Real-Life Locations Mentioned by Taylor Swift in ‘The Tortured Poets Department’

Whether you love her or loathe her, there’s no denying that Taylor Swift has taken the world by storm. While on her global Eras Tour, she released her latest work: The Tortured Poets Department and The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology, a double album released two hours apart. True to her style, she weaves heartache and longing into her lyrics, mentioning several real-life locations from New York to London. Here, we explore five destinations highlighted in the album:

The Black Dog, London
“The Black Dog” is not only the 17th track on the double album but also a London pub where Swifties flocked following the album’s release. In the song, Taylor Swift alludes to someone—speculated to be Joe Alwyn or Matty Healy—frequenting the bar with lyrics like, “And your location, you forgot to turn it off / And so I watch as you walk / Into some bar called The Black Dog.” On the release day, April 19, The Black Dog offered the first 100 customers a free half pint of lager if they quoted a lyric from the song. Since then, the pub’s Instagram following has soared, and they’ve launched merchandise including shirts, totes, hats, and mugs. Fans have also noted the addition of a Taylor Swift-themed ‘Swiftburger’ to the menu.

Chelsea Hotel, New York
In the title track, “The Tortured Poets Department,” Swift references Manhattan’s iconic Chelsea Hotel, a historic 12-story building known for hosting artists, writers, and socialites since the late 19th century. With lyrics like, “You’re not Dylan Thomas, I’m not Patti Smith / This ain’t the Chelsea Hotel, we’re modern idiots,” Swift suggests their romance is far from legendary, depicting it as immature. The rest of the song delves into her disillusionment with a past relationship, rumoured to be with actor Joe Alwyn.

The Lake in Central Park, New York
In “The Bolter,” the 29th track on her 31-track double album, Swift references Central Park. She addresses being labelled a ‘bolter,’ someone who gets scared and flees from relationships. She sings about the early, enchanting days of a romance, illustrated by renting rowboats on Central Park Lake, with lyrics like, “When it’s all roses, portrait poses / Central Park Lake in tiny rowboats / What a charming Saturday.”

Hampstead Heath, London
In her previous album, Lover, Swift sang about walking through Camden Market and Shoreditch. In her latest album, it’s, “So Long, London.” This emotional ballad lists possible reasons that led to the end of a relationship. With the lyrics, “I left all I knew, you left me at the house by the Heath,” she reflects on being left behind by a former lover at Hampstead Heath.

Destin, Florida
In collaboration with British alternative band Florence + The Machine, “Florida!!!” mentions the city of Destin, known for its stunning white sand beaches, emerald green water, and reputation as the ‘World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.’ The lyrics mention people having to work their whole life “For a time-share down in Destin.”


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