Are Taylor Swift’s ‘The 1’ Lyrics About Joe Alwyn? They Hint At A Former Lover (2023)

A subtle hint. After news broke of their split and the recent addition to her setlist on her Eras tour, Swifties want to know what Taylor Swift’s “The 1” lyrics really mean.

At her Arlington show during her Eras tour, she surprised the crowd by playing “The 1.” She introduced the song, “You know, I’ve never played that song live before.” Many devoted Swifties came unprepared as they were studying her setlist from the State Farm Stadium and Allegiant Stadium in the last four shows of the tour. She told her fans after performing the song, “You think you can just scroll the setlist? You think you can just come prepared? Let it be said about The Eras Tour … there’s high jinks.” It’s a new song outside of the “Surprise Songs” segment between the 1989andMidnights sets. Taylor revealed the rarely played Red cut “Sad Beautiful Tragic” for the first time since 2013.

The new addition of the song coincided with the news of Taylor’s 6-year long relationship with Joe Alwyn being over. Fans noticed that she switched the song “Invisible String” with “The 1.” The former song is about finding a lover and the destiny surrounding the events to finding them. Why did Taylor suddenly change the setlist and why do Swifties think it’s a sign? More importantly, what does “The 1” really mean and are there any Easter eggs we can find from it? Read more below to find out.

What does “The 1” by Taylor Swift mean?

Are Taylor Swift’s ‘The 1’ Lyrics About Joe Alwyn? They Hint At A Former Lover (1)

Image: Courtesy of Disney+.

What does “The 1” by Taylor Swift mean? The song describes a former love and reminisces about how if it could’ve worked out, then they would have been the one. In Disney+’s folklore: the long pond studio sessions, producer and The National frontman Aaron Dressner and Taylor discussed the song in its entirety. “It was funny because I feel like you captured the spirit of the whole record with that song,” Aaron said. “With “the 1” in the sense of, just the way it opens, ‘I’m doing good, I’m on some new shit, been saying yes instead of no,’ and I was like ‘Is she talking about writing songs with me and everything else at the same time or something?'”

Taylor responded, “I think it has a double meaning. Opening the album with those words, it applies to the situation that the song is written about, where you’re updating a former lover on what your life is like now and trying to be positive about it. But it was also where I am creatively, where it’s, like, “I’m just saying yes, I’m just putting an album out in the worst time you could put one out, I’m just making stuff with someone who i always wanted to make stuff with as long as I’ve been a fan of The National, I’m just gonna say yes to stuff, and it worked out.”

Though Taylor and Aaron are very staunch that she didn’t write it from her POV. Aaron told Vulture, “It’s clear that “the 1” is not written from her perspective. It’s written from another friend’s perspective. There’s an emotional wryness and rawness,while also tothis kind of wink in her eyes. There’s a little bit of her sense of humor in there, in addition to this kind of sadness that exists both underneath and on the surface. I enjoy that about her writing.” He also talked about how the song came about. “The song [began from] the voice memo she sent me, and then I worked on the music some and we tracked her vocals, and then mybrother added orchestration. There are a few other little bits, but basically that was one of the very last things we did.”

He also recalled that the songwriting process made her ultimately put it on the album. “I think in a way, she didn’t realize she was writing for this album or a future something. She wrote “the 1,” and then she wrote “hoax” a couple of hours later and sent them in the middle of the night. When I woke up in the morning, I wrote her before she woke up in LA and said, “These have to be on the record.” She woke up and said, “I agree” [laughs]. These are the bookends, you know?”

Just by the pure meaning of the song, fans speculated that the switch of songs on the setlist were because of their split. “thinking about how we all thought Joe was the one for Taylor but now he’s become “the 1”…this is devastating, one fan tweeted with a picture of a crying cat.

Entertainment Tonight broke the news of Joe and Taylor’s breakup on Saturday, April 8, 2023. The two were very private about their relationship, but Joe frequently contributed to Taylor’s albums by being the muse or co-writing her songs with her from Reputationall the way to her recent albumMidnights.

According to ET, the relationship “had run its course.” A source told the site that the breakup “was not dramatic.” and “it’s why [Joe] hasn’t been spotted at any shows.” A source also told gossip Instagram Deux Moi on the Tuesday before the news broke, “They broke up a few weeks ago, that’s why he hasn’t been at shows and you won’t see him at any. They weren’t married either so you won’t see him at any. They weren’t married either so you won’t see a divorce. It wasn’t dramatic it just ran its course and she’s clearly in a good place with it.

“The 1” by Taylor Swift lyrics

Here is Taylor Swift’s “The 1” lyrics via Genius.

