Taylor Swift ‘TTPD’: I Was Not Ready and The Album Destroyed Me

The past few weeks have been rough for us Swifties. Trying to decode absolutely heart-wrenching lyrics and taking in devastating bridges in ‘The Tortured Poets Department.’

For me, the whole experience of listening to this particular album has been a unique one. When I first listened to the songs, I really didn’t like the album. I thought that many of the songs sounded the same, words were just out of place, everything was disorganized, and it was just a touch sloppy – almost like they were begging to be edited.

But when I did a second round of listening, everything began clicking. It was meant to be chaotic, and raw, and reflective of what true human emotions are like. A lot of the songs started making sense… together… as a collection. AND a lot of puzzle pieces fit with ‘folkmore,’ ‘evermore,’ and ‘Midnights.’ Especially if you fall down the whole Matty Healy situationship rabbithole. 😵‍💫 I used to wonder how the hell she pulled off writing something as painful as tolerate it and champagne problems while with Joe (especially following the boundless love and light from Lover). But now we know…

Typically, when I don’t like a song, I tend not to change my opinion on it if I listen to it again. But with TTPD, I experienced the exact opposite. I started to fall in love with TTPD very quickly upon the second listen. Especially while studying the lyrics and taking in the music with noise-cancelling headphones on, and with the context in mind. And man oh man… TTPD is absolutely devastating in the best way possible.

My favorite TTPD songs tend to change from one day to the next because every day I uncover something new I didn’t realize before. It also really depends on the mood I’m in. My initial fave was Down Bad, which is extra fun to listen to when I’m dying at the gym lol. Then I gravitated toward the sorrows of So Long, London and My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys. But the two that really destroyed me emotionally are Peter and The Black Dog. 🥺 The Prophecy also struck an all too familiar chord within me – the existential debate, powers of divinity, and the meaning of fate and destiny – all too relatable.

I also really love how Robin feels similar to the themes of the magic and innocence of childhood in Never Grow Up and The Best Day, both songs I absolutely love that have paved the way for You’re On Your Own, Kid to flourish. But Daddy I Love Him is also beautifully rebellious – a grown up version of Love Story, this time extending the disapproval to the larger community and not just her parents. Everything just feels much more mature and complex with each new album.

It was really tough to put this list together… but just for fun, I’ve challenged myself to rank my favorite top 10 TTPD songs:

  1. Peter
  2. The Black Dog
  3. imgonnagetyouback
  4. Guilty as Sin
  5. My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys
  6. Down Bad
  7. The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived
  8. The Prophecy
  9. So Long, London
  10. Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?

We all know Taylor is the QUEEN of bridges but man, she really created a masterpiece with Peter. It’s one of my most favorite bridges that she’s ever written… maybe even more than Death By A Thousand Cuts – one of my most beloved TS songs. I just about diedddd when she fulfilled my greatest dream of watching her perform DBATC live when she played it as one of the surprise songs for LA Night 3.

It’s crazy to witness how beautifully her bridges have developed. Belting out the bridge from Last Kiss used to be my go-to cathartic ritual but now that I’m older, bridges from songs like Peter, The Prophecy, How Did It End?, and tolerate it just sink in much harder.

And I won’t confess that I waited, but I let the lamp burn
As the men masqueraded, I hoped you’d return
With your feet on the ground, tell me all that you’d learned
‘Cause love’s never lost when perspective is earned
And you said you’d come and get me, but you were twenty-five
And the shelf life of those fantasies has expired
Lost to the “Lost Boys” chapter of your life
Forgive me, Peter, please know that I tried
To hold on (Hold on) to the days (To the days)
When you were mine
But the woman who sits by the window
Has turned out the light

And of course, the bridge from The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived. UGH. I get SO emotionally charged every time I get to this part. I sing this with my chest and my husband always looks at me crazy. He said it reminds him of the 90s emo songs we grew up with lol.

Were you sent by someone who wanted me dead?
Did you sleep with a gun underneath our bed?
Were you writing a book? Were you a sleeper cell spy?
In fifty years, will all this be declassified?
And you’ll confess why you did it
And I’ll say, “Good riddance”
‘Cause it wasn’t sexy once it wasn’t forbidden
I would’ve died for your sins
Instead, I just died inside
And you deserve prison, but you won’t get time
You’ll slide into inboxes and slip through the bars
You crashed my party and your rental car
You said normal girls were boring
But you were gone by the morning
You kicked out the stage lights
But you’re still performing

I’m also still digesting each song but these are my favorite lyrics from each of the 31 songs in TTPD:

“All my mornings are Mondays stuck in an endless February”

“Who else decodes you?”

“He saw forever so he smashed it up”

“Staring at the sky, come back and pick me up”

“You sacrificed us to the gods of your bluest days”

“I just learned these people try and save you… cause they hate you”

“Handcuffed to the spell I was under, for just one hour of sunshine”

“Your home’s really only a town you’re just a guest in”

“Why does it feel like a vow we’ll both uphold somehow?”

“Put narcotics into all of my songs, and that’s why you’re still singing along”

“His hands, so calloused from his pistol softly traces hearts on my face”

“Who’s gonna stop us from waltzing back into rekindled flames, if we know the steps anyway”

“He said he’d love me all his life”

“And in plain sight you hid, but you are what you did”

“Where’s the trophy? He just comes running over to me”

“It’s hell on earth to be heavenly”

“You said I needed a brave man, then proceeded to play him, until I believed it too”

“We broke all the pieces, but still want to play the game”

“The devil that you know looks now more like an angel”

“All to outrun my desertion of you”

“And so a touch that was my birthright became foreign”

“You knew what you wanted and boy, you got her”

“I hate it here, so I will go to secret gardens in my mind”

“I built a legacy that you can’t undo”

“What if your eyes looked up and met mine, one more time?”

“Cards on the table, mine play out like fools in a fable”

“I was in my tower weaving nightmares, twisting all my smiles into snarls”

“We both did the best we could do, underneath the same moon in different galaxies”

“Hearts are hers for the breaking, there’s escape in escaping”

“Way to go tiger, higher and higher, wilder and lighter”

“And the slow dance was alight with the sparks”

What a time it is to be a Swiftie! I remember the days when I used to play Teardrops on My Guitar on loop on Youtube all alone in my room… crying over a boyfriend who did not exist lol.

And now, our girl is writing about the rollercoaster journey called life from all different aspects, and I’m forever grateful to be able to share a seat on the ride with her (and all the other Swifties!). ♥️

What do you guys think about the album? Would love to hear your thoughts! And whether we’re gonna be getting a 3rd part soon… 👀

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