. 5, 2021.

Instagram: @jackantonoff

At that point, Swift and Alwyn were still publicly in a relationship, though the famously private couple never gave much insight into their romance. Around the same time Swift wrote this song, she was posting a video of her on the floor in a wedding gown singing “Champagne Problems” and performing an angry rendition of “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” on Saturday Night Live, supporting the theory that things weren’t going well for her and Alwyn, even if they were technically still together.

“Anti-Hero (Remix) (Ft. Bleachers)”

“Sometimes, I feel like everybody is an art bro lately / And I just judge them on the hill / Too hurt to hang out, talking sh*t about your famous baby / Pierced through the heart of ’90s guilt / Maybe I’m the problem, it’s me”

In November 2022, Swift released a remix of her Midnights song “Anti-Hero,” featuring Antonoff’s band, Bleachers. Though Antonoff’s lyrics on the track didn’t seem too shady when it first came out, hindsight gives these lines (specifically “art bro” and “talking sh*t about your famous baby”) new meaning.

“While we’re on the topic of jack being messy, let’s circle back to the bleachers anti-hero remix lyrics,” one fan wrote on Twitter. Another guessed the lyrics were a dig at Alwyn, “jack verse on anti hero bleachers remix is deffo @ him ijbol.”

There’s another crucial piece of breakup-album-truther evidence in this song: Antonoff singing to Swift, “Taylor, you’ll be fine.” (A line that became an Eras Tour chant, BTW.) If this really was a breakup song, Antonoff’s words take on a more serious meaning.

Twitter: @daenytargaryenx

“The Great War”

“All that bloodshed, crimson clover / Uh-huh, sweet dream was over / My hand was the one you reached for / All throughout the Great War .... It turned into something bigger / Somewhere in the haze, got a sense I’d been betrayed ... That was the night I nearly lost you / I really thought I lost you.”

Comparing a relationship to a literal war is probably a sign things aren’t going well. In “The Great War,” Swift sings about a relationship just barely skating by. But in the song, the couple ultimately survives. The last line goes: “I vowed I would always be yours.”

Months after Swift and Alwyn’s breakup, Swifties are noticing a lot of parallels between this track and “You’re Losing Me.” Both songs reference soldiers and the death of something special — whether she’s “screaming from the crypt” or wondering if the romance can be brought “back to life.”

Now that both songs are out, fans think Swift might have chosen “The Great War” for Midnights’ release, believing her relationship had survived the challenging time. But, when it was done for good, she decided to put out “You’re Losing Me,” flipping the narrative.

One fan theorized on Twitter, “i don’t know when the great war was written but the connection between the great war and you’re losing me is crazy. kinda makes me think you’re losing me was written first, they had a break from each other and then she wrote the great war after getting back together.” Another Swiftie responded, “No that’s legit was my theory too and she put the great war in there instead cuz she thought they were ok and you’re losing me was gonna be locked forever.”

Twitter: @Stevensully99


“Uh oh, I’m falling in love / Oh no, I’m falling in love again / Oh, I’m falling in love / I thought the plane was going down / How’d you turn it right around.”

If you buy into the theory that “You’re Losing Me” was written before “The Great War,” Swift’s song “Labyrinth” seems to be a description of an on-again, off-again relationship reigniting. “labyrinth in the context of you’re losing me makes infinitely more sense now,” one fan wrote.

“Hits Different”

“Oh my, love is a lie / Sh*t my friends say to get me by / It hits different / It hits different this time / Catastrophic blues / Movin’ on was always easy for me to do / It hits different / It hits different ’cause it’s you.”

This “You’re Losing Me” timeline sheds new light on “Hits Different,” too. The boppy tune has always been paired with some heartbreaking lyrics, describing a breakup ~hitting different~ when you thought the person was the one.

“This theory that Labyrinth is actually about after You’re Losing Me when they got back together is making me realize that ‘Break up, break free, break through, break down’ is just the entire concept of Hits Different????” one Swiftie theorized on Twitter.

“Midnight Rain”

“’Cause he was sunshine / I was midnight rain / He wanted it comfortable / I wanted that pain / He wanted a bride / I was making my own name.”

Swift’s “Midnight Rain” has a lot of similarities to “Champagne Problems,” particularly when it comes to the imagery of a woman saying “no” to marriage or a proposal. Paired with the “You’re Losing Me” lyrics of “I wouldn’t marry me either,” “Midnight Rain” seems to be a breakup song about a couple that is intrinsically incompatible.

