The Black Dog Taylor Swift Sings About Is A Real Bar, But There’s More To It

As fans are dissecting every syllable of Taylor Swift’s new album, there are some questions about some of the places and people discussed.

One of the tracks on The Tortured Poets Department is called “The Black Dog” and some seriously devastating stuff went down there, according to the Chairman.

I watch as you walk into some bar called The Black Dog and pierce new holes in my heart,” Taylor sings on the track.

Could this be the infamous location Joe Alwyn was allegedly caught sneaking off to by Taylor, cementing their break up? Let’s dive in.

US singer-songwriter Taylor Swift arrives for the 66th Annual Grammy Awards at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on February 4, 2024. ((Photo by Robyn BECK / AFP))

The Black Dog Lyrics: Is The Song About Ex Joe Alwyn?

Ever since they split, there were rumors that Joe had actually cheated on Taylor, causing their breakup after six years together.

This has never been confirmed, but in “The Black Dog” track, which is a variant song on the album, Taylor talks about uncovering the truth about a lover stepping out on her. The first verse goes:

I am someone who until recent events you shared your secrets with
And your location
You forgot to turn it off
And so I watch as you walk into some bar called The Black Dog and pierce new holes in my heart
You forgot to turn it off
And it hits me

Joe Alwyn attends The 2022 Gotham Awards at Cipriani Wall Street at Cipriani Wall Street on November 28, 2022 in New York City. ((Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for The Gotham Film & Media Institute))

And with that, some fans have theorized that, either while they were together or shortly after they broke up, Joe left his phone’s “Share My Location” feature turned on, so the Midnights singer was able to track where he was going.

Why Joe? Well, for starters, using the “Share My Location” feature isn’t something you do with someone you’ve been with for two weeks (we see you Matt Healy). Taylor and Joe were together 6 years, there’s some trust there.

But the other reason fans think this is a hint towards Joe is that The Black Dog is an actual place in London, where Joe lives.

Where Is The Black Dog Bar?

A quick Google Maps search and fans were able to find that th Black Dog Freehouse is an actual pub in Vauxhall, an area in London known for its nightlife.

Taylor has made a point of talking about locations in London in her songs before: the Garden Gate in “Cruel Summer”, Hampstead and Highgate in “London Boy”, and of course, there’s a whole song dedicated to bidding farewell to the city on TTPD, “So Long, London.”

With a history of loving London landmarks in her music, and the fact that Joe is from the city, the pieces all seem to be fitting together. But let’s dive in a bit deeper still.

Emma Lair attends the Louis Vuitton Womenswear Fall Winter 2023-2024 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on March 06, 2023 in Paris, France. ((Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Louis Vuitton))

Is The Song About Joe Moving On With Emma Laird?

Now, cheating is not explicitly implied in the song. It could also be a song just about someone’s lover moving on and the pain of having to deal with that.

In fact, “black dog” can be a term referring to feelings of depression, great sadness and lack of energy, according to the Cambridge Dictionary.

As many Swifties know, in September 2023, Joe was linked to his 24-year-old The Brutalist costar Emma Laird. The lyrics of the song also talk about Taylor’s lover taking up with a younger woman, someone who didn’t have the same musical tastes as them.

How you don’t miss me in The Black Dog when someone plays The Starting Line
And you jump up, “But she’s too young to know this song!”

Ah, the web she weaves with her music, huh?

Taylor Swift arrives for the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, on September 12, 2023. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Full Lyrics For ‘The Black Dog’

I am someone who until recent events you shared your secrets with
And your location
You forgot to turn it off
And so I watch as you walk into some bar called The Black Dog and pierce new holes in my heart
You forgot to turn it off
And it hits me, I just don’t understand

How you don’t miss me in The Black Dog when someone plays The Starting Line
And you jump up, “But she’s too young to know this song!”
That was intertwined in the magic fabric of our dreaming
Old habits die screaming

I move through the world with a heart broken
My longings stay unspoken and I may never open up the way I did for you
And all of those best laid plans, you said I needed a brave man
Then proceeded to play him until I believed it too
And it kills me, I just don’t understand

How you don’t miss me in the shower?
And remember how my rain soaked body was shaking, do you hate me?
Was it hazing for a cruel fraternity I pledged?
And I still mean it, old habits die screaming

Six weeks of breathing clean air, I still miss the smoke
Were you making fun of me with some esoteric joke?
Now I wanna sell my house and set fire to all my clothes
And hire a priest to come and exorcise my demons
Even if I die screaming
And I hope you hear it

And I hope it’s shitty in The Black Dog when someone plays The Starting Line
And you jump up, “But she’s too young to know this song!”
That was intertwined in the tragic fabric of our dreaming’
Cause tail between your legs you’re leaving

I still can’t believe it’
Cause old habits die screaming

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