[Verse 1]
I’m doing good, I’m on some new shit
Been saying “yes” instead of “no”
I thought I saw you at the bus stop, I didn’t though
I hit the ground running each night
I hit the Sunday matinée
You know the greatest films of all time were never made

I guess you never know, never know
And if you wanted me, you really should’ve showed
And if you never bleed, you’re never gonna grow
And it’s alright now

But we were something, don’t you think so?
Roaring twenties, tossing pennies in the pool
And if my wishes came true
It would’ve been you
In my defense, I have none
For never leaving well enough alone
But it would’ve been fun
If you would’ve been the one

[Verse 2]
I have this dream you’re doing cool shit
Having adventures on your own
You meet some woman on the internet and take her home
We never painted by the numbers, baby
But we were making it count
You know the greatest loves of all time are over now

I guess you never know, never know
And it’s another day waking up alone

But we were something, don’t you think so?
Roaring twenties, tossing pennies in the pool
And if my wishes came true
It would’ve been you
In my defense, I have none
For never leaving well enough alone
But it would’ve been fun
If you would’ve been the one

I, I, I persist and resist the temptation to ask you
If one thing had been different
Would everything be different today?

We were something, don’t you think so?
Rosé flowing with your chosen family
And it would’ve been sweet
If it could’ve been me
In my defense, I have none
For digging up the grave another time
But it would’ve been fun
If you would’ve been the one

Midnights (Target Exclusive) by Taylor Swift

Are Taylor Swift’s ‘The 1’ Lyrics About Joe Alwyn? They Hint At A Former Lover (2)

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Are Taylor Swift’s ‘The 1’ Lyrics About Joe Alwyn? They Hint At A Former Lover? ›

The second single from One Direction's fifth and final studio album, Made in the A.M., "Perfect" was co-written by Harry and Louis Tomlinson and is widely believed to be about the pop star, with James Corden directly asking Harry about the song's inspiration in a 2015 interview.

Who is the 1 by Taylor Swift written about? ›

What song did Harry Styles write about Taylor Swift? ›

The second single from One Direction's fifth and final studio album, Made in the A.M., "Perfect" was co-written by Harry and Louis Tomlinson and is widely believed to be about the pop star, with James Corden directly asking Harry about the song's inspiration in a 2015 interview.

Did Taylor Swift write any songs about Tom Hiddleston? ›

“Getaway Car” by Taylor Swift – About Tom Hiddleston

In order to understand how “Getaway Car” is about Tom Hiddleston, it's important to have a little background on how their relationship started. Tom Hiddleston started dating Taylor in 2016 after her breakup with Calvin Harris.

Who is Taylor Swift favorite author? ›

Scott Fitzgerald. Taylor is clearly a big fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald's works and this one's no exception.

How old were Harry Styles and Taylor Swift when they dated? ›

Swift, 33, and Styles, 29, briefly dated from 2013-2014. On Sunday, Swift and Styles put their post-romance relationship on display at the 2023 GRAMMY Awards. During the evening, Swift showed her support by getting out of her seat and dancing during Styles' performance of his hit, "As It Was."

What song did Taylor wrote about Kanye? ›

Swift was inspired to write "Innocent" by Kanye West's interruption of her acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.

How long were Taylor and Harry together? ›

While their romance was shortlived—spanning from October 2012 to January 2013—we remember it all too well, thanks to the infamous pictures from the first public outing, and, of course, all of the bops by their brief relationship.

Are Tom Hiddleston and Taylor Swift still friends? ›

Yes, yes we are.” the British thespian told the magazine when asked if the duo was amicable. And just like that, we can sleep easy once again. More like this: Why Meghan and the Sussex children won't attend the coronation.

How old was Taylor Swift when she dated Tom Hiddleston? ›

Kanye West releases the video for Famous: the song in which he raps about sleeping with Taylor Swift. The video features a waxwork of Taylor and a whole host of other celebs. We like to think Tom, 35, was a shoulder to cry on for 26-year-old Taylor.

Who was endgame by Taylor Swift written about? ›

Who is Taylor Swift's bestie? ›

Aside from her famous female friends, Taylor is still close with childhood bestie, Abigail Anderson. She's also added some male members to the squad.

Who is Taylor Swift's #1 fan? ›

The term “fan” does not even begin to describe Tyler Conroy's love for Taylor Swift. A singer/songwriter himself, Conroy lives, sleeps and breathes the music of the country icon.

Does Taylor Swift read a lot? ›

All Types of Books

From The Great Gatsby to Jane Eyre, Swift has read her share of books. The list also includes modern best-sellers such as The Fault in Our Stars, Eat Pray Love, and The Hunger Games. Swift is in tune with what is going on in the modern book world and keeps up to date with what is trending.

How big was the age gap between Harry Styles and Taylor Swift? ›

2012-2013: Taylor Swift

Harry and Taylor dated for over a year, when he was 18 and she was 22. Their relationship and eventual separation apparently inspired songs from both singers. Taylor's Ready For It is reportedly about Harry, while many say his Two Ghosts is about her.

How old was Taylor Swift when she dated Joe Alwyn? ›

Mike Marsland/Getty; Steve Granitz/WireImage. In May 2017, The Sun reported that Swift and Alwyn (who were 27 and 26 years old, respectively, at the time) were in a relationship. A source also told the outlet that the couple had been secretly dating for months prior.

