Taylor Swift Fans Are Theorizing That Her Song “The Albatross” Is Actually About All That Backlash She And Travis Kelce Faced At The Start Of Their Relationship — Here’s A Full Explainer

“‘You were sleeping soundly when they dragged you from your bed.’ Travis had to move out of his house when they started dating. She still thinks she brings down all her romantic partners and is a burden,” one fan speculated.

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Ever since Taylor Swift’s new album, The Tortured Poets Department, dropped on April 19, Swifties across the globe have continued speculating who each song is about.

Closeup of Taylor Swift in a sequined dress

If you didn’t know, Taylor famously encourages her fans to figure out who the subjects of her songs are by leaving hints and Easter eggs.

Despite this, lyrical analysis is entirely subjective, and there’s no way of actually confirming who Taylor is singing about in her songs — unless she reveals the info herself. That being said, one particular fan theory amid the release of TTPD has picked up steam online over the weekend.

Fans are speculating that Track 19, “The Albatross,” is not necessarily just about Taylor’s ex Joe Alwyn, as many had initially speculated, but also about her current boyfriend, Travis Kelce.

Taylor Swift standing next to Travis Kelce after one of his football games
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Taylor dated Joe for almost seven years, with news of their split being made public last April. Months later, after being briefly romantically linked to Matty Healy, Taylor began dating Kansas City Chiefs player Travis.

Taylor and Joe have never publicly acknowledged their breakup, but at the time, a source purportedly told People that he’d struggled with her heightened level of superstardom following the start of her record-breaking Eras Tour.

Fans speculated that some of the lyrics in “The Albatross” nodded toward Joe’s apparent dislike of the limelight. For example, Taylor sings, “You were sleeping soundly / When they dragged you from your bed / And I tried to warn you about them.”

Closeup of Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn sitting at a table at a media event

She also sings, “Wise men once read fake news / And they believed it,” which may be a reference to the viral false rumor that she and Joe had secretly gotten married.

However, fans have since theorized that Taylor is actually singing about the backlash she and Travis faced at the start of their relationship.

Taylor Swift in a floral mesh top and leather skirt holds hands with Travis Kelce in a beige jacket and trousers

Taylor and Travis went public with their relationship last September when the singer attended one of his football games. But sadly, the pair found themselves at the center of attention — not all positive — when the world learned that they were an item.

Travis Kelce in a baseball cap hugs a smiling Taylor Swift at an event, surrounded by cameras and onlookers

Taylor’s attendance at Travis’s games garnered widespread attention — not just from her fans but also from the NFL itself. After a while, people sadly began criticizing Taylor for simply attending the games, with some football fans even booing the singer at a Chiefs game in December.

Taylor Swift in a top cheering with a person wearing a Kansas City Chiefs #15 jersey

During an interview with Time magazine that same month, Taylor acknowledged the immense attention — and scrutiny — that her attendance at Travis’s games had sparked. She said, “I’m just there to support Travis. I have no awareness of if I’m being shown too much and pissing off a few dads, Brads, and Chads.”

Meanwhile, Travis has publicly revealed that he and Taylor have had conversations about the “outside noise” surrounding their relationship.

Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce at Coachella

“The only thing we’ve talked about is, as long as we’re happy, we can’t listen to anything that’s outside noise,” he said during a press conference in January. “That’s all that matters.”

Travis and Taylor kissing after a Chiefs game

A month later, Travis’s brother, Jason Kelce, revealed that the Chiefs player was forced to move houses due to “safety” concerns, explaining that while the pair have always been popular “in the football world,” Travis dating Taylor had introduced a bunch more fans who were on a “whole different level.”

Travis Kelce in a jacket over a shirt with textured pants, walking outside

While speaking of the increased attention on Travis in recent months, Jason said, “He had to completely move out of his house, right? People just staying by his house. I mean safety reasons. And the first day he moved into the new house, a gated community, somebody knocks on the back window of the house.”

With all of this in mind, several Swifties have since theorized that Taylor is singing about how Travis was hounded with newfound negative attention at the beginning of their relationship.

the albatross is about travis my god, i see it now too

— tortured caro (@swiftpoetdep_) April 20, 2024
Twitter: @swiftpoetdep_

The Albatross being about Travis was NOT on my bingo card tbh #TSTTPD

— Han🤍 🍉The Tortued Poet ⸆⸉ (@tisthehanszn13) April 19, 2024
Twitter: @tisthehanszn13

Someone said The Albatross is the public and her exes warning Travis about her and I’m never gonna know peace again

— Cass (@Cass89118) April 21, 2024
Twitter: @Cass89118

Taylor sings, “Cautions issued, he stood / Shooting the messengers / They tried to warn him about her.” She adds, “She's the albatross / She is here to destroy you.”

Closeup of Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift

“You were sleeping soundly / When they dragged you from your bed / And I tried to warn you about them,” she sings, with fans speculating that this is in reference to Travis having to move from his home.

Travis Kelce in his Kansas City Chiefs #87 football uniform, helmet off, on the field

In a popular TikTok video, one user questioned, “Why is no one talking about how 'The Albatross' is also a Travis song? … Everybody was telling Travis, ‘Be careful, don’t get with her. She’ll ruin your career.’”

Travis and Taylor kissing after a Chiefs game

“Everybody was so pissed when they saw her on their screen,” the user said, referring to the backlash over Taylor’s attendance at Travis’s games. “They were saying, ‘She’s gonna destroy you.’”

Taylor Swift performing in a sequined dress with a microphone

“I think the albatross is about Taylor and Travis and him being warned off of her but her chose her,” someone agreed on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“I might be crazy but…why does the albatross feel like her writing about what people were saying to Travis when they first started,” another person guessed.

“Ok on the Albatross she [says], ‘you were sleeping soundly when they dragged you from your bed.’ Travis had to move out of his house when they started dating. She still thinks she brings down all her romantic partners and is a burden,” one more user said.

Again, this theory is purely speculation, and Taylor has not given any explicit information on who the song is about.

You can listen to all of TTPD here.

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