Five songs to prepare you for Taylor Swift's 'The Tortured Poets Department'

In order to prepare for The Tortured Poets Department here are some of Swift’s songs which may help Swifties and non-Swifties alike make sense of the new album as we await its release

Ashok Kumar/TAS24/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
1 of 4
Next

After Taylor Swift's surprising announcement about her eleventh studio album The Tortured Poets Department at the Grammys this year, fans are eagerly awaiting the album drop on April 19. Leave it to Swift to always keep us surprised.

Unlike the re-recorded (Taylor’s Version) albums Swift has been releasing since 2021, The Tortured Poets Department is a completely new era for the Swiftie community. However, in true cryptic and Machiavellian form, Swift has been slowly dropping Easter eggs to tease the aesthetic and sound of what is sure to be her next hit album.

To prepare for The Tortured Poets Department here are some of Swift’s songs that may help Swifties and non-Swifties alike make sense of the new album as we await its release.

Five Taylor Swift songs to prepare you for The Tortured Poets Department

No. 1 - "the last great american dynasty"  - folklore

It is no secret to seasoned fans that Swift favors the use of allusion in her songwriting. Allusion is a literary device where a writer makes references to well-known people, objects, or events to make a comparison. Two such examples on The Tortured Poets Department that demonstrate this are "But Daddy I Love Him" and "Clara Bow." The first is likely a reference to a scene in the classic Disney movie The Little Mermaid in which Ariel shouts this line at her father King Triton as he tries to prevent her from pursuing Prince Eric. However, the latter reference to "Clara Bow" is a bit more obscure than the first and requires a slight film history lesson.

Clara Bow was a famous silent film star who successfully made the transition to “talkies” when movies began to include audio dialogue. Clara Bow was also given the nickname “The ‘It’ Girl” due to her success in the popular movie “It” as well as several other film roles. Now an ‘It Girl” herself, Swift is using Clara Bow as her muse causing some Swifties to draw comparisons to her song “the last great american dynasty” which centers on Standard Oil heiress and socialite, Rebekah Harkness.

Together Harkness, Bow, and Swift form a triumvirate of self-made women and, much like Clara Bow’s accomplishments on the silver screen, it should be noted that Harkness was a philanthropist with a Doctor in Fine Arts. With this being taken into consideration, one can clearly see that all of their common threads (or invisible strings) are a career in the entertainment industry. It is possible then that Swift is trying to draw comparisons to herself through these women who, like her,  were trailblazers in their time.