Who did Taylor Swift date when she was 18? ›

Joe Jonas (2008)

According to Swift, Jonas broke up with her over the phone. “When I find that person who is right for me, he'll be wonderful, and when I look at that person, I'm not even gonna be able to remember the boy who broke up with me over the phone in 25 seconds when I was 18,” Swift said on the show.

Did Kanye West ever apologize to Taylor Swift? ›

September 15, 2009: Taylor Swift reveals that Kanye West called her to apologize. "Kanye did call me and he was very sincere in his apology, and I accepted that apology," the "Blank Space" singer told ABC Radio in 2009.

Does Kim Kardashian like Taylor Swift? ›

Despite the more than decade-long drama, Kardashian admitted last year that she still listens to Swift's music. "I really like a lot of her songs. They're all super cute and catchy. I'd have to look in my phone to get a name [of an album]," she said on the Honestly podcast.

What did Beyonce do when Kanye interrupted Taylor? ›

"Yo, Taylor, I'm really happy for you, I'mma let you finish,” West said then, lines that are now as iconic as scripture. “But Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time! One of the best videos of all time!" Beyoncé later gave up her own acceptance speech to bring Swift back onstage.

What is Taylor Swift's longest relationship? ›

Taylor Swift is currently dating English actor Joe Alwyn, beginning in November of 2016, and has been Taylor's longest relationship as of December 2022.

Did Taylor Swift date Zac Efron? ›

Zac Efron (February 2012-March 2012)

Taylor and Zac Efron reportedly started dating for a few months while promoting their movie "The Lorax" in the first part of 2011.

Are Harry Styles and Taylor Swift still friends? ›

So at least they're good songs.” Taylor and Harry's relationship has come a long way since their breakup in 2012, and the pair are clearly friendly and supportive of each other's incredible music careers.

Who did Ed Sheeran wrote one for? ›

Sheeran wrote "One" as the last song about Alice, his former girlfriend who inspired all the romantic songs on +. It is the only song on x that refers to that particular relationship, while the rest was about "moving on and the [...] experiences [Sheeran] had since then".

Who is the guy that said Taylor Swift doesn t write her own songs? ›

In the interview, Wood described Swift as an "excellent songwriter," to which Albarn quipped that "she doesn't write her own songs." When the journalist restated that Swift writes her own songs and co-writes others, Albarn disagreed.

Who did Taylor Swift wrote Tim McGraw about? ›

Did Taylor Swift write an album about Harry Styles? ›

First is the timing—Wildest Dreams was released in 2015, just a year after Swift released her heavily Styles-centered album, 1989. It is entirely possible that she was still writing songs about him two years after their relationship ended.

Are Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift still friends? ›

But to one another, they're just best friends who tease each other, support each other, and write music together. Their friendship goes back a decade to when Sheeran found out Swift was a fan. They wrote some music together, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Who is Ed Sheeran's wife? ›

Who is Ed Sheeran married to? ›

The star's childhood sweetheart, Cherry Seaborn, who he married in 2019, was told she had a tumour while pregnant with their second child. There was "no route to treatment until after the birth", he explained. At the time, the star was in court every day facing a copyright trial.

Does Taylor Swift have a tattoo? ›

Taylor Swift's tattoos are just as thoughtful and creative as her songs. From inking her favorite lyrics to her lucky number 13 before every concert, she has dazzled the world with her tats. Though these tattoos were not permanent, they symbolized important parts of her life.

Who taught Taylor Swift to sing? ›

There is a photo here of Taylor Swift with Ronnie Cremer, a computer repairman at a shop Kenhorst who said he taught Taylor Swift how to play guitar and sing june 2002 to late 2003.

Why can t Taylor own her music? ›

Why doesn't Swift own her masters? The majority of Swift's work was released under a deal she signed with Big Machine Records when she was 15, which gave the record label ownership of her masters.

Are Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift friends? ›

Taylor Swift performed her song for Tim McGraw in the 20017 ACM Awards. She says, “Hi, I'm Taylor” at the end of her performance. Since then they have been friends and have even performed duets together.

How old were Taylor and Jake when they dated? ›

(Although, the evidence does add up…) Jokes and memes about a Gyllenhaal reckoning flood the internet alongside think pieces debating at what point an age gap is inappropriate. (Swift was 20 when they dated; he was 29.)

How old was Taylor Swift during Tim McGraw? ›

Taylor Swift 's debut single " Tim McGraw " turns 15 this year and, on Tuesday, the actual Tim McGraw opened up about what he really thought about the hit song. Speaking to Apple Music , the country legend admitted that he was shocked when he first learned of the song, which was performed by Swift when she was just 16.

Was Taylor Swift and Harry Styles a thing? ›

Swift and Styles dated in late 2012 for a couple months; they broke up in early 2013. A source spoke to Entertainment Tonight yesterday about what the state of affairs between Styles and Swift is like now.

Who is bad blood written about? ›

Swift wrote "Bad Blood" about an undisclosed female musician. She revealed in a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone that this female peer, whom she had thought of as a close friend of hers, attempted to sabotage one of her concert tours by hiring people who worked for her.


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