Twitter: @HoneyAlarabia

“You’re On Your Own Kid”

“I waited ages to see you there / I search the party of better bodies / Just to learn that you never cared / You’re on your own, kid / You always have been.”

“You’re on Your Own Kid” is potentially another breakup song. Feeling alone in the world isn’t exclusive to people going through a difficult split, but some of the lyrics seem to reference relationship disappointments — like a certain someone special missing a big moment. (Swift has returned to this metaphor more than once, singing about it in “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” and “The Moment I Knew.”)

This song adds another layer to the breakup timeline since it was referenced back when she gave the commencement address at New York University’s graduation in May 2022. “Scary news is: You’re on your own now. Cool news is: You’re on your own now,” she said during the speech.


“And I lost you / The one I was dancin’ with / In New York, no shoes / Looked up at the sky and it was maroon.”

“Maroon” was always categorized as a breakup song, with fans often placing it with Swift’s Red era. “I think it means this relationship was so bright and vivid and beautiful when she was in the thick of it, but in retrospect it’s a lot darker than that,” one fan wrote on Reddit, comparing the song to the titular track off of Red.

But with “You’re Losing Me” in mind, there’s another lyric that sticks out: “‘How’d we end up on the floor anyway?’ You say / ‘Your roommate’s cheap-ass screw-top rosé, that’s how.’”

The lyrics about drinking cheap alcohol are similar to what she wrote in Reputation: In “Dress,” she sang, “I’m spilling wine in the bathtub / You kiss my face and we’re both drunk”; then, in “King of My Heart,” she sang, “Drinking beer out of plastic cups / Say you fancy me, not fancy stuff.” This ties the song back to Alwyn, whom she seemingly wrote the majority of Reputation about.

Twitter: @TheBookofTaylor

“Dear Reader”

“Dear reader / Burn all the files, desert all your past lives ... If you knew where I was walking / To a house, not a home, all alone ’cause nobody’s there ... You should find another guiding light / Guiding light / But I shine so bright.”

“Dear Reader” is all about leaving the past behind — no matter how painful it might be. On first listen, the song could be about any painful transition.

But with the added context of “You’re Losing Me,” there are signs this could be another breakup song. Coming back to an empty home, leaving behind who you once were, and ending with a plea to “find another” all fit into the heartbreak genre.


“Baby love, I think I’ve been a little too kind / Didn’t notice you walking all over my peace of mind ... Puttin’ someone first only works when you’re in their top five ... And I miss you (I miss you) / But I miss sparkling (ah, hey) ... And when I meet the band / They ask, ‘Do you have a man?’ / I can still say, ‘I don’t remember.’”

“Bejeweled” is a verifiable single girl anthem, all about leaving someone who dulls your sparkle. The song has come up a lot with Swift’s recent relationship with Travis Kelce. On Twitter, fans have been gushing about the pair, constantly referencing the Midnights track: “TRAVIS LETS TAYLOR [BE] BEJEWELED.”

Kelce admittedly studied Swift’s breakup ballads. He told the Wall Street Journal in November, “I’ve never been a man of words. Being around her, seeing how smart Taylor is, has been f*cking mind-blowing. I’m learning every day.”

Twitter: @penthouseheart

“Sweet Nothing”

“On the way home / I wrote a poem / You say, ‘What a mind’ / This happens all the time / ’Cause they said the end is coming / Everyone’s up to something / I find myself running home to your sweet nothings.”

The most difficult song to reconcile with Midnights being a breakup album is “Sweet Nothing.” The lyrics sound like peak romance, as Swift’s words describe a partnership grounded in the little sweet nothings (as opposed to “industry disruptors,” “soul deconstructors,” and “smooth-talking hucksters”).

But Swifties think she dropped a hint about the true meaning behind this song on Nov. 29, right after Antonoff posted the “You’re Losing Me” receipts. On Twitter, the singer liked a year-old tweet about Paul and Linda McCartney.

The tweet read:

“i would come back from a run with a poem to share and having listened linda would say ‘what a mind.’ though the lines may not have been supreme, she wasn’t merely being kind. she meant what she said. it’s going to make a man feel good, that kind of a thing.” - paul mccartney.”

With this tweet in mind, the lyrics in “Sweet Nothing” don’t seem to be a reference to Alwyn at all, but a tribute to Paul and Linda McCartney’s romance — which, if true, would fundamentally change the song’s inspiration.