Don't Blame Me
Some of Taylor Swift's older songs seem to be inspired by Matty Healy after revelations on 'The Tort...
Wait, Was Taylor Actually Singing About Matty For All These Years?

It goes so much deeper than “Cardigan.”

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After you’ve finally committed all 31 Tortured Poets Department songs to memory, the homework isn’t over for Swifties. The new album seems to add so much lore to the Taylor Swift universe, particularly in terms of a controversial ex who may have had a much greater impact on Swift than fans realized. Now, in a post-Tortured Poets world, some of the songs Swifties have been singing along to for years are taking on an entirely new meaning. Yes, Matty Healy seemed to inspire more of Swift’s music than just her latest album.

The most shocking revelation from Tortured Poets was that Swift seemed to have a deeper, longer-lasting relationship with Healy than her fans realized. The album seems to describe their romance as an all-encompassing fixation, which finally crashed and burned in the summer of 2023.

The two first met in 2014, and sparked dating rumors when they wore shirts promoting each other’s projects. Those rumors never materialized into anything, though, and Swift soon began publicly dating Calvin Harris shortly thereafter.

But now, fans think Healy has been on Swift’s mind for a whole decade, and because of that, there are a few songs that fans would have never guessed Healy inspired... which now sound very Matty-coded.

“Death By A Thousand Cuts”
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After all the revelations in The Tortured Poets Department, Swift’s Lover track about an ex she can’t get out of her mind now seems to be inspired by Healy. Most notably, the “Death by a Thousand Cuts” lyrics seem to mirror lyrics in The 1975’s “Me & You Together Song.”

“You said it was a great love / One for the ages / But if the story’s over / Why am I still writing pages,” Swift sings. Healy’s song includes a verse that goes, “I think the story needs more pages / Cuz I’ve been in love with her for ages.”

The 1975 fans have noted that Healy emphasized his song was based on a true story in an April 2023 concert, which was right before the Swift dating rumors started. Interestingly enough, Swift performed “Death by a Thousand Cuts” that same month as a surprise song on the Eras Tour on April 1.


Thanks to an infamous Eras Tour video, Swifties had already been tipped off about the true inspiration for “Cardigan.” During a live performance of the song when Healy was in the crowd, Swift mouthed, “This one is about you. You know who you are. I love you.”

Now, with the added details of Swift’s Tortured Poets song “Peter,” it seems even more clear that Healy was the inspiration behind “Cardigan” — particularly because of the lyric “Tried to change the ending / Peter losing Wendy.”

Healy has compared himself to Peter Pan multiple times throughout the years, including titling one of his earliest songs “Lost Boys,” the name of Peter Pan’s troupe.


For years, Swifties have believed the 1989 single “Style” was obviously inspired by Harry Styles. But after Swift hid a “Style” Easter egg in her recent “Fortnight” video, some new lore has arisen suggesting Healy may be the “long hair, slicked back, white T-shirt” guy after all.” As fans pointed out, Swift actually liked a Tumblr post back in the day connecting those lyrics to a photo of Healy.

The outfit descriptions in the song do seem to fit with the well-known photos of Swift rocking The 1975 merch at the same time Healy wore a 1989 shirt.

“Don’t Blame Me”

Much of The Tortured Poets Department is about Swift’s obsessive love for someone who may be bad for her — a theme she’s explored before in her Reputation belter “Don’t Blame Me.” On that song, Swift sings about a love that “made me crazy” and compares the romance to a drug she’ll be “using for the rest of my life.” The description seems to mirror the presumed Healy-inspired Tortured Poets tracks like “Down Bad” and “I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can).”

“Don’t Blame Me” also seems to contain some lyrical allusions to The 1975 songs, as fans have pointed out parallels with “Oh, Carolina” and “Robbers” in the bridge.

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Swift’s lusty Reputation track “Dress” has inspired tons of fan theories over the years, but it hits different after listening to The Tortured Poets Department. The song is about a clandestine hookup, as Swift sings, “Everyone thinks they know / But they know nothing.” This would track with the new theories coming out about Swift and Healy’s rumored off-and-on relationship over the past decade, which nobody had guessed until The Tortured Poets Department.

The “Dress” lyric, “Made your mark on me, a golden tattoo” also stands out on a re-listen, after Swift seemingly described Healy as “a tattooed golden retriever” in “The Tortured Poets Department.”

Swift also sings “I don’t want you like a best friend” in the “Dress” chorus, which mirrors The 1975’s “Fallingforyou” lyric, “I don’t wanna be your friend, I wanna kiss your neck.” “Fallingforyou” is an important song in the Swift/Healy lore, as he dedicated it to her at a concert in 2014 shortly after they first met.