An analysis - through tears - of Taylor Swift's savagely sad Joe Alwyn song: 'So long, London'

An analysis - through tears - of Taylor Swift's savagely sad Joe Alwyn song: 'So long, London'

"Oh boy, everybody buckle up, this is going to hurt."

Taylor Swift's latest album, The Tortured Poets Department, has offically landed, bringing with it the kind of break-up-inspired masterpieces T-Swift has built an epic career on.

To dissect all the lyrics and feel all the feels, we got in touch with the most die-hard (anonymous) Swiftie we know to hear their thoughts after just one listen: 

"When track 5 was confirmed to be 'So long, London' I was like, 'Oh boy, everybody buckle up, this is going to hurt.' We know it's about her British ex Joe Alwyn, who was the object of her affection as 'London Boy' from her 2019 album 'Lover'.

She still has never played 'London Boy' as a surprise song at any of her Eras tour shows and most Swifties think she never will - refusing to give the love song any more attention now they've split. 

The entirety of 'So Long, London' seems to be a plea. On one hand, she's begging him to stay - on the other, she's exasperated, knowing she's done everything she could. It feels like the relationship became very one-sided at the end. 

There are a few incredibly emotive lines that made me gasp: 

'I didn’t opt to be your odd man out/ I founded the club she’s heard great things about' – Ouch??? And raised my eyebrows after all the recent rumours of Joe potentially cheating

'And I'm pissed off you let me give you all of that youth for free' – These two were together for 6 YEARS and spent a large part of that hidden away, which fans believe is due to Joe's discomfort with her level of fame. They got together after her ‘reputation’ was in the gutter and she was in hiding anyway, but as soon as she came back for the Eras Tour and her popularity skyrocketed to an unhinged level (yass mother), it was too much for him. 

'Two graves, one gun/I’ll find someone.' - and she diiiiid! And not just anyone. A WILD difference between Joe and Travis Kelce is how Travis is not intimidated by her fame, but respects it and celebrates her, regardless of its impact on his private life. 

'I left all I knew, you left me at the house by the Heath' - This feels so LONELY. It refers to Joe's house in London near Hampstead Heath, where she spent so much time away from her home and family back in the states. 

And the bridge speaks to how different Joe's narrative was to her own experience: 

You say I abandoned the ship/but I was going down with it/my white knuckle dying grip, holding tight to your quiet resentment.


It goes on: "And my friend said it isn’t right to be scared every day of the love affair/every breath feels like rarest air/when you're not sure if he wants to be there." 

The fact 'So Long, London' has been chosen for track 5 is ✨meaningful✨in Swiftie lore. Track 5 is always where Taylor places her most gut-wrenching song from each album. 

Fans started noticing this with her first track 5s, Fearless = Cold As You, Speak Now = Dear John, by Red this was confirmed with what is commonly known as her magnum opus, 'All Too Well'  Eff you Jake, you should’ve gone to her birthday party. Anywho. 

Tay also confirmed this when she was about to release Lover ('The Archer' is track 5 and damn, that one is pretty emotional). 

'So Track 5 is a tradition that really started with you guys, because I didn’t realise I was doing this… but instinctively I was putting a very vulnerable personal, honest, emotional song as Track 5,' she said at the time. 

For me, track 5 is always a therapy session. It feels like I'm lying on my bed with Taylor, or my best friend, or in a perfect world, my best friend who IS Taylor, and they’re spilling their guts to me with all their feelings. This one is a painful goodbye, to Joe, to London, and to 6 years of her life. "