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Taylor Swift's "The Archer" Lyrics Are Deeply Emotional

Taylor Swift just surprised her fans with the ultimate gift: A new song off her upcoming album, Lover. The song is called "The Archer," and she made the song with her longtime friend and collaborator, Jack Antonoff. On July 23, Swift announced in an Instagram Live that she was surprise-dropping "The Archer" as a gift to fans. The song is the fifth track on the album, which pretty much guarantees the song will be emotional (all her past No. 5-singles have been über emotional). And let me tell you, Taylor Swift's "The Archer" lyrics definitely live up to the ~reputation~. (See what I did there?)

Unlike her past songs that often reflect on her past loves, "The Archer" seems to be introspective, reflecting on battles she's gone through in the public eye. The song opens with Swift singing about how she doesn't want conflict, but that sometimes... she actually does. The repeated lyrics from the chorus, "I've been the archer, I've been the prey," seem to allude to Swift's many conflicts that have played out in the press — some instances that she was dragged into (like when her whole backlog of music fell into the hands of someone who's not her because of a contract she signed when she was 15), but others she arguably started herself (she arguably shot the first "public" arrow in the great "Bad Blood" feud of 2014 when she put Katy Perry on blast for supposedly stealing her dancers in an interview with Rolling Stone).

But in "The Archer" Swift seems to be reflecting on all those battles, and the role she played in them, singing, "But what if I'm alright, right, right, right here? And I cut off my nose just to spite my face." That last line there seems to be an extremely self-aware acknowledgment that, in some cases, she can be self-destructive in the way she responds to challenges. It's seriously deep, y'all. Listen to the song below:

And now check out the lyrics below!

VERSE 1

Combat, I'm ready for combat

I say I don't want that, but what if I do?

'Cause cruelty wins in the movies

I've got a hundred thrown-out speeches I almost said to you

PRE-CHORUS

Easy they come, easy they go

I jump from the train, I ride off alone

I never grew up, it's getting so old

Help me hold on to you

CHORUS

I've been the archer, I've been the prey

Who could ever leave me, darling

But who could stay?

VERSE 2

Dark side, I search for your dark side

But what if I'm alright, right, right, right here?

And I cut off my nose just to spite my face

Then I hate my reflection for years and years

PRE-CHORUS

I wake in the night, I pace like a ghost

The room is on fire, invisible smoke

And all of my heroes die all alone

Help me hold on to you

CHORUS

I've been the archer, I've been the prey

Screaming, who could ever leave me, darling

But who could stay?

(I see right through me, I see right through me)

BRIDGE

'Cause they see right through me

They see right through me

They see right through

Can you see right through me?

They see right through

They see right through me

I see right through me

I see right through me

PRE-CHORUS

All the king's horses, all the king's men

Couldn't put me together again

'Cause all of my enemies started out friends

Help me hold on to you

CHORUS

I've been the archer, I've been the prey

Who could ever leave me, darling

But who could stay?

(I see right through me, I see right through me)

Who could stay?

Who could stay?

Who could stay?

You could stay

You could stay

Combat, I'm ready